The Cogden Circular
A circular stroll through flower-filled farmland returning via the South West Coast Path. Cogden Beach is part of the larger Chesil Beach, a striking section of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site which is the largest shingle ridge in the world. Please keep dogs on their leads while in fields with livestock, and use the dog bins provided. Also please be aware of ground-nesting birds from March to July and keep dogs under close control during this period.
Cogden car park SY503886
From the middle of the car park, head east through the kissing gate and continue for approximately 0.5 miles (0.8km) through another three gates. To your left you should now see the gate to Othona (private).
You can admire the 15-mile sweep of Chesil Beach leading to the distinctive outline of Portland in the distance. This section of coast is part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Between the farmland and the shingle is Cogden reedbed, a haven for migratory birds.
In front of you the track forks – take the right hand track through the field and through another gate to find yourself crossing the bottom of a long steep field.
Red Devon cows
Cogden is grazed with red Devon and Guernsey cows which you might encounter on your walk. The red Devon is a beef breed and you can buy some of their delicious meat from Tamarisk Farm shop in West Bexington. They are quite friendly beasts and perfectly harmless if treated with respect.
Go through another gate into a field where you will see ant hills to your left. Follow the path round the patches of scrub and through another gate.
Yellow meadow ants
These grassy hummocks are the home of the yellow meadow ant which only lives in undisturbed grassland. This field is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its rare plants and insects.
You will now find yourself at the top of three fields which slope down to the sea. Follow the path through two more gates and you will find yourself on the South West Coast Path.
Turn right (westwards) and follow the coast path until you pass through a patch of willow trees using the board walk over the mud. Continue along the coast path through fields and between hedges until you emerge near the beach.
In summer the shingle is a riot of colourful flowers. You will see pink thrift and maybe the white flowers of sea kale and the small yellow bird’s foot trefoil.
Take the track leading up the hill through two more gates back to the car park.
Cogden car park SY503886
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