Things to see and do at Hive Beach
From bracing coastal walks to views of the Jurassic Coast, a visit to Hive Beach has a number of highlights to look out for.
Hive Beach is great for families, and dogs are welcome throughout the year. There's ample parking (free for members) and a warm welcome is guaranteed from the friendly team. Admire the dramatic cliffs from a safe distance (please take note of all safety signage), and enjoy a refreshing dip in the sea. Or you could even try a spot of angling.
A short way eastward along Chesil Beach, you will find Cogden - an unspoilt shingle beach backed by attractive farmland. It's a popular spot with anglers and home to a wide variety of beautiful coastal flowers and other wildlife. Parking is available at the roadside at the top of the hill (a short walk uphill from the beach, free for members).
Hive Beach is part of the Jurassic Coast, Britain's only natural World Heritage Site. The Jurassic Coast covers 95 miles that record 185 million years of the earth's history. Burton cliff displays the Bridport sands rock formations to dramatic effect and offers far-reaching views along the 18 miles of Chesil Bank.
Keep clear of the cliffs
Please don’t stray into the danger zone underneath the cliffs – it’s better to admire these sculpted golden buttresses from a distance, without putting yourself at risk. Rock falls can happen suddenly.
Hive Beach Café
There's a real buzz about the family-friendly Hive Beach Café. You'll be hard pushed to find a more scenic place to enjoy top-notch local seafood, a tasty brunch or an ice cream. This award-winning café's outdoor seating takes full advantage of the amazing views. Or pop inside for a hot chocolate after a bracing coastal walk.
Wildlife at Hive Beach
Wild flowers can be seen here at almost any time of year but the best time for appreciating the flora is probably June when the flower display is at its most diverse. As summer goes on the display changes and you’ll see fleabane, knapweed and field scabious, not to mention fungi such as parasols and waxcaps.
Bumblebees and hoverflies, dragonflies hawking over the farmland ponds, and lots of different butterflies such as common blue, marbled white and the rare Lulworth skipper can all be spotted here.
Down on Chesil Beach, the enormous shingle bank is anchored by a host of specialised plants – those most tolerant of salt include sea kale, yellow horned poppy and sea sandwort. These plants grow in an unlikely moonscape of salt and pebbles, but their deep roots help to stabilise the beach.
On the landward side you can see the beautiful purple and yellow combination of thrift and bird’s-foot trefoil or listen to the wind soughing in the reedbed or the croaking of amorous marsh frogs.
You’ll probably see kestrels, buzzards and a host of small birds such as stonechat, linnet or the pied wagtails that inhabit Hive Beach car park. The patient birder might spot a selection of waders, gulls and other species both resident and migrant – a huge variety of birds pass through the area, sometimes stopping only for a day or two.
The area around Hive Beach is a working landscape with footpaths, perfect for walking and quiet enjoyment. Dogs are welcome, but please take a look at these top tips before you visit. Hive Beach is a one pawprint rated place.
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