On my fourth and last day on the Jurassic Coast, I had planned to walk to West Bay, then catch the bus to Waymouth and spend the night there. But my plans changed when I woke up to overcast skies and a chance of rain. It never actually rained that day but it remained overcast. I had looked forward to climbing Golden Cap, the highest point on the path, but without a view, I decided it wasn’t a must. Instead, I checked the map and noticed a subtropical garden in Abbotsbury which got good reviews. It was on my way, I was in England, home of beautiful gardens, and it was on Chesil Beach. My decision was made and it turned out to be a very good one.
Towards the end of the 18th century, the first garden was planted. First a walled kitchen garden and several years later the first trees were planted. Over the following years, more species were added and even plants from the Himalayas, China and Japan were added the surrounding woodland. It became home to one of the finest plant collections in England at the time. Plants from around the world were constantly added. After a severe storm in 1987, the garden has been restored to it’s former glory and is now a mixture of formal and informal flowers, famous for it’s camellia groves and magnolias.
After visiting the garden, I walked down to the beach. Chesil Beach had much finer pebbles than any other beach I had walked on the days before.
From the beach I walked back up to St. Catherine’s Chapel which was built in the 14th century and has beautiful views over Abbotsbury and Chesil Beach.
After a leisurely lunch at an inn tucked in the old abbey ruins, I made my way to Weymouth. Weymouth has seen better days, although the area around the harbor still has pretty buildings and bustling pubs.
Where to eat:
The Abbey House: Friendly staff and a delicious sticky apple cake with clotted cream. Sitting under a large tree and enjoying the views over the gardens was delightful. I can imaging staying here would also be wonderful.