The beautiful West Country beach overlooked by a Norman castle

As the Double Jubilee bank holiday approaches, Britons are likely to flock to the beaches in droves. Many eager vacationers will be heading to the coast for the midterm week.

But while many will be heading to the Cornish coast and the beaches of South Devon, some people will want to avoid the queues on the motorways and stay closer to home.

For those looking for a crazy day out, look no further than Church Ope Cove in neighboring Dorset.

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The dog-friendly beach is on the Isle of Portland near Weymouth and is dotted with soft limestone pebbles and surrounded by dramatic cliffs.

The cove is truly sunbathing and sheltered so visitors can soak in the blue waters for swimming, snorkeling or even diving.

Ope Cove Church

However, there is no lifeguard and the beach can be sensitive to currents, so it is recommended to stay in the direct area of ​​the cove.

To get to the beach, visitors will face a flight of steep steps which can be difficult for small children or less capable visitors.

The beach also has a small cafe, caravan park and public toilets as well as an option to hire beach cabins.

One of the highlights of Church Ope Cove is the view of the Norman construction of Rufus Castle, which overlooks the beach from the top of the cliff.

You can also walk to the nearby ruins of the old St Andrew’s Church, reached by a fairly steep path leading directly from Church Ope Cove.

The site is home to several species of birds and dolphins have even been spotted from the top of the cliffs in the waters below.

On TripAdvisor, where the cove has a 4.5 rating, one reviewer wrote, “I can’t get over how beautiful this place was. I am totally in love.

“Not only breathtaking views, but also the hidden ruins of an old 13th century church and its cemetery with the “pirate tombs”.

“The Rufus Castle ruins are a sight to behold and look so majestic from the beach. I believe the cove was used for smuggling.

“The 148 steps are steep and getting back up was a struggle for me, but it was definitely worth it.”

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Sandy A. Greer