Church Ope Cove, Isle of Portland

4.9
#2 of 7 in Parks in Isle of Portland
Church Ope Cove is a small secluded beach on the sheltered eastern side of the Isle of Portland in Dorset, southern England. It is found close to the village of Wakeham. The beach has many unusual features for the Isle of Portland. The beach used to be sandy, but quarry debris now covers the sand, and has been worn into rounded pebbles. The pebbles cover a small stream which runs to the sea, which is one of the few active streams remaining on the Isle of Portland.HistoryIn 789 AD, the first recorded Viking attack within British Isles, including Ireland, occurred on Portland's coast. It is believed that Church Ope Cove was the location. The exposed location was later defended by the Norman 12th-century Rufus Castle, built on the cliff-top overlooking the beach. The remaining castle seen today dates from the late 15th-century. The cove's area was also used for the building of Portland's first parish church, St Andrews Church, which was probably first established above the cove by the Saxons.Between 1797-1800, John Penn, Governor of Portland and grandson of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, had the Gothic revival mansion Pennsylvania Castle built on a platform above the cove. During the early 19th-century he had a bath built below the gardens of his castle, known as John Penn's Bath. However, when it was completed, the Court Leet demanded an annual rent for its use after it was built on Common Land. Penn refused to pay, and the bath was abandoned, with the remains still in existence today. Penn's servants would have been tasked with bringing water up from the cove to the bath.
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Church Ope Cove Reviews
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  • Discovered this cove by chance on a circular coastal walk of the Isle of Portland. It was a very sunny day and the Cove was very tempting to give up on our walk and take it easy. The cove is very pebb...  more »
  • After Chesil Cove and promenade this is the most accessible point for a swim but the descent and ascent are not for the feint hearted with around 200 hundred steps but it's worth it. The beach is main...  more »
  • I love this little cove, the castle, and the ruins of St. Andrew's church and cemetery. There's even a smugglers tunnel. I want my ashes scattered here!  more »

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43 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA May, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Swanage, Isle of Portland & London BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in England BY A USER FROM CANADA January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 29 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 24 days in United Kingdom & Ireland BY A USER FROM UKRAINE January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Isle of Portland BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 59 days in England BY A USER FROM BELGIUM February, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, wildlife, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 9 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND January, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM PERU December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in Dorset & Devon BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM September, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Isle of Portland BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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