Church Ope Cove, Isle of Portland

4.9
#2 of 6 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.
A visit to Church Ope Cove represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Isle of Portland travel route planner to plot your vacation.
Source
Create an itinerary including Church Ope Cove
map
Church Ope Cove Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
77 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • August 15, 2017
    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 »
  • August 8, 2017
    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 »
  • August 6, 2017
    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 »

Plan your trip to Isle of Portland

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Isle of Portland

Browse hotels, guesthouses, and unique homes and book your stay on the world's leading accommodation sites.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Isle of Portland by other users

35 days in United Kingdom & Dublin BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA April, culture, outdoors, historic sites, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 34 days in Dorset BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, kids, popular PREFERENCES: October, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Isle of Portland BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM CANADA August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Isle of Portland & Weymouth BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 28 days in United Kingdom, Chessy & Paris BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, culture, historic sites, museums, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 15 days in Dorset BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, outdoors, romantic, beaches, shopping, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, romantic, beaches, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Isle of Portland BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Isle of Portland BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM September, teens, culture, outdoors, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, teens, culture, outdoors, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 2 days in Isle of Portland BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM September, teens, popular PREFERENCES: September, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 30 days in United Kingdom, Paris & Marne-la-Vallee BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 9 days in Amesbury & Dorset BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans