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.
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
Places to stay near Church Ope Cove
Church Ope Cove Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
83 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Peaceful, beautiful nice place. Great views and cliff walks. Good for walking, no matter the weather it’s always nice here.  more »
  • Park in the free car park marked church ope. Cross the road then go to the museum. Continue walking down the steep footpath past the castle ruin. You will need to be physically fit to do this. The cov...  more »
  • a peaceful cove usually off the beaten track of the tourist! a great place to visit don't forget to look out of the pirate gravestones on the decent to the cove when you pass through the ruin church!  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.

Plans to Church Ope Cove by other users

15 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM CZECH REPUBLIC July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in Europe BY A USER FROM COSTA RICA May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 1 day in Isle of Portland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 31 days in Isle of Portland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in Dorset BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 2 days in Isle of Portland BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Isle of Portland BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM March, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: March, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 30 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 9 days in Dorset BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM March, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Dorset BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 6 days in Dorset BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM March, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: March, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 59 days in England BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans