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Church Ope Cove, Isle of Portland

(55+ reviews on the web)
Wildlife Area
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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59 days in United Kingdom, Europe & Ireland BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 28 days in England BY A USER FROM CANADA June, fast-paced, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 17 days in Dorset BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS July, teens, kids, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, teens, kids, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Isle of Portland & Taunton BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Dorset BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 14 days in England BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 8 days in Isle of Portland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, kids, culture, outdoors, beaches, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: August, kids, culture, outdoors, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 60 days in United States, Canada & Europe BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 50 days in South America, Europe & Asia BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA January, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in United States, South America & Europe BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA April, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 22 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM CANADA May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Isle of Portland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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TripAdvisor
  • Stunning views and path down to lovely beach. Easy access to coastal path and a good dog walk. Car parking available opposite and you can also visit the museum. Ideal for a picnic.  more »
  • Excellent sheltered beach with rocks, pebbles and sand. Sheltered so sea is calmer. Great for children.  more »
  • A stunning coastline see the Jurassic Coast at it best, look at the Pirates Gravestones and admire the landscape, but its a long way down and back but worth it, no sand but a pebble beach but the wate...  more »