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A damp February day, with low clouds and sea-fog combining to give a generally murky atmosphere. This gallery explores the area at the western end of Chesil beach (an approx. 15km long tombolo) starting at the small linear collection of houses that is West Bexington (SY 534 868). The beach itself is some 5000–7000 years old and at this end of its length it is composed of small, mainly pea-sized, stones.

For a view of the eastern end of Chesil beach visit the Fortuneswell gallery.

075-01 Puncknowle 075-02 Puncknowle 075-03 Puncknowle 075-04 Puncknowle 075-05 Puncknowle
075-06 Puncknowle 075-07 Puncknowle 075-08 Puncknowle 075-09 Puncknowle 075-10 Puncknowle
To view any image full size - simply click on the thumbnail

Heading inland the hills climb steadily, reaching about 80m above sea-level at the village of Swyre. On this particular day the cloud level was just some few metres above this. The gallery then continues a short distance eastwards along the lanes to the village of Puncknowle (pronounced 'punnle') – with the weather the way it was there was no temptation to stop and rest on the bench there! The route then turns southwards, crossing several muddy and waterlogged fields as it passes back over the coastal ridge to the sea.

The small tree ? ... dedicated to Dr Richard St. Barbe-Baker OBE, founder of 'men of the trees' now the 'International Tree Foundation'. On a day out in Dorset there is always something of interest to be seen, even in the rain.


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In the top row of pictures:

  • Chesil Beach, strong February winds churning up the sea (picture)
  • West Bexington (picture)
  • The view back to West Bexington (through the mist) from near Swyre (picture)
  • Farmhouse in Swyre (picture)
  • On the road from Swyre to Puncknowle (picture)

In the bottom row of pictures:

  • Puncknowle (picture)
  • Puncknowle (picture)
  • Negotiating the waterlogged fields to the east of The Knoll (picture)
  • An 'atmospheric' day in Dorset, a sense of humour is useful on such days (picture)
  • Commemorative tree, near The Knoll (picture)

Nearby locations that also feature in galleries on this site:

directionBride Valley

directionAbbotsbury, Fleet and Langton Herring

directionBridport, West Bay

More views of Dorset in January

Other sites on the web

West's Geology Field Guide to Chesil Beach

The Dorset Page:   Puncknowle, West Bexington, Swyre – local information and links to further resources on the web

Maps of the area on streetmap.co.uk:   1:50,000 – detail, 1:250,000 – locality and route to get there

picture resolution
The pictures of Puncknowle in this gallery were captured at medium resolution.
This is images of dorset stock photography gallery 075
All photographs copyright © 1998–2003 John Allen

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