Located in the quaint village of Abbotsbury, next to The Fleet Lagoon lies Abbotsbury Swannery. Here you can walk through the largest nesting colony of mute swans in the world. The swans are free flying could choose to nest anywhere but are attracted this place. As such there are no cages and so this is a very different experience to visiting a zoo. There are over 600 swans, which have been here for over 600 years.
Written records of the swannery’s existence go back to 1393 however it is thought that the swannery was created by Benedictine Monks who farmed the birds back in 1040s. Today the protected birds are able to live peacefully in this unique natural wildlife habitat. The Fleet, with Chesil Beach on its seaward side provides a natural barrier for the swans against the sometimes rough seas.
Visitors can wander through along the paths which weave through the nesting sites. In late spring you can get very close to the nesting pairs and may catch a glimpse of the new born cygnets. The swannery is open to the public between March and the end of October. A great time to visit is between the middle of May and the end of June when young cygnets are present. There is the opportunity to help with feeding the swans. Twice a day at noon and 4pm a mass feeding takes place.
For feeding yourselves there is a great little cafe which serves delicious homemade food. It is fully licensed and located at the entrance before you pay to go in; so passing walkers are welcome. Nearby are other great attractions including Abbotsbury Sub Tropical Gardens.
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Where to find Abbotsbury Swannery
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