Church Ope Cove

Pennsylvania Rd, Isle of Portland, Portland DT5 1HT

Church Ope Cove is a secluded south-facing beach on the Isle of Portland, sheltered and safe for swimming, snorkelling and diving.

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24.6 miles from Highlands End
26.7 miles from Golden Cap
21.4 miles from Graston Copse
16.7 miles from Sandyholme

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Church Ope Cove is a secluded south-facing beach on the Isle of Portland, sheltered and safe for swimming, snorkelling and diving.

The beach is one of very few on Portland and is accessed via a steep public footpath and many steps from the car park above. On your way down, you will pass through the ruins of Bow and Arrow Castle, the oldest castle on Portland, as well as the ruins of St Andrew’s Church. The beach consists of soft limestone pebbles and the cliffs on 3 sides provides shelter from wind. The views from Rufus Castle on the clifftop are beautiful.

Wildlife is abundant and you can see various species of birds, butterflies and even the occasional dolphin. Portland had a long history of smuggling and Church Ope Cove was one of the famous smuggling beaches. The beach provides diving access to the numerous wrecks in the surrounding waters. The cove and surrounding area has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) for the importance of its natural environment and wildlife. Walk along the South West Coast Path to join the old railway that runs at the base of the cliffs, with views across to the chalk cliffs around White Nothe and Durdle Door.

There is no lifeguard and currents can be strong, so swimming further out isn’t recommended. There is a small, free car park for 15-20 cars on the main road at the top of the cliff and it’s a 10 minute walk down a long flight of approximately 180 steep steps. Dogs are welcome all year round, but there are no dog bins. Toilets are available at the beach and there is the Hayloft Cafe & Bar nearby and Portland Museum on the main road.

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Holidays in Dorset

At West Dorset Leisure Holidays, we have a great choice of accommodation and facilities across 4 family-run holiday parks on or near the Jurassic Coast - Highlands End, Golden Cap, Graston Copse and Sandyholme, as well as Caravan and Lodge Holiday Homes for sale.

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Our Awards & Accreditations

Our parks have been recognised as some of the best in Dorset. We're extremely proud of the awards and it's easy to see why our guests return year on year. You can be safe in the knowledge that you're staying at one of the best parks in the county! Please note awards vary by Park.

What our guests say

  • Very peaceful Park

    The wildlife is stunning, we were visited by the ducks on a regular basis which was lovely. Our visit was very enjoyable and we will definitely be back in the future!

    Sarah W - Pitch Up
    Sandyholme

  • 5 out of 5 isn't enough!

    This is simply our favorite touring park along the south coast. The location couldn't be better with views to die for and an abundance of fresh sea air. The park is spic and span and extremely well kept with very friendly staff.

    Big Caravan Adventures - Tripadvisor
    Highlands End

  • Best holiday ever!

    This is by far the best Holiday Park I have been to. The views are breath taking with easy access to the beach and nice coastal walks to West Bay. If you're looking for a relaxing holiday in a stunning location, then this is the place to come.

    Alison D - TripAdvisor
    Highlands End

  • Fantastic holiday once again

    We have been coming here now every year for about 10 years. Its our favourite place and the Park has everything we need.

    Andy M - TripAdvisor
    Highlands End

  • A little bit of heaven!

    Golden Cap is a little bit of heaven. The views are awesome, right next to the sea. It's all relaxed and low key just how we like it.

    Esther Woodhouse - Facebook
    Golden Cap

  • Idyllic setting

    Quiet site in a beautiful setting with exceptionally clean toilets and showers

    Anthony M - Pitch Up
    Graston Copse

  • Would definitely recommend

    Close to beach, a nice local pub, dog friendly and a very relaxed atmosphere.

    Dan M - Pitch Up
    Golden Cap

  • A tour of Dorset!

    An excellent Park as a base to visit the Dorset coast, Jurassic Coast, Chesil Beach, Lyme Regis, Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, to name a few.

    Arthur D - Tripadvisor
    Graston Copse

  • Fantastic Park

    10 out of 10 is not enough for this Holiday Park. We have been here 3 times and we love it more and more every time. The park has all you need, with some pitches overlooking the sea and a great restaurant.

    Shirley Thompson - Tripadvisor
    Highlands End

  • A hidden gem

    The location is amazing, right on the beach and all the facilities are good. It's a hidden gem this one, one of the best parks in the country

    Mark Tee - Tripadvisor
    Golden Cap

  • Lovely tranquil campsite

    The location was great as we could easily walk to the village or local beaches through the beautiful countryside. I would recommend this campsite to families for a peaceful and safe stay.

    Sarah - Tripadvisor
    Graston Copse