Hive Beach, a mere five minute walk from Burton Bradstock village, is one of the most unspoilt beaches on the Jurassic Coast. Rolling farmland and National Trust fields give way to this attractive coarse sand beach, overlooked by its famous golden sandstone cliffs.
This popular family beach stretches for over a mile and forms part of the larger Chesil Beach, a section of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Its size means that even on a busy summer’s day it never feels overcrowded. It’s great for paddling and on a warm summer day its azure waters are heavenly for swimmers. The beach shelves so do supervise children and take note of tides; if in doubt ask at the friendly lifeguard hut next to the Hive Beach Cafe. The beach and its surrounding fields are also excellent for flying kites.
While hazy summer days are bliss at Hive Beach, a winters day can be equally rewarding, watching spectacular waves coming in off stormy seas. For walkers the beach is one of the main gateways to the South West Coast path, offering striking views over Chesil Beach to the East and Lyme Bay and Golden Cap to the West.
It’s clear to see the influence that the sea has had on this landscape, salt spray burns the trees and high winds cause them to grow away from the sea. Heather fills the fields behind the beach and you’ll see the evidence of both plants and animals adapting to coastal conditions. Wildflowers are present most of the year but best seen in June. Along with the waders and gulls, you’ll be able to spot kestrels, buzzards, linnets, stonechats and an abundance of pied wagtails, together with a whole variety of migrants passing through. If you are lucky you may also see the occasional dolphin or seal.
For fossil hunters there are plenty of fossils to be found from the limestone and Inferior Oolite cliffs, rocks formed in shallow sandbanks and rich in ammonites. Take care beneath the cliffs as there are regular rock falls, again if in doubt check at the lifeguard or National Trust huts.
The award winning Hive Beach Cafe overlooks the beach and has won numerous awards for its freshly caught fish and seafood. It is exceptionally good and no visit to Burton Bradstock is complete without a visit. The cafe is open all year round but check its website for opening hours.
This National Trust beach is easy to access from the cost road and there is plenty of parking (including Disabled bays) in the car park and fields behind the beach, with spaces free to National Trust members. Toilets are located at the Hive Beach Cafe. There is wheelchair access to both the cafe and toilets.
Dogs are welcome on Hive Beach all year round. However there is a restriction applying from June 1st – 30th September to the centre part of the beach from the cliffs to The Beach House.