Castle Cove, Weymouth

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Castle Cove, also locally known as Sandsfoot Cove, is a small secluded sandy beach to the west of Weymouth, in Dorset, southern England. It is found within the village of Wyke Regis, and close to Sandsfoot Castle - one of Henry VIII's Device Forts, built around 1541 opposite its contemporary Portland Castle to protect Portland Harbour. The beach is privately owned, but has remained open to the public until recent years following the removal of steps leading to the cove following unstable movements within the land. The usually quiet and uncrowded beach has remained a local favourite spot for swimming, sailing, snorkelling and diving, from the gently sloping shoreline.[1][2]

Close to the cove is the Castle Cove Sailing Club - a family club which first began in a cliff-top chalet in 1923 above the cove, before expanding and moving to the present site at the end of Old Castle Road in September 2002. The club has over 450 memberships.[3]


Further along from Castle Cove is another section of beach holding the Castle Cove Sailing Club.

A refreshment kiosk had been on the site since 1947. During the 21st century, a fast food outlet was opened on the beach, which sparked controversy over the private, family beach becoming too commercialised. Planning permission had also been granted for eight beach huts to be built on the beach, before lapsing in mid-2012. Eventually the owner, who ran The Shack cafe for 18 months, reluctantly decided to sell the beach. In July 2012, Castle Cove was auctioned at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton, and sold for £90,500 – thousands of pounds over its original guide price of £65,000 to £75,000. This bidding war was partly due to the potential of premium views of the sailing events of the 2012 Summer Olympics. The purchasers of the beach, Lee and Karen Maidment, announced at the time of the purchase that they were "...thrilled to buy this lovely beach and intend to help and maintain this local facility for the future for local people. We know people are passionate about this particular beach and we are too."[4]

By 2014, there had been no footpath access to the beach for over a year, following a landslip and the removal of the steps in February 2013 for safety reasons, due to unstable land caused by coastal erosion. As a result local parent and Green Party member Clare Sutton organised a petition via, in effort to prompt Weymouth & Portland Borough Council to work with Dorset County Council, local landowners and businesses to find a solution.[5] Launched on 22 March 2014, the petition had attracted over 1700 signatures, including almost 800 online, by 7 April.[6] The council's Head of Infrastructure had responded that no funding was available to complete the stabilising of the coastline, and that it would cost a significant amount of money to rebuild the steps.[7]

See also


  1. "Castle Cove Beach Weymouth on the Shores of Portland Harbour". Retrieved 2014-04-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Sandsfoot Castle (Portland Harbour ) Beach | Dorset | UK Beach Guide". Retrieved 2014-04-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Castle Cove Sailing Club:". Retrieved 2014-04-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Weymouth's Castle Cove beach sells for £90k (From Dorset Echo)". Dorset Echo. 2012-07-27. Retrieved 2014-04-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Plea for return of Sandsfoot Beach access (From Dorset Echo)". Retrieved 2014-04-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Castle Cove". West and South Dorset Green Party. 2014-03-20. Retrieved 2014-04-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "UPDATE: Support for beach campaign as petition handed in (From Dorset Echo)". 2014-04-07. Retrieved 2014-04-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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