Nobody in their right mind would install a pay and display meter in the middle of nowhere. Unless, of course, lots of people want to park there.
That pretty much sums up Cogden.
On the face of it, it's a pay and display meter in a fairly small pull-in in the middle of nowhere to the East of Burton Bradstock, just off the B3157.
But don’t be fooled.
It’s true there’s nothing there. Nothing in the sense of human habitation, cafés, public toilets or shops. But it is probably for all the things that aren’t there that people like to visit! What’s more, the limited size of the car park puts a natural brake on the number of people who can get there at any one time by car. But then, Cogden is also on the South West Coast path and, believe it or not, the X53 bus stops there.
What Cogden has, is a pleasant and fairly short walk down to the Chesil Beach across “access land” owned by the National Trust. The surrounding countryside is fairly rugged and unkempt so it’s good for wildlife.
Once on the beach you’ll find yourself on one of the most easily accessible, yet seemingly remote stretches of the Chesil. It’s well-used by fishermen and a great place to just sit and enjoy the sea and the shingle.
Just to the East, towards West Bexington, you’ll also find Burton Mere, an inland stretch of water trapped between the Chesil and the mainland. This reed-surrounded pond is tiny compared to the Fleet Lagoon, but it all adds to the slightly harsh beauty of this largely unspoiled place.
The downside to Cogden, if there is one, is that all this beautiful nothing in the middle of nowhere is a big draw to dog owners -including the irresponsible ones.
It’s not uncommon the find dogs off their leads - sometimes in twos or threes. This isn’t good from a wildlife conservation perspective. It also makes it difficult for dog owners to keep tabs on whose dog poo is whose. The inevitable consequence seems to be that plenty of dog mess goes unclaimed and uncollected. Sadly, the whole area is thus something of a dog poo minefield. So watch your step. No doubt the National Trust will clamp down on this eventually. When they do, hopefully they’ll get to grips with some of the other irritating litter lobbers who’ve left their mark, however small, on an otherwise wonderfully unkempt, semi-natural habitat. As for the rest of the Chesil Bank, camping is prohibited here too.
Nobody in their right mind would install a pay and display meter in the middle of nowhere. Unless, of course, lots of people want to park there .."