Portland Island and the resort town of Weymouth are connected by a 5-mile (8 km) long neck of white sand known as Chesil Beach. Renowned as the finest example of a barrier-type beach in Europe, Chesil Beach was formed 10,000 years ago as glaciers receded and sea levels rose.
The rugged coastline of Dorset and the many attractions in the area are what make Weymouth such a popular vacation destination. The Old Harbour of Weymouth is an excellent Georgian-style harbor and one of the prettiest in Europe. It bustles with activity from large catamarans, fishing boats and yachts. Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park displays over 1,000 incredible sea creatures including sea turtles, crabs, octopuses and sharks. The nearby Abbotsbury Sub-Tropical Gardens is an impressive walled garden set in 20 acres (8 hectares) of woodland. Portland Island offers stunning views across the Chesil Beach, Portland Harbour, Fleet Lagoon and Weymouth. The little egret, once a rare bird in Britain, is now regularly seen along these shores.