England, Europe, Abbotsbury, Dorset, colony, mute, swans, Abbotsbury Swannery, Cygnus olor, UK, United Kingdom, Great
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The village of Abbotsbury was established as a Benedictine monastery almost 1,000 years ago along Chesil Beach, overlooking the lagoon between the beach and the offshore Chesil Bank. In 1393, the monks created a sanctuary here for mute swans, and the Swannery still exists today. Visitors can sometimes see up to 1,000 swans during a guided walk here. Another popular attraction is the 250-year-old Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, a 20-acre serene green space filled with rare and exotic plants.