Just Back From… Dorset

A last minute booking to Bridport in Dorset for a birthday and wedding anniversary celebration was made in lieu of the proposed trip to Seattle. After a gorgeous sunny September, autumn also decided to come along too, so it was a mixed week of sunshine and showers and even a few dramatic thunderstorms with lightning and thundering waves.

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Bridport

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Bridport is a quaint market town in West Dorset and only a mile from the famous Jurassic coast at West Bay with its lovely harbour and shingle beach. It has an open and airy feel to it because of the wide streets that contain several hundred listed buildings many of them built to accommodate the twisting and dyeing of ropes and nets during the late 12th century. It also has a lively arts and literary scene.

Although in a self-catering house I don’t consider it a holiday if I do all the cooking so we  ate take away fish and chips from Longs in West Street which were excellent – thin batter on the succulent cod and crisp chips. And the best deal was a thin crust pizza, salad and 1/2 pint of local cider from The Stable, behind the Bull hotel on East Street  – £10 on a Tuesday. If you like it hot go for the Blaster! Or what about the Bucky Doo?

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The Hive Beach Café
The Hive Beach Café

Good fish and seafood can be found in local pubs and restaurants, but head to the Hive Beach Café, a tarpaulin-sided hut which is a popular place for lunch as it is right on the beach at Burton Bradstock, 4 miles from Bridport along the shingle Chesil Beach. It is very busy at the weekend, even at this time of year, but worth the wait (no bookings) for the fresh lobster, sea bass or grilled sardines. An obvious choice for Saturday’s birthday lunch.

West Bay

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Only a mile from Bridport is West Bay with its newly designed harbour, vertical sandstone cliff glowing like molten gold in the late afternoon sun and sweeping shingle beach. West bay grew up as the harbour for nearby Bridport and was Thomas Hardy’s “Port Bredy”. More recently it was the location of the TV drama ‘Broadchurch’. Brightly coloured fishing boats bob in the harbour, fishermen line the harbour walls or the edge of the surf, and cute wooden shacks and kiosks line the harbour walk where you can buy fish and chips, fish stews, ice-creams. We stopped for dessert – a cone of delicious Purbeck fig and honey ice-cream.

Lyme Regis

The main attraction in Lyme is the historic medieval harbour known as The Cobb featured in the ‘French Lieutenant’s Woman’. Known as the gateway to the Dorset Jurassic Coast, Lyme Regis provides a good base for visiting walkers. The town has long inspired artistic and literary visitors including, Tolkien, Tennyson and Jane Austen who set the novel ‘Persuasion here. There are excellent facilities with plenty of restaurants, pubs and cafés as well as an interesting selection of galleries and shops to explore in the old town which dates from the 14th century.

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As always on my holidays there were trips to the coast and visits to gardens. Not a lot of chances to visit historical places at this time of year and with the nights closing in, the days are shorter, but we had a wonderful time and hope it won’t be decades before we return.

Burton Bradstock
Storm on the last day

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Heyjude

I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

47 thoughts on “Just Back From… Dorset”

  1. Well I knew you were in my neck of the woods Jude and oh so close, so of course these are all places I know very well. You got some wonderful shots but then I wouldn’t expect anything less. Glad you had such a lovely anniversary and birthday. I’m intrigued though…Seattle to Dorset? That’s some difference!! To think you were so close…next time, let me know, maybe we can have a quick cuppa. And would love to know your thoughts about Bridport sometimes. Have a lovely weekend 🙂 xx

    1. Such a short trip Sherri. Next time for sure! I liked Bridport, but it didn’t wow me. Nice and close to the coast though. Seattle lost out with the OZ trip becoming real. Too expensive to do both, but I’m sorry to have missed out on Seattle and the road-trip I had planned to San Fran. Another time perhaps…

      1. Ahh….that makes sense. Yes, always next time 🙂 Not long now for OZ right? Hope you’re getting excited now….and the San Fran road trip can be something to look forward to later. Same here, keep saying to hubby we really must do it…

  2. Lovely shots of the area. I was in Lyme Regis this month – just passing through and had a fab breakfast at ‘By the Bay’. I instagrammed the fossil street lamps and the very same beach huts!

    1. Lyme has a lovely atmosphere, but parking is a bit of a nightmare and the cafés close early! Twice we have gone there for coffee, only to find places have shut at 4 pm. Perhaps we’d have better luck with breakfast 😀

    1. Yes, we were lucky that week, not been so nice recently, but still very mild so can’t complain. Those cliffs are amazing, but very soft, I wouldn’t get too close to them!

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