And Relax!

We all need time to rest and recharge. When you’re surrounded by miles of gentle rolling countryside, rivers, unspoilt villages and beautiful coastline it’s easy to drop down a gear. This video filmed in and around Bridport and West Bay gives a sense of the area’s relaxed vibe.

Read on for ideas of relaxing things to do on your holiday.

RelaxingGet a dose of vitamin sea!

Go down to the Jurassic Pier. When it’s wild and windy watch the waves crashing on the breakwater. Dodge the waves splashing up and over the wall as you walk to the end of the pier. Taste the salty sea spray.

Go for a stroll, or sit awhile, on one of West Bay’s beaches. Take a deep breath of the fresh sea air. Listen to the waves moving in and out (and repeat) over the shingle. Paddle in the surf. Do a little beachcombing or a two minute beach clean.

Take a boat cruise from the harbour. See the cliffs from the sea, watch the birds and maybe even a pod of dolphins or a seal or two.

Visit Charmouth to see the display of local fossil finds in the Heritage Centre. Join in a guided fossil hunting walk to discover your own to take home.

Barbecue on BeachIf it promises to be a warm evening get a portable barbecue and some supplies in. How about a bag of marshmallows and some chocolate digestives to make English-style s’mores? Then get down to one of the West Bay beaches, or drive to one of the local beaches (Eype or West Bexington are both good choices), and have a beach barbecue as the sun goes down.

HikingDon’t forget to pack your hiking boots

Start from West Bay and walk a part of the South West Coast path with the far-reaching  stunning views. Take a pit stop for lunch in The Anchor if you’ve going west, or the Hive Beach Café if east.

Another hike? Go a little inland, visit Symondsbury and climb Colmer’s Hill. Explore the eerie local holloway. Have a long, lazy lunch in the village pub.

Probably the best town in DorsetHave some retail therapy

Check out the indie galleries, book shops and market stalls up the road in Bridport. Potter around the St Michael’s Art and Vintage Quarter.

Or take the X53 Jurassic Coaster, one of the most scenic bus routes ever, to do a little shopping in Lyme Regis or Weymouth too.

Fishing at sunsetSpend time on a hobby

If you’re hooked on fishing try off the piers, from the shore or go on one of the fishing boat trips from the harbour.

If you’re a keen golfer pack your clubs and book a round on the local clifftop golf course.

Horse riding enthusiast? Explore on horseback with hacks through the spectacular local countryside.

Canoe on River BritEnjoy the tranquil River Brit

Hire a rowing boat and have a gentle row to the brewery and back through the river meadows.

Or go on a guided paddle by canoe. Spend a couple of peaceful hours on the river as the guide points out wildlife and entertains you with some waterway facts and local history.

Downhill!

Get on your bike

See the area at your own pace, and get a little exercise, with a leisurely bike ride. From Bridport, where you can hire bicycles, there is easy access to the National Cycle Network Route No. 2 (a 30 mile route from Dorchester to Lyme Regis) with plenty of lanes and villages to explore.

If you want to enjoy the beautiful countryside and not worry about making it up the next hill you can go on a guided electric bike tour.

St Catherine's Chapel

Explore

Visit one of the many country houses, gardens or ancient sites to appreciate the beauty and history of the area.

Enjoy the B3157 coast road before you amble around Abbotsbury Swannery  or Subtropical Gardens and make the short grassy climb up to the ancient St Catherine’s Chapel.

If the weather is fine go to Eggardon Hill to fly a kite. Eat a picnic lunch there.

Drive up to the Hardy Monument where you’ll find picnic tables with the most gorgeous views.

Go for a scenic drive around some of the local villages. Keep a look out for pub signs and have a game of pub cricket in the car (hmm, not many pubs with legs, too many Arms and Anchors!).

Outside The George

Just Chill

Have an ice cream while you watch the comings and goings of the boats in the harbour and the fishermen unload their catches.

Sit outside The George with a pint.

Or simply recharge your batteries back in the cottage. As soon as you walk through the door feel your shoulders go down a good few inches. Relax with a good (or trashy) book, watch a DVD or stream some of your favourite music. Perhaps have a nap, does Dorset air make you feel sleepy too?

Do as much as you like, or as little as you want, it’s your holiday!

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