Want to wind down on your break and recharge? Surrounded by the sea, coastline and beautiful countryside, you’ve come to the right place. Have a look at our Relaxing page.
Planning a romantic escape? See this post for some inspirational ideas.
Ladies, thinking of ditching your other half for a couple of days? Look here for some fabulous ideas for a girl’s weekend away.
If you’ve only got a few days booked? Here’s a post with a suggested itinerary for a weekend in West Bay.
Our Top 10
Here are 10 of our favourite things to do in or near West Bay, for both adults and children, in no particular order!
1. Climb East Cliff
A steep walk up East Cliff gives you great views although you may need to catch your breath! If you continue east onto Burton Bradstock you are rewarded with magnificent views inland, out to sea and along the coast, as well as a delicious meal at the Hive Beach Café. Then you can walk off lunch back to West Bay along the beach (please watch the tide and don’t go too near the base of the cliffs) or back along the cliff path.
2. Broadchurch fan? Spot the locations
Make your own Broadchurch trail around West Bay. In the first series the scene of the horrible crime was the hut on the cliff path to Eype. The “Police Station” was in the ground floor of The Folly, Quay West. Harbour News doubled for the newsagents and the nearby Old Methodist Church was dressed as the Sea Brigade Hall.
In the second series Jocelyn Knight’s (Charlotte Rampling) cottage was one of the houses up on West Cliff. DI Hardy (David Tennant) lived in the blue hut on the river. The Swains Row gardens were seen but only for about 30 seconds, although it took most of the day to film.
In the third series DI Hardy lived in the white house on East Cliff. Ed Burnett’s (Lenny Henry) farm shop was actually Washingpool Farm Shop and Restaurant (one mile up the road from Bridport on the B3126). Beth Latimer (Jodie Whittaker) took her child to the playground in West Bay and she met with Trish Winterman (Julie Hesmondhalgh) inside the Watch House Café.
Of course those cliffs stole the show every episode! For more more information about Broadchurch and the local locations follow this link.
3. Take to the water
There are ample opportunities for you to try sea fishing from the piers, off the beach or on a boat trip or charter. There are different length boat trips from one hour mackerel trips, good for families, to a whole day of sea fishing. All aboard the Jolly Dodger.
If you fancy an adrenaline rush and want to really feel the wind in your hair, book your place on the West Bay Blast – a 15-minute fun RIB ride that’ll hurtle you along the famous coast. You can also go on a longer sight seeing cruise by RIB boat.
Signboards along the harbour railings will give you contact details of the various skippers. You will often need to book rather than just turning up as both the tide and the weather need to be right for a successful trip.
A water sport gaining in popularity is standup paddle boarding. If you are after lessons or hiring gear then first stop is Bay Paddle Boarding. The sea is often calm enough to go out on a paddle board, giving you a great view of the cliffs. My husband was lucky enough to be joined by a pop of porpoises when he’d gone out one morning on a board from West Beach. If the sea does become rocky you can paddle up to Bridport on the River Brit through the fields and farms.
West Bay Canoes offer river experience sessions in open canoes through the River Brit meadows. Accompanied by an expert leader you will hear tales of local history and see the river wildlife as well as getting paddling guidance.
4. Go fossil hunting
The Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site is one of the most famous and most popular Jurassic locations in the world, yielding plenty of fossils for the thousands that come collecting every year. Charmouth, eight miles from West Bay on the road to Lyme, is at the heart of it all. The Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre should be your first stop if you want to go fossil hunting. The Centre has lots of displays that can help you discover how to find your very own fossils to take home. They also run Guided Fossil Walks throughout the year. Just be careful, and not just of the cliffs and the tide, our daughter once got her foot stuck in mud there and left her trainer behind!
5. Go crabbing
A fun pastime for children and adults alike is to have a go at crabbing along the harbour walls. You can buy fishing line and buckets from the Angling Centre or the newsagents, smoky bacon is good for bait. Tie the bait to the line and drop it into the water, wait a while and then pull the string back up, hopefully to find several crabs firmly attached to the bait. It’s fun to look in other people’s buckets too. We named our first catch (pictured here) Shelly!
6. Fly a kite on Eggardon Hill
Eggardon Hill is an iron-age hill fort with fine near 360 degrees views of the county. On a clear day you can see across Lyme Bay to South Devon. It is situated one mile north of Askerswell village (off the A35 Bridport to Dorchester Road) and about four miles east of Bridport. It has plenty of space for running around and is a great place for kite-flying as there is always a breeze! Picnic lunch recommended. One Sunday in September it is the site of the Eggardon Kite Festival.
7. Have a rope swing in the playground
Give it some welly! Small kids and big kids can enjoy the fantastic playground next to the large car park as you enter West Bay aimed “for everyone from 0-99!”. The unique timber playground has been designed to reflect the setting on the Jurassic Coast and the area’s history of rope making. A brand new all ability play area has recently been added too.
8. Drive along the most scenic road in England….
Probably. Head east along the B3157, where you can take in the breathtaking views over Abbotsbury and Chesil Beach and stop to visit Abbotsbury with its famous swannery down by the Fleet Lagoon and sub-tropical gardens. If you go on to Weymouth don’t forget your bucket and spade. And the road is just as scenic on the way home again.
9. Go West
Head west up over West Cliff along the coast path to Eype. For a longer walk continue, up over Thornecombe Beacon and down into Seatown. Here The Anchor pub awaits you, where you can sit outside and gaze at the lovely sea view. And, of course you have worked up an appetite and a thirst….The coastal path continues, about another 30 minutes walk, to the highest point along the south coast, Golden Cap. You can press on towards Charmouth where you can always get a bus back if your legs are tired!
10. Watch the sunset over the sea
This list shares the things we like to do and places we return to again and again when we stay in our cottage. Why not stay yourself, explore, and find your own favourite things?
Feel Free to Ask