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?

Burton Bradstock

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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Published by

Heyjude

I now live in the UK, but spent several years travelling and then living in South Africa. 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. Chesil Beach took me right back to my youth in a moment. Great shots of a lovely part of the country Jude.
    I do envy you your travels sometimes. Seattle or Bridport? Choices indeed.
    Regards and best wishes from Norfolk, Pete. x

    1. As a child we often holidayed in Dorset and I was mad about the Famous Five books! I imagined myself to be George! But that was the eastern part of the county close to Swanage and Lulworth Cove and I am not familiar with this section at all – other than driving through a few times and a couple of day trips to Lyme Regis. I was looking forward to Seattle, but it coincided very close to the big trip to OZ next month and I preferred to save my money for that one 😀
      Have a good (and hopefully not too wet) weekend Pete xx

  2. Lovely shots….I have posted a similar shot of the Lyme beach huts in the past… But f undies the was reading what you said about childhood and the Famous Five! I too wished to be George 🙂

    1. Haha! I wonder how many of us there are? I just knew we had something in common apart from the photography – an urge to climb trees and cricket 👿

      1. I used to love climbing trees, and have never grown up re:exploring derelict places. Once got into an abandoned Maginot fort…. If I had the health now, I’m sure I would be into Urbex.

  3. ❤ Love all the pictures. Sounds such a relaxing getaway.
    In the Lyme Regis pictures, what are those white structures with colorful double doors (pastel green, blue, pink and turquoise)? If you don't know that's okay. Just curious. Are they cabanas?

    1. Beach huts Tess. People own them or hire them for the day/week. Some have facilities for cooking and eating, some you can sleep in, but mostly they are used to store deck-chairs and beach stuff and where you can change into your swimming cozzie. I shall have to look up cabana to see if they are the same. 🙂

    1. Mmm… funny you should mention that. I looked up Doyles out at Watsons Bay as I remember going there on my first trip to Oz and they were considered THE best in fish ‘n chips. I almost had heart failure when I saw the prices! Even take away is twice the price we paid here. Please tell me there is a cheaper (but still good) option?

  4. I’ve always wanted to do my Meryl Streep impersonation on The Cobb, Jude. Never made it to Lyme Regis though. Like your water over the wall shot! I sat on the shoreline this morning trying to get some good shots of the incoming waves. Michael was getting a tad impatient 🙂

    1. That must have been filmed on a VERY calm day Jo! You couldn’t walk far along the Cobb this day, the waves were crashing over the top and it was very windy on there (nothing to hold onto). I can watch the sea for hours. At the beginning of the holiday it was like a mill-pond, but at the end it was very stormy!

        1. I had to bin a lot of mine on the last day as I was trying to get some shots in the rain – didn’t work out well. Luckily the sun came out again as we moved down the coast to West Bay. Here is another photo of the same view as above – with waves!
          West Bay after the Storm

  5. I hope you enjoyed Bridport Jude, it’s one of very few places that would tempt me away from Exeter. I hope you caught the market on Saturday. I’m in the arts centre in Bucky Doo square selling crafts sometimes! If you arrived via Dorchester, did you see the view from the top of the hill of West Bay towards Lyme? It’s one of my favourite views anywhere 🙂

    1. The views along that coastline are spectacular. But some of those cliffs are very steep! We liked Bridport, but there wasn’t much of a market on the Saturday, perhaps the weather put stall-holders off, though we did buy some delicious Italian salami. It is certainly a place to consider moving to.

  6. Jude as always I am busy studying your galleries of photos and the variety of angles, distance and perspective you have used. My top pick is the photo from Burton Bradstock where you included a minimal amount of the ground and livestock and the eye is drawn to the enormity of the cloud. I applaud your creativity.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to consider my photos Sue 😀 I loved that cloud shape. Such a blue sky on that day (my birthday) although the morning was a bit grey. Those sheep were on quite a steep hill so I wanted to try and capture that. Not sure I succeeded though.

  7. 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…

  8. 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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