At the heart of West Dorset lies Bridport and the neighbouring harbour of West Bay. Bridport is a popular and thriving market town. West Bay is a pretty fishing harbour with traditional amusements, good beaches and stunning cliff walks. Together they form one of the main gateways to the Jurassic World Heritage Coast.
Bridport dates back to the early middle ages; however in the thirteenth century it became famous for its rope making industry this formed the principal industry well into the eighteenth centaury.
The main streets are among the widest in the west of England and the town has many Listed Buildings. At Bridport’s heart are St Mary’s Church and the pretty Georgian Town Hall standing “above” Bucky Doo Square, the town’s popular meeting place.
Bridport has a twice-weekly street market which has been operating for hundreds of years with stalls selling excellent local produce, antiques and bric-a-brac. Bridport is a traditional market town with a good mix of independent and multi-national shops with a popular Farmer’s Market and a reputation for good local food much of which is served in the local cafes, restaurants and pubs. There are good medical facilities and schools in the area, a popular leisure centre and many sports’ clubs. Bridport has a busy local arts centre supporting a well established artistic community many of whom take part in the successful Dorset Art Weeks. Bridport offers its residents a safe and friendly small town atmosphere with a great quality of life in a beautiful area.
West Bay was originally a trading port and shipbuilding centre but today it is a pretty fishing harbour where charter boats take anglers out catching mackerel or deep water fishing. There is a newly built slipway and outer harbour for day craft whilst the old inner harbour is the venue for water polo, a long established West Bay tradition. There are several good beaches to the east and west of the town including Burton Bradstock and Seatown and many miles of outstanding coastal walks. This amazing coastline enjoys stunning views along golden cliffs to Chesil Beach and the Isle of Portland in the east and the great sweep of Lyme Bay to Beer Head and into Devon in the west.
The Bridport area is a fantastic place to live for young and old alike. Beautiful landscapes and stunning coastlines are found throughout West Dorset. The rolling wooded hills topped by Iron Age hill forts and the patchwork of small green fields around them are a well known feature of the area described in many of Thomas Hardy’s books. The beaches are popular with holiday makers and locals alike virtually all year round. The iconic Jurassic Coastline has World Heritage status and many hours can be spent searching for fossils along the cliffs. The nearby towns of Charmouth and Lyme Regis also provide many traditional seaside facilities and are popular holiday destinations. West Dorset has much to offer, why not come and explore?