Around and About West Dorset
Eating and Drinking
West Bay has some good local pubs and there are a host of good restaurants within easy reach by car as well as within walking distance. Aside from English, Continental and Mediterranean cuisine Bridport has several Chinese, Indian and Thai establishments who all offer ‘take-away’ services. In West Bay itself there are two exceptional harbour stalls/huts on the west side of the harbour: Catch of the Day and Rachel’s.
Two miles away, Bridport is a thriving town with excellent local shops. It has a very popular and large street market twice a week – Wednesday and Saturday – of fruit and vegetables, antiques and bric-a-brac. The largest is on Saturday. There are four supermarkets: Morrissons, Waitrose, Lidl and The Co-op.
Bridport has a long history as a market town. Up to the age of steam it was a centre for rope making for sailing ships with many water-driven mills processing the locally grown flax as the raw material. The small town Museum in South Street has undergone extensive modernisation and well worth a visit. There are inter-active exhibits associated with rope making.
Further afield Lyme Regis is a very popular sea-side resort and the location of the novel and film, the French Lieutenant’s Woman. Charmouth Beach has a small fossil museum whilst Dorchester, the county town, has a large and extensive museum dating back to the 19th century.
As well as Dorset’s rich topography the county is steeped in human history from the stone age to modern times. It is worth visiting The National Trust for an overall picture but notable sites are the splendid Kingston Lacy about one hour away, T E Lawrence’s modest rural retreat at Clouds Hill, about 40 minutes away, and the writer Thomas Hardy’s cottage about half an hour away.