Lyme Regis and West Dorset
Due to high demand from our guests, we have recently started looking for properties in this area. If you have a property and are considering letting, please get in touch with Claire, our property manager on 01929 448694 or email email@example.com
West Dorset stretches from Lyme Regis in the East, to Weymouth in the West, and inland to towns such as Beaminster, Maiden Newton and Sherborne. Famously dubbed the ‘Broadchurch Riviera’ in the wake of the hit TV whodunnit that starred David Tennant and Olivia Coleman, Bridport has welcomed the influx of metropolitan visitors with the same easy-going bonhomie that has long characterised the area.
A bustling market town with a plethora of independent shops, several proactive arts venues, a wealth of highly regarded local food producers, well-established agricultural shows and the internationally noted annual hat festival, it’s easy to see why so many urbanites fall in love with Bridport’s near-perfect amalgam of all that’s great about Dorset’s towns, countryside and coastline. A short distance to the south at the mouth of the River Brit is the harbour of West Bay. Historically its main function was to export the produce of Bridport’s rope making industry and import materials such as coal, gravel and timber, but as such trade declined the arrival of the railway in the mid-19th century gave West Bay a new lease of life as a seaside resort.
East Beach is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest and forms one end of Chesil Beach that runs eastwards for 18 miles towards Portland. Its steep, distinctive yellow cliffs are further echoed at Burton Bradstock just along the coast and a popular destination all year round as a starting point for seaside walkers and countryside ramblers. The annual Spring Tide food festival is held on the National Trust beach.
A short drive on the coastal road to Abbotsbury is rewarded with some stunning views to whet the appetite for the small but gloriously quaint village that’s probably best known for its swannery and subtropical gardens. A few miles inland from Bridport, the handsome town of Beaminster owes much of its provenance to the textiles industry, most notably the manufacture of linen made from the flax grown locally that also underpinned rope making in Bridport, and woollens from the sheep kept by surrounding hill farmers. To the west the sizable village of Charmouth, once popular as a resort whose visitors included Jane Austen, is home to the Heritage Coast Centre that acts as the visitor centre for the Jurassic Coast and identifies fossils found on the shoreline.
Ever since Lyme Regis cabinetmaker’s daughter Mary Anning forced her way to richly deserved prominence in the world of 19th century palaeontology the town’s beaches and cliffs have been a magnet for fossil hunters. Known as the Pearl of Dorset, Lyme Regis combines iconic features such as the historic Cobb and harbour, with stunning scenery, a mouth-watering array of gastronomic delights and the ramshackle beauty of the town itself, which retains many of its Saxon and medieval lanes at its centre before giving way to more ordered streets as it expands up the hill.
• Well, I Never… When actor Martin Clunes bought Buckham Farm near Beaminster in 2007 he discovered he had also acquired an ancient charter that permits the owner to hold an annual fair, which he now does every August in aid of local charities