THINGS TO DO IN WEST DORSET
If you want to explore West Dorset with a difference, try not try llama walking? Llamas are big, friendly fluffy gentle giants with huge personalities. Here in West Dorset, there’s the opportunity to explore the beautiful scenery this part of our county offers with a wonderful team of llamas. As you roam around your stunning surroundings, there’s no doubting the fact these hardy and elegant llamas will soon steal your heart and make you smile from ear to ear!
If you haven’t tried it before, why not look into booking a fantastic guided day trek, tailored to suit your individual needs and walking pace? The leaders can go as fast or slow as you wish and cater for all capabilities. At the end of the day, Dorset llama walking should be enjoyable and memorable! Of course, if you love llamas or want to learn more about these extremely agile animals, an ‘Introduction to Llamas’ workshop is available at a local farm set in Beaminster within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Ideal for all the family, both young and old, why not book your space and make it a day to remember for all the right reasons! Just a 20 minute drive from us here at The Station Kitchen!
PALMERS BREWERY TOUR
In the glorious seaside town of Bridport is the brilliant Palmers Brewery. Steeped in tradition, the brewery itself has been in operation since 1794 and production continues on the exact same site. Right on cue, here we introduce the Palmers Brewery tour where you'll learn all about how this old-fashioned brewery has evolved over the years. With a healthy dollop of local history thrown in for good measure, you'll soon discover just how few ingredients go into their well-renowned products.
As you wander through the brewery, you'll see none of the massive silos and huge stainless-steel brewing vats as seen in other, larger commercial breweries. True to form, Palmers Brewery has kept things as traditional as possible by continuing with their tried and tested processes.
But it doesn’t end there, the reward as the tour draws to its end, is the amazing sampling session. Here you'll get to try out some of the main ingredients such as barley (malt), hops and even the yeast. Throughout the tour, the oh so helpful guides are on hand to help answer any questions you may have, be it about beer, Bridport or the brewery itself!
One consideration for those with mobility or access issues; some of the stairs are quite steep. With this in mind, it’s recommended that anyone with any concerns contacts the team in the Palmers Wine Store in advance by calling 01308 427500 to discuss. See where the magic happens, book your place now.
NEIL BARNES PHOTOGRAPHY
Interested in photography but want to brush up on your skills? Learn from a pro photographer and explore our beautiful coastline at the same time! Offering a West Bay Walkabout workshop, renowned local photographer Neil Barnes takes small groups to the stunning harbourside and surrounding area. Here you’ll discover photographic opportunities and take photographs with instruction on how best to capture them.
With 40+ years’ experience in the industry, Neil has a raw natural talent for photography and is on hand to impart lots of tips and tricks throughout the workshop. Based on our hometown of Bridport, this photography workshop is always a popular event so don’t forget to book early to avoid disappointment! Book now by visiting Neil’s website.
LYME REGIS AND COBB
Known as ‘The Pearl of Dorset’, Lyme Regis is a historic seaside town with a difference. With a rich, local history, this quaint yet vibrant town is a favourite with locals and visitors alike, with something going on every month of the year. Surrounded by the stunning Jurassic coastline and rolling countryside, Lyme Regis holds a World Heritage Site Status for its ties with fossil finds and geology courtesy of Mary Anning, the English fossil collector and palaeontologist. The latest blockbuster film, Ammonite, starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, recently completed filming in Lyme Regis, where Anning lived in the early 19th century.
Of course, for many people the lure of the sea is great when it comes to this special corner of Dorset. The infamous Cobb wall with its man-made construction dates back to at least 1313 and is a popular attraction for anyone visiting the town. Climb ‘Granny’s Teeth’ and take a stroll to admire the panoramic views across to Charmouth, Golden Cap, and beyond to Chesil Beach. You won’t be disappointed!
Travel along the coast road from Bridport and you'll drive through the lovely village of Abbotsbury. For such a small village, it has lots to offer. With this in mind, Abbotsbury Swannery is a ‘must’ for all visitors to Weymouth and Dorset as a whole. It is a unique place, in a stunning location where you can take in the sight of 600+ majestic Mute Swans - a true sight to be seen! Enjoy taking part in the mass feeding of the swans, getting up close and personal with these beautiful birds and the young cygnets depending on the time of year. The views are very impressive as the swannery sits on the Fleet Lagoon which covers the area between Abbotsbury to Portland. Learn more by visiting the website.
Want to make a full day of it? With some fantastic rates on ‘passport’ entries to all three sites, as well as family discounts, why no pop over to Abbotsbury Sub Tropical Gardens and Abbotsbury Children’s Farm and make the most of what this beautiful village has to offer?
Hailed ‘One of the finest gardens I have ever visited’ by Ground Force guru, Alan Titchmarsh, Abbotsbury Sub Tropical Gardens is a feast for the senses and a great day out for all the family. With ample free parking and dogs on leads welcome, this is one of West Dorset’s biggest attractions and it’s not hard to see why. Meander through a beautiful mixture of formal and informal flowers and weave through the gorgeous flora and fauna. Oh, and don’t forget to check out the breath-taking views of the Jurassic Coast here in Dorset from the spectacular vantage point at the top of Magnolia Walk.
Lastly, Abbotsbury Children's Farm is considered one of the best children's farms in the whole of Dorset. Open daily, there's plenty of animals for children to meet, greet and feed across the day. Whether they love tractors and fancy racing them, want to cuddle the guinea pigs or ride one of the many ponies, Abbotsbury Children's Farm is designed with little ones in mind. You can even bottle feed the new born lambs and take them for a walk on a lead (something many kids will have never have done!). And after all that excitement, head across to well stocked gift shop and the family café where you can stock up on delicious Dorset produce, all home-cooked on the premises.
LYME BAY RIB BOATS
If you've got a need for speed, you've got to try out Lyme Bay RIB Charter for a truly unique experience at sea. Having repeatedly won Gold for 'Best Activity, Experience' at the Dorset Tourism Awards for their exhilarating sea trips, why not mix things up during your visit to West Dorset? Not only will you enjoy an action-packed sea adventure you'll also get to enjoy the Jurassic Coast with a difference. See the fantastic sights of West Bay and Lyme Bay and come and see the magic of the ocean for yourself. Plus, if you're lucky you may even see some of the many dolphins frequently found swimming in our waters here in Dorset. What else could you wish for?
From the get go, you'll enjoy full throttle fun in the water as the RIB boats conduct high speed turns in the bay and some superfast travelling through the sea! Choose from a full 15 minutes playing in the waves or a 30 minute Coastal Cruise where you'll be able to soak up the sights (no pun intended!) and enjoy the beautiful coastline we have here in West Dorset. Make your visit one to remember for all the right reasons and book yourself onto the Lyme Bay RIB Charter. Don't delay, book your place now!
Just over 30 minutes away from West Bay, you'll find the mesmerising Sandworld in Weymouth - the birthplace of British sand sculpture. With sensational sand sculptures designed and created by world famous sand sculptors, this unique attraction is one not to be missed. As well as the huge sculptures you'll also find a giant sand pit for hand-on fun for kids and adults alike. Plus, there's a great coffee shop onsite for you to enjoy a hot drink and a spot of light lunch.
Open early April right through to early November, Sandworld is an all-weather attraction by the sea! Want to take a look for yourself? Head to Sandworld's website to book tickets and see the amazing work created! It's truly spectacular.
In this part of the UK, we are extremely lucky to have a wide and well- stocked shoreline. This makes West Dorset the perfect destination for a spot of sea fishing. With several reputable tackle shops on our doorstep, whether you own your own line and tackle, or need to hire some kit, panic not! In no time at all, you'll be enjoying the delights of sea fishing as you kick back, relax and take in your stunning surroundings. Take your pick of the lure of Chesil beach or opt for the dramatic coastline here in West Bay and the surrounding Jurassic coast region which stretches all the way from Dorset into Devon.
Well known as a fishing hot-spot around the British Isles, Chesil Beach is iconic thanks to its super long stretch of shingle beach which spans for as far as the eye can see. Starting at Eype right here on our doorstep and continuing all the way though to Chesil Beach in the East, Chesil Beach is definitely up there for fishing experiences so it's no wonder it sees thousands of anglers taking to its shores. Of course, the opportunity for sea fishing is also abundant here in West Dorset. Try West Bay, Seatown, Charmouth and Lyme Regis for starters. As always, please do make some time to potter about and explore the wonderful harbours, beaches and cliffs each area has to offer. There really is no place like Dorset when it comes to the WOW factor!
JURASSIC COASTAL WALKS
On the subject of WOW factors, our coastline here in Dorset takes some beating we'd say. With the Jurassic coastline right here there's no end of choice when it comes to planning a stunning coastal walk. But you don't have to be an Olympian to take in the beautiful views and get some air in your lungs from a great height!
Whatever your ability and fitness, there's something for everyone to enjoy. To help make things easier for you, the Jurassic Coast and Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty team have pulled together a series of short coastal walks for you to enjoy. Take a look at your own leisure and plan in a fantastic coastal walk during your visit to West Dorset.
THE STATION KITCHEN
Whatever attractions you choose to visit in West Dorset, there's no doubting the fact you'll soon become peckish and on the hunt for some delicious, high quality food.
Here at The Station Kitchen, we are dedicated to providing a mouth-watering array of locally sourced, home cooked dishes that'll get your taste buds dancing! Considered one of the best restaurants in Bridport and the surrounding area, our venue is truly unique. With its rustic-chic décor, our restaurant is, in fact, an old WW1 railway carriage which has been stowed at the old West Bay railway station, just a stone's throw away from the harbour.
Paying homage to its history, we offer a blend of classic and creative dishes as well as cocktails to excite the senses and win your heart! With something for everyone, be it vegan, vegetarian, gluten/dairy free dishes, all the way through to locally farmed organic meats, expect food packed with flavour and beautifully presented. And naturally it would be a crime not to take advantage of all the locally caught seafood available! Whatever your individual preferences and dietary requirements, the dedicated team here at The Station Kitchen are on hand to create a culinary experience you'll remember for a long time coming!