We love Dorset. It has a special place in my heart as we used to go there on family holidays when we were little. Now my parents live there, it’s the perfect long weekend escape for us with great memories.
We recently spent a long weekend in Dorset and were VERY lucky with the weather (apparently it’s the summer)?! As we had such fine weather we made sure we did some exploring in the seaside towns close to my parent’s house near Bridport.
If you’re heading to Dorset on holiday soon or just want a nosey at some stunning places on the South Coast read on for what we did and saw…
You may recognise those cliffs from somewhere… They were the famous ones seen on the drama series Broadchurch on ITV. Broadchurch definitely put West Bay on the map for lots of people, but for us it has been a firm favourite for years. We love West Bay for the harbour walks, great fish and chip shops, beautiful beach and coastal walks.
The coastal walks have changed recently though due to coastal erosion, a lot of the paths divert in land to avoid the falls. If you look closely in the picture below, just behind Amelie you can see the latest cliff fall. Even so, the walks here on a bright, clear day are fantastic and something we love doing. If you’re into golf there are some fantastic courses that border the sea so have a look.
Now we have little ones though our coastal walks have become less and we have spent more time playing on the beach.
You may have noticed a trend if you follow me on Instagram and that’s that I like coffee, a lot. I don’t think I’m alone with fellow parents, the caffeine definitely helps with those early mornings!
Wherever I go I make sure I find somewhere that does good coffee and food. We love the Watch House Cafe in West Bay and their sister restaurant in Burton Bradstock, Hive Beach Cafe is a favourite as well.
If you want good brunches, pizza, seafood and coffee/cake these are great places to go. Both also have amazing views!
In and around West Bay
There’s more to West Bay than a stunning beach. We love walks around the harbour, exploring the local gift and antique shops. You can find some really lovely shops just behind the beaches so it’s worth a look.
Walk just outside of West Bay to the long stay car park and you’ll find the most wonderful park.
Suitable from ages 0-99 years (as the sign tells me), there is something for everyone. My husband particularly enjoying climbing one of the frames and Amelie loved the trampolines and slides. This is a great activity if you need to burn off some toddler energy before you head back into a car.
We love West Bay for its versatility and if you need bigger shops you’re very close to Bridport town centre (a 5 minute drive) so it’s a great family holiday or day trip destination.
Another one of my favourite places which is about a 20 minute drive down the coast from Bridport.
Most Dorset beaches are pebble beaches, but at Lyme you can find a lovely stretch of sandy beach, perfect if you have a baby who eats everything! Sand for me is definitely preferable to stones!!
The beach front is also stunning and very family friendly. Pastel beach huts, trampolines, places to hire parasols, great cafes, food stalls and bars -something for everyone.
Lyme Regis also has a very pretty and picturesque town with lots of shops, its probably a 10 miniute walk from the beach we based ourselves at so you really could fill a day here.
There is a wonderful walk into Lyme Regis through the gardens. We parked in the car park and then walked down, it’s beautiful and I’d really recommend it for the views – even if the walk back up is steep!
Lyme is the perfect family friendly beach destination and I’ve got my eye on an evening out with the husband at one of the restaurants next time we’re there/
Exploring local villages
Away from the seaside, there are some beautiful villages to explore in Dorset. I love the light coloured stone used on the buildings in lots of the villages around Dorset, it reminds me of the Cotswolds and it is so pretty.
We love to get Evie in the backpack (or in the buggy depending on sleeps) and explore.
We like to walk on the old railway lines in and around Bridport, explore Bridport centre which has lots of shops and pubs,
And just like that our long weekend was over. It always goes so quickly when there are so many lovely places to visit.
For more from our trip check out our Weekend Vlog…
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Have you been to Dorset? What are your favourite things to do/places to visit?