Family and dog-friendly break in Dorset

For those happy campers who are brave enough to battle some elements for a stunning view, there can be few better places to stay than Highlands End at Eype near Bridport in Dorset.

Coast at Eype, Dorset

Perched on a cliff overlooking the sea, the wind really does blow on this exposed Jurassic headland. That’s okay if you’re in a caravan, a motorhome or in a lodge but not quite so great if you’re under canvas. But the views are spectacular and the area is rich in things to see and do, with stunning walks and cosy pubs making it ideal for any season.

It’s a perfect destination for fans of the hit TV series Broadchurch. West Bay and the coast which featured in the compelling drama is a short walk over the cliff path and from the site you can even see the beach hut where Danny and his murderer Joe Miller met. The 1999 series Harbour Lights with Nick Berry was also filmed there – there’s a reason for that – this is a unique and timeless part of the British Isles.

West Bay is a Dorset dream for kids and dogs – buy a crabbing net and a bucket from the fishing centre and go crabbing for hours, go fossil hunting along the beachfront and enjoy fish and chips al fresco. Or opt for a rib ride, a leisure boat fishing trip or a charter for the serious fisherman. Don’t worry if you don’t catch anything there’s a great fishmongers by the harbour!

The Hive Cafe is a great beach eatery for a relaxed lunch or supper. Kids can have sausage and chips or you can have a simple crab sandwich or push the West Bay boat out with a full seafood platter to share,  whole lobster, whole cracked crab, king prawns, smoked salmon with coleslaw, mixed baby leaves, Hive artisan bread and garlic mayonnaise (although at £75 it would have to be a treat!)

Nearby the market town of Bridport has a street market on Wednesday and Saturday mornings – with antiques and bric a brac as well as Dorset produce. There’s also a Farmers’ Market on the second Saturday of the month. At The Bull Hotel at Bridport is a pretty garden courtyard which you can’t see from the street but makes a perfect spring or summer stop for a market coffee break.

A visit to The Washingpool farm shop, which also featured in Broadchurch is a must. The produce is awesome and the garden is lovely for kids and a coffee or a cooked breakfast (and dog-friendly too). There’s also a caravan site and holiday cottages at the farm.

Thursday is woodfired pizza night at the dog-friendly pub, The George Inn at Chideock, just down the road from Highlands End and if the sun shines then The Anchor at Seatown has some simply stunning views to enjoy with an ice cold wine or beer (their rooms are lovely at any time of year but be sure to book well in advance if you want to stay).

Seatown is home to the sister site to Highlands End, Golden Cap and a stay there would have the benefits of coastal views without the wind – and some great fossil hunting potential to boot.

The iconic Colmers Hill makes for a steep and challenging walk, and in the Spring Abbotsbury Swannery is a must (no dogs are allowed) or opt instead for a picnic on the Cobb and some retail therapy at the boutique shops at Lyme Regis.

 

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