West Bay is a bustling fishing village, situated just a couple of miles from Bridport. It is best known for its role in the hit ITV drama, Broadchurch and has fast become a ‘must visit’ location for holidaymakers staying in Dorset. The picturesque harbour and spectacular beaches are a delight, whatever time of year you decide to visit. There is a wide selection of delicious places to eat and drink as well as some fun activities for all the family.
We highly recommend making a stop at this charming seaside village during your camping or caravan holiday at South Lytchett Manor. It truly is a wonderful place to spend and hour or two as you explore the world-renowned Jurassic Coast.
West Bay harbour is a hive of activity, especially in the summer months. It is filled with a colourful mix of yachts and fishing vessels that you can watch come and go throughout the day. We like sitting on one of the benches and watching the fishing boats land their catch. There’s something special about seeing the crew sort through the fish before it heads to market or restaurants around the town.
If you have children in your group, then we highly recommend giving crabbing a go. This popular activity is great fun for all the family and only costs a couple of pounds. You can buy a bucket, bait at crab line from West Bay Angling just a minute or so from the harbour.
There are some fantastic food and drink options if you fancy dining out during your visit to West Bay. The harbour is lined with pretty kiosks, serving fish and chips, burgers, ice cream and other sweet treats. Our personal favourite is Rachel’s, which serves a wide selection of freshly caught seafood. Sit at one of the outside tables and enjoy lobster, dressed crab or a selection of prawns as you soak up the summer sun.
If you’d prefer to eat inside, you won’t be disappointed with the range of restaurants on offer. The Watch House Cafe is set on the beach and has earned national acclaim for its selection of tasty, home cooked meals. The West Bay Hotel is another excellent choice for foodies looking to sample something special. In addition to a varied menu of local ingredients, they serve a fantastic selection of craft ales brewed at historic Palmers Brewery, just a couple of miles away.
For something truly unique head to The Station Kitchen for a 3 course meal. The restaurant occupies a vintage train carriage on the railway lines at the Old West Bay Station Platform. It’s earned an enviable reputation over the years and should be booked well in advance.
There are a couple of beaches to choose from at West Bay – East Beach and West Beach. East Beach is a shingle beach flanked by dramatic golden sandstone cliffs. It is the busier of the two and popular with families due to the life guard service in the summer months.
West Beach is situated on the opposite side of the harbour and popular with locals. Both beaches are dog friendly from 1st October to 30th April.
Despite its small size, there are a plenty of things to do in West Bay. West Bay Canoes run guided tours along the River Brit to the Brewery. This is great fun and a fantastic way to take in the views and look for wildlife. If you’re feeling brave you could head out on one of Lyme Bay Rib Charter’s adrenaline fuelled boat trips. These high speed adventures offer impressive views along the Jurassic Coast. Other activities include boat fishing trips, rowing boats, West Bay Discovery Centre and a large and well-equipped adventure play ground.
The drive to West Bay takes approximately 1 hour from our caravan and camping site near Poole, but don’t let this put you off visiting. It can be incorporated into a day out exploring other towns and villages in the west of the county, including Abbotsbury, Bridport, Charmouth and Lyme Regis.
When you arrive there is plenty of pay and display parking to choose from, but it does fill up in the summer. We suggest setting out early to make the most of your day!
Distance from us:
What a fabulous place! Our first outing in our new campervan to try it out, the campsite and facilities are... thewardrobem, Nov 2023
The best campsite I've ever stayed at, usually large complexes lose a bit of what camping is about, but not... Colin, May 2023
Great stay, very clean excellent facilities. Bus into Poole 15 mins nice shops and great walk by the Quay. Definitely... Janet, Nov 2023
We've scored Gold in the DMB Tourism Awards!READ MORE >
Spend a magical day at one of Dorset's magical Christmas markets during your holidayREAD MORE >