About one hour drive from Bournemouth to the west there is really beautiful small town West Bay. Trip itself is very nice because West Dorset has amazing scenery; almost all route you will drive up and down hills. Sometimes, from the top of hills, you can see the English Channel and even coastline.
West Bay is a small resort town, located to the south from Bridport, about 15 miles from Weymouth, with its own pier, harbour, marina and tourist attractions for visitors of all ages. There are many guest houses, hotels, self catering cottages, apartments and and camping parks in and around West Bay. The area is part of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site; whole length of the Jurassic Coast coastline is almost 100 miles (154 kilometres).
The history of the town starts when a railway was extended from Bridport to Bridport Harbour in 1884; the new harbour station was named West Bay. Soon after that, they started building villas and houses to attract tourists to this location. The railway line was closed for passengers in thirties of the 20th century and closed permanently in 1962.
Walk along the Jurassic Coast
We started our walk straight from carpark in West Bay located almost on the coast. On the day of our visit, which was Sunday, the price for whole day parking was only £2. There are plenty of spaces in the seafront parking, also during summer it may obviously get very busy. However, there are other parking places in surrounding area and you must be able to park somewhere anyway.
There are two options, either you walk along the waterline or use coastal path. We decided to walk on the beach and return by coastal path, which has uphill and downhill segments; coastal cliffs reach the height of fifty metres (160 feet). We decided to reach freshwater Holiday park, which is located about five thousand feet (1.5 kilometres) from the parking and then return to our starting point. Walking both along the beach and on the coastal path you should keep in mind that the Eastern Cliff may collapse due to continuous erosion caused by the wind and water. One of the last major incidents was recorded in 2019 when about one thousand tons of rocks collapsed to the beach.
Although the total distance of two miles seems to be very small, we spent about two hours walking. The main reason for that is because we were taking photographs, enjoying fantastic scenery, especially from the coastal path. Also, we had a dog with us and he was enjoying the walk either. It is possible that in summer season dogs may not be allowed to walk on the beach though.
It was close to sunset of a slightly cloudy day on our return and panoramic view from above was really stunning.
Pier, marina and fish & chips
In the evening, after our two hour walk along the coast, we felt a bit hungry and decided to find some fish & chips in the town. Before that, we went to pier and had a walk around marina. It was exiting to see how people arrive on boats and load them on trailers to take back home after spending day on the sea.
There are small kiosks offering various options of food for takeaway. Obviously, fish and chips was our choice as West Bay is known for its economy based on tourism and fishing. On offer there was meal consisting of cod and chips for a price of £5.70 and we decided to go for it. It was fresh, really tasty and ensured happy ending of our day out.