When Rachel asked me to share a post about my favourite places in Dorset I thought, how do I even begin to choose? I've gone over and over in my mind what types of places to highlight, where they should be located in Dorset and so much more. It stands to reason, then, that I would obviously pick a few places in West Dorset, the area I live in and where I honestly spend most of my time. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have said "Oh I LOVE this place!" wherever I've gone but these I'm about to list are probably the places I return to again and again which inspire me most. If you haven't travelled much in our county, I recommend you do. As members of the Dorset team it would be lovely to get to know each area that most draws us in our beloved county and what takes us to them over and over. So, without further ado, here are my 5 Places to Love in West Dorset...
1. Soulshine Cafe: This quirky coffee shop in the heart of Bridport's South Street takes you to basically, for the lack of a better term, a hipster's paradise. It's got all the cool of a coffee shop you'd more than likely find in a place such as Downtown Portland, Oregon mixed with all the local style and flair of Dorset. Boasting a variety of locally sourced ingredients as well as home-grown ones, this place is one of a kind. Add to that a bit of Canadian flair (as the owner is Canadian) with an indie twist and you'll be wanting to spend all your days wiling away over lattes and gluten free cakes that are to die for! An added bonus is the juice bar and for creatives, the plethora of independent magazines on the wall is some major eye candy.
2. Lyme Regis: It's not difficult to realise why this iconic seaside town made it into Jane Austen's Persuasion. Creatives, lovers of all things seaside and the like flock to this beautifully picturesque town annually for British beach fun. Smaller than Weymouth, further along the Jurassic Coast, Lyme Regis still has a lot to offer a person whether you're on holiday or on a day out (as is usually what I tend to do). I absolutely love the charming shops and cafes in Lyme Regis, walking along the Cobb and enjoying seafood al fresco, when it's not raining of course! It is a great source of inspiration for me and if you live in Dorset and haven't been there yet, you definitely must!
3. West Bay: Stunning views are the standing order in this iconic beach of Broadchurch fame! I love West Bay for various reasons, one being that I can walk there. Aside for that fact though are the other reasons, the great food, beautiful pier with views of the cliffs, and great vintage and handmade shopping in Molly's Den situated in the old Customs House right by the beach. This past Bank Holiday Monday the hubby and I wandered into West Bay and had a great time exploring in the sun. There are hidden gems to be discovered there. When you go, make sure to grab a bite at the Watch House Cafe. It's owned by the same people who own the Hive Beach Cafe in Burton Bradstock and the food is amazing! It won't disappoint.
4. Seatown: Just a short walk down to the coast from Chideock bring you to Seatown, a beautiful beach with lovely views on the Jurassic Coast and a perfectly situated pub which boasts of some of the finest food a pub could ever offer. The Anchor Inn at Seatown is decorated to the brim with lots of local seafaring decor and historic paraphernalia. It is another one of those seaside places which inspires me to no end.
5. Compton Valance: Tucked approximately 7 miles west of Dorchester, this village was new to me earlier this year but quickly became one of my favourite places in West Dorset. A small village, well known for its snow drop show, it is very picturesque and quite inspirational. If you've never been when the snow drops are out in full bloom you really ought as they don't last too long but there are some excellent views along the road. Stop in for tea and cake in the village hall after you've taken in the scenery!
What are your favourite places to visit or see in Dorset?
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