Places to visit
Bridport is a beautiful, historic market town, with atmosphere second to none.
Dorchester, Weymouth, Lyme Regis are all just a short drive away. There is a breath-taking coastal road where you can marvel at the unique, breathtaking views over Abbotsbury and Chesil Beach.
The historic Harbour at West Bay is well worth a visit and has wonderful beaches and sandy areas for all the family.
There are scores of walks and National Trust areas in and around Bridport. The town is 15 miles west of the county town of Dorchester and it lays in a ‘bowl’ formed by many beautiful hills, with evidence of history back to Neolithic times, there are a number barrows and a stone circle to be seen from the road as you drive to Dorchester.
The town itself dates back to the “Burh of Brydian”, created by the Anglo Saxon Alfred the Great in the 9th century. You can still see a ditch from this time as you look across the car park behind Somerfields and see where the tarmac follows this ditch.
Street markets have been held since the days of Queen Elizabeth the First! Market days are Saturday and Wednesday.
There are some 100+ “listed” buildings such as the Town Hall which was built late in 1700.
To find out more about Bridport’s history Bridport Museum is well worth a visit. It houses collections from archaeology, geology, natural history, costume, fine art and of course exhibits on social and industrial history of the town.
The building it’s in dates from the sixteenth century but the interior has been renovated to house the museum’s collections. The museum also arranges a variety of exhibitions at different times.
Bridport Museum is open from April to end of October Mon-Sat 10am-5pm. Bridport Museum, The Coach House, Gundry Lane, Bridport DT6 3RJ. Tel: 01308 422116
Bridport Arts Centre
Bridport has a strong tradition of appreciation of the arts. In 1973 The Bridport Prize International Creative Writing Competition was founded here which has always attracted submissions from all over the country and overseas. Many prize winners have gone on to become household names. The competition is organized from the Arts Centre.
The Centre originates from an 1838 Wesleyan Chapel and a Georgian schoolhouse and now contains a two hundred seat theatre where regular drama productions and independent cinema are held. The Arts Centre also hosts a variety of exhibitions in its three galleries. There is also a cafe and bar.
Bridport Arts Centre, South Street, Bridport, Dorset DT6 3NR. Box Office Tel: 01308 424204.
Bridport is less than two miles from the coast. West Bay, formerly Bridport Harbour, is the pretty harbour village with its wide beaches stretching west and east. This is one of the Jurassic Coast’s Gateway Towns. From Bridport it’s easy to access the South West Coast Path which will take you by Dorset’s spectacular cliffs and fossil rich beaches.
The hugely useful Coastline X53 Bus Service provides good links to the coast and passes through Bridport – and is very convenient for the White House Guests to use as it passes very close. The bus route extends from Exeter in Devon to Poole in East Dorset. You can then pick up additional buses that will takes you down to the coast.
You can buy a ticket for unlimited daily travel (currently £6) and low floor buses run every two hours.
ABBOTSBURY…. 9 Miles on the B3151 from Bridport ,where the amazing Chesil Beach joins the mainland, also there is a children’s farm, swannery, sub-tropical gardens, St Catherine’s Chapel, St Nicholas Church, small potteries and artists studio’s.
ASKERSWELL….4 Miles out of Bridport just off the A35. An ancient village which has a rebuilt medieval church and iron age farmstead .
BETTISCOMBE …12 Miles from Bridport close to Pilsdon Pen, which is the highest point in the county at 277m/909ft. There is a interesting Manor house, a thatched pub and a restored church.
BROADWINDSOR….7 miles from Bridport. Visit the cottage which is built on the site of the castle inn was sited , this is where King Charles II hid from the Cromwell’s roundheads in 1651.
BURTON BRADSTOCK… just a few miles from The White House on the B3157. Two good eating pubs, and Bredy Farm for old farming collections.
CATTISTOCK.. About 7 miles from The White House. An interesting village with some Victorian houses and a church with a 20 ft carved cover.
CHARMOUTH… Halfway between Bridport and Lyme Regis. A great place for Fossil Hunting , now the bypass is in place it’s a very quiet village, with beaches.
CHIDEOCK … Next village along -there was a castle here but it was destroyed during the Civil War. Has a pretty Catholic Church, and is also famous for the Chidoeck Martyrs.
EVERSHOT… Situated about 9 miles from Bridport. Has a 15th century church, and of course the Acorn Inn, and Melbury House.
FLEET… A Small hamlet just outside Weymouth, near Chesil beach, John Faulkner’s smuggling novel ” MOONFLEET” was based here. The church has a secret passage under the Mohun family fault.
FRAMPTON… 7 Miles from bridport, a smart little village with an interesting church, with two tiers of eight tucan columns.
LITTLEBREDY… A beautiful hamlet approx 6 miles from The White House, deep in the bride valley, with thatched cottages, lake and Manor house. Visit the lovely peaceful church of St.Michael and All Angels.
LITTON CHENEY… 7 Miles from Bridport, well worth a visit, experience the tranquillity in the valley where time seems to stand still with its small streams, and walks.
LONG BREDY… 6 Miles from Bridport just off of the A35. This is where Admiral Nelson’s Hardy came from, you will also find Kingston Russell House here.
MAIDEN NEWTON… About 10 miles from The White House on the A356. Has a Norman church which claims to have the oldest door in the country with original timber, it also has a 15 century market cross.
MARSHWOOD… 9 miles from Bridport , just outside of Lyme Regis on the B3156. The National Trust has Lamberts Castle an iron age settlement, which is situated on Lamberts Hill.
MORCOMBELAKE… 5 miles West of Bridport , on the A35 , where the famous Moore’s biscuit factory was founded and where they developed the Dorset Knob.
NETHERBURY… Just outside of Bridport, off the B3066 a conservation village in the Brit Valley which is a designated area of natural beauty. This also is the site of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s original River Cottage.
POWERSTOCK… 4 miles from Bridport , a thatched village with Norman castle earthworks and an Iron age hill fort on Eggardon Hill.
PUNCKNOWLE… Just off the coast road to Weymouth on the A3157 . The village boast of a thatched pub and Manor House where Colonel Henry Shrapnel once lived.
RAMPISHAM… 10 miles NW of Dorchester on the A356 has a thatched post office , a creeper covered pub, and an interesting carved base of a cross featuring Martyrs buried in the graveyard.
SEATOWN… Close to Bridport , and can be reached from the cliff walks, is a former smugger’s cove and fishing port, has a great pub to visit after a long walk.
STOKE ABBOTT… Just off the B3162 . Nice little village deep in to the valley, has some remains of a Roman fort.
THORNCOMBE… 8 miles north of Lyme Regis , remember your walking shoes, has a steep main street, a Manor house, and stone cottages.
TOLLER PORCORUM… Half way between Bridport and Dorchester, is close to a Dorset wildlife trust nature reserve and stunning views from Eggardon Hill.
WEST BEXINGTON… 6 Miles out of Bridport on the B3157 coast road to Weymouth, has a popular Hotel with cafe/bar attached and good beach.
WOOTON FITZPAINE… A few miles from Lyme Regis has an Iron Age settlement, a Manor house, and good forest walks.
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