Whitchurch Canonicorum’s church is known as the “cathedral of the Vale” and is the resting place of, amongst others, Robin Day and Georgy Markov. It is also the only parish church in England that houses the remains of a saint - St Wite - and so is a place of pilgrimage.
* the drive east along the coast road to Weymouth is truly breathtaking, and the old stone quarries, gun batteries and lighthouse of Portland Bill
are well worth exploring.
* west is the old market town of Axminster, home to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s town-centre canteen and shop. H F-W sometimes has an offer going for a Dining Experience at River Cottage - follow this link for details.
* Lyme Regis is famous for The Cobb’s curved harbour wall, and is a delightful place for a stroll in the old town or on the prom - the Town Mill area contains a working mill, bakery, micro-brewery and an art gallery.
* for fans of the Broadchurch TV series, this was based in West Bay and tours of the filming locations are available
Market days in Bridport are on Wednesday and Saturdays, and the renowned Bridport Farmers’ Market is held on the second Saturday of the month. The Bridport Food Festival is in the middle of June and is a great opportunity to collect a picnic from the stalls and sample the beer
festival at the same time. The quirky Bridport Hat Festival is held on the middle weekend of September - "get ahead, get a hat",
and if you go to town without one you'll feel under-dressed!
The Bridport Arts Centre hosts a wide range of events, from up-and-coming and established comedians to local folk singers like Billy Bragg and Steve Knightly's Show of Hands. The Electric Palace is a delightfully eccentric place, with an art deco interior, and features films and concerts.
The area is home to many artists, and there are three or four galleries on Bridport's South Street that are well worth a brouse. More up-market, and closer to home, is Artwave West at Morcombelake, with regular exhibitions of contemporary art. The Lyme Regis ArtsFest is in mid-September.
If it's a touch of class that you're after, the nearby Furleigh Estate runs tours of their vinyard and winery every Friday and Saturday afternoon - followed by a tasting of their award-winning English still and sparking wines. Marvellous!
If it's The Jurassic Coast that you've come to see, and you want to get "down and dirty" with some fossil-hunting, have a look at The Jurassic Coast Trust's website - they offer loads of really good and instructive tours and guided walks.
Walking, Cycling and Riding
You’re spoilt for choice for walks on footpaths and quiet country lanes, with more formal routes along the nearby Monarch’s Way and the South West Coastal Path – we
can arrange pick-up and drop-off from the Coastal Path, and will be happy to provide a pack lunch.
The lanes in the Vale offer great potential for cycling, whether you want to ride off to a country pub for lunch or climb to some of the viewpoints that look back over the Vale – for instance, there are two Iron Age hill forts within five miles. We have a couple of bikes that you are welcome to borrow, or we can store your own bikes securely.
We are one mile south of the National Cycle Network 2 in West Dorset, from where it passes through Shaves Cross.