Bridport companies in Dorset

History, farming and commerce have created an intriguing criss-cross of roads and paths around Bridport and West Bay, and for today's casual visitors or earnest walker this network of paths, lanes and roads offers everything from a gentle urban stroll to a bracing country trail. Bridport stands where the rivers Brit and Asker meet, at the westerly end of the great shingle curve of Chesil Bank. Its origins date back at least to Athelstan's time in the 10th Century, and meriting mention in the Domesday records of 1086. The town's name possibly derives from a market (port) on the Brit - a market was held her regularly over 1,000 years ago. In Tudor times Elizabeth 1 granted the town a Saturday market to encourage commercial activity and also gave the town three fairs, one still surviving as the town's annual carnival each August. And Bridport still has two market days each week with traditional stalls lining the wide main streets, a legacy of olden market times.
The region's rich soil and temperate climate proved ideal for cultivation and Dorset was soon acknowledged for the production of flax and hemp, two crops which had a profound influence on the prosperity of Bridport. For by the l3th century the town had established itself firmly- as a major rope-making centre with King John commanding, in 1213, that Bridport make as many ropes and cables as it could.

West Bay

Nick Berry West BayWest BayONE mile south of Bridport, it is a busy harbour village with characteristic kiosks, fishing boats, pubs and restaurants - just the place for a bracing walk followed by a noggin and a bite to eat! Together Bridport and West Bay make an ideal centre for strollers, hikers, shoppers, swimmers, fishermen and all who come to enjoy the varied and beautiful coastline. The views across Lyme Bay from the coastal path are particularly inspiring. Viewers of BBC TV's Habourlights, starring Nick Berry, will of course recognise this as the town of Bridehaven, and could almost feel themselves being on the set.

Places of interest include Bridport Museum, St. Mary's Church, the ancient Chantry building, the interesting Town Hall, the leisure centre, West Bay Harbour Museum, the highest cliff on the south coast at 626 feet at the National Trust's Golden Cap.

Text and graphics © West Dorset Tourism

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