A canoe adventure on the River Brit is a great activity to add to your holiday bucket-list. While staying in West Bay or Bridport, take a trip on the water.
Read on to find out how our staff got on during their journey up the river:
Paddling the River Brit with West Bay Canoes
One of the best ways to spend a couple of hours with friends, family or even your dog on a sunny summer’s day is to take a canoe trip from West Bay to Bridport. The mouth of the River Brit is at West Bay and paddling up to Palmers Brewery takes about an hour.
We were met on the green in West Bay (next to The Old Salt House) by Max, our tour guide, who ran through a safety briefing, fitted us with buoyancy aids and gave us a paddle each.
After pairing up, we were helped into our canoes. Frank the dog needed a little more help to board the canoe than us two-legged humans! Shortly after launching, Max demonstrated some paddle strokes to assist with steering, stopping and getting going.
First, we headed towards to coast. It was hard to believe that after just a few paddle strokes down the river we were a mere stone’s throw from the coast. The blue chalet used by DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) in Broadchurch, series 2, was just there to our right.
The reed beds were full of birds singing their beautiful songs – it was quite magical. Ducks with their young paddled their way deep into the reed beds as we approached. Suddenly, there was a large SPLASH! 'What on earth was that?' A dog walking along the river bank decided it was time for their swim! Frank, however, showed no interest and continued to enjoy his leisurely boat trip.
Winding our way up the River Brit
Twisting and turning from West Bay to Bridport for just over 4 km, the River Brit is lined with some wonderful flora and fauna. Keep your eyes peeled for the blue flash of a kingfisher and the ripples of fish in the clear water. If you’re really lucky, an otter might make an appearance!
Reeds line the banks along with many other plants and riverside flowers. There are a number of fallen trees which have to be navigated around too, these bring their own challenges and amusement as some people misjudge the turn and end up needing a gentle shove to get back on track.
Passing by Palmers Brewery
There was a lovely smell of malt drifting on the wind which could only mean one thing, we were reaching the end of our journey upstream to Palmers Brewery.
Palmers Brewery is believed to be the only thatched brewery in England, it is well worth booking a tour there, and many of the local pubs serve their range of real ales so no matter where you are in Bridport, you’ll likely have the chance to get a taste.
Frank decided it was his time to demonstrate how good he is at finding stones at the bottom of the river. I have never seen a dog able to dive under the water and then reappear with a large stone in his mouth – truly amazing! The waterwheel was running which finished off the scene perfectly.
Back on the water
It was now time to head back to West Bay. Back on the water paddling downstream was very easy. Well, I say easy; one couple, unfortunately, took an early bath (much to the amusement of their son) and Max had to assist with emptying their canoe. On that note, it is always worth remembering to take a spare set of clothes with you when venturing out on the water as the unexpected can always happen!
Return to West Bay
All safely back and ashore at West Bay, we said our goodbyes and I headed off to sample some of the fabulous food available around the harbour.
I got some advice from a local – apparently, Rachel’s is fabulous for seafood and, if you fancy something cooler, my favourite treat was the salted caramel ice cream at Baboo Gelato!
Thank you to Max and West Bay Canoes for a fabulous trip and to Dorset for the fantastic sunshine and countryside. Frank the dog enjoyed the trip too!
If you’re feeling inspired to go on your own canoeing adventure, take a look through our cottages in West Bay and Bridport to find the perfect accommodation for your coastal holiday.