Top 10 things to do in Bridport and West Bay holiday cottages

Top 10 things to do in Bridport and West Bay

Cath 29 November 2023

Set amongst the rolling hills of West Dorset, and just 1 mile from the coast is where you'll find the town of Bridport, renowned historically for its rope-making industry. On your visit through the town, be sure to look out for the long, narrow alleys or ‘rope walks’, where ropes were once twisted and laid out to dry.

Bridport has everything you might need for a relaxed, easy-going holiday in Dorset with activities for all ages and a plethora of things to do and explore on your doorstep. From an afternoon spent wine tasting at Furleigh Estate to walking the Golden Cap, the highest point on the south coast, there's plenty to keep you occupied.

In this guide, we have compiled a list of the top 10 things to do in Bridport and West Bay. If you are planning a holiday, why not browse our collection of holiday cottages in Bridport today?

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Visit Bridport Museum

 Exterior of Bridport Museum

Photo credit: Bridport Museum

Bridport Museum is located right in the heart of the town, in one of Bridport’s oldest buildings. The exhibits and displays come together to tell a captivating story of the town’s history from its origins to the present day, with notable displays on artefacts from a nearby Roman hill fort and the famous rope and net-making industries.

Good to know

Where is Bridport Museum? Bridport Museum, 25 South Street, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 3NR

When is Bridport Museum open?

Summer opening times
Tuesday to Friday 10am-5pm  
Saturday 10am-4pm

Winter opening times (from Nov 7)
Tuesday to Saturday 11am-3pm

How long does it take to visit Bridport Museum? Allow 2 hours to see the whole museum.
Stay nearby: Ropemakers Cottage | Sleeps 2 + 2 dogs 

Stroll around Bridport Harbour

 Aerial view across Bridport Harbour

Bridport Harbour, also known as West Bay, is a small and picturesque harbour at the mouth of the River Brit. It is located 1.5 miles from Bridport at the western end of Chesil Beach. The harbour is a wonderful place to visit for a harbourside stroll or a bite to eat. Chartered fishing trips are also available in the summer.

The West Bay Discovery Centre is worth a visit and tells the stories of the village both past and present. You can also find out how the harbour was used for the location filming of the TV drama, Broadchurch.

Good to know

Where is West Bay Discovery Centre? The Chapel on the Beach, West Bay, Dorset DT6 4EN
When is West Bay Discovery Centre open? Tuesday to Sunday (and Bank Holidays) 10am-4pm
How long does it take to visit West Bay Discovery Centre? 2 hours
Stay nearby: Harbour View | Sleeps 4

Spend a morning at the Bridport Market

 Food stall showing doughnuts at Bridport Market

The popular Bridport Market is held every Wednesday and Saturday from 8am until the middle of the afternoon throughout three of the town’s main streets. You can expect to find a diverse range of stalls selling a wide range of goods and produce including local food, clothing, jewellery, arts and crafts and much, much more. 

The Saturday market is particularly popular with many antique and bric-a-brac stalls in South Street which is a highlight for many visitors. With up to 100 stalls to choose from, there really is something for everyone.

Good to know

Where is the Bridport Market? East, West and South Street
How long does it take to visit the Bridport Market? 2-3 hours
Stay nearby: Hyde Farmhouse Granary | Sleeps 4

Watch a show at the Bridport Arts Centre

Photo of Bridport Arts Centre
Photo credit: Bridport Arts Centre

Bridport Arts Centre is a multi-art venue which hosts a wide variety of national and regional productions in theatre, music and dance. The centre also has an exciting programme of exhibitions throughout the year which attract over 10,000 visitors. 

Visit the website here to see the upcoming programme of live events.

Good to know

Where is Bridport Arts Centre? Bridport Arts Centre, 9 South Street, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 3NR
When is Bridport Arts Centre open? Tuesday to Saturday 10am-4pm 
How long does it take to visit Bridport Arts Centre? 2-3 hours
Stay nearby: The Dairy at Wanderwell | Sleeps 2

Trip to Palmers Brewery

 Exterior of Palmers Brewery
Photo credit: Palmers Brewery

Palmers Brewery is well worth a visit on your trip to Bridport; it has been brewing cask real ales since 1794 and is the last remaining thatched brewery in the UK.

The brewery runs guided tours daily Monday to Friday which last for 2 hours. The expert guides will take you through the historic brewery buildings and cover all aspects of the brewing process. Palmers Brewery tours are currently £16 for adults and £10 for children and need to be booked in advance via their website.

Good to know

Where is Palmers Brewery? Old Brewery, West Bay Road, Bridport, DT6 4JA
When is Palmers Brewery open? Monday to Friday, 8.30am-5pm 
How long does it take to visit Palmers Brewery? 2 hours
Stay nearby: Dorset Hollow | Sleeps 7 + 2 dogs

Walk the Golden Cap

 Aerial view of the Golden Cap and surrounding area

Standing at over 190 metres tall, the Golden Cap is the highest point on the South Coast with views as far as Dartmoor in Devon, and along the coast to Portland Bill and Start Point! The flat-topped sandstone hill sits on the cliffs between Charmouth and Bridport. Several fabulous walks on the Golden Cap Estate also take in Stonebarrow Hill and Langdon Hill woodlands. 

Good to know

Where is The Golden Cap? Golden Cap Estate, Morcombelake, Bridport DT6 6EP
How long does it take to visit the Golden Cap? 2-3 hours
Stay nearby: Dorset Nook | Sleeps 2 + 2 dogs

Head to the Electric Palace and watch a film 

Inside photo of the Electric Palace
Photo credit: Electric Palace/Tim Booth

The Electric Palace is a unique 1920s theatre with a varied programme of film, comedy, music, theatre and more. The palace, which is owned by a local family, has recently undergone extensive renovation retaining and enhancing the original features as well as improving the cinema technology and stage equipment.

The auditorium is the largest arts venue in the area with a full calendar of events.

Good to know

Where is the Electric Palace? 35 South Street, Bridport, DT6 3NY
When is the Electric Palace open? The ticket office hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10am-5pm with films/ events on in the evening.
How long does it take to visit the Electric Palace? 2-3 hours 
Stay nearby: Dorset Haven | Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs 

Play golf at Bridport Golf Club

 Photo of golf ball at golf course

Founded in 1891, Bridport Golf Club is the oldest in Dorset; it is situated at the top of East Cliff and enjoys breathtaking views across the Jurassic Coast and West Bay. For any golfing enthusiasts, the 18-hole course is an unforgettable experience, with one of the holes featuring a 27-metre drop. Bridport Golf Course is also regarded as one of the top 100 golf course holes in the world. 

Good to know

Where is Bridport Golf Club? Burton Road, Bridport DT6 4PS
When is Bridport Golf Club open? Monday to Sunday, 9am-8pm 
How long does it take to visit Bridport Golf Club? 3-5 hours
Stay nearby: Dorset Hideaway | Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs

Head to Seals Cove for indoor fun

 Lady on indoor climbing wall

Seals Cove is a family-friendly indoor adventure centre that is packed full of endless fun for the whole family! Featuring an indoor climbing centre, soft play, death slide, tunnels and interactive zone, Seals Cove is perfect, particularly if you are struggling for wet weather ideas.

While you visit, enjoy the tasty treats and food at the café that serves locally sourced food all day, and offers a wide choice of hot drinks, alcoholic beverages and child-friendly options.

Good to know

Where is Seals Cove? Shore Lane, Bridport, DT6 3EX

When is Seals Cove open? 
Term time opening hours 
Monday to Friday: 9am-5.30pm
Saturday: 9.30am-6pm
Sunday: 9.30am-3pm

Non-term time hours: Every day 9.30am-6pm

How long does it take to visit Seals Cove? 3 hours

Stay nearby: Dorset Gem | Sleeps 8 + 2 dogs

Spend an afternoon at Furleigh Estate

Grapes at a vineyard

Furleigh Estate is 85 acres of vineyard, lakes and grazing land where some of the best sparkling wine in the country is made. The vineyard now has 22,000 vines growing on the south-facing slopes which are used to produce Chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. 

The estate runs tours of the vineyard and winery on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from March until the end of October, with winter winery tours running on Fridays from November to the end of March. Tours should be booked in advance here.

Good to know

Where is Furleigh Estate? Furleigh Farm, Salway Ash, Bridport, DT6 5JF
When is Furleigh Estate open? Tuesday to Saturday, 9.30am-4.30pm
How long does it take to visit Furleigh Estate? 2 hours
Stay nearby: Dorset Rest | Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs 

Map of things to do in Bridport

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Stay at a self-catering holiday cottage in Bridport

If you haven’t booked yourself a holiday to Dorset yet, what are you waiting for? Browse our excellent range of self-catering holiday homes and cottages throughout Bridport and pick out the perfect retreat for you. 

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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