I have been longing to visit West Bay ever since Broadchurch first came on air.
We have visited its very close neighbour Burton Bradstock several times for their Spring Tide Festival, but never took the short stroll along the beach as we didn’t know how close by it was and we didn’t have a baby carrier and the shingle beach was too tough to navigate with a buggy.
This year we made a pact that we would visit all the local places we keep promising ourselves we would go to and West Bay was second on our list after Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove.
It took us just under an hour to get to from our home and we parked in the main car park just on the outskirts of town which was also home to the most amazing children’s play area. Isaac and Eliza did have a slight wobble as they wanted to play in the park first, but we persuaded them to hit the beach first.
We trundled along an old rail track towards a huge bank of sand / shingle that just shouted “come and climb me” – once at the top we got our first glimpse of the stunning golden sandstone cliffs. Isaac and Eliza were a little wary of getting back down the shingle bank until they realised they could slide down on their bottoms.
Although the weather was bright and sunny it was a very windy day and the waves were crashing powerfully along the shore which means only one thing – wave chasing!!
We did however get caught out by a particularly powerful wave that came up the beach a lot farther than anticipated and over Isaac and Eliza’s wellies. I can now confirm that my Hotter Carmen boots are indeed fully waterproof!
After exploring and playing on the beach for about an hour we headed back towards the harbour where we stopped to watch the water raging down into the harbour from the River Brit. It was then we spotted a rather famous blue house, although it is in a slightly different position to where it seems to be in Broadchurch.
We continued walking around to the other side of the harbour and out onto the harbour walls where we got an even better view of the sandstone cliffs. We stopped at the end for a picnic and watched as a couple of men performed tricks on their BMX bikes, much to the kids delight.
With tummies full of food we then headed along the western beach and stopped to admire some wild art and then up the other side of West Bay and up West Cliff, which afforded more stunning views across the harbour.
Hubby and Kian went up further than the littlies and I did as the cliff is remarkably steep and tough on little legs, but we did stop on the infamous Broadchurch bench to take in the views.
Whilst we were heading back down we spotted the building they used as the police station, which actually sells helmets and then walked back through the town, past the newsagent and towards the park where the kids burned off what was left of their remaining energy.
We could have stayed in the park for a lot longer but the skies were darkening and we were then treated to a hail / sleet shower so be bundled the kids back in the car and started the journey home, this time heading along the coast road to enjoy the quaint Dorset towns and resplendent Chesil beach along the route.
We will definitely return very soon, only next time when it is a little warmer!