West Bay, near Bridport
West Bay is often described as the harbour for Bridport, as though it does not have its own identity. However, situated one and a half miles south of Bridport, West Bay is quite distinct from Bridport. It has a small bustling harbour, packed with fishing boats and offering fishing trips and speed boat rides and is popular with holidaymakers.
It is located on the Jurassic Coast, England's first natural World Heritage Site, rivalling the Grand Canyon and The Great Barrier Reef, as one of the wonders of the natural world. This coast is stunningly beautiful and ever changing, with unpredictable landslides and rockfalls. The sandstone cliffs here at West Bay rise vertically from the shingle beach. The cliff path gives far reaching views from Portland to Brixham. Fossil hunting is a popular activity. In order to improve the sea defences, the Jurassic Pier was constructed and opened to the public in December 2004. The Pier, which is 204 metres long, allows visitors to enjoy the spectacular views along the Jurassic Coast.
Around the harbour, there are numerous traditional fish and chip kiosks, as well as pubs and restaurants. The now abandoned railway station has been converted to a tea shop called "The Tea Station".
West Bay has been the setting for the BBC TV series, 'Harbour Lights', but the most recent publicity has resulted from the award winning ITV crime drama, 'Broadchurch', broadcast in 2013 and starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman as the detectives hunting for the murderer of an eleven year old boy. The spectacular East Cliff and beach feature in the series and Quay West, the apartment development, appears as the exterior of the police station. 'Broadchurch' won the award from the British Academy for the 2014 Best TV Drama and Olivia Colman, Best Leading Actress. A second series is being filmed in West Bay, featuring the East Cliff. David Tennant and Olivia Colman, once again star in the production, but this time with Charlotte Rampling. As with the first series, the storyline has been written by Chris Chibnall, who has lived in Bridport, Dorset, for over ten years.