Out and About, News & Events
What shall we do today?
You’re spoilt for choice. There’s so much to see and do around Chideock Grange that you’ll wish you could stay longer.
To help you decide, here are some of our suggestions for exploring the local area.
The market town of West Dorset, Bridport remains popular with street traders, selling everything from hardware to handicrafts and books to bananas. The street markets take place every Wednesday and Saturday throughout the year.
Many of the stalls sell antiques and bric-a-brac, making it great fun to browse. You’ll find it hard to come back without having bought something!
Even if you don’t make it to Bridport on market day, there are plenty of other shops and sights to explore.
Bridport is well known for its art and antique quarter, in the St Michael’s trading estate. This diverse mix of buildings holds an equally mixed bag of businesses, in an area that’s fun to explore. It’s also home to the Bridport Vintage Market, that’s held on the last Sunday in the month, March to October.
Things to see and do in Bridport:
Colmer’s Hill & Manor Yard
When you’re in Bridport, you can’t miss the distinctive cone of Colmer’s Hill, out to the west of the high street. You can climb the hill, which offers wonderful views of West Dorset. It makes a delightful picnic spot.
A great place to park is at Manor Yard, part of the Symondsbury Estate. You’ll be surprised at the selection of shops there, set in a delightful range of rural buildings.
It’s about a 40-minute walk to the top of Colmer’s Hill and the slope is quite steep but it’s steady.
Beach days out
Chideock Grange is just a few minutes’ drive from the beach, at Seatown, and it’s not much further to the popular beaches of West Bay, Charmouth, Lyme Regis and Weymouth.
Seatown – our local beach, it’s small and not that well known. It’s made up of shingle, it shelves steeply into the sea, and the amenities are basic. This is a perfect location for a bracing stroll along the seashore after some welcome refreshment at the adjacent Pub, or a relaxing spell just gazing at the sunset whilst the waves lap gently on the shingle beach.
If you’re looking for somewhere to build sandcastles, paddle and swim, you’re better off heading for Lyme Regis or Weymouth.
West Bay – made famous by Broadchurch, it has a picturesque beach and harbour, backed by the dramatic cliffs of the Jurassic Coast. The shingle beach is popular with families and when you’re hungry, the harbourside stalls provide plenty of opportunities for tasty treats.
Charmouth – another largely shingle beach, Charmouth is particularly popular with fossil hunters. The Heritage Coast Centre, right by the beach, has a wonderful exhibition of fossils, and they offer fossil hunting tours.
Lyme Regis – there’s plenty of sandy beach at Lyme, along with a harbour that’s protected by the massive arm of the Cobb. You can walk along the top of this huge breakwater, which has featured in a number of films and TV programmes.
Weymouth – the town regularly features in lists of the UK’s most popular seaside destinations. It boasts a wide, shallow and sandy beach that’s ideal for digging and building with – sand sculpture has been practiced here for generations. It also has traditional seaside entertainment, including donkey rides on the beach.
Have fun hunting fossils and more…
Fossil hunting is encouraged because once they’ve fallen out of the cliffs, the fossils will be broken up by the sea.
That said, fossils should always be collected from the beach, not from the cliffs themselves.
Most of the beaches from West Bay to Lyme Regis are great places to find fossils. The best time to look is around low tide, as many are at the low tide mark.
The most distinctive local fossil is the ammonite, with its coiled shell. You’ll find some ammonites embedded in huge rocks, or in the rock floor of the beach itself. It’s best to leave those where they are.
An alternative to finding fossils is looking for sea glass and ceramics that have been smoothed by the waves. Much of it comes from a Victorian rubbish dump in the cliffs near Lyme Regis. The landfill site is now collapsing into the sea, where the waves turn what was trash into collectibles.
Other things to do near Chideock Grange
Climb Golden Cap – the highest point on the south coast of England.
Explore Chideock – a charming Dorset village with thatched cottages and pubs. Walk in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – Whatley is at the heart of the West Dorset AONB, which you can enjoy through many different local walks.
Bridport Hat Festival – 3rd Sept 2022
Bridport Hat Festival is a celebration of hats, a fundraiser for head-related charities and a giant summer-ending party for the town and its visitors – all run by volunteers.