West Bay is the port area for the town of Bridport. 740 years ago the river Brit was navigable by small flat bottomed boats as far as Bridport itself, from where rope and nets were exported. West Bay has been the main harbour since the 14th century when the first harbour was built. In recent years the piers have been rebuilt and realigned to give better year round access to the harbour.
Lyme Bay is a protected Fisheries and Conservation Reserve, however the port at West Bay still has a small active fishing fleet, and fishing charter boats. Species landed commercially are Whelks, Crabs, various Rays, Skates and Flatfish, Cuttlefish, Pollack and Whiting, Bass, Mackerel, Lobster, Mullet, Black Sea Bream and John Dory.
With it's economy dependent on fishing and tourism, visitors are well catered for. Places to eat range from fish and chips and takeaway meals from huts and cabins around the port, some with dedicated seating areas. There are also quite a number of cafes, pubs and restaurants, catering for all tastes and budgets.
West Bay is a very picturesque area, with hills and walks to either side, and the village centre and harbour relatively unspoilt by inappropriate development. Because of this it has been used as the filming location for The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, Harbour Lights, and Broadchurch.
The popular ITV series of Broadchurch was filmed on the West Dorset Coast, in an area extending approximately five miles either side of West bay, and also with some scenes recorded some miles away in Somerset.
Most notably West Bay was the base for the Broadchurch cliffs, police station, harbour, Alec Hardy's (David Tennant) riverside bungalow, the Boys Brigade hall, newsagents, and Jocelyn Knight's (Charlotte Rampling) bungalow. To the west the murder bungalow is a couple of miles away at Eype, and the beach huts and some beach scenes at Charmouth. To the East is Susan Wright's (Pauline Quirk) caravan at Freshwater Beach near Burton Bradstock.
Series 3 of the popular television series Broadchurch is to to commence filming in the next few months at locations around West Bay.
Hensleigh House Hotel. A small Charmouth and Lyme Regis Hotel, 300 metres from the Jurassic Beach in the unspoilt village of Charmouth, and 3 minute walk to shops, pubs and restaurants. Hensleigh House has it's own car park and is 2 miles from the centre of Lyme Regis. The 8 comfortable rooms include twins, doubles and two family suites, each with two adjoining bedrooms.