West Bay (aka Broadchurch) was heaving at the weekend, as locals and holidaymakers alike made the most of the Bank Holiday sun and frolicked in the water and on the beach.
Some took picnics down to the shingle of East Beach (to the left of the piers) and the sand at West Beach (to the right). Others sat inside and outside cafes, pubs and restaurants. Many just wandered around the harbour, eating ice cream and chips, although not necessarily at the same time.
At West Bay, we’re spoilt for choice, as far as eating is concerned. There are the kiosks selling takeaway food, from sausage and chips to Baboo Gelato and the seafood delights of Rachel’s. Then there’s the posh-ish Riverside Restaurant (where I had my fiftieth birthday bash) and the West Bay Hotel, which is run by my godson’s brother, as well as lots of other places.
It was good to see a large queue outside Margaret Grundell’s kiosk on the Esplanade – she’s been serving ice cream on the seafront for forty-nine years. This time last year, she was planning to put her feet up.
While most were sensible in the summer sun, others were not. Leaning over an overhanging cliff just to see what’s at the bottom is never a good look.
And the people having a picnic at the base of the cliff, right next to the biggest cliff fall West Bay has suffered in years, certainly take the strawberry-topped shortbread.
If you’re a local, you gaze in awe at these cliffs from a safe distance. Our cliffs are lovely to look at, but can be lethal up close.
And now the Bank Holiday is over and the joyous spirit that shakes Bridport and West Bay by the hand during the summer holidays is about to leave on the A35.
Or is it, though? We’ve got the mighty Bridport Hat Festival coming our way this weekend. A stupendous occasion, celebrating all hats great and small, as well as modest, over-the-top and downright wacky.
We can’t wait!