When you arrive at Gulliver’s Cottage, you’ll find a range of guides on local walks and nearby attractions.
If you’ve not been to the area before, here is a list of things that we like to do in Dorset – we hope they give you some ideas!
The nearest walk from the cottage is to Shipton Hill, thought to be the village's very own prehistoric hill fort and takes about 25 minutes from the door and offers sweeping views to the sea and across the Dorset landscape, including Eggardon Hill, another Neolithic fort and Colmer’s Hill, topped by a stand of trees, just west of Bridport. Being quiet at the top, we've managed to surprise deer, rabbits, buzzards and lots of butterflies here. Relax and admire the view!
Golden Cap is the highest point on the south coast of England and is the best way to see the Jurassic Coast from Start Point to the west and Portland Bill to the East. Combine with a walk on the beach at Seatown. We were lucky enough to see a dolphin there at close quarters. The Anchor Inn on the cliff serves good food and lovely Palmer’s ale!
Our nearest beach is Hive Beach at Burton Bradstock. It sits at the western end of the Chesil Beach. Always good for walks and it can be exhilarating in the wildest Atlantic storms. The Hive Café does a good range of food, drinks and ice creams too.
If you're feeling hungry, Abbey Tea Rooms at Abbotsbury does a great lunch – the grilled fish is our favourite. Go on a good day for a seat in the garden. Abbotsbury is a pretty village and the route there gives fine views across the Fleet to Portland Bill. We can also recommend the Half Moon at Melplash, The Olive Tree and The Stables (behind the Bull Hotel) in Bridport and the Marquis of Lorne at Nettlecombe. Worth booking in advance almost everywhere on any night, especially in summer.
Bridport on Saturday is good fun. It's a bustling little town with a street market selling farm produce, bric a brac and there's much to see. Lots of independent shops – Snook’s hat shop is one of our favourites and there’s even a proper toy shop on South Street that goes on forever like all good shops should. Buildings are very long in Bridport, it’s all to do with the old rope making trade.
If you like fish, its good fun to take a fishing trip in a boat from the Cobb (harbour) at Lyme Regis or from West Bay (book via the angling shop). Trips last from around 50 minutes and you get a great view of the coast from the sea and if you are lucky, you may catch some mackerel for supper. Fish fresh from the sea is really quite superb. Fishmongers Samway’s in West Bay and Davy’s Locker in Bridport are highly recommended.
Durdle Dor is a large natural archway in the sea, around 40 minutes drive from the cottage. It can be busy there but the white cliffs are very beautiful and Lulworth cove can look more Mediterranean than English Channel. Further along is Corfe Castle – a large ruined fortress dating back centuries and steeped in history. Easy to imagine yourself leading an assault on the gates in battle armour at any age!
Children love to go fishing for little crabs on West Bay harbour! Get a crab net from one of the tackle shops near the harbour and a bucket to view them before letting them go.
At low tide, walk on Monmouth Beach on the western side of Lyme Regis to hunt for fossils. There is a stretch of rock pavement that is covered with ammonites. Monmouth beach is famous as the landing site of the Monmouth Rebellion, an army raised to overthrow James II, the Duke of York who had become King of England, Scotland, and Ireland upon the death of his elder brother Charles II on 6 February 1685.