We decided to have a leisure day, and spend the morning wandering around West Bay. Although we didn’t know it at the time, this is the town where the British television murder mystery series, Broadchurch, takes place. West Bay Hotel, where we stayed, is part of the story, as are many of the scenes in this post.
West Bay is a lovely little fishing village. No crowds of tourists, and a much more authentic feel to the place. Fishermen out on the end of the pier, and a couple of well used fishing boats motoring in and out of the narrow harbor. Looking back down the coast we could see the Golden Cap off in the distance.
There was an interesting market, set in a courtyard, with a long, two-story stone building, and several pubs. The lovely old building had been a brewery, but was recently converted into little shops selling all kinds of sea shells, fossils, ammonites, beautiful stones, and jewelry. Also, the usual artsy hand-made pots, crystals and lovely scarves. Jennifer bought an ammonite, and then we decided to try our hand at fossil hunting. The weather had cleared somewhat. So we wandered down to the beach.
What an amazing scene. Can you see how tiny Jennifer looks, that dark speck of a figure right in the center? The cliffs loomed above, layers upon layers of sandstone, representing millions of years of evolution, just like our Jurrasic Coast Bus advertised. The wind was blowing in heavy gusts, and it was hard going because underfoot there were rounded stones instead of sand, and the stones ranged in size from pebbles to ping pong balls. We must have walked the beach for about an hour, keeping some distance from the rocks because they are so unstable. I was hoping to spot an ammonite, but found some interesting stones on the beach instead, quite satisfying. The wind was gusting, and the water lapped quietly, washing up more and more stones. This was the English Channel I kept reminding myself. Across the water somewhere not so far away was France.
Around noon, we caught the bus for Abbotsbury. As usual, our double decker careened down unimaginably narrow lanes, brushing past hedges, and scaring us with every near miss of oncoming vehicle. Got to Abbotsbury in about twenty minutes. Oh was I glad I wasn’t walking that distance.
Abbotsbury is the prettiest town yet. We found our next stop, Swann Inn easily. It was my perfect fantasy of an old English country inn. Stone houses, thatched roofs, and masses of the most beautiful flowers everywhere. More about the village in the next post.