There is plenty to keep visitors entertained in West Dorset all year round, with many options for wet weather. The Electric Palace and Arts Centre in Bridport, the Marine Theatre in Lyme Regis and arts agencies in Dorchester and Sherborne provide a year round programme of shows, concerts and exhibitions. There are also a cinemas in Dorchester, as well as museums and art galleries in Lyme Regis .
The major attractions are covered in the previous module, but don’t forget the Abbotsbury Swannery, Athelhampton House and Gardens, Minterne Gardens, Bennetts Water Gardens and Mapperton House and Gardens (location for the Far From The Madding Crowd Hollywood blockbuster).
There are also some more alternative days out. Visitors can take a llama or a donkey for a walk, join a guided electric bike tour or take a tour of Palmer’s Brewery. There are swimming pools and leisure centres in Dorchester, Bridport and Sherborne or the Jurassic Fun Centre at Freshwater Holiday Park (great for little ones).
Remember that visitors love good Dorset food! Many top chefs have relocated to West Dorset to take advantage of fresh produce right on the doorstep – Mark Hix in Lyme Regis, Lesley Waters at Abbots’s Hill and Mat Follas in Dorchester to name a few.
Monthly Farmers’ Markets take place in each of West Dorset’s towns and local produce includes Dorset apple cake, Blue Vinney Cheese and Denhay hams. Dorchester has a wide selection of restaurants, cafes, bars, brasseries and bistros to suit all tastes.