Now lying a couple of miles inland, the attractive town of Bridport used to be an important port before its two rivers silted up. Today, it’s a lively market town with an alternative vibe, and a good selection of cafés, restaurants and quirky gift shops. Centred on a crossroads where North, South, East and West streets meet, its fine brick buildings and unusually wide streets date from its days as a rope-making centre, when the cords that made up the ropes were stretched between the houses to be twisted and dyed. With its beach a couple of miles south at West Bay, it’s also a good base for exploring the dramatic coastline nearby, plus the more bucolic charms of rural inland Dorset.
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