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Award-winning travel writer
Mark Frary

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The Dorset coast

Our verdict:

The Jurassic coast has always had a magnetic appeal for families – the thrill of picking up a 100 million year old fossil on a beach walk never goes away. The focus has only increased with the opening of Seaton Jurassic and the new film on Mary Anning with Kate Winslet. Bridport Cottages provide the perfect base for exploring.

Recommended travel company: Bridport Cottages

Bridport Cottages says

Dorset’s Jurassic Coast has become one of the UK’s most popular family holiday destinations. West Bay was the backdrop for the hugely popular Broadchurch TV series – remember those amazing cliffs? – and it’s home to some of the West Country’s best restaurants and prettiest towns, along with quaint villages and rolling hills. The 2015 film version of Far from the Madding Crowd was shot here, as was the much-anticipated film about the Victorian fossil-finder, Mary Anning.

  • Countryside & coast
  • Well-equipped cottages
  • Dog-friendly options

Our small-but-perfectly-formed collection of hand-picked characterful cottages are all located in the villages surrounding Bridport – the heartland of the Jurassic Coast – and sleep up to … people. All of them are well-maintained and well-equipped with WiFi and a Smart TV. Many are owner-managed with some lovely personal touches to make your stay even more special.

Fancy staying in a working mill? All the family will love The Mill, a unique cottage in Askerswell which sleeps up to six and has a restored water mill which is even recorded in the Doomsday Book.

Located in the heart of Chideock and a short drive or scenic mile’s walk from Seatown beach, Pound Cottage is a charming village home from home – pets are welcome.

Litton Cottage, in pretty Litton Cheney, has a beautiful interior and fabulous countryside views with four bedrooms. A pathway takes you over meadows directly to the coast.

The village of Powerstock is one of West Dorset’s prettiest – with three bedrooms, Rose Cottage sits in the heart of it, a stone’s throw from a superb pub and spectacular walks through glorious countryside and Eggardon Hill’s Iron Age fort.

If you’re wondering about activities and places to see, you’ll be spoilt for choice year-round. You’ll find village fetes, food and music festivals, world-class fossiling, sea swimming, mackerel fishing, hill walking, sailing, hot air ballooning, farmers’ markets and historic churches.

The area’s also become a foodie magnet; as well as a huge range of picturesque pubs with great food, Mark Hix runs a fish restaurant in Lyme Regis and The Bull in Bridport has won awards. Other highlights include the Brassica restaurant in Beaminster and the Crab Shack near Portland.

For short breaks, many of our cottages offer flexible arrival dates, especially out of season and for last minute breaks.

If you are still looking for inspiration, have a look at our blog about the treasures to be found on the Jurassic Coast.

Find out more about our family holiday cottages on the Jurassic Coast, including a selection of pet-friendly options.

Note: All the travel companies featured on this site are personally recommended by our editors. Companies pay us a flat annual fee; we don’t get any additional payments if you click on their sites or make a booking. Those fees pay for the upkeep of our site, so we can keep it current and reliable. See more about how we work.