A Trip to Eype, West Dorset

Posted on February 29, 2016

This weekend, after getting a good freezing on the first weekend of cricket groundwork, we decided to disappear down to Dorset without any children, or indeed my faithful dog.

Once again demonstrating my tendency to be a total maverick with no sense of where boundaries lie, I booked up the Eype Mouth Hotel near Bridport. I did this without even a glance at tripadvisor.co.uk, the website that allows would be travel critics the opportunity to write things such as “Had a great stay but I lost my coat” or “The beach turned out to be stony…NOT WHAT WE EXPECTED!”

To get to Eype is not as easy as it may seem when you first hit the A303 dual carriageway at Basingstoke, as once you get past Andover, you have to negotiate your way past drivers who have ploughed into the back of one another whilst staring at Stonehenge, as well as debating whether to overtake tractors on a road that reverts from dual carriageway to single-track with seemingly gay abandon.

The fun really starts when you arrive at Crewkerne, as it is from there where the roads literally zigzag all the way to your destination, with the final descent into Eype being one of continually reversing back into passing spaces; what this place is like to get to in the summer months is anyone’s guess?

Still, we found the hotel and we walked into the instant but not unpleasant aroma that takes you hurtling back to a visit to your grandparents house in the early seventies. I am not sure how this aroma is achieved, perhaps by a cocktail of the carpets, cooking and central heating? Whatever the case, it was uncanny.

The room was also a bit 1970’s and I have to say, the bathroom, featuring clinical brilliant white emulsion complimented with low budget sky blue lino, had me reminiscing of a final enema induced visit to the throne shortly before an operation at Basingstoke and North Hants Hospital. 

Anyway, light was fading, so we decided to take a quick walk on the beach which was just beautiful and actually, almost warm, courtesy of the crumbling cliffs cutting off the cold north-easterly that was eventually giving Southern Britain a late chill after our mildest winter on record.

After a good crunch through the shingle, instead of going to the hotel we chose instead to visit The New Inn, a rustic looking pub that, like some pubs just do, looked really welcoming. Once inside, we were greeted by good number of locals all glued to the England versus Ireland six Nations Rugby match and singing along heartily in what was a good atmosphere.

The owner of the pub soon greeted us, offering a detailed history of the place and how she had added it to her business portfolio which also included the farm next door, a cafeteria and some shepherds huts that she rented out to people who, in her own words, would like to sample basic living.

Her warmth of nature convinced us to eat there as, after all, it is not every day you can eat in a pub that sources its food from its very own farm. Needless to say, we were not disappointed, with the great food encouraging us to stay longer than anticipated and drink some more beer and wine.

As the rugger crowd dispersed, one stalwart kept going and eyed us a few times before inevitably staggering over to introduce himself in a ludicrously posh, public school accent.

“Where are you fuckers from?”

“Near, Basingstoke in Hampshire.”

“My Mum lives in Locks Heath, she’s fucked now mind you…so are are you a rugger man sir?”

“Not really, I watch it, but I am more of a cricket man myself.”

“Best cricket tour I went on was in Plymouth, rained for four days, so we just got fucked on booze…I can recall we got in a fight with a cabbie and all his pals came and bashed us up pretty fucking bad…we turned up at the local village club absolutely fucked, black, blue and covered in blood…great days, great days!”

Jennifer doesn’t like swearing, but it would appear that she will relent if the vulgarities are emanating from a man with a polished accent, especially when he offered her a gushing compliment regarding her looks.

“So how old are you Jennifer?”


“Well I must say, you don’t look it, you lucky little fucker.”

She was well chuffed.

So anyway, we made our excuses and headed back to the hotel for a night cap, briefly speaking to another couple who, judging by their grandiose comments about the hotel, hadn’t travelled much. Their gushing appraisal of their evening meal would have tripadvisor in meltdown.

Now, despite what I said about the hotel’s dubious ambience, I have to say the breakfast was pretty much as bang on as any other I have tasted anywhere. Once again, we were treated to local produce in what was a hearty, well-presented and tasty way to kick off the day.

To burn off our excess, we marched, semi-triumphantly, up to the Golden Cap where the cold wind bit into us hard but not enough to to take away the beautiful views that the Dorset Coastline offers. It is, without doubt, one of those places where I always feel like I have arrived at some sort of spiritual home.

We then drove to West Bay, a kind of resort come harbour that has gained plenty of fame from several TV Chef programmes, as well dramas such as The Harbour Master and Broadchurch. I can’t work out if I like West bay or not really, but it has to be said that the sheer orange cliff face set against the blues sea, is something to behold.

Get yourself down to West Dorset, it is an idyllic place.

1 Reply to "A Trip to Eype, West Dorset"

  • Trevor
    March 2, 2016 (4:09 am)

    Nice post. Loved your account of the rugger-bugger 🙂

    It kinda made me feel homesick and then I looked outside and remembered it was 30 degrees C (with a gentle cooling breeze) here 🙂

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