West Bay, Bridport, Dorset
Jurassic Heritage Coast
West Bay, Bridport, Dorset - Jurassic Coast

West Bay, Bridport

Thursday, 25th July 2024, 2:55pm

West Dorset, UK

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Bridport Harbour & Marina

West Bay (Bridport) Harbour

A Leisurely Day in West Bay

If you want a change from the beaches and coastal walks then make for the harbour where you will also find river boats for hire. From here you can take a leisurely rowing boat trip on the River Brit through riverside meadows, but don’t forget to take a picnic. Or take a stroll over to the old station and walk along the disused railway track to Bridport where you can visit the local brewery for a spot of wine tasting!

The Coastal and Harbour Improvements

West Bay had been known as Bridport Harbour until the railway arrived in 1884. Now only the harbour itself retains that name. Over the centuries West Bay has been battered by the elements, baring the scars of numerous storm battles. A three year scheme to rebuild the coastal defences and harbour piers at a cost of £18 million was completed in the winter of 2004 / 2005. The Duke of York formally opened the completed scheme on Tuesday, 8th March 2005.

The Jurassic Pier

The new West Pier was named 'The Jurassic Pier' and opened to the public at midday on Friday, 17th December 2004. The old pier was eventually demolished and a new pier constructed following years of sea erosion and storm destruction. A sea defence project costing £18 million has produced a magnificent new West Pier for West Bay. There is wheelchair / pushchair access and seating along most of its length. At 240 metres long, recessed lighting is included for evening and night visitors plus bollard safety lighting at all of the ladder access points for boats in the outer harbour / marina. The Jurassic Pier will be a genuine asset to West Bay for many years (and hopefully centuries) to come. A late 18th Century ship's cannon now resides on the stub of the old West Pier. It was discovered approximately one metre beneath the surface of the breakwater and heavily rusted, but has now been fully restored and sits on a custom made gun carriage.

The East Pier

The East Pier was completely refurbished as part of West Bay's sea defence project. However, most of the original character and heritage has been retained in the construction. The design of The Jurassic Pier should allow far less of the destructive powers of the sea to reach the East Pier than in the past. The harbour entrance is now on a new alignment. Also, extensive rock armouring together with a seaward wedge on the Jurassic Pier now disperse wave energy.

Coastal Defence

West Bay's Coastal Defence and Harbour Improvements Scheme won the Institute of Civil Engineers South West 2006 Merit Award. The scheme was managed, promoted and funded by West Dorset District Council in partnership with the Environment Agency. Grant aid funding was from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The contractor responsible for detailed design and construction was Costain-Gifford. This is the top annual civil engineering award in the region and recognises projects of particular achievement, innovation and ingenuity which promote excellence in the engineering profession.