Broadlands is situated in the tranquil and unspoilt village of Charmouth on the western fringes of West Dorset. Charmouth has a south facing beach & safe bathing waters and is internationally recognised as one of the finest fossil beaches in Europe. There are regular organised walks from the Charmouth Heritage Centre. The coastal path, in view of Broadlands, rises to the east eventually overlooking the magnificent Golden Cap, just one of Dorset’s Areas of Natural Beauty along the Jurassic Coast… this is great walking country.
Lyme Regis is 3 miles to the west with its historic Cobb harbour, from where you can take boat trips for sight-seeing or mackerel fishing. Lyme has several good restaurants, some interesting shops and the Philpot Museum. West of the town, along the coast, is the National Nature Reserve (NNR) known as the Undercliff, an atmospheric, almost sub-tropical wilderness where you can find rare plants such as the bee and marsh orchids in abundance. While you’re in Lyme, don’t miss the fascinating restored working Town Mill where you can watch grain being ground by huge millstones. There is also a pottery, gallery, café and the fantastic Marine Theatre.
The market town of Bridport, 6 miles to the east, became famous for rope and net making is. At the height of demand, hemp rope was actually made in the towns streets, hence their unusual width.
Bridport has several good restaurants and a very active arts centre, where every 2nd Saturday of the month (9am – 1pm) a farmers market is held. There are also the famous Electric Palace and bustling street markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays with a wide range of stalls ranging from antiques, bric-a-bric and clothes, to organic vegetables and other local produce.
Axminster is 6 miles to the west in East Devon and has recently become the home of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage HQ. In the centre of the market town is the River Cottage Canteen where you can buy locally supplied produce and enjoy good, honest and simple food at a remarkably reasonable price.