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Published August 8th 2017
Eype, the seldom seen beach paradise of Dorset
A stone's throw away from the busier Dorsetshire locations of Lyme Regis and Charmouth, there is a beautiful beach. Eype is located just three miles from the market town of Bridport, and offers a spotlessly clean pebble beach where the waves barrel in to the shore. If you are willing to negotiate two miles of very narrow lanes, then this is the perfect beach to enjoy some seaside tranquility on. With golden cliffs stretching in either direction and a wide beach to explore, this place offers a wonderful escape from busy modern life.
This place may be 1 hour 45 minutes drive from Bath, but the tranquility it offers far, far outweighs the time taken to get there. The car park is located on the cliff immediately above the beach, and even when parking, the views are breathtaking.
The car park operates on an 'honesty box' system, and despite being small, I have never known it to be busy or overcrowded. It is best to arrive early if you want the beach to yourselves, though. Bridport is only five miles away, but due to the steep steps down to the beach, I would advise being well prepared with food and drink before you arrive, so that you can just relax and enjoy. Having said that, there is a traditional pub, The New Inn, just 300 metres up from the car park, and this offers pub meals and real ales.
The beach itself is pebbled and wide, and slopes down in two steep levels to the water. It is a wild beach, and so expect to encounter some flotsam and driftwood as you explore (as well as the odd battered dinghy and rowing boat, too). The swimming there is wonderful, but be aware that there are no lifeguards at Eype, and so safety and supervision are vital. I have regularly swum off the beach, and love it for the sudden depth that the beach provides, offering instant swimming and fun in the waves that drive up the beach.
Perhaps due to the golden colour of the Jurassic cliffs at Eype, there is a hazy glow to this beach, even on the brightest of days. Forming part of the 700 mile long South West Coastal Path, there is usually a steady trail of walkers following the pathways along the cliff, and many stop off for a paddle to soothe aching feet. I am fascinated by the waves and the water at Eype, and always leave after having taken hundreds of sea photographs. It is certainly a beach well suited to calm and quiet contemplation.
If it's the hustle and bustle of the British seaside you are after, then I would suggest going to Lyme Regis. If you crave some relaxation and a chance to escape from the madding crowd though, then Eype is your place, without a doubt.