News Column

Observer Magazine: TRAVEL: JOANNE O'CONNOR

June 1, 2014

JOANNE O'CONNOR



Take me there

Jurassic Coast, Dorset

Why go? When it comes to natural beauty the Dorset coast has always held its own against Devon and Cornwall, but it's never quite been able to match the choice of cool places to stay. That's set to change this summer with the opening of a handful of gorgeous new hangouts. Add to this the return of Broadchurch, filmed around West Bay, later this year, and Dorset looks like one of this year's hottest holiday spots.

What to do Search for the fossils which give the coast its name. Popular spots include Charmouth and Lyme Regis: the guided walks run by the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre (charmouth. org/chcc) and Lyme Regis Museum (lymeregismuseum.co.uk) are great. Bustling Bridport's chichi shops, cool cafEs, art deco picture house (electricpalace.org.uk) and Saturday market have earned it the nickname Notting Hill on Sea. Catch your supper on a mackerel fishing trip from West Bay (westbayfishingtrips.co.uk).

Where to eat Try Lyme Bay crab sandwiches and Exe mussels at the famous (and crowded) Hive Beach CafE in Burton Bradstock. The Watch House CafE in West Bay and Rachel's seafood shack near the quayside (3 The Mound, West Bay) make excellent alternatives.

Where to stay A spectacular clifftop location and cool interiors ensure that the Pig on the Beach will be as popular as its New Forest namesake when it opens in Studland Bay on 11 June (from pounds 139, thepighotel.com). In Lyme Regis, chef Mark Hix has just opened the Hix Townhouse, a stylish eight-bedroom guesthouse in a Georgian townhouse (from pounds 125, hixtownhouse.co.uk). And in autumn former Groucho Club MD Mary-Lou Sturridge opens the Seaside Boarding House overlooking Chesil Beach (theseasideboardinghouse.com).

Insider tip "The best way of exploring the coast is on the top deck of the Jurassic Coaster X53 bus - it's breathtaking," says Julia Pulman of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Team (jurassiccoast. org). It runs hourly between Lyme Regis and Weymouth in summer.

Give me a break

Breaks for bookworms in Britain

Foyles bookshop is launching a series of guided tours to top literary locations in the UK, including Shakespeare's Stratford and the Brontes' Haworth. The two-day Dylan Thomas tour of Swansea and Laugharne departs 3 July and costs pounds 249pp, including rail travel from London, a hotel in Swansea, excursions and three meals. A suggested reading list is provided, along with a 30% discount voucher for Foyles (foyles.co.uk)

Sightseeing and spa relaxation in Turkey

Activity holiday specialist Neilson has opened the Andriake Beachclub in the Demre region of Turkey for this summer. It has a 50m infinity pool, six tennis courts, children's clubs and a spa with hammam. Historic sites such as the "sunken city" of Kekova are within easy reach. A week costs from pounds 645pp, based on a June departure including flights, accommodation, activities and some meals (neilson.co.uk)

Captions:

Go with the flow: Seatown Beach on Dorset'sJurassic Coast


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Source: Observer (UK)


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