Days out for the family

Hive Beach, Burton Bradstock

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A visit to Hive Beach in Burton Bradstock is one of our favourite things to do when staying at Upwey House. Take the scenic route via the winding B roads through Portesham and Abbotsbury. The drive there, which takes about 20 minutes, is a treat in itself with stunning views over Chesil Beach and the Jurassic coastline.

Hive Beach is just on the left as you enter Burton Bradstock. It is a National Trust conservation area and if you are a National Trust member, parking is free. If not, it is very reasonable. Walk along the cliff tops to the East (make sure you check out any landfall warnings) or along the stoney beach itself and take in the marvellously invigorating English sea air. We have visited when the sea is flat as a millpond and we’ve all donned swimsuits and dived in or on more inclement days when the channel roars onto the shore with impressive ferocity. Dogs are welcome but need to be kept on a lead.

We always reward a long walk along the beach with a well-earned lunch at The Hive Beach Café (www.hivebeachcafe.co.uk), which specialises in local sourced and sustainable seafood and fish delicacies. The menu evolves according to the season. The Dorset crab is always a favourite simply provided with a rock from the beach for cracking it open. Lobster, crab, mussels and local fish are reassuringly fresh, having been brought out from the sea that very morning. The coffee, cakes, ice cream and kids’ meals are also excellent. There is a good range of non-fishy dishes and they even provide treats for your dogs.

The café is non-fussy and often very busy in peak seasons. You can’t book so try and avoid the main meal-time rushes but service is slick, prices are fair and you shouldn’t have to wait too long. If you don’t fancy the Café itself, take a picnic and eat in the large grassed car park or on the beach itself. The Hive Beach Café also prepare orders to take away.

Opening hours are weather dependant . Please call on 01308 897070 to clarify on the day.

Upwey and Portesham with Jurassic Electric

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We love the idea of cycling but some of the South Dorset terrain can be a touch challenging. Jurassic Electric make everything altogether more enjoyable offering expert tours of the local area with a bit of battery powered assistance! They are willing to pick up from Upwey House upon request and will guide you and your group on a tour of the beautiful villages of Upwey and Portesham via arguably the best viewpoint in the whole of West Dorset. Cycle along country lanes, visit off the beaten track cafes, art galleries and vineyards and learn about the history of the area. Book a half or full day option. Other tours of the area available. Contact www.jurassicelectric.com

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