Stay and Experience the Real Broadchurch
With the third series of ITV’s Broadchurch about to air, we thought you’d be interested to read about some of the locations used in the first and second series. Why not make plans to stay and experience the real Broadchurch?
For many, the stars of the show were not just David Tennant and Olivia Colman, but also the stunningly beautiful Jurassic coastline centred on West Bay with its long shingle and sand beach, and the amazingly golden sandstone cliffs, reminiscent of honeycomb rock. The writer, Chris Chibnall, lives in Dorset and says “Broadchurch was written as a love letter to the scenery of the Jurassic Coast” – which shows in the camerawork!
Park at West Bay and it’s only a few steps to visit the beach for yourself. Seen early or late in the day in low light, you can really appreciate the full glory of the towering cliffs washed by rolling breakers: this is where Danny Latimer’s body was found in Series 1. If you fancy a bit of exercise and a distant view, you can scale the East Cliff and walk along the top to Freshwater to see Susan Wright’s caravan, or enjoy a gentle level stroll along the promenade to the west, where Jocelyn Knight’s clifftop house will be in front of you up the West Cliff. To appreciate the cliffs better, a walk along the pier will also show you several harbour and waterside scenes familiar from Broadchurch.
Another location close to hand is Broadchurch Police Station, whose exterior was set at Quay West, a modern development at the west side of the harbour, with a real café (now called “Windy Corner”) in which the characters were filmed from time to time. Why not stay in The Boardwalk situated in Quay West? A truly stunning apartment right in the heart of Broadchurch’s West Bay harbour.
The sea cadets met at the Methodist Chapel on the Beach, which is currently empty – but is set to become a visitor centre, and the nearby Harbour Stores featured as the newsagents; the owner Jack Marshall – played by David Bradley (now famous as the caretaker at Hogwarts!) – lived in one of the Coastguard cottages.
DI Hardy’s blue chalet from the second series overlooks the estuary of the River Brit, and can best be seen from the bridge – its starring role meant there was a lot of interest when it was put up for sale in 2015!
Why not pick up a Broadchurch walking trail leaflet from the Bridport Tourist Information Centre to guide you? (https://www.visit-dorset.com/dbimgs/Broadchurch%20Trail%202015%20version.pdf)
A bit farther west along the coast is Eype, where you will find the chalet in which Danny Latimer was murdered. Perched dangerously close to the edge of the cliff, there are plans to rebuild it further inland. The row of blue beach huts at Charmouth also featured in Series 2.
Bluebells played a significant part in the storyline, and some scenes were filmed at Hooke Park near Beaminster. It’s said that people can be divided into two groups – those who know it’s the best bluebell wood, and those who haven’t visited! We can testify that, on a warm spring day, it is one of the most magical experiences – lime green beechwoods, a scented blue carpet and birdsong make it perfect! Hooke is very beautiful location – take a look at our holiday cottages in Hooke.
If you are looking for the town centre of Broadchurch, you’ll have a much longer trip though – the street scenes were mainly filmed in Clevedon near Bristol!
West Bay’s real town centre is, of course Bridport – with its wide tree-lined streets, vibrant Buckydoo Square with a variety of entertainment, quaint cottages and lively market, you might think it was the ideal location – but perhaps the production company were looking for a more urban contrast to the coast, for dramatic effect?
Locations for the third series will doubtless include lots of West Bay and the coast, and you may like to keep your eyes peeled for other local sights, including Littlebredy, West Bexington and Burton Bradstock along the coast road – a drive worth making for its own sake, with panoramic views of the Fleet, Chesil Bank and Portland towards Abbotsbury. We understand that Bridport will even make a brief appearance this time, as the Washingpool Farm Shop is used as a location.
Why not book onto a Broadchurch Tour by local company Literary Lyme. They have tour dates in April, May and July with more being added so why not tie these into your holiday?
Article by Lois Wakeman
Images by Nathalie Roberts, Ian Wool, Jane Elliot and italktelly.com