A warm, colourful coaching inn serving local food and fantastic cocktails in the heart of coastal Bridport”
In the midst of the town centre sits the imposing, inky-blue exterior of The Bull Hotel. It oozes style, with 19 eclectic bedrooms furnished with bold, designer wallpapers, antique dressers and brushed-brass beds. There's a fabulous suntrap terrace and a bustling restaurant where you dine on fresh seafood before invariably ending up in the convivial Venner Bar for a sloe gin fizz or a flaming Mai Tai. Most guests are couples, but it’s great for families too and kids can run around the ballroom or play table football in the Ostler room - great fun for all!
- Fab for foodies: the hotel has a restaurant, a pizzeria next door, and the Axminster River Cottage Canteen is a short drive away
- There's a small private car park at the back of the hotel - a luxury for town-centre hotels
- Venner Bar's original recipe cocktails and sumptuous furnishings make it a destination in itself
- Great for families: friendly staff, spacious bedrooms and plenty of toys and games
- West Bay's beach, pretty harbour, dramatic cliffs and retro beach huts serving fish 'n' chips are just 2.5km away
- Noise can be an issue in front-facing rooms at weekends
- The Snug and Single Rooms are small (7-8 sq.m.) and best suited to those who plan to be out for most of the day
- You’ll need a car to explore the surrounding area; the beach is 2.5km away (approx. 1.5 miles)
- A strict cancellation policy
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- 19 rooms
- Restaurant + 2 bars (open daily)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Table football
Personality exudes from every room at The Bull, even the small ones, and we loved the fun eclecticism.
For romantics, we recommend splashing out on one of the Deluxe Rooms; Nandi has a gorgeous in-room slipper bathtub and a handmade Indian-style stained glass window, by local artist Flora Jamieson. Another of our favourites is Red which has acres of space, a freestanding in-room bathtub and a four-poster bed.
There are 3 Family Rooms and Black Beauty fans will be particularly thrilled with The Manger in the old stable block. It holds solid wood bunk beds and the original manger still sits in the corner. The Family Suite has a master bedroom, twin room and can sleep extra children in a sofabed and a z-bed. Smaller families could opt for a Master Room, as most can hold an extra bed and all have ensuites with showers (two also have bathtubs, so need to be requested when booking).
Couples with a modest budget can bed-down in one of the Snug Rooms, which make a comfortable base if you plan to be out and about for most of your visit. Be aware that these rooms are small, and will not suit those wanting to spend time lounging in their room. The Single Room (Golden Fern) is similarly compact, with a double bed pushed against one wall.
Regardless of room size, all guests will receive some luxurious touches. We particularly liked the soft white towels, waffle robes and deliciously fragrant Bramley products. Techies won’t be disappointed either: all rooms have free WiFi and TVs, and most have Nespresso machines and Dyson fans.
- Central heating
- Coffee / tea making
- Cots Available
- DVD player
- Extra beds
Fresh from a bracing walk around West Bay, we made a beeline for the restaurant and sat in a cosy booth to warm our cockles. On a sunny afternoon, we’d place ourselves beside the bay windows overlooking the town centre.
The Bull takes great pride in sourcing almost all of its ingredients locally and the menu has subsections delineating whether dishes are from the land (meat), sea (fish) or field (veg). Being so close to the coast, we decided to focus on the seafood. Seared Lyme Bay scallops with parsnip purée and port reduction were followed by mains of moules frites and lemon sole with a lemon-butter sauce. For dessert, pear tart tartin and an indulgent hot-chocolate fondant with clotted-cream ice cream (a yummy West-Country alternative to vanilla). When the dining is done, guests migrate upstairs to the hidden Venner Bar for cocktails.
A buffet of cereals, pastries, jams, honey, yoghurt, fruit and juice is laid out in the restaurant for breakfast, and you can choose from the cooked options: porridge with fresh berries, pancakes with maple syrup and honey, a full English, or - my choice - eggs Benedict with seriously tasty dry-cured bacon from Denhay Farm (just 3 miles away).
For eating out, the famous River Cottage Canteen is a 20-minute drive away in Axminster - be sure to book well in advance. If you're spending the day at West Bay, a fun option is to get fish 'n' chips from one of the little beach huts (summertime only). Next door to the hotel, The Stable has stone-baked pizzas, pies and West-Country cider, or, just around the corner, Dorshi serves delicious dumplings and cocktails.
- Children's meals
- Coffee / tea making
- Restaurants nearby
- Vegetarian menu
- You're at the 'Gateway to the Jurassic Coast' so grab your walking boots and head out. The hotel can recommend routes, provide maps or help arrange a guided walk
- For instant retro seaside fun, West Bay is just 2.5km down the road. Golden sandstone cliffs frame the beach where kids can paddle and play to their heart’s content
- Wander around Bridport. This historic market town is chock full of listed buildings and has some great independent shops. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, the Bridport Market fills the centre of town and there’s an excellent annual literary festival
- Drive a little further along the coast to Lyme Regis. The beach is great for summer swimming and there's an impressive array of independent shops, pretty cottages and cosy pubs
- There’s a country house for everyone here. Romantics will love Mapperton House, while families can explore Kingston Maurward Animal Park (various gardens, a petting zoo and regular kids’ clubs)
- The Bridport & West Dorset Golf Club is well regarded and offers impressive views of the landscape and shoreline
- The hotel has a great relationship with Bridport’s talented artisans - workshops can be arranged in various fields including painting, drawing, sculpture, woodwork and weaving
- Looking for a more adventurous activity? Horse riding, paragliding and speedboat trips can also booked through reception (advance notice required)
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Art classes
- Boat trips
- Fossil hunting
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Mountain biking
- Museums / galleries
- Shopping / markets
- Well being
Children are warmly welcomed at The Bull, and with the Dorset-Devon border being a popular summer holiday destination, there will be plenty of potential new friends to meet at the beach.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
There are 3 Family Rooms; each has a double bed and a set of bunk-beds (sleeps 2 children). Of these, Mulberry has the added bonus of a second shower room and its bunk room can be closed off. The Old Manger will appeal to any little equestrian obsessives (set in the old stable block with solid wood bunks in the room, a manger and a horse hoist at the entrance). Larger still is the Family Suite (The Flowers), where you get a large double room, an ensuite bathroom, a twin room and a sitting room with a sofabed. For families with 1 small child or a baby, we recommend a Master Room or a Deluxe Room.
Babysitting can be arranged on request
Baby cots are available on request, and toys can be provided in the guest rooms
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The main restaurant has a kids menu; The Stable out the back is a great casual, family-friendly pizzeria.
Kids Activities on site:
- Ostler room: sofa, TV, football table & Wii on request
- Children are welcome to play in the ballroom (when it's not in use)
- DVD library
Kids Activities nearby:
- Beaches (West Bay is 2.5km away)
- Guided fossil hunts at Charmouth beach's World Heritage Site centre
- Abbotsbury Children's Farm
- Kingston Maurward Animal Park
- Horse riding
- Water sports
Families Should Know:
The hotel is located on a road in the centre of town and there's no garden, just a pebbled courtyard with seating. Although this is a seaside town, the beach is actually 3km away (approx. 2 miles) making it a 5-minute drive or a 30-minute walk.
- Airport: 50 minutes (Exeter)
- Hospital: 5 minutes (or 24-hour emergency unit 14 miles away)
- Nearest shop: 5 minutes (the hotel is on the town high street)
The Bull Hotel sits in the centre of Bridport; a market town in Dorset (close to the Devon border), on the southwest coast of England.
Exeter (56km) is the closest airport, or you could fly into Bristol Airport (111km). For a list of airlines serving these airports, click on the links at the bottom of the page.
From the Airport
The hotel cannot provide transfers so you can either take a taxi or hire a car (see below).
This is a rural area so it's worth hiring a car to get the most out of your stay. The hotel has a free off-road car park with limited spaces available on a first-come-first-served basis, plus there's a public car park just along the road.
By Public Transport
The nearest train stations are Crewkerne, Dorchester and Axminster. Direct trains from London take approximately 2 hours 30 minutes, then take a bus or taxi to Bridport.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.
More on getting to the UK and getting around
- Exeter 56.0 km EXT
- Bristol 111.0 km BRS
- Beach 3.0 km
- Shops 0.1 km
- Restaurant 0.1 km