Bridport Town Council has introduced new heritage walking trails to help visitors and locals explore the town’s history.

Following local consultation on proposed routes and themes for heritage interpretation last summer, Bridport Town Council has produced two new heritage trails to its current Green Route – the Saxon Loop and the Rivers Loop.

In May 2023, the council invited members of the community to identify specific heritage assets along the proposed urban heritage loop in the centre of town and a rivers route, taking in the Rivers Asker and Brit.

Dorset Echo: Asker Meadows, Bridport

The project received funding from the Dorset National Landscapes Sustainable Development Fund, which supports local communities to protect, enhance and celebrate the natural landscape of the county.

Kate Townsend, Project Support Officer for Dorset National Landscape, said: “The grant panel really liked this project in the way it breathes life into Bridport’s history, industrial heritage, and green spaces, and makes them accessible to a wide range of visitors and locals."

The Saxon Loop will take visitors around various Bridport buildings and paths to document the town’s historic roots as a Saxon settlement as well as being an important centre for the manufacture of sailcloth, rope, and nets.

The Rivers Loop invites people to explore the rivers that brought trade to the town and were harnessed by local industry.

There are also audio guides you can listen to along the routes where listeners can learn about shipbuilding in the Bridport harbour, women workers in the net and rope industry, the town’s pub history and illustrator and signwriter George Biles.

Dorset Echo: Bedford Place in Bridport which would feature along the new Saxon Loop heritage trail

Storyteller Martin Maudsley curated the podcasts which feature experts from Bridport Museum and West Bay Discovery Centre and were professionally produced by local sound engineer Ezra Gray.

Will Austin, Bridport Town clerk added: “We are delighted to be launching these two new heritage trails.

"The leaflets and accompanying podcasts are the perfect encouragement to get out and about in Bridport and discover the rich heritage stories that make our town such a wonderful place to live”.

The trails are available to download online on the Bridport and West Bay website with print versions available from the Bridport Tourist Information Centre: