Ruby’s happy place down at West Bay

With Storm Barra battering the country just ten days after Storm Arwen left a trail of havoc in its wake, now is not a good time to visit the coast.

Usually, I would have been down at West Bay this morning, letting Ruby run wild on the farthest beach on the Esplanade to the west, which is open to dogs all year round.

This part of the little resort on the Dorset coast is my girl’s happy place.

But the tide is high today and and the field and hills are wet with mud and rain. So she’s restricted to a quick scoot around the village before we hunker down at home.

On her beach at West Bay, Ruby loves to chase seagulls along the shore. It’s lovely to come here first thing, just as the sun begins its daily journey west.

I’m impressed by the sea swimmers who jump into the water quite often at this time of the morning. But that’s not for me.

At this time of year, though, when the hill and the fields are muddy, the beach down at the Bay is where you’ll find Ruby and me.

I love West Bay. I have done since I first arrived in Bridport as a young reporter nearly forty years ago. My brother, though, just doesn’t get it, preferring instead the beauty of Lyme Regis. My late father used to call West Bay ‘that place with a hole in the middle’ (meaning the harbour). But I love the Bay for its cliffs and shoreline, although I steer clear of going anywhere near East Cliff, which is prone to landslips without warning.

I love West Bay for its harbour, its eclectic mix of buildings of all styles, its mix of chi chi and pleb, the caravan site and its food kiosks, although I would recommend avoiding the two operated by convicted puppy farmers.

There’s nothing quite like starting the day down on the beach with Ruby, feeling the wind blowing through your hair and watching the sun coming up over the water, casting rays of light like an advert for a spiritual awakening.

And then popping into the Windy Corner Cafe for a very nice coffee and cake – or breakfast if that’s your bag. Dogs are welcome here, to the extent that they’ll be offered a biscuit or five within seconds of walking through the door. Lovely. They can have my custom any day.

But today, we’re confined to the house as we watch Storm Barra doing its business outside.

That’s about it.

Love, Maddie x