West Bay%2C Bridport

In the first of a new online feature series, Group Leisure takes a look at some of the locations used in the filming of Broadchurch that are suitable for groups to visit.

We’re only a few episodes into the third series of Broadchurch, but already audiences of ITV’s popular crime drama television programme are hooked.

The plotline – dramatic and gritty –comes complete with a backdrop of impressive filming locations, and it’s these that groups may well be interested in exploring. The landscape informs the drama; the cliffs, the sea, and the beach are all key elements of the story.

The seaside town of Broadchurch is one of the most used locations in the programme, so groups might want to start their day out here.

Unfortunately, fans might find the town elusive – and that’s because it doesn't actually exist.

Broadchurch is a fictional town made up of various locations across the south-west of England, including West Bay and Bridport in Dorset and Clevedon in North Somerset. West Bay in Dorset in particular, with its towering cliffs and golden beaches, has become the focal point of a lot of tourist interest.

All locations are available for groups to visit and explore. Groups visiting the area by coach can enjoy views of the coastal scenery that plays such a big part in many of the episodes.

A Broadchurch trail

Pictured: A Broadchurch trail is available from Visit Dorset.

Follow a trail

Groups who want to delve into the Broadchurch filming locations further can take advantage of two trails that have been created for fans of the programme.

The Dorset area is easily explored by way of a Broadchurch Trail, provided by Visit Dorset. Groups can visit locations filmed around West Bay and walk in the footsteps of the lead characters played by David Tennant and Olivia Colman.

The trail is available at a number of tourist information centres. The key locations from all three Broadchurch series are within walking distance of each other.

Visitors can start off by walking up West Cliff, then head down to the Jurassic Pier and harbour before visiting a range of buildings used as the Broadchurch police station, cafe and newsagents.

Also on the trail is a visit to the riverside home of Tennant's character DI Alec Hardy, a cliff hut used in a murder scene and the beach huts used throughout series two of the ITV drama.

The trail ends with a visit to East Pier and Harbour Cliff Beach, the opening scene of the murder in the first episode.

Another Broadchurch trail map, available to download here, offers up an insight into the parts of the programme filmed in Clevedon in Somerset.

Highlight locations for groups to visit include St Andrews Church and cemetery, used as the parish church of St Bede, and Marine Lake, which is the location for the boat burning scene in series one.

Groups that can’t get enough of Broadchurch can even can opt for a longer stay by booking a few nights at Freshwater Beach Holiday Park, a stone’s throw from some of the programme’s filming locations. GTOs should note it is a campsite for tents and caravans.

Lead image: West Bay, Bridport. (Photo credit: Visit England and Visit Dorset).