|Location Map ( geo)|
|To:||West Bay (SY463904)|
|Distance:||18.5 miles (29.8 km)|
|Meets:||A354, B3158, B3156, A35, B3162, unclassified|
|Old route now:||B3154, B3156|
|Route outline (key)|
The B3157 forms the scenic coastal route from Weymouth to Bridport in Dorset, the road dividing at its western end into two branches: one leading south to West Bay and Bridport Harbour, the other north into Bridport town centre. The road also provides access to the north-western end of one of Dorset's most famous landmarks – Chesil Beach. Through traffic, however, is deterred, with traffic between Bridport and Weymouth being signed via the A35 and A354, and large signs warning of tight junctions and bends.
The B3157 has since 2008 started off at a roundabout on the A354 Weymouth Way a kilometre northwest of Weymouth town centre and headed west along Granby Way: a new northern bypass of the Weymouth suburbs of Westham and Charlestown.
The original 1922 route started further south and headed out of town across Westham Bridge (closed to through traffic in 1987) and along Abbotsbury Road (today unclassified). It then continued along the western end of Chickerill Road (following parts of today's B3154 and B3156) to the point where the modern bypass comes in on the right. In 1935 the B3157 acquired a branch, the original Wyke Regis to Westham B3155, which now forms part of the B3156.
At a light-controlled junction at the end of today's bypass, the B3157 bears right and heads through the village of Chickerell, before heading out into open countryside. It passes the village of Langton Herring before crossing a ridge to Portesham, where there is a sharp left turn by the village green. The road now heads westwards towards the sea and passes through Abbotsbury. At the end of the village a left turn heads for the landward end of Chesil Beach.
The B3157 then prefers to remain inland from the coast (which is hilly in this area) so runs parallel about a mile inland, passing Abbotsbury Castle and going over the top of Limekiln Hill. After the village of Swyre the road crosses Beacon Knap before becoming closer to the sea. There are several roads off to the left which do reach the coastline. Southover, for example, has roads called Beach Road and Cliff Road which head to obvious places.
After going through Burton Bradstock a left turn by the golf course leads (via a minor road) to one of the two western ends of the B3157, at West Bay. However, the mainline continues – turning inland – to reach a roundabout on the A35 Bridport bypass at Bothenhampton. Of the five roads meeting at this junction (known locally as the Crown Roundabout, after a nearby inn), three are numbered B3157. One is the road we have arrived on; the other two make up the Bridport town to West Bay road (which had until 1935 been classified as the B3160) – so that we can choose to continue north along one branch of the B3157 into Bridport town centre, or (doubling back on ourselves nearly 360 degrees) take the other southward to West Bay and Bridport Harbour.