The clocks have gone back, the nights are getting darker and there's a chill in the air - what better time to reflect on a jam-packed summer of fun in west Dorset?

Here are some of the reasons you can't beat where we live during summer.

Bridport Food and Beer Festival

In June, foodies flocked to Asker Meadows in their droves for Bridport Food Festival.

The event offers visitors a range of delicious local produce and wows guests with thrilling cookery demonstrations.

Bridport Round Table's Beer Festival offers up to 75 beers and 30 ciders to sample - what's not to love?

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Guitars on the Beach

The ever-popular event returned to Lyme Regis in June. This time, instead of aiming for a world record attempt for the biggest band, it focused on the issue of climate change.

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Beaminster Festival

The eight-day festival was one to remember, with children’s shows, games and workshops, together with jazz band, the youth club band and flash dance.The main core of the festival was filled with top quality concerts with two young pianists, Eric Lu and Lauren Zhang showing off their virtuosity to 30 young children gathered on stage around the piano.

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The spotlight has been on Bridport this summer as it played host to a painting by one of the country's most important artists - JMW Turner.

Bridport Museum secured the loan of an original JMW Turner watercolour of West Bay for the summer, and it featured in a special temporary exhibition alongside works from the museum’s own collection by its founder, Captain Alfred Percy Codd. A whole host of events took place during the exhibition.

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Jurassic Fields

The festival is growing every year and came back to Asker Meadows bigger and better than ever before, headlined by Coasts, Dreadzone Dr Meaker and Coco and the Butterfields.

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Lifeboat Week

The RNLI had a fantastic summer of fundraising, with Lyme Regis Lifeboat Week breaking all records to raise £40,315.

Special guest actor John Challis, who played Boycie in the BBC hit TV series Only Fools and Horses, officially opened this year's event back in August. This was followed by a welcome display by the Lyme Regis inshore lifeboat, Spirit of Loch Fyne, the all-weather lifeboat from Exmouth and the coastguard helicopter from St Athan, South Wales, giving spectators a glimpse into the work of the life-savers.

Huge crowds packed Lyme Regis in the sunshine for the first day, which saw belly-dancing, an art exhibition, a display by members of the Weymouth and Portland Model Boat Club, a fire exercise and defibrillator demo.

The Army parachute display by The Red Devils proved as popular as ever.

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Raft races and barbecues

The RNLI's Bridport branch also had a great summer; its raft race, Seatown barbecue and West Bay fun day raised £10,900 for the charity. The raft race is one of the wackiest events in west Dorset’s calendar and is always worth a watch as the rafts battle it out for first place – as always, there was no shortage of imagination with either the rafts or the costumes this year.

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Bridport Folk Festival

The festival showcased a huge variety of music and dance. As west Dorset basked in sunshine, Bridport was buzzing with folk lovers enjoying a diverse range of musical talent.

Organiser Chris Deacon said he was delighted with the ‘encouragement and kind words of the people of Bridport’ as the festival continues to grow in popularity.

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West Bay Day

This year's event went off with a bang, turning the bay into a playground for young and old alike. It welcomed incredible live acts such as Grouvecat, Drunk Education, Tripod, Jurassic Black, Snooky Duke, Jess Upton and the Guilty Pleasures and Stillyano performing throughout the day on the Mound, a duck race, pirate games, classic car and motorcycle display and a Creatures of the Sea fancy dress competition - all topped off, of course, with a fantastic firework finale.

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A man devoured 58ft of nettles when a notorious World Nettle Eating Contest took place at the Bottle Inn in Marshwood.

Tony Jeyes from Marshwood won the men's competition, while the women's prize was won by 67-year-old Lindie Rogers from Bridport. "It was great fun despite my hands feeling a bit tingly from all those nettles but the beer and cider certainly helped," said Lindie.

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Five Pubs Challenge

Revellers enjoyed a drink - or five - at west Dorset pubs the Loders Arms, The Crown in Uploders, The Spyway in Askerswell, The Marquis of Lorne in Nettlecombe and The Three Horseshoes in Powerstock for The Five Pubs Challenge.

They cycled, walked and some even to to horse riding to raise funds for charity.

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Hundreds of people lined the streets in both Bridport and Lyme Regis for one of the biggest events in the summer calendar - carnival.

Bridport's events saw a variety of creative floats lined up on West Street before making their way up to the town hall and down South Street. Lyme Regis Regatta and Carnival kicked off immediately after the town’s lifeboat week, with a joint firework display on the Cobb.

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Bridport Carnival was closely followed by a uniquely 'Bridport' event, when hundreds of people armed with flames marched from the town centre to West Bay for the annual torchlight procession.

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The 172nd Melplash Agricultural Show took place at West Bay's showground, attracting more than 20,000 visitors

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Food Rocks

Mark Hix's Food Rocks at Lyme raised more than £11,000 for the RNLI and Fisherman's Mission.

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Last but not least...

Bridport Hat Festival

Bridport said 'goodbye' to summer in style when the hat festival returned. Thousands of people took to the streets for Bridport Hat Festival on 'Haturday', displaying an amazing array of colourful - and very imaginative - hats and the party carried on at the Millennium Green, where live music was performed throughout the day and into the night.

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