Shaftesbury is a picturesque town with eighteenth century cottages, abbey ruins and cobbled streets. Gold hill is a busy spot for photograph lovers. In my opinion the best place to take a shot is from the Town Hall next to St Peter’s Church on the market place.
Cerne Abbas village is known for the fifty-five metres giant carved on a chalk hillside. The giant is a fertility symbol as his erectile organ can be seen from the car park at the road. If you want a closer look you are welcome to climb the hill by following the path by the care park, however note that the giant is protected with a barbed wired fence.
Maiden Castle, Dorchester
Maiden Castle is a very unique prehistoric fortified site at the south outskirts of the Dorchester. Its ramparts and ditches have a defensive function against invaders. It is a gentle 10-15 minutes uphill wall from the car park. There is no entrance fee.
Lyme Regis is famous for the great concentration of fossils in the coastal cliffs. Keen Fossil-hunters hammers the soft limestone and clay rocks of the cliff. The local authorities do not recommend to get to close to the cliff base as there is a small chance that rocks could collapse and advice to search for fossils at the shore of the beach.
This fortified site is huge in size, but unless you are a cow or a grass eater, there is not much to do apart from enjoying the views and climbing up and down the sharply inclined ridges. The grassy steep crests are very popular with local joggers.
The medieval castle, commanding a gap in the Purbeck ridge, is now an imposing ruin and a popular tourist centre drawing on it’s many years of history.
There is belief it may have been a Roman defensive site, but the castle we see the ruins of today was a rebuild in the 11th century of what was a wood castle back into the 9th century.
The village and its famous castle are built mainly from the local Purbeck stone which is probably the finest limestone available for building and polishing in England, and is used throughout the world.
In the 13th century King John went to great lengths improving his accommodation and the defences. He built a fine hall and chapel together with domestic buildings. Henry III constructed additional walls, towers and gatehouses
Monarchs had come and gone until 1572 when Queen Elizabeth I sold it to Sir Christopher Hatton, her dancing master and some suppose a suitor.
In 1635 the Castle was sold to Sir John Bankes, the then Lord Chief Justice, more as a holiday home rather than as a first home.
By 1643 the Parliamentarians occupied most of Dorset, the castle then survived a six-week siege. Sir John Bankes died in 1644 and the castle endured a number of half-baked blockades. Later in 1645 a second siege was started by Colonel Bingham, Governor of Poole, and courtesy of an insider the Roundheads took over in February 1646.
The Castle was systematically destroyed by the Parliamentary forces, but the fact that some remains is surely testimony to strength of construction.
Ownership remained with the Bankes Family until 1982 when it was bequeathed to the National Trust.
More pictures will follow in a travalogue!
A nice way to see some of the Purbeck countryside is to take the train between Swanage and Norden, passing Herston Halt,Harmans Cross and Corfe Castle on route.The line runs for 6 miles, although plans are underway to extend this to Wareham.
A busy airfield with a bar, restaurant and runway terrace, giving great views of the surrounding countryside and aircraft.Flying training and flights available from here.
Asil Nadir flew from here in May 1993 to France in a Piper aircraft, finally ending up in Northern Cyprus.
The grand stately home of Kingston Lacy, close to the picturesque town of Wimborne Minster and amongst countryside filled with thatched cottages, is a feast of lavish interior design and beautiful (and extensive) gardens.
The house was built as the new home of the Bankes family in the late 17th century after their original home, Corfe Castle, was destroyed on the orders of Parliament during the English Civil War. Mrs Bankes had been holding out against a long siege by the parliamentary forces (the Bankes family being ardent Royalists) and once the roundheads had possession of the castle they didn't want to risk it ever being used as a royalist stronghold in the south west again, and so they blew it to pieces. About the only thing the family were allowed to take with them from the castle were the keys, which now hang above the fire place in the library of Kingston Lacy.
Through out the interior of this grand house you see evidence of the wealth of the Bankes family in the plush furnishings and decor. Each room has a National Trust volunteer who all seem extremely well informed and very keen to share their knowledge.
It's one of the National Trust's more expensive properties as adult admission is £13 and it's £6.50 for children. Entry is of course free to National Trust members.
As well as the house the grounds are well worth exploring, particularly the Japanese Tea garden, the Victorian Fern garden and the kitchen garden which is only now being restored but has a wisteria over 100 years old and still blooming!
KINGSTON LACY: The 17th century house,gardens and grounds are in a lovely country setting ,close to the town of Wimborne Minster in the county of Dorset.
The gardens consist of several different features such as a Rose garden,Victorian fernery,sunk garden,Camellia walk,Japanese garden,Kitchen garden,Woodland walk,winter garden and a Lime and Cedar avenue.
The house is well worth a visit with its lavish interior and a fine art collection, with paintings by Van Dyck,Rubens,Titian and Tintoretto.Please note that the house is only open from 2nd March to 3rd November Wednesday to Sunday.
The restaurant is in a nice courtyard setting where you can sit outside on a good day,you also have a shop and plant centre close by.
Old Weymouth is very pretty with an old harbour and recently rejuvinated Brewery shopping area. Smally ferry boats take you across the river mouth, only costing 30 pence each way!
It is a very busy, buzzing place attracts many holiday makers in the season from all over Britain,
I love visiting Botanical and Tropical gardens, I enjoy the escapism of wandering through environments not native to Britain. The Sub Tropical Gardens at Abbotsbury are beautiful. In the grounds of the destroyed Abbotsbury Castle, the gardens were first established in1765 as kitchen garden for the Countess of Ilchester.
It has expanded to 20 acres of both native and exotic, tropical trees and plants, ponds, streams and even an area of sculptures in the forest. Freya had a wonderful time here, pretending she was looking for Mogli and following all the path arrows like on a treasure hunt. There is a recently built colonial style restaurant & cafe to refresh yourself after your walk, plus a childrens play area plant and gift shop.
Open all year round apart from christmans and new year, entrance £6.80. Lots of pics in my travelogues.
Poole is a large coastal town located on the south coast in the county of Dorset and has the largest natural harbour in Europe and the claimant of the title of second largest natural harbour in the world after Sydney Harbour. Must see sights include: Poole Quay, Brownsea Island, the Lighthouse Arts Centre and Sandbanks to name but a few.
See My Travel Page for more information.
Bournemouth is a modern busy seaside resort with a mixture of old and new buildings jutting up above the line of the cliffs and treetops. Bournemouth’s seven-mile stretch of white sandy beaches, backed by high sandstone cliff, has a promenade that is lined with multi-coloured beach huts, there are many bars, cafes and arcades along the route, these make excellent stop off points away from the beach. Must see sights include: Bournemouth Pier, the Bournemouth Eye, Saint Peter’s Church and the Bournemouth Gardens to name but a few.
See My Travel Page for more information.
Weymouth is a traditional British seaside town with a long stretch of golden sand, safe water, promenade, pedestrian precinct and a host of shops and restaurants. There are lots to do for children on the beach with donkey rides, Punch and Judy, sand sculpting and many other traditional British seaside pursuits.
Great location being very close to the town centre and beach. Free parking!!! Good food, good booze...more
The Sunday evening carvery at the Rembrandt was recommended to my sister and I as good quality and...more
Poole is at present being tagged the St Tropez of the South Coast, the Palm springs of Dorset & the...more