Dorset is never a place I had thought of visiting. It’s a very long way from Yorkshire and I had never had a reason to go. Until now.
With a tank-mad 13 year old it suddenly became the centre of the universe (it’s home to the only tank museum in the country) so after much badgering I gave in and we packed up the car for the six hour, 300 mile drive.
We only had five days there, two of which we spent in the Tank Museum *insert eye roll*, so we barley scratched the surface of what Dorset has to offer.
What we did see though was really wonderful; picturesque pretty villages with thatched-roof cottages sitting in soft rolling hills.
So now I’m a complete convert to Dorset here are five things I would highly recommend doing if you are planning a visit.
The Tank Museum
The whole reason we went to Dorset was for the Tank Museum, I’ve written a full review here but suffice to say it was fascinating, even for a non tank loving Mum.
Thomas Hardy’s House
I fell in love with Hardy’s tragic tales as English literature student, so for me visiting his house was a must do.
Nestled in a beautiful wood the house itself looks like it has come straight out of a fairy tale. On hand were guides ready and waiting to talk us through the house and it’s history.
If you’re not a Hardy fan it is worth a visit. The woods are beautiful and the cafe serves fabulous Dorset apple cake.
Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door
We loved Lulworth Cove so much we went twice. The scenery is breathtaking and on our first visit we climbed up the hill to try and catch a glimpse of Durdle Door. Unfortunately the weather meant we couldn’t see it but we were treated to the most amazing views on our way back down. The second time we spent a blissful few hours paddling in the sea and eating fish and chips on the beach, a great way to relax.
I was completely intrigued when we heard about this village which was taken by the MOD during the second world war and the inhabitants sent elsewhere. It was supposed to be a temporary measure but the land has remained in military use ever since. It is an eery and sad place and there are many fascinating stories of those who lost their homes.
Our home for the week was Sturminster Marshall and I would expect many of the villages in Dorset to be similar. It was a wonderfully sleepy with chocolate box cottages, stunning rape seed fields and a lovely ancient bridge. Make sure you pay a visit to Barford Ice-cream Gardens.
For more information about Dorset head over to Visit Dorset