If you are visiting Dorset after the lockdown is lifted there are so many beautiful places to visit - we will be doing lots of posts on the Journal like this, recommending our favourites. Here are just a few - we don't want to give it all away at once!
Iron Age hill fort and downland with views across the Marshwood Vale to the coast. So peaceful and deserted, it’s such a vast and green landscape filled with wonder. You are on top of the world – heady and light, the wind in your face and the soft grass beneath your feet.
A beautiful, sheltered pebbly beach on the Jurassic Coast, run by the National Trust, with tiny rock pools and little coves for sitting in, overlooking Weymouth. You can go seaweed and fossil hunting around Osmington, further along the coast. It’s a gentle walk to the best bits – take comfortable, sturdy shoes, a picnic blanket, hot drinks and biscuits.
Our favourite village – it’s got a great village shop, wonderful walks and attractive pubs. Our favourite place to walk the dog because there are so many dog walkers here – so friendly and chatty.
So quaint and implausible, built by the Earl of Dorchester, owner of Milton Abbey, in 1780, 36 identical thatched houses all in a neat row. Some house-names give clues to the original inhabitants of the village: baker, blacksmith, brewery, etc. Today the houses are white-washed, and the main street also features a public house (the Hambro Arms), a Post Office-shop, the Tea Clipper Tea Rooms, a now redundant school building, and a Wesleyan chapel. It’s like the perfect setting for an Agatha Christie film.
By far the best of the Saturday markets in the South West. Bridport is such a fun, inclusive town, filled with wonderful cafes, restaurants and shops – and the market has so many good stalls do make sure that you arrive early to get the best of what’s on offer and get a parking space (behind Waitrose is the biggest).
There are vintage furniture and pottery bargains to be had as well as local produce, plants, flowers, crafts and fabrics.
We head first to the Soulshine Café for breakfast and people watching, followed by a walk along all the different stalls. We love to drop into Malabar Trading, Yellow Gorse and Ink & Page shops as well as the second hand bookstore and the health food store. Coffee and pastries at Gelateria Beppino are followed by lunch at Eat Dorshi.
The St Michael’s Trading Estate is filled with antique shops – do have a look at Old Albion – a mix of reclamation, vintage kitchenalia and gardenalia and theatrical lighting. The owner Sharon always has fabulous furniture and accessories you won’t find anywhere else. The Bull Hotel on the High Street is now a Fuller's Pub and is good for drinks and mussels and chips for dinner - always busy so do book.
A wonderful Burton Bradstock hotel and restaurant, with great views, delicious cocktails and food and a stunning location. The menu is really quite short (always a good sign), super fresh and seasonal and the dishes are stunningly simple and perfectly cooked. Sit on the terrace, gazing out at the crystal blue sea, sipping something cold and fragrant, and you really won’t want to go anywhere else for your holidays. Top marks.