Dorset and beyond…. 11/10/2021

A bit late on publishing…. but better late than never!

Following a short stop back at the farm, having squeezed in our impromptu trip to Germany, we had booked to gate crash Keith’s sister and husbands’ holiday in Dorset for a few nights so hit the road again on Sunday 12th September with a journey down to Crossways Clubsite just outside of Dorchester.

Although we don’t normally stay on larger campsites – simply because we prefer quieter locations with less people – this one was one of the nicest we have been too as it is very secluded within the woods, with roughly 8 caravans or motorhomes in each grassed, tranquil, enclave. There was a lot of space and despite it being close to a trainline and a fairly busy road we had several visitors over the course of the 3 days… of the four legged variety!

Sharon and Steve were staying the week and ventured off in the car to explore further afield during the day, whilst we were happy exploring a bit of the local countryside by foot… very tranquil and beautiful…. although I am not sure we will be eating any of the shrooms.

We did hunt out the local brewery ‘Dorset Brewing Company’ – who, it turns out, make rather good beer and then all met up in the evening to eat, venturing out to The Frampton Arms, the local pub for a lovely meal on our last night … delicious spicy cauliflower soup, scallops, moules and fish and chips.

We moved on from Crossways on the Wednesday, leaving Sharon and Steve to enjoy the rest of their holiday in peace, travelling all of 20 miles further along the coast to Manor Farm CS in Burton Bradstock (£18 per night inc. elec.)

Burton Bradstock is a small village with two pubs, a post office with a small farm shop inside it, a cafe and a fuel station with a convenience store – not a huge amount but one of the pubs is supposed to be the best in Dorset… something we hadn’t appreciated until we arrived and tried to book a table on a Friday night…. oh well, next time!

The area is beautiful with lots of walking inland through the rolling hills and of course the south west coastal path which is pretty stunning too as the Jurassic coast is famous for its beautiful red rock and layers.

On the first afternoon we headed inland over the hills – finding a nice farm shop and cider farm hidden away – and then back along the coast but it was a bit too misty for photos unfortunately. It cleared up though by the morning and we again headed inland, this time to Bridport, stopping for lunch in the community apple orchard, before exploring the pretty little town and trying out one of the many coffee shops. After lunch and coffee – and finding Palmers Brewery which we will need to come back to visit – we headed back to the motorhome along the coastal path.

The next day, with the sun shining yet again we walked along the coast, following the rolling cliff edges into Seatown where we stopped on the beach for a peaceful spot of lunch.

The return walk gave us beautiful light to capture West Bay at its best…. who’d have thought it was September in the UK!

The days passed quickly and it was soon time to move on again. We travelled all of 5 miles up the road to stop at Felicities Farm shop where we re-stocked on fruit, veg, more beer and local cheese as well as obviously supporting the local baker by enjoying a coffee in the garden with a generous slice of carrot and walnut cake – one of the best farm shops that we have been too, not to mention the rather beautiful views. We then continued on another short drive to arrive at our next destination of Green Lane Farm, Rousdon on the edge of a working dairy farm costing a huge £6.50 a night!

Although a very tranquil location and with lots of walking, it was very difficult to get to the coastal path from here without walking along the main road which wouldn’t have been fun… so we took alternative routes to explore the area.

We had planned to walk into Lyme Regis the first afternoon but after a bit of main road, got diverted through the rather interesting Rousdon Estate and ended up looping round and going into the rather beautiful Seaton…. slightly longer than planned but all the same, lovely – especially the views up the estuary.

Planning it slightly better on day two, we headed up and over the rolling hills to get into Lyme Regis, arriving just in time to have lunch sitting looking out to sea – very beautiful. Day 3 gave us even more beautiful rolling hills as we set off on an inland loop after we caught up on the washing…. certainly been getting the steps and hills in on this trip!

It never ceases to amaze me how beautiful our countryside is – every time we turn a corner and go somewhere new there is more stunning scenary, even as it got greyer and the light changed it was equally beautiful, just different.

Next stop was Oakdown Campsite, £23 per night inc. elec. which is situated between Beer and Sidmouth. A lovely site, although next time we will ask for a pitch slightly further away from the main road as after the last week and a half of pure tranquility, it felt noisy!

We took a leisurely walk to Branscombe taking in a few streams…. literally, before circling back on the opposite side of the valley… you can see the trend here – lots of hills, before popping into the campsite shop to check out their supply of local ciders and beer!

The following day we walked down to the coastal path and into Sidmouth to once again benefit from a lovely lunch looking along the jurassic coast. Once the appetite was satisfied we climbed back up away from the coast again and inland, passing through the Donkey Sanctuary on the way back.

I love a donkey and obviously to support all the work that they are doing here we felt the need to stop and have a cream tea whilst taking in the views as all profits go straight back into the sanctuary…. supporting good causes and all that… someone has to do the difficult jobs!!

And for our last day in Dorset, waking to a slightly greyer day we set off in the opposite direction towards Beer and as the day progressed the sun came out to support us – another stunning section of the coastal path with some goolish mushrooms to support!!

With the sunshine thinking about taking a break we realised that it was possibly time to head away from the coast and towards home, next stop being a Camping and Caravan clubsite in Devizes – once again, not somewhere we would normally stay but it has had so many good reviews and is right next to the canal so we thought we would try it out for three nights.

The campsite was lovely and peaceful despite being pretty much full. We walked up into the local village of Seend where we found the village shop which combined a post office, convenience store and farm shop…. loads of lovely locally grown vegetables still encased in lots of mud – just to provide the authenticity – but exactly what was required to re-stock the cupboards for a few extra days!

We had a lovely couple of days walking along the canal, the first day was just an out and back, taking in a few locks and the tranquil countryside stopping short of Trowbridge. Day two was focussed around Sunday lunch which was booked at the George and Dragon in Rowde – but which gave us a good route to take in the full set of 29 Caen Hill Locks which was absolutely stunning. The George and Dragon incidently, was amazingly good! It is listed in the Michelin recommended restaurants and pubs and did not fail to deliver from beginning through to end – if we are in the area, we will be back!

We had a lovely couple of weeks away, did loads of walking and were so lucky with the weather as it was particularly good. After a lovely few days at the Devizes campsite we headed back to the farm where the last two weeks have just disappeared.

We managed to squeeze in our annual Macmillan coffee morning at my mums, raising over £400 which was very impressive considering we still had to restrict the number of people who came! A lovely day and lots of fantastic cake…an excellent family effort!!

And just to help you out on your geography…. a map of the last trip.

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