If you know how you want to spend your time in West Dorset we will facilitate as much as we can. If you want advice on walks, local attractions, pubs, eating out, travel, sporting facilities, sightseeing or local events, you’ll find that Wendy and Ian are a fount of local knowledge.
There is absolutely no shortage of things to do. Whether you wish to sightsee, cycle, play golf, walk, shop, laze on the beach, visit exquisite gardens indulge in a bit of fishing (sea, coarse or game), hit the Clay Pigeon shoot, or simply chill out you will find yourselves in the right place.
Cookery lovers can take a course at the outstanding Lesley Waters cookery school just 15 minutes away while oenophiles can do a lot worse than visit the beautiful Furleigh Estate vineyard and vinery 20 minutes away in Solway Ash. Look for the links below.
The local area is just outstanding. Rolling green countryside, fabulous Eggardon Hill, lofty Golden Cap, the Jurassic Coast (just 20 minutes away), Hardy country, Sherborne Abbey, Chesil Beach, the Cerne Abbas Giant - take your pick, West Dorset just has it. And it’s home to some of the finest houses and gardens in the south of England too.
This part of Dorset really is a walker’s paradise. You will be spoiled for choice. If you want to walk, Ian or Wendy will advise you on a huge variety of walks of varying length or difficulty. We have the guide books, know the watering holes, keep up to date on local changes, and have covered most of the ground ourselves. You don’t even need to venture far afield since we have a couple of stunning walks starting in Cattistock itself.
Those who come for golf breaks will feel content here. Wendy and Ian both play and can advise. No, we don’t boast a championship course but elevated Came Down (Dorchester) is a challenge to any golfer and enjoys outstanding views inland over Hardy Country and seaward over Weymouth, Portland and Chesil Beach. Sherborne is a delight with a magnificent signature par 3 hole. Yeovil Golf is always popular and the facilities are excellent. Bridport Golf Club has to be one of the most delightful seaside courses overlooking the very pretty fishing port of West Bay. Just a little further away try Lyme Regis for cliff top golf, or go east to the Dorset Golf and Country Club - ideal for the big hitters.
You will not be short of options.
Whether it’s ultra-modern but utterly timeless Poundbury, ancient Sherborne with its magnificent Abbey and schools, or the historic County town of Dorchester (Hardy’s Casterbridge) there’s something for you here.
Picturesque Abbotsbury with its Swannery and sub-tropical Gardens is always worth a visit or go a little further west to Bridport and the harbour of West Bay (and you’re still only 20 minutes from Fullers Earth). Bridport is featured as one of The Independent’s “20 best kept secrets in Britain”. Go just a bit further to Lyme Regis where “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” was filmed.
To the south the popular resort of Weymouth always welcomes visitors. Our guests tend to head further east to enjoy Durdle Door with its classic beach and cliff scenery which extends to Lulworth Cove and beyond. OK, so it’ll take you 45 minutes but if you head east do extend to Corfe Castle - quite magnificent!
Or perhaps you would prefer rugged Portland. Previously noted for its quarries, prison and naval base, Portland is now better known as a haven for sailors and as the venue for 2012 Olympic sailing. Portland Bill Lighthouse is definitely worth a visit.
Not everyone wants to walk or sightsee. Well, not all of the time, anyway. There are numerous attractions to suit both young and old. Monkey World is popular for people of all ages and receives excellent reports. Children love the Dinosaur Museum in Dorchester. Other museums abound including the Tank Museum at Bovington and the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton. The Clay Pigeon Kart Club (where Jensen Button learned his trade) is nearby (but out of earshot!) on the same site as the Southern Counties Clay Pigeon Shooting Ground.
From Terracotta Warriors, to dinosaurs, to tanks and cars, to military memorabilia - there’s something for everyone.
The beaches are superb and most offer safe swimming.
Dorset is rich in artistic wealth and history. There are numerous local arts centres and temporary activities and attractions.
West Dorset Tourist Site www.westdorset.com
Within 5 minutes
Cattistock Village Site www.cattistock.info
Le Petit Canard Restaurant www.le-petit-canard.co.uk
John Gerard Wines www.johngerardwines.co.uk
Go-Karting (Clay Pigeon Kart Club) www.claypigeonkartclub.com
Kingcombe Nature Reserve www.kingcombe-centre.demon.co.uk
A short drive
Abbotsbury Sub-Tropical Gardens www.abbotsbury-tourism.co.uk
Abbotsbury Swannery www.abbotsbury-tourism.co.uk
Athelhampton House and Gardens www.athelhampton.co.uk
Cricket St Thomas Wildlife Park www.cstwp.co.uk
Charmouth Fossils www.charmouthfossils.co.uk
Dinosaur Fossil World www.dinaosaurland.co.uk
Dinosaur Museum, Dorchester www.thedinosaurmuseum.com
Dorset County Museum www.dorsetcountymuseum.org
Fleet Air Arm Museum www.fleetairarm.co.uk
Forde Abbey and Gardens www.fordeabbey.co.uk
Fossils at Charmouth www.fossilwalks.com
Furleigh Estate vineyard and winery www.furleighestate.co.uk
Hardy’s Cottage www.thenationaltrust.org.uk
Hardy’s Monument www.thenationaltrust.org.uk
Hayne’s Motor Museum www.haynesmotormuseum.co.uk
Jurassic Coast www.jurassiccoast.com
Kingston Maurward Animal Park www.kmc.ac.uk
Lesley Waters Cookery School www.lesleywaters.com
Mapperton Gardens www.mapperton.com
Minterne Gardens www.aboutbritain.com/minternegardens.htm
Pallington Lakes www.pallinngton.freeuk.com/014fisheryrules.htm
Seaton Tramway www.tram.co.uk
Sherborne Abbey www.sherborneabbey.com
Sherborne Old Castle www.english-heritage.org.uk
Teddy Bear Museum www.teddybearmuseum.co.uk
Terracotta Warriors’ Museum www.terracottawarriors.co.uk
Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Museum www.tolpuddlemartyrs.org.uk
The Wild Garlic Restaurant www.thewildgarlic.co.uk