Dorset and surrounds, England

Dorset in England is where all your fantasies of village England come true, old churches, village greens and many a pub. Relive your childhood by walking in the footsteps of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and discover a country of rolling hills and dramatic beach cliffs. We based ourselves in the small village of Rockbourne (technically Hampshire – staying with friends, but there are plenty of farm-stays and AirBnBs around), and spent some time exploring the area.

Where ever you end up staying in Dorset, there are plenty of small villages to stroll around, and being from New Zealand, I am always blown away by the sheer oldness of everything. Near Rockbourne are the lovely villages of Whitsbury and Breamore, which are both perfect places to soak up some local history. St Mary’s Church in Breamore was founded by the saxons in about 1000 AD!

The coastline of Dorset is famously dramatic and there are plenty of beaches that show it off. We chose to take the short car ferry over to Studland Beach for a nice long walk and gander at the scenery. After your walk, and just up the hill from Studland Beach, is a restaurant and pub called The Pig, it is a gorgeous old building where you can also stay the night if you like. You have to book the restaurant well in advance but you can sit in the bar for some delicious small plates and English ales. Plus a stroll outside gives you fantastic views of the Dorset coastline cliffs.

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Book worms and historically minded people alike will be interested in visiting Corfe Castle, which inspired Enid Blyton’s ‘Kirrin Castle’. The castle was built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century and now stands in ruins.  It costs £12 (NZ$23) to explore the ruins, however you can get a great view of the castle from the village and a walk around the village of Corfe is equally as beautiful and historical.

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This blog post is just a taste of what Dorset has to offer. We have a summer wedding to attend in Sixpenny Handley soon and while there we would like to check out Dorset’s famous Durdle Door. So I will be updating this post in due course! Cost wise, England is not a cheap place to visit. Accommodation costs do vary and while you can find affordable places, this is a big cost to factor in. Restaurants and pubs are usually cheaper outside the big cities but also do add up. If you stick to a budget, you’re looking at around £100 (NZ$190) per day.

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