There are great walks from The Trooper Inn. The BBC website has details of a walk along the River Stour by the house which Thomas Hardy once rented. And there’s plenty more to see out and about!
And there’s plenty more to see out and about!
If on holiday here, you will find wonderful sandy beaches, cliff walks, secluded coves and bustling seaside towns in easy reach by car!The Dorset coastline has something for everyone - swimmers, shoppers, hikers, fossil-hunters, bird-watchers and of course it's also a great place to relax and unwind.
There are delights to explore in every direction.An hour's drive north over the Mendip Hills is the beautiful Chew Valley Lake, with a host of bird life and a lovely cafe, the Salt & Malt, by the lake - with some friendly ducks!
We're close to the Somerset border.
Also an hour away, in the Mendip Hills, is Cheddar Gorge, with the renowned caves and cheese and, now, feral goats too.And of course plenty of rock-climbers!
Though you can buy 'cheddar cheese' almost anywhere, real cheddar has a distinctive flavour and there are plenty of cheese shops in Cheddar!
The Blackmore Vale is Thomas Hardy's 'Vale of Little Dairies' in his 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles' novel.
Thomas Hardy lived in Sturminster Newton for nearly two years, when newly married to his first wife.Riverside Villa was their first home together and is still there now, as a private home.There is a beautiful walk by the River Stour, close to Thomas Hardy's home, which you can be sure he has also enjoyed.
Hardy later described his time in Sturminster Newton, by the banks of the lovely River Stour, as 'idyllic' and amongst the happiest days of his life.
We're five miles from our local market town, Sturminster Newton, and the lovingly restored watermill on the River Stour.Once a major cattle market centre, the town hosts an annual cheese festival in September - with a variety of interesting stalls, as well as cheese!You can also visit Sherborne Abbey - and the castles!
For shopping outings, and much more, there is the bigger market town of Sherborne, just over six miles to the west. There you can browse the pedestrianised 'Cheap Street', enjoying the boutiques, antique dealers, delicatessens and cafes.
Towards the Wiltshire border, is the historic Saxon town of Shaftesbury, perched on top of a hill overlooking the Blackmore Vale, with spectacular views over three counties and its picturesque cobbled street, 'Gold Hill'.
The foundations of Shaftesbury Abbey can be visited in the peaceful walled garden with medieval orchard.It is said that the Abbey was founded by Alfred the Great as a nunnery for his daughter Aethelgifu, the first abbess - and the the first religious house solely for women. It is also said to be the last nunnery to close when Henry VII ordered the closure of religious houses.