There’s plenty to see and do in the region… from abbeys & castles, exploring Hardy Country, to keeping fit on the local walks, trails and cycle tracks, fossil-hunting – or relaxing on the beach.
Our private ‘CS hideaway’ camping and caravan site is nestled in a small level field to the rear of the pub and is due to re-open next summer.
Author Thomas Hardy once visited The Trooper Inn, while doing background research for his books - at the time, he was living in Sturminster Newton by the River Stour.
Hardy was born in 1840, at Higher Bockhampton near Dorchester. The cottage can still be seen, on walking through the ancient Thorncombe Woods towards the area Hardy called 'Egdon Heath'.The North Dorset Trailway extends from Sturminster Newton to Spetisbury, taking you past the ancient hill fort of Hambledon Hill. On the spur of nearby Bulbarrow Hill is another hill fort. From the the sweeping downland of Cranborne Chase and the Dorset Downs and the pretty valley of the meandering River Stour, there are miles of footpaths through varied scenery.Sherborne has a superb abbey, almshouse and two castles. Shaftsbury museum brings to life the story of Saxon England’s foremost Benedictine nunnery. A little further is the spectacular Old Wadour Castle, on a wooded hill with a beautiful lake. By the sea, on the Isle of Purbeck, there is the popular Corfe Castle.The beautiful Dorset beaches of the Jurassic Coast are within easy reach by car. From the sandy and child-friendly beach at bustling Lyme Regis, to the long and unique Chesil Beach, the quiet Ringstead Bay and the dramatic rock formations at Lulworth Cove.The Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage Site.
The dramatic coastline consists of Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous cliffs, documenting 180 million years of geological history and is of great interest to fossil hunters.In the 1830s life in many of the Dorset villages was hard and getting worse. In 1834, farm workers from Tolpuddle formed a trade union. Six leaders of the union were sentenced to seven years’ transportation to Australia, for taking an oath of secrecy. A massive protest swept across the country. You can learn more at the Tolpuddle Martyrs museum.