What more than just the countryside? Well, look no further. The South West Coast reviews are back again!
Nearly a year after our last visit, my Mother and I decided to spend another trip to see our family again for the Easter Holidays. Although the weather isn’t warm (unlike London), we decided to make the most of it. We didn’t stay long this time, as it was approaching to the end of my break. We would have liked to stay longer; alas, that wasn’t to be. Despite this, we have enjoyed our mini-holiday. Again, I offer a huge thanks to them for being wonderful hosts; it’s a pleasure (as always) to have their company. This is what happened:
Day One – Took a walk on West Bexington beach, before heading to dinner at the No 6 Restaurant in the heart of Dorchester.
Arrived in the afternoon. Had a steady walk on the beach, minus the strong, heavy wind. Walked for about half-an-hour.
In the early evening we travelled to a decent, yet quiet restaurant. In fact, we were the only one’s there. To be honest, it was in a tight street corner, which made it impossible to be seen. If there isn’t anyone who hasn’t been to the restaurant before, then where have you been? The owners of No 6 were extremely friendly and provided excellent hospitality. The food was top-notch. Rather than your usual heat-eat ready meals, the chief provides customers fresh, ready-to-eat meals on your plates: from the small appetisers to the breakfast-plate desserts. I also have to give them a huge credit to how they dealt with those who have allergies. Not only they give you clear information of what they could replace with on your dishes, but they also kindly give you food substitutes to replace the usual bread, and butter (before your main dish, or with your starter) and explaining to their customers about what’s in them, i.e., ‘the rice cakes are made with corn, and are gluten and wheat-free’. No problems with my experience at all: however, one small tip – dress casually, as No 6 is very posh.
Day Two – Went to visit Corfe Castle, headed to the Tea Shop for Morning Tea and looking around the village. Then, travelled to Studland Bay; had an hour walk, before making a stop at The Halfway Inn Pub and Restaurant for some late lunch. In the evening, we went for a walk in the countryside, near Frampton Village.
School holidays never fails to disappoint all. So, it’s no surprise that Corfe Castle is the King of entertainment. Come rain or shine, activities are provided for all ages; from the tiny tots to the energetic over sixties. There are demonstrations of Medieval weaving, cooking and historic talks of swords. You can even practice your archery skills and see how you go. But the main attraction has to be the castle. Considered to be England’s romantic castle, Corfe is a crown jewel for every historic eye. It has a one thousand year history, full of excitement and wonder. Every crenellation and stone is worth stopping for; even the breath-taking view from the Keep is picturesque.
View of the Castle grounds and village, from Corfe’s Keep tower.
To end our morning, we stopped at the Tea Rooms and we’re served, with the fashionable displays of tea, cappuccino’s and apple juices. Afterwards, we went around the shops before heading back to the car park, via the New Inn.
Next stop was Studland Bay. The beach did have a couple of walkers, even though it was getting close to high tide. We had fun and there was plenty to see, including a training exercise with the Coastguard and the Lancaster.
View of Studland Bay.
We got hungry after our walk, so we paid a visit to The Halfway Inn, a pub and restaurant in the middle of the countryside. The Inn was in a cosy, friendly environment. And like No 6, the staff were really friendly and were very good with customers who had dietary requirements. The only downside we had however, were the waiters, serving the incorrect meals. This meant that we had to wait for an extra four to six minutes to the right ones to arrive. It was only a small issue, so there was reason to make a huge fuss about.
Later on in the day, we decided to walk around Frampton Village. Starting from the Village car park, we pasted Millennium Park, went over The White Bridge, and headed through Metlands Wood, via Tibbs Hollow. We then ended our evening constitutional, down the Roman Aquaduct and Frampton Park, before heading back to the Hall.
What’s a way to spend a beautiful day by spending quality time with your family. From Stonebarrow Hill, the views of the sea were spectacular and breathtaking (especially when the sun was out). When we went on the walk around the Hill, and Golden Cap, I noticed that there were a lot of steep steps and hills. But in between there is farmland, landscapes and St Gabriel’s Chapel, a small, romantic, thirteenth century ruin, which is now a place of worship. My uncle, auntie, cousin, parents and I have enjoyed our afternoon, from the picnic to the walk – it was a wonderful experience. I recommend the Hill and Cap, as a wonderful day out. Also, I suggest to bring a picnic but near the car park, as it would be easier than carrying heavy bags and walking around the steep cliffs.
Day Three – Spend our last morning back in Frampton Village; this time, we took a longer walk …
The weather was calm and bright; a prefect end for our mini-holiday. We decided that before hitting the road home, my Mother and I would join our family on a last walk outside Frampton Village. This walk was in Nunnery Mead, a nature reserve. We started via the same route, only to change direction when we approached Southover. Then, we continued past Maiden Newton and into the woodland, before arriving at the reserve. Nunnery Mead is full of woodland; it also has two excavation sites – one was a Roman Villa and the other a Medieval Village. And to top it all off, there are short pathways where you can walk, whilst listening to the peaceful sounds of the River Frome. If you lucky, you might also hear the distant sounds of resident peacocks or newborn Spring lambs.
Overall, we’ve enjoyed our second stay in the South West; in fact, it was bigger and better than the first time. Each time we come down, I feel I’m already home. A home of which I can belong too, as well as for those who enjoy the taste of the English Countryside. In my last review, I remember saying:
It has been a wonderful experience and we are sad to leave. But as we do, we leave behind the memories of our week’s stay and the wonders we’ve experienced and enjoyed. I’m delighted to share them with you in the hope that one day, you will share and have many experiences when you visit the South West Coast of England.
While the feelings for leaving are so strong, I’m already seeing the positive vibe I have about the South West. There’s no doubt that they’ll be more experiences to come. It may not have tall buildings or have the shine factor (as to the Shard in London); but it has everything to offer.
If you get a chance to visit the South West (especially during the holidays), I would recommend visiting West Bexington beach and Studland Bay during low tides. They should occur during the lunch hour, but check before you travel. For a fair, decent timetable for Tide Forecasts, I would recommend using The Beach Guide. However if you ever visit the beaches during high tide (especially in rough weather), NEVER EVER under any circumstances go near the waves. A lot of deaths have occurred, mostly at West Bexington due to strong currents.
If history is your thing or a simple country walk, Corfe Castle would be a good place to start. However, there are three things to bear in mind:
- You’ll be walking up and around the hill, within and around the grounds. So, wear some decent shoe wear.
- Wear warm clothing, as there you likely to bump into very cold wind.
- Be careful where you go, if you walk around the hill (before the main entrance). There are lot’s of pathways that are close to the edge. It is also really steep and any accident could be seriously fateful. Always stick to the path and keep an eye while you walk.
If you want to walk around Frampton Village, I would highly recommend Tibb’s Hallow and Nunnery Mead. But if you come across any wildlife, do not approach them for they maybe protective of their young. Also, wear sensible footwear and be careful when you walk near the River Frome.
If you want to stop for a late luncheon, I would recommend both restaurants. For No 6, I would look out for the Special’s on their board/menu’s; especially anything with fish involved. As for The Halfway Inn, I seriously try the vegetarian Five Bean & Lentil Chilli. It’s gluten-free and tastes amazing when you blend the chilli, rice and nachos together. You’ll really, really enjoy this; it can also be served without cheese.
Anything is made possible and nothing is possible when your there – in the South West.