VIP and I ventured on a whistle-stop tour of Dorset where, in just 48 hours, we managed to take in a number of sightseeing locations, ate at some lovely cafés and restaurants and people-watched to our heart’s content.
Here’s a snapshot of the best places we researched or simply stumbled upon, so that you too can enjoy the best of what Dorset has to offer on a micro break…
Stay in a gorgeous five-star manor house
We were lucky enough to stay at the grade II listed Summer Lodge in the sleepy little village of Evershot (the second highest village in Dorset). And what a night!
The venerable old building and village also has connections with the 19th century author, Thomas Hardy. It's in a great location – away from the life's daily pressures, so it's an ideal opportunity to take advantage of a lazy stroll to the local pub, the Acorn Inn, which is also part of the hotel.
Head to a secluded beach
About 40 minutes south of the Evershot is Chesil Beach – an 18-mile long shingle beach and part of the Jurassic Coast. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the beach is a great spot for exploring with the kids and is also home to some interesting flora and fauna.
However, as we were sans kids, we ended up going on a stroll along the beach and then treating ourselves with some retro ice creams and lollies at the end of it – the perfect end to an hour's sea air!
Admire Durdle Door (and Lulworth Cove)
The natural limestone arch of the Durdle Door is a Mecca to tourists – hence why I chose this as my main picture for this post – it's iconic!
Again part of the Jurassic Coast, as long as you are feeling fit and have appropriate footwear, the views on the arch are just stunning and, if you are feeling even more adventurous, you can head down to beach level and swim in the beautiful (albeit somewhat fresh) turquoise waters.
A slightly more lung-testing walk is the one to Lulworth Cove. It does get packed in the peak months, but is well worth a visit. You could do what some people do – go halfway on the walk and then sit on the hill to have a picnic, do a spot of people-watching and look down into the valley below – a beautiful sight.
Pop into Poole
Another thing to do in Dorset on a whim is pop into Poole – it's another half an hour up the coast from Durdle Door.
The town has a harbour replete with luxury yachts and if you have your sea legs, you can jump on a harbour tour. During WWII, Poole was used as an embarkation point for Operation Overlord and a plaque commemorates this fact.
After our excesses at Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, we found a beautiful little tea shop on the High Street – The Courtyard Tea Rooms – and after having filled our boots (and bellies), we happened to stumble across Scaplen House.
This historical building is a warren of different rooms, each presenting a vignette of times gone-by- we couldn’t help but be drawn to the toys and games and the beautiful walled garden. Definitely worth a visit.
Check out the nightlife in Bournemouth
Leaving Poole by car, you realise quite quickly that it seamlessly morphs into Bournemouth. Bournemouth is a renowned party town, attracting five million visitors every year.
Packed to the gills with bars, clubs and restaurants, our marathon 25,000 + step day was capped off with a late night burger at 63 Million postcards.
All that was left for us was an Uber back to the hotel, which arrived before we had even closed the app.
We spent just 48 hours in Dorset and managed to do all of the above – and more. But these were the highlights that I'd recommend if you're on a flying visit.
I'd love to return to Dorset one day – especially to the gorgeous Summer Lodge as I quote fancy a dip in their beautiful swimming pool and to take in the views of Durdle Door again – and who knows, maybe next time I'll end up going for a quick dip in that turquoise sea….
Have you ever been to Dorset? What's your favourite memory – or what would you like to do?
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