Very aware that as I sit to write this post about my summer hols I look out the window and it’s dark and I’m wearing a blanket. Oh, October.
Anyway, I’m stalling before I’ve even started.
So as I mentioned in a previous post, my fiancé and I, mum and dad, my brother, his girlfriend, their baby and our dog all drove 5 hours ‘daan saaf’ (down South) to the beautiful county of Dorset. All the rolling hills, winding country roads and glorious stretches of green came flooding back to me from 15 years ago, it was so lovely.
We stayed at Manor Farm in a TINY village called Dewlish which was about a half hour drive from Dorchester. It had a pub, a church, some houses and fields, lovely. (although a place to buy milk would’ve been handy)
The place was amazing, it had so much space, an outside area to sit with a BBQ, a games room and pool! So on the first day we arrived (me and Sam arrived a day after everyone else) everyone was just coming out of the pool, so we got settled, unpacked, had some food and then went swimming, it was lush! An added extra was the pizza slices I bought for us to play with 😀
A trip to Dorchester was a must as it was filled with loads of quirky museums. We went to *take a deep breath* The Teddy Bear Museum, Dinosaur Museum, The Terracotta Army and Tutankhamun Museum.
I had been to all these places as a kid but my memory isn’t the best. Things did start to come back to me when I was walking around but it was all practically brand new. Highlights were; finding a Jemima Puddleduck teddy, learning all about the Jurassic Coast (Dorset) and seeing the actual head of Tutankhamun. (not gonna lie, thought I was gonna be cursed)
There aren’t many photos from in the museums, 1) because in the Tutunkhamun you weren’t allowed and 2) I was enjoying myself too much!
MONKEY WORLD! – I loved this so much, can you tell?
So it’s a place where their are monkeys everywhere, but you got that right? But no it’s awesome because it’s all donation funded and people go around the world and rescue poorly treated monkeys and bring them to lovely places, how nice?!
I took TONNES of photos here, but this is my favourite guy. The photo on the left is before when he was all shy. As we walked up to the enclosure some man said to us: “Someone’s left his wig there!” – I laughed too much and have been telling everyone.
Look at him!!!
Durdledoor – this was my favourite day.
Down past Dorchester, over to the right and down steeep hills to the coast lies Durdledoor. It is probably the most photogenic place in Dorset and is used on all their postcards. Can you see why?
I had completely forgotten the long and steep walk down you have to do before you get there (and then the tiring walk back UP). But it is so worth it!
We spent practically all day here, lying on the beach, having a swim (brr) and just chilling – it was just great. Plus my niece Bella looked ADORABLE in her swimming cosy. See.
I also achieved a personal goal of mine. 15 years ago me, my brother and dad (and maybe my mum?) went out on body boards to try and swim through the arch/door and there is a HUGE seaweed bank right in the middle and it is crazy deep. I was too scared because it kept touching my legs and I freaked out. But fast forward to last month and I DID IT. It’s the smallest things that make you happy.
They were stood on a rock.
When we got back to the house it was still lovely and warm so of course we went in the pool, this time with Bella, and swam right through until the evening. Bliss.
This was the only day of the holiday where I went somewhere completely new. A lovely town called Wareham which has a beautiful river running through it. And river + sunny day = boat trip!
We hired two little boats with an engine and set off to explore the water.
After our trip on the boats we went to the local pub to have some grub (very tasty) before heading home.
A lovely, lovely day.
Actually I lied before, very sorry, this was also somewhere I hadn’t been, BUT I have been fossil hunting before just a couple of villages up the beach, so, yeah.
Anyway, this was West Bay and the main thing I am taking from this day is how we managed to escape the impending rain all day! But no, seriously, this was probably the day where I felt properly like it was 15 years ago. I remember so vividly going fossil hunting (in Lyme Regis instead) and taking stones home with us to crack open.
The whole beach is full of sand stone which is best for preserving fossils on what happens to be the Jurassic Coast, handy that.
That’s Sam standing cautiously under the cliffs (you have to be very careful).
We managed to find remains of an ammonite and some sparkly stuff – still need to get a chisel to the pieces we smuggled. Note: we didn’t smuggle them, you can take them.
We then sat and ate fish and chips while watching the world go by before heading into THE BEST SHOP IN THE WORLD. Well, it wasn’t a shop it was an Aladdin’s cave of antiques, craft pieces, new pieces and everything in between. It was amazing, and an actual cave!
I bought a Harry Potter themed little crate thing which is in our bathroom, an ammonite and blue crystal and this awesome multi coloured duck.
Our last day – sniff.
This was spent in the beautiful and vast town of Poole, right on the coast with its huge harbour.
I would loved to have spend more time here but it was enough to just walk around the town, walk by the beautiful, big boats and peruse in Poole Pottery.
Me and my brother copying a photo we took 15 years ago in the same pose.
I remember again really vividly going in this huge shop full of the famous Poole Pottery. Each collection is bright and with amazing patterns, even though they were pricey I knew I had to have one.
And with blue being my favourite colour, this seemed fitting.
A bit further down from Poole is a place called Sandbanks. According to Google “Sandbanks has, by area, the fourth highest land value in the world.” – ooh. So you can imagine how exciting it was to drive around it, yes, you can drive around it…
I was oggling at all the houses (while trying to drive) and trying to spot the celebs who lived there. So that was pretty cool!
This holiday was a special one for me. Aside from all the amazing places I visited and re-visited, for me the best part was being with my family.
I adore my family to pieces and loved nothing more than venturing out for the day with them, seeing little Bella enjoying things and watching Toby dog go exploring. And then when the day was done coming back to our beautiful rented house, eating tea together, playing games or having a splash in the pool.
A special thanks goes out to my wonderful parents for arranging all of it – you guys are amazing.
Tips and tricks:
- Check which beaches you are allowed to take fossils from, some you can’t.
- If you have a small child and want to do to Durdledoor, you absolutely can, but be aware of the steep hill vs buggy situation.
- If you are definitely planning on going to all museums in Dorchester like we did, buy the bundle ticket as you really do save A LOT.
- If you are a young couple visiting I would advise staying in a town. While the house and village we stayed in were lovely, if it was just me and Sam I think we would have rented a flat in Poole near everything and a near all the main roads to get places.
- If you are going with a dog, as with any UK seaside, check if the beaches allow dogs.
All in all a fantastic holiday, one that I am sure Sam and I will do again and again, maybe with our kids…maybe.