Dorset The Real West Country.
Six glorious weeks in Dorset, the real West Country of England -
Based in Greenham, a gorgeous spot just out of Crewkerne with lots of delightful villages within a few minutes drive.
Bridport a coastal town, once a busy port due to the thriving Flax industry of the local area, is now known for its wonderful Saturday morning market. Lots of regular fruit and vege stalls and home made goodies but down the side street you can find masses of dealers with antiques, silver ware, a massive mixture of houseware bits and peices and even antique farm tools. Fun to take the time to potter and you could take home a trailer load of goodies.
Beaminster is a thriving little village just down the road, fabulous charity shops and even better home of great coffee thanks to a New Zealander who came over here as IT specialist but found his true calling - won the UK Chef of the Year a few years ago and now runs a fabulous restaurant Wild Garlic. Its become a popular spot to live these days as a lot of trendy young Londoners having weekend places.
This is a truly beautiful area and we enjoyed some wonderful walks, often through peoples farms and back yards or down narrow lethal country lanes, that really test your agility when you have to spring up a six-foot hedge to avoid a milk tanker. Other lovely walks through the woods and along creeks and you never know when you're going to be surprised by pheasant or a deer dancing around through the undergrowth.
A wonderful concept with some of the villages having their own local store owned and operated by the villagers themselves. When the owners couldn't afford to operate them any more the whole village got together and purchased and now run to support the local community. You never know who may serve you, even had the local MP making coffee one morning.
Lionel, a delightful neighbour joined us at Forde Abbey, an elegant Cistercian monastery with over 30 acres of spectacular gardens. Built in the mid 1100's, it flourished as a monastery for over 400 years,until it was quietly handed over to the crown. Over the next 300 years it had many colourful owners, not all positive, until the Roper family bought it in the mid 1800's and have devoted their lives to this magnificent elegant building and fascinating garden.
Had a lovely afternoon walking with David and Judy from Beer to Seaton and managed to fit in a coffee of course!! We have some coffee lovers - soul mates!!
Nick and Judy had a lot of fun at the aptly named Bog Sale auction in Crewkerne - and found a couple of little gems.
Had a lovely walk with Lionel up and around Pilsden Pen, one of the highest points in Dorset. The hill, 277 metres high, is topped with an Iron Age Fort and the view is simply spectacular. Also stopped in at St Andrews Church in Burstock to which he is the warden. A relatively small but enchanting church that was built in the early 1200's, part of it including the font are original dating back to the mid 900's. The mind bogles at thought of how many babies have been christened here over the last 1000 years!!! The beautiful pew cushions have been lovingly made by all the local parishioners over the years.
Headed over to Bristol with David and Judy who had an interview for a new house sit. So while they were busy we joined lots of other couples and families out and about strolling, enjoying the lovely waterfront development area on the river.
The foreshore has really been developed over the last 10 years to make and very picturesque port. Nick found this crusty old guy, John Cabot, outside and our favourite coffee shop, the statue commemorates his departure in 1497 when they discovered America.