The location of attractions is intended only as a guide. Distances are 'as the crow flies'.
A traditional village pub with warming real fires in winter and a beer garden for the summer months. Here you'll find a varied menu, excellently cooked and beautifully presented. There's a good wine choice and service is friendly and efficient. You'll also find a skittle alley for family entertainment. The pub has limited opening times so you may wish to check with them before planning a visit. Bookings are advisable particularly on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Excellent food at very reasonable prices
Charmouth West Beach runs the mile and a half from the mouth of the river Char all the way to Lyme Regis. Although hammering at the cliffs is not allowed, the shores of Charmouth West Beach are well known for their fossils and often keen-eyed visitors are rewarded with a treat. With the gentle slope of the beach and natural sea pools forming in certain conditions the beach lends itself nicely to paddling and swimming. A heritage centre, cafe and shops are nearby, although there are no lifeguards on duty.
Lovely not too busy beach, such fun finding fossils, beautiful sand when the tide is out, and great rock pools
Lovely beach, brilliant for fossil hunting
Take a fossil hunting guided walk or boat trip. No sand but plenty to keep the kids amused.
The hours seem to have a habit of slipping by while you're wandering along hunting for fossils on this stretch of coast. The kids love the excitement of finding an ammonite or debating the authenticity of possible 'dinosaur bones'. Great way to spend an afternoon.
Traditionally thought of as Dorset's highest peak (277m), until it was recently found to be a few feet shy of its neighbour, Lewesdon Hill. Height notwithstanding, the Iron Age hill fort atop this flat-topped hill provides great views over the lush Marshwood Vale in west Dorset. Walk the ancient ramparts in a circular loop to take in the 360 degree panorama across the gentle rolling hills, whilst buzzards wheel overhead. Reach it off the B3164 Broadwindsor road.
Amazing Views from an Iron Age Fort
Well worth the short steep walk up the hill.
An easy ascent from the parking space for those who find uphill a struggle. It is well worth the climb as you can see for miles. It's a pity that there is no information board to indicate what you are looking at in each direction.
From Pilsdon Pen you can enjoy one of the best (and windiest) unspoilt views of Dorset.
A classic market town with elegant Georgian architecture, a 15th Century church and narrow streets of snug cottages.
A former Cistercian monastery dating back to the 1100s. The gardens are breathtaking, while inside must-sees include the cloisters and the upper refectory.
House closed because of Covid but the gardens are lovely. Don’t miss the fountain - a must see!
A lovely place to visit.
We’ve just had a very pleasant few hours at Forde Abbey on a scorching hot day. The house is very interesting to walk around and the gardens are beautiful, it’s worth waiting to see the fountain, especially if you stand downwind of it on such a hot day.
The ginger cake in the cafe was a great way to end our visit.
A place to unwind
We visited these delightful gardens as part of a circular walk from Thorncombe village. It was the perfect place for a leisurely lunch followed by a stroll around the gardens before continuing on our way. The highlight of the day.
Well worth a visit
We really loved the gardens and the interior. It was the highlight of our week. We spent several hours there and felt there was plenty to see both in the house and gardens. The tearoom provides excellent lunches for those who want to make a day of it.
Stately home and splendid gardens
Fascinating former abbey dating back to 12thC. One of the greatest Westcountry gardens (according to Alan Titchmarsh), plant sales and a good restaurant serving really local food from the estate. A good day's outing.
Situated in the heart of the village, this 17th century thatched inn offers a warm welcome, Palmers beer and a locally sourced menu. Enjoy the beer garden in summer. Dogs are welcome.
We chose this for Sunday lunch. The food was impressive and good value for money. The service was attentive and helpful without being intrusive. We were very impressed by the overall quality and the beautiful setting.
A good test of a pub is in mid-winter when there are few tourists about. The New Inn manages to attact lots of local residents out of season and that's a good sign. Some lovely walking from/to the pub car park too!
Lovely 18th Century pub set in a very pretty garden with meals served in the bar or dining room. The menu is small and changes daily while the food is freshly cooked by the owner, a professional chef. Very professional and friendly young staff.
An exceptional Elizabethan house filled with treasures, including 17th Century textile samplers and Elizabethan art. This house featured in the 1995 film ‘Sense and Sensibility’.
Absolutely wonderful in every way. We enjoyed many hours here. A must visit property.
A lovely house and location . It was a pity it was spoilt by a very heavy handed and hard sell approach in the ticket office to join the N.T. I had to be very persistent to get into the house and gardens without joining up .
Once we had managed to get in we had another issue with an officious lady in the long room who basically told us off for taking the wrong staircase up . It turned out that a rope had not been put in place . How were we to know! Other staff members tried to make up for this and were excellent but the impression overall was poor.
Another West Country gem to consider when in the Somerset or Dorset areas. Although the house was endowed to NT as an empty shell much work has been done by introducing surplus items from other properties and there is a current fascinating exhibition from the National Portrait Gallery which is a must.
Dorset’s answer to the chilli-eating contest. An argument between two local farmers over who had the longest nettles growing on his land led to this macho test of taste buds. Each June, crowds gather at The Bottle Inn to witness the showdown.
Getting busier each year, the Competitors are all given 2” long stalks of nettles and given an hour to eat us many as they can with no other substances to kill the pain allowed except a beer or two. The bare stalks are then measured and the winner is announced. A fun day out and always a must in my calendar.
Local, ethical produce is the ethos at the River Cottage Local Produce Store. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, of Channel 4's River Cottage, and team, source the best local produce from South West producers for the store, where regular tasting evenings and events are held.
With a different menu every day, reflecting what's in season, The Canteen also showcases the best of the South West, with mouthwatering meals and a wicked selection of cakes and cream teas. Reservations recommended for evenings and Sunday lunch.
River Cottage HQ Cookery School
Nearby, on the Devon Dorset border is the famous River Cottage HQ where you can dig deeper into the River Cottage philosophy and learn how to recreate some of those fabulous dishes. Hugh and the team run a wide range of events and day courses including bread baking, chicken rearing and meat curing at Park Farm between Axminster and Lyme Regis.
Great food using fresh ingredients in interesting combinations.
Stopped off for breakfast and a coffee, nice down to earth cafe, if you ignore all the self promotional books everywhere! I was expecting rip off prices due to the celebratory name but it was a very fair price for a lovely breakfast.
Great place to go and enjoy some of the best food and drink that Devon has to offer. No fuss and bother with linen tablecloths and the like, so you can focus on the food. Not the cheapest option in town, but the experience is well worth it.
New for July 2010: 'Cabaret Kitchen'
From the end of July Head Chef Tim and his team will be producing typically River Cottage fare using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients in front of your very eyes.
Exciting and unassuming
I have always been a big fan of the River Cottage brand so as soon as I was in the area I arranged to have lunch with a friend here. We were both travelling from opposite sides of the country to meet there, by which time it was about one thirty. You cannot book so we were concerned we might not get in, but we only had to wait a couple of minutes before being seated at a very rustic (possibly recycled/reused) wooden table in what felt like a barn/outhouse. It definately wasn't posh, but it was light and airy and very 'countrified'. The menu each day is written on a big chalk board and by the time we got there the choice was somewhat limited as lots of things had run out. However, what we chose was tasty, not too overpriced, and a twist on a classic. We very much enjoyed our lunch there and had a good mooch around the deli/shop afterwards (which you walk through to get to the restaurant), having a good friendly chat with the staff who treated you like an old friend (and ran to get you a glass of water after sampling one of the chilli jams!) I would definately choose it as top of my list for lunch when visiting the area in future, although perhaps not go out of my way to visit it on purpose.
A wide range of day courses and evening events are run, providing an insight into the humane and local production of food, and its preparation and cooking.
- H Minter
A sunday lunch to die for!
We go to the River Cottage Canteen whenever we are visiting Devon. The restaurent (as the name suggests) does not stand on ceremony, but it is homely and welcoming and you can turn up in walking boots! We've taken family and friends and it is suitable for an impromptu lunch or big family celebration. However what makes it particularly special is the quality of the food, which, thanks to the rearing of the meat by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his team, and the cooking of the chefs in the canteen, makes for a truly delicious meal. It won't be the cheapest food you've ever eaten, but you can relax in the knowledge that all the food is truly organic and responsibly farmed and that all the ingredients taste just like they should. Highly recommended!
Articles | From around the area
Places to Go
Places to Go
Places to Go