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Last Christmas

We have had two cancellations for two cottages (Lydden & Cerne Cottages) over the Festive period. So rather than writing a Blog on it, I thought I’d Vlog how fantasticly festive it is here at Lancombe in Dorset.

Don’t forget, we are super Family friendly and Santa visits in his very own Grotto (FOC) both Christmas and New Year’s Eve. When I say family friendly, remember this means the whole family, including your four legged family members! So watch my latest video, a true story (a nativity if you like) and click on: www.lancombe.co.uk to choose your best Festive break ever!

Enjoy!

Caroline x

Posted in Blog

Pre Christmas Breaks

‘Tis the Season to be jolly and we certainly are jolly at Lancombe! So I’m going to share my ‘insider’ knowledge to help you find the people and places, that you wouldn’t necessarily find on your own, just so you can join in with our Festive Spirit…..Dorset style!

We have an amazing early Christmas offer, but let me tell you why first of all…

Not only are there such wonderful Christmas events in Dorset, but there are lots of them in the lead up to the actual day itself.  Meaning it’s a perfect time to take some time away for you, before the family visits start and enjoy the wonder of Christmas in Dorset, it really is magical.  Here’s my little diary of our favourite Christmas in Dorset Events in the lead up to and over Christmas.

Saturday 23rd November & Sunday 24th November 10am – 4pm.  Dorset Food & Drink Festival at the stunning Athelhampton House, DT2 7LG .  

Speaking from personal experience, this is an amazing annual festive foodie event with over 50 amazing producers selling distinctively Dorset & seasonal produce set in the lovely grounds of Athelhampton House and Gardens. 

Just to add to the festivities they’ll have plenty of local choirs and performers throughout the weekend, making it the perfect day out! £3.50 per adult, children free and includes the Food Fair and entry to Gardens and House.  Hurry up booking your stay at Lancombe though because we only have one cottage available this weekend!  On the Sunday, you can meet Santa too!


Christmas in Swanage Saturday 30th November 12pm – 5pm. Some of you may already know that there is a big place in my heart for Swanage.  I spent many of my childhood holidays there in my Auntie’s caravan (she wasn’t my REAL Auntie 😊) and I have such wonderful memories. 

Aside from that, it is a beautiful seaside town, with lots to do, so it’s worth a visit whilst you’re staying in Dorset.  I have chosen this over an event in Dorchester, purely because you can experience the wonder and magic in Dorchester at the marvellous Christmas Cracker detailed later on. 

At this event there are Hot Chestnuts, Santa’s Grotto in a Beach Hut, emergency vehicle displays, a Christmas sing a long, Christmas Lights switch on at 5pm and the Artisans on the Beach grand opening.  For more information Swanage Information Centre (they are so lovely, so I’d probably just call for a chat! 😉) or email: welcome@swanage.gov.uk

Whilst you’re in that neck of the woods, you may as well hop on to the The Santa Express! This runs on Saturday 30th November and Sunday 1st December.  At Swanage Railway, Station Road, Swanage. 

You get to meet Santa on his Special Train!  During your one hour return journey each child will receive a wrapped present from Santa, complimentary soft drink and biscuit.

Trains depart at 10.30, 12.05, 13.40 & 15.15  Call: 01929 425800 for more information.

Weymouth Christmas Fun on Sunday 1st December 11am – 4pm.  Yet another wonderful seaside town, with lots to do and see.  So come along to this event just outside of Debenhams DT4 8LY. There’s lots of Christmas Activities, with a Snow and a Bubble machine.  Live acts on stage, including the Little Mix Tribute Act Black Magic.  Find out more at:  www.weareweymouth.co.uk

Farmer Palmers Farm Park, Organford, BH16 6EU Running every weekend from Saturday 30th November up to and including 22nd December.  Plus Tuesday and Wednesday mornings between 11am – 12pm.

We all love Farmer Palmers right?!  Even without Christmas, it’s a fabulous day out for both parents and children (up to the age of 8) or if you use me as an example up to the age of 46!!!!

No Pre booking required, turn up and pay on the day! (£7 plus admission).  Now don’t forget Lancombe’s lovely Guest’s get a 10% discount off entry and a 50% discount if you go again in the same week 😉  You’re welcome! 😉

Weymouth Pavillion the Russian Opera House and State Ballet presents the Nutcracker.  December 3rd at 7.30pm.  This is highly recommended if you want something Christmassy but a bit different from the normal panto.

Kingston Lacey  Illuminated Gardens.  BH21 4EA. Runs from 4th – 22nd December every Wednesday – Sunday from 4 – 7pm.  Then 23rd December – 5th January 2020 (excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) again from 4 – 7pm.

Take this beautiful and mystical 30 minute trail through the Formal Garden at this Country House and Estate.  This year visit Blind Walk to try your hand at an interactive light experience.  For the first time this year, parts of the trail will include music to add to the Christmas magic!  It is spectacular.

Telelphone for more information on: 01202 843752.  Please do note only Assistance Dogs are allowed for this trail.

Dorchester Christmas Cracker – 4 – 7pm Thursday 5th December and at 6.30 watch the Snow Sisters and a very cheeky Snowman turn the lights on outside St. Peter’s Church in High West Street – DT1 1UJ.

This is a fabulous event and a fun way to celebrate Christmas, so it’s really not to be missed! I mean what better way to get into the spirit of Christmas in a beautiful County town in Dorset?! With live music, santa on his sleigh, lantern parade and lots, lots, more!  There’s also 30% off Skating in the Square too!  Brewery Square in Dorchester. 

Buttermarket Christmas Market, Poundbury, DT1 3AZ.  Saturday 7th December 10am -4pm.  For those that don’t know, Poundbury is an extension to Dorchester, is built according to the principles of Prince Charles, on land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall. 

There is some lovely modern architecture there with a brilliant Garden Centre offering fab food and the most amazing Christmas displays (two ladies staying visited three times in their week’s stay this winter).  At the Buttermarket, there will be Crafts, Gifts, Food and a Santas Grotto.  Postcode is: DT1 3AZ

Saturday 7th December – Christmas Dog parade. Well it wouldn’t be Lancombe if we didn’t include the doglets now would it?!  Prizes up for grabs and running from 2-3pm in Brewery Square.  DT1 1GH.  Fleur will see you there…she’s quite competitive!

December 12th 7-9pm Christmas in Brewery Square another fabulous event, a Carol Evening with late night shopping and much more back in the wonderful County town of Dorchester.

Saturday 14th December – 12pm – 4pm Christmas at The Walled Gardens, Moreton, DT2 8RG. 

The Walled Garden is a beautiful five-acre landscaped formal garden situated in Moreton, Dorset.  The village is close to the historic market town of Dorchester and situated on the River Frome.  Moreton has become well-known because of its association with T. E. Lawrence, also known as Lawrence of Arabia.  T. E. Lawrence lived near to Moreton when he served at Bovington Camp and was later buried in Moreton Church Yard.  Every year thousands of visitors are drawn to Moreton to visit his grave, which backs onto The Walled Garden.  

Many people also visit the village to see the Church’s unique engraved glass windows by poet and artist Sir Laurence Whistler.

On this day, there is a Santa’s Grotto, live music, food & drink, crafts, Carol Singers and much more.  Best of all, it’s FREE entry and Moreton is Dog Friendly too!!!!

Want a thrill?  Well you need to go to the Christmas Fire Cracker on Saturday 14 December, 11am – 2pm
Weymouth Fire Station with SafeWise, Radipole Lane, DT4 0QF
It’s free entry again…we’re so generous in Dorset 😉!

Join the festive fun as crews from Weymouth Fire Station will focus on Christmas safety with live fire demonstrations.

You will also be able to experience the thrill of the popular Blue Light Run, a Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service driving simulator that gives children the excitement of being in a real fire engine under blue light conditions.

Santa will arrive in style and dish out gifts in his grotto whilst visitors explore a range of stalls and refreshments. Choirs will create a special Christmas atmosphere and majorettes perform amazing routines.

December 15th Chase the Pudding at Weymouth Pavillion, The Esplanade, DT4 8ED.  Here at 11am you can chase the Christmas pudding!  The winner receives a cash prize! 😊.  There is an entrance fee of £15 but this does go to charity.  It is a hilarious annual event in Weymouth. Children under 14 can chase an Elf.

Between Monday 16th – Fri 20th December Christmas at Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre, Tout Hill, Longthorns, Wareham, BH20 6HH

Here you can take a fairy-lit buggy ride deep into the park and visit Santa in his grotto! Mulled wine, mince pies and a gift for each child will make it a truly magical experience for the whole family.

December 22nd is the Local Producers Market in Brewery Square from 11am – 4pm.  Didn’t order one of our Christmas Hampers?  There’s still time, but you can always stock up if you just want ‘this and that’, or just have a look around and a sniff.

so the Lancombe offer? I hear you ask!  Well, it would be rude not to start Christmas early with you, particularly as our December dates are filling up fast.  So, all our Cottages and Lodges will be festively decorated with their own Christmas Trees early too!  

That’s not all though, for any bookings for 4 nights or more (subject to availability and our Terms & Conditions) where you join us between 1st December – 20th December, you can sit in your own Christmas wonderland with no interruptions, but also and enjoy the Complimentary Mince Pies and Mulled Wine we have left in your cottage for you.  So click on:  www.lancombe.co.uk to see if we have your availability. 

With love and Seasons Greetings

Caroline 😊 x

Posted in Blog

Welcome to the Comfort Food Cafe

Here’s a little history before you get started. Debbie’s first book in this series ‘Summer at the Comfort Food Café’ was based on Debbie’s first holiday with her family (and dogs) at Lancombe in the summer of 2015, which (I’m delighted to say) was the first of many.

The book itself was so successful that it ran into a series of 5 further wonderful books. Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe won the Contemporary Romance of the Year title at the 2017 Romantic Novelists’ Association Awards in 2017.

These books are marvellous and after reading them, have resulted in many wonderful holidays for guests over the years, after ‘discovering’ our little piece of heaven in Dorset.

They will make you laugh, cry, and you will definitely want to move onto the next to see what wonders are in store. But they also give you a good insight to the friendly and welcoming people in Dorset, and the wonderful places that we have to show you.

We felt it was only fair to share these wonderful books with you, so we now have all six of the books in the Games Room for you to borrow whilst you’re staying with us.

If you fancy a little taster, watch my video for the introduction in Debbie’s very own words.

So, book (pardon the pun) some time out for you, chill, put your feet up, and have a good read. It’s just one of the many things we offer at Lancombe to help you relax!

You’re welcome!

Caroline 😊

Posted in Blog

Dorset’s Top 5 Walks

Take a walk on the wild side…it’s not really that wild here, but it is pretty amazing!

It’s hard with walks, if you try it and you don’t find it, it’s a little late to turn back. So, I thought I’d share 5 of my top walks in Dorset to help you on your way. You’re welcome!

Golden Cap
Distance – 4 miles
Landscape – Fields, tracks, country lanes, steep zig, zag gravel path.
Dog Friendly – some road walking but all the stiles have dog gates.
Car Parking – Above the Gravel beach in Seatown. there is a charge.

Golden Cap is the obvious name for a high, flat topped hill of deep orange sandstone on the cliffs between Charmouth and Bridport. Golden Cap is the highest point on the South Coast at 627ft with views along the shore to the tip of Portland Bill in one direction and to Start Point in the other.
Eat & Drink – The Anchor Inn is on the beach at Seatown and has wonderful food and an interesting selection of wine and ales.

Worth Matravers to Corfe Castle
Distance – 9 miles.
Landscape – Fields, tracks and coastal paths
Dog friendly – but some stiles which can be challenging
Car Park – The car park is just North of Worth Matravers and has an honesty box.

Worth Matravers is a picturesque village of lichen-encrusted grey cottages, complete with Duck Pond. The nearby quarries have been worked for centuries and the local stone was used to build Salisbury Cathedral. Corfe Castle stands on a high mound and is the site of a ruined castle. Burial mounds around the common of Corfe Castle suggest that the area was occupied from 6000BC. The common also points to a later Celtic field system worked by the Durotriges tribe. Evidence suggests that the tribe co-existed with the Romans in a trading relationship following the Roman invasion c. 50AD.[1]

The name “Corfe” is derived from the Saxon word, ceorfan, meaning to cut or carve, referring to the gap in the Purbeck hills where Corfe Castle is situated.

Eat & Drink: The Dog Friendly Square & Compass in Worth Matravers serves pasties with a range of real ale and home pressed ciders. There is also a small fossil museum in the pub.

Lulworth Cove & Durdle Door 
Distance – 2.5 miles
Landscape – Steeply rolling cliffs beside the sea, and green inland.
Dog friendly – Excitable dogs need to be under strict control near cliff edges.
Parking – Pay & Display Car Park, which is signposted at Lulworth Cove.

Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door are two of the best known features of Dorset’s Jurassic Coast. Lulworth bay is an almost circular bay in the rolling line of cliffs that form Dorset’s Southern coast, which provides a secure anchorage for fishing boats, and a suntrap of safe water for bathers. Due to the Geology, Lulworth Cove earned World Heritage status in 2002.

Eroded by time and nature, Durdle Door is one of Dorset’s most photographed and iconic landmarks and is part of the Jurassic Coast. The coastline is of such international geological importance that it was designated England’s first natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001 and is now part of a family of natural wonders including America’s Grand Canyon and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

The name Durdle is derived from an old English word ‘thirl’, which means to pierce, bore or drill.
As you look towards the sea, you will see Durdle Door beach on your right.
This short walk includes some uphill walking but the path is good and well graded.
Eat & Drink: Lulworth has tea rooms and hotels, but the Secret Garden welcomes dogs.

Cerne Abbas Giant
Distance – 2.2 miles
Landscape – Country paths and tracks, minor road (if heading to village)
Dog Friendly – A lovely walk to take dogs.
Parking – Cerne Abbas Picnic area.

Starting at the Cerne Abbas picnic area car park this circular walk follows a footpath to the Benedictine Cerne Abbey, then through the Cemetery and up the south east side of the Cerne Abbas Giant Hill. It returns down the north west side of the hill and passes the Giant before returning to the car park. There are excellent views of the Dorset downlands and the Cerne Valley from both sides of the hill. The Cerne Abbas Giant is world famous and it’s origin is the subject of much speculation.

Eat & Drink: Combine your walk with the lovely Cerne Abbas village and treat yourself to a refreshment in one of the four welcoming dog friendly pubs.

Portland Bill
Distance – 3.5 miles
Landscape – Grassy paths and tracks, level cliff tops and abandoned quarries.
Dog Friendly – beware of unfenced cliffs
Landscape – Grassy paths and tracks, level cliff tops and abandoned quarries.
Parking – By roadside in the centre of Southwell village, at road junction by Eight Kings Pub.

Starting from the car park near the Portland Bill lighthouse, this 3.5 mile walk is easy with few stretches of ascent and descent. It is a great way to see the fascinating landscape of Portland Bill associated with quarrying.

The Portland Race led to many ships being wrecked over the centuries, and the towers of three lighthouses can still be seen here.

This is a birdwatcher’s paradise, particularly during spring and autumn migration.
Eat & Drink – The Lobster Pot Café & Restaurant at Portland Bill, does an amazing Crab sandwich and is perfectly situated for taking in the wonderful view.

Finally and last but not least, we are very fortunate at Lancombe to be situated on the Wessex Ridgeway, so you don’t even need to get in the car to enjoy a wonderful and peaceful countryside walk.

Posted in Blog, dog friendly, Dorset holidays, Jurassic Coast, Things to do in Dorset, walking holidays

Dorset’s Top 5 Walks – according to me…and Fleur!

Take a walk on the wild side…it’s not really that wild here, but it is pretty amazing!

Well, the festivities have ended for another year, most of us are still trying to lose the remainder of how much we indulged.   But don’t fear, we’ve some of the best walks in the UK, some will lose you that Christmas reminder in one go, and some will ease you gently back into it.  But best of all you’ll be enjoying yourself so much, you won’t even notice that it’s good for you!

So, I thought I’d give you a little inspiration and share 5 of my top walks in Dorset.

Golden Cap

Distance – 4 miles

Landscape – Fields, tracks, country lanes, steep zig, zag gravel path.

Dog Friendly – some road walking but all the stiles have dog gates.

Car Parking – Above the Gravel beach in Seatown. there is a charge.

Golden Cap is the obvious name for a high, flat topped hill of deep orange sandstone on the cliffs between Charmouth and Bridport. Golden Cap is the highest point on the South Coast at 627ft with views along the shore to the tip of Portland Bill in one direction and to Start Point in the other.

Eat & Drink – The Anchor Inn is on the beach at Seatown and has wonderful food and an interesting selection of wine and ales.

Worth Matravers to Corfe Castle

Distance – 9 miles.

Landscape – Fields, tracks and coastal paths

Dog friendly – but some stiles which can be challenging

Car Park – The car park is just North of Worth Matravers and has an honesty box.

Worth Matravers is a picturesque village of lichen-encrusted grey cottages, complete with Duck Pond. The nearby quarries have been worked for centuries and the local stone was used to build Salisbury Cathedral. Corfe Castle stands on a high mound and is the site of a ruined castle. Burial mounds around the common of Corfe Castle suggest that the area was occupied from 6000BC. The common also points to a later Celtic field system worked by the Durotriges tribe. Evidence suggests that the tribe co-existed with the Romans in a trading relationship following the Roman invasion c. 50AD.[1]
The name “Corfe” is derived from the Saxon word, ceorfan, meaning to cut or carve, referring to the gap in the Purbeck hills where Corfe Castle is situated.

Eat & Drink: The Dog Friendly Square & Compass in Worth Matravers serves pasties with a range of real ale and home pressed ciders. There is also a small fossil museum in the pub.

Lulworth Cove & Durdle Door                                      

Distance – 2.5 miles

Landscape – Steeply rolling cliffs beside the sea, and green inland.

Dog friendly – Excitable dogs need to be under strict control near cliff edges.

Parking – Pay & Display Car Park, which is signposted at Lulworth Cove.

Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door are two of the best known features of Dorset’s Jurassic Coast.  Lulworth bay is an almost circular bay in the rolling line of cliffs that form Dorset’s Southern coast, which provides a secure anchorage for fishing boats, and a suntrap of safe water for bathers. Due to the Geology, Lulworth Cove earned World Heritage status in 2002.

Eroded by time and nature, Durdle Door is one of Dorset’s most photographed and iconic landmarks and is part of the Jurassic Coast. The coastline is of such international geological importance that it was designated England’s first natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001 and is now part of a family of natural wonders including America’s Grand Canyon and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The name Durdle is derived from an old English word ‘thirl’, which means to pierce, bore or drill.

As you look towards the sea, you will see Durdle Door beach on your right.
This short walk includes some uphill walking but the path is good and well graded.

Eat & Drink: Lulworth has tea rooms and hotels, but the Secret Garden welcomes dogs.

Cerne Abbas Giant

Distance – 2.2 miles

Landscape – Country paths and tracks, minor road (if heading to village)

Dog Friendly – A lovely walk to take dogs.

Parking – Cerne Abbas Picnic area.

Starting at the Cerne Abbas picnic area car park this circular walk follows a footpath to the Benedictine Cerne Abbey, then through the Cemetery and up the south east side of the Cerne Abbas Giant Hill. It returns down the north west side of the hill and passes the Giant before returning to the car park. There are excellent views of the Dorset downlands and the Cerne Valley from both sides of the hill. The Cerne Abbas Giant is world famous and it’s origin is the subject of  much speculation.

Eat & Drink: Combine your walk with the lovely Cerne Abbas village and treat yourself to a refreshment in one of the four welcoming dog friendly pubs.

Portland Bill   

Distance – 3.5 miles

Landscape – Grassy paths and tracks, level cliff tops and abandoned quarries.

Dog Friendly – beware of unfenced cliffs
Landscape – Grassy paths and tracks, level cliff tops and abandoned quarries.

Parking – By roadside in the centre of Southwell village, at road junction by Eight Kings Pub.

Starting from the car park near the Portland Bill lighthouse, this 3.5 mile walk is easy with few stretches of ascent and descent. It is a great way to see the fascinating landscape of Portland Bill associated with quarrying. The Portland Race led to many ships being wrecked over the centuries, and the towers of three lighthouses can still be seen here. This is a birdwatcher’s paradise, particularly during spring and autumn migration.

Eat & Drink – The Lobster Pot Café & Restaurant at Portland Bill, does an amazing Crab sandwich and is perfectly situated for taking in the wonderful view.

Finally and last but not least, we are very fortunate at Lancombe to be situated on the Wessex Ridgeway, so you don’t even need to get in the car to enjoy a wonderful and peaceful countryside walk.

 

 

Posted in dog friendly, Dorset holidays, Jurassic Coast, Things to do in Dorset, walking holidays Tagged , , , , ,