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

The Christmas Blog

Well, it’s nearly here again and where better to spend Christmas than in Dorset?!

As ever, I have compiled a list of some of my favourites, so you can make the most of all the fun, arts and pantos, beautiful Dorset has to offer:


Dorset Food & Drink Christmas Fair
When: 24th & 25th November.
Where: Athelhampton House
About: This is a wonderful event to get you in the Christmas spirit, showcasing Dorset’s produce


Stir up Sunday
When: 25th November, *10am – 3pm.
Entry Price: £5 for course and additional charge for ingredients, depending on size of pudding
Where: Bakehouse Attic, Town Mill, Lyme Regis, DT7 3PU
About: Make your very own Christmas Puddings and Biscuits.
Contact: Call Jane on: 01460 221698


Christmas Time at Brewery Square
When: 24th November 2018 from 5pm
About: A host of events lined up including Skating in the Square, live music, performances, lights, illuminations and more.

Meet Santa and Santa’s Reindeer at Brewery Square
When: 24th December 2018 from 12noon until 2pm
About: Rudolph and Blitzen are coming back to Brewery Square. They will also be joined by the man himself

Dorchester Christmas Cracker    

When:  Thursday 6th December 2018
About: A magical Christmas treat for all the family. For the full Dorchester Christmas Cracker event details, please head to >

Brewery Square Presents…
When: Thursday 20th December 2018 From 5pm
About: Christmas Movies and Christmas songs, there is a host of exciting events lined up!

Skating In The Square
When: From November 2018 until early January 2019
Where: Brewery Square, Dorchester
About: Visitors can get their skates on and enjoy the rink in the Square.
Contact: Tickets can be booked at from November 2018.
This year, families can also write letters to Father Christmas at Brewery Square.
Forms will be available from Skating In The Square for Children to write a personalised letter to Father Christmas. Simply write your letter, and post this back through our Brewery Square Mail post box, also located at Skating In The Square*.
Closes: Sunday 23rd December 2018
* Available during Skating In The Square open hours only. Please see their website for opening hours.

Santa Specials: Swanage Railway
When: 1st – 24th December
Where: Swanage Railway, Swanage Station

About: Enjoy a steam train ride and meet Father Christmas on board his special train. All- inclusive tickets with a present for every child and seasonal refreshments for adults. Advance booking essential. Our programme of Christmas festivities includes Carol Trains, Christmas luncheons and a special Christmas Belle in our luxurious Pullman Observation Car.
Contact: or call: 01929 425800

Christmas at Haynes        
When: 1st – 23rd December
Where: Haynes International Motor Museum, Sparkford, Yeovil
About: Whilst getting ready for Christmas Santa’s reindeer have gone missing and rumour has it that they are hiding in the Museum. Help Santa by finding the missing reindeer and win a present from Father Christmas’ festive lucky-dip-bin

Vintage Christmas at the Tank Museum
When: 1st – 2nd December
Where: The Tank Museum, Bovington
About: ‘Vintage Christmas’ brings fantastic entertainment, an incredible festive market and historical education in a unique setting. Learn more about what life was like at Christmas time from the 1920’s to the Post War era, with themed crafts and activities. There will also be living history reenactors around the Museum to help take you back in time. Don’t miss… See Father Christmas arrive by tank on both days

Twelve Days of Christmas Castle Quest
When: From 1st December 2018 – 6th January 2019
Where: Corfe Castle

About: Search for the shields hidden in the castle ruins and have fun with the activities to complete the Christmas-themed family castle quest.


Chase the Pudding Santa Run
When: 16th December 11am
Where: Weymouth Beach
About: Get yourself ready for this years 5k Santa. Hundreds of Santas chasing the lonely Christmas pudding down the beach in what can only be described as ”The best thing YULE see this Christmas”

Magical Father Christmas at Farmer Palmer’s
When: 1st – 23rd December
Where: Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park, Poole
About: Make magical memories with your little ones meeting Father Christmas in his wonderful winter cabin at Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park. Extra charge for Santa tickets in addition to normal admission. See website for dates and details. Please let us know you saw us on What’s On in Dorset!

Great Reindeer Hunt
When: 18th November 2018 – 6th January 2019
Where: The Teddy Bear Museum, Dorchester
About: Help Santa find his missing Reindeer in Edward Bear’s house this Christmas and receive a free Bear worth £5.99

The Little Match Girl                                                            
When: 20th December
Where: Dorchester Arts Centre, Dorchester
About: A family show for Christmas inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s traditional tale.

‘Walking in the air’ and Buble performance
When: 20th December from 5pm
Where: Brewery Square, Dorchester
About:  Free screenings of The Snowman & The Snowman and Snow Dog plus Michael Buble Act with Freddie Jenkins.

It’s A Wonderful Life
When: 22nd December from 6pm
Where: Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis
About: A free screening! A classic Christmas film. Warning: A chance of tears!
Contact: 01297 442138


Dick Whittington Christmas Pantomime
When: From 15th December 2018 – 5th January 2019
Where: Weymouth Pavilion, Weymouth

…and last, but by no means the least…


Santa Paws
When: Sunday 9th and Sunday 16th December at 10am
Where: Groves Nursery, Bridport
About: Santa will be returning to see your four legged friends. Tickets are £2.50, of which all goes to Guide Dogs for the Blind. Each lucky doggie will get a doggie bag to take home

Posted in Blog, christmas holidays, christmas in dorset, dog friendly, Dorset holidays, Things to do in Dorset

The Dog Blog

Dog Friendly Holidays at Lancombe

Do we love dogs at Lancombe? You betcha!

It’s the Chinese year of the Dog, so we are celebrating all those furry, four legged, panting, wet nosed friends of ours. We have two resident pooches of our own. You may remember Barnaby (who blogged last year as part of our meet the team series) and Fleur, my little shadow….until she sees someone more interesting! So, because we have family that consists of loyal, happy (well with Barnaby it’s always debatable) canines that show unconditional love, we know exactly what it’s like to be responsible for such an important member of the family.

Have a nose on our website

We want your stay to be both relaxing for you and your best friends. So much so, Dogs even have their own page on our website, which can be found here: Our four legged guests have a welcome pack on arrival, so they can truly relax and know they are welcome. There are details of dog friendly beaches, pubs and attractions.

Strangely, some places that you visit ask you not to bring your best friend (unbelievable I know) but this may be due to livestock or simply it may be in the best interests of your dog/s. So, we have also listed details of dog sitters, so both you and your dog can have a different type of adventure on a certain day.

We say that we welcome two dogs on our website…that’s not entirely true! The highest number of dogs we have had to stay in one family is 7! We just ask that you get in touch if you have more than two dogs, so we can make sure the accommodation you have chosen doesn’t leave you feeling cramped. Again, we just want all of you to enjoy yourselves and this helps us to ensure you are all comfortable.

What we’ve done lately

This year, the cottages were fenced, so they have their own individual enclosed gardens. So now all our cottages and lodges are perfect for your furry friends. This has proved so successful.

Forgotten your lead? Don’t worry we have spares in the office for you to use free of charge. We also sell dog food, special, local treats and doggy shampoo, just in case!
As with humans, we also understand that dogs have different fears and personalities. We accommodate these and as long as we know beforehand, will ensure our other guests are aware. We all have different experiences in life, and sometimes they are not pleasant and make us unsociable, which is the same for dogs.

We don’t discriminate against breeds. So if I ask you on the phone what breed of dog you have, it’s not because I’m thinking ‘um that’s not great’, it’s because I’m nosey and truly interested.

In your welcome pack on arrival is more comprehensive information for your dogs and includes local vets if needed.


Lancombe is set in 3 acres of beautiful grounds, which consists of approximately 1 acre of meadow for your doglets to have a run around in and woodland for a good sniff. We don’t advertise it, as it’s not ours, but next door to Lancombe is a very large enclosed field. But we’re so lucky that the Farmer who does own it, lets our doggy guests have a good run around if there is no livestock in there. What a treat! As we are also situated on the Wessex Ridgeway, we offer countryside walks from the doorstep too. Don’t forget we are also only a short drive from the South West Coastal Path.

So if you want your best mate to give your holiday the paws up, then choose Lancombe, for a truly dog loving holiday.

Posted in Blog, Dorset holidays, Things to do in Dorset

Christmas Events in Dorset

Here’s our Top 10 of everything Christmassy, from Christmas Markets to wonderful Christmas Events.  With one special extra for four legged  family members.

The Great Reindeer Hunt
From: 17/11/2017 To: 04/01/2018
Venue: The Teddy Bear Museum
Help Edward Bear and family search for Santa’s Reindeer in Edward’s festively decorated house. You may win a bear!

Dorset Food & Drink Christmas Fair
On: 25th & 26th November
Venue: Athelhampton House – Free park & ride from the County Hall, Dorchester.
Locally produced food and drink from a range of your favourite Dorset producers! Start your Christmas shopping! ❄️ ?? Meet Santa on Sunday 26th, proceeds go to Weldmar Hospicecare.

Christmas Time in Brewery Square
On the 25th why not stay in Dorchester a bit later and hop on over to Christmas Time in Brewery Square?!
Venue: Brewery Square, Dorchester
Something for all your family to enjoy to kick off the festive season; from mulled wine to festive treats, displays, live music and activities, and skating rink.

Santa Specials: Swanage Railway
From: 02/12/2017 To: 24/12/2017  Booking Essential.
Venue: Swanage Railway
Enjoy a steam train ride and meet Father Christmas on board his special train. Tickets include a present for each child and seasonal refreshments for adults (we all know what that means).

Father Christmas visits Farmer Palmers
From: 02/12/2017 To: 03/12/2017
The title says it all.  There’s an additional charge to see Santa on top of the entry fee, but you get 10% off entry if staying at Lancombe!

The Fairy Godmother’s Christmas Tree
On: 03/12/17
Venue: Moors Valley Country Park
Booking essential. £5.00 per child. 3 to 8 years
The Old Fairy Godmother needs your help to decorate her tree for a special visitor. Come and help and she will weave some magic stories for you. Wrap up warm as this event takes place outdoors.

Dorchester Christmas Cracker
On: 07/12/2017
Venue: Dorchester Town Centre.  FREE
Website: or follow on Facebook and Twitter
Starting off Christmas in the County town, including Christmas Light switch on.  Your entry to the Dorset County Museum is also Free and back by popular demand is everyone’s favourite Science Fiction and Fantasy Movie and TV characters. Take your children to see Father Christmas in his Grotto, and you can enjoy Mulled Wine and Mince Pies.

Dorchester Christmas Market
On: 10/12/2017
Venue: The Corn Exchange, Dorchester
This runs from 11am until 4pm. You can enjoy Live Entertainment, Live Reindeers, Arts and Crafts with Cheeky Elves, Hot Refreshments, with over 50 Stands
Entry is just £1.00 for adults and Under 16’s Free

Chase the Pudding Santa Run
On: 17/12/17
Venue: Weymouth Beach
Chase the Pudding 5k Run on Weymouth Beach. Classic Santa fun run, including Children’s and Adult Race.

Weymouth’s BIG Christmas
When: 4th – 31st December.  See website for a list of festivities through December..
Venue: Weymouth
With a Real Ice Rink, a Real Christmas Tree, Real Reindeer, Markets, Entertainment and Pop Up Santa’s Grotto, you are bound to have fun!


Santa Paws for the Doggies at Groves Nursery
When: 12th & 13th December
Venue: Groves Nursery
Treat your four legged members of your family to some time with Santa. You only pay £2 admission in aid of Guide Dogs UK



Posted in Blog, Dorset holidays, Things to do in Dorset Tagged , , , , , , , , ,