Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog
Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog

Tag Archives: Stonehenge

Top spots to visit in Dorset, Devon and Wiltshire in South West England.

This has been one of the warmest Summers I have ever experienced in the UK. We’ve had 3 whole weeks of dry heat and sunshine.

I really think it’s been the perfect time to explore UK’s coastal areas.

I recently wrote about where to eat, shop and play in Margate, South East England.

So now, I thought I’d turn my attention to South West England.

My most recent visit were to Dorset, Devon and Wiltshire.

I’ve always wanted to see Durdle Door (image above), one of Dorset’s most iconic landmarks on the Jurassic Coast.

I can tell you now that it didn’t disappoint. Isn’t it breathtakingly beautiful?

Durdle Door is a limestone arch formed by the waves from rock erosion. Durdle is from the old English word ‘thirl’ which means drill.

If you are planning a trip to Dorset or driving further down to Devon, then I would highly recommend Durdle Door as a stopover.

Adjacent to Durdle Door is the beautiful Lulworth Cove and village.

This house is called Cove Cottage, and I believe it is available for hire. If I ever owned a house in the countryside, I would love to have one that looked like this. I’m not sure how easy it is to maintain a thatch roof, but they sure look pretty don’t you think? These English stone houses look so idyllic and romantic. If you have a sweet tooth, then you have to visit The Doll’s House, a minty blue 19th Century Grade 2 listed cottage, that was once inhabited by fishermen, until 1992. You can find yummy cream teas and ice creams here. Perhaps what they are most famous for here, are their home-made fudge with natural ingredients and flavours, sourced locally where possible. Did you know that Thomas Hardy lived in Dorset? Many of the places he describes in his books were based around the surrounding areas there.

This was a poem that he wrote about Lulworth Cove scribed on the wall in the village. I thought I’d show off my Salted Caramel ice cream from Jake’s in front of the Hardy wall. We stayed at Hawkchurch Resort and Spa in Devon, at the border of Dorset. It’s a 5 star luxury retreat with views over the Axe Valley. This is a view of our holiday lodge at Hawkchurch, and might I add, complete with an outdoor hot tub.  The decor had a relaxed Scandi Coastal feel, and we felt instantly at home when we arrived.

It’s so nice to have a kitchen on holiday, so we can cook up delicious meals at leisure, as we unwind with a glass of wine in the evening. We were surrounded by beautiful countryside and greeted by the gentle baa of sheep. There were also holiday homes for sale at Hawkchurch Resort and Spa.

I was curious, so got a little tour of the homes for sale. These beautiful holiday lodges start from £80,000 to around £200,000. Here’s one of the double bedrooms. The homes come fully furnished and dressed. They even have super cute roll top baths in their bathrooms. I think I would request for mine to be pink. How about you? There was a reception area with friendly staff on hand to assist guests.

I was fascinated by the lighting in the lobby area. How fun is this version with glasses? The facilities at Hawkchurch Resort and Spa was second to none.

They had a large indoor swimming pool, a spa that offered the best back rubs, and a restaurant with delicious theme nights.

We particularly enjoyed Fish and Chips, and Curry night. devon lyme regis A short car drive from Hawkchurch Resort & Spa took us to the picturesque harbour village of Lyme Regis. There were so many colourful doors to snap. I was in total insta heaven. It was a pleasant stroll on the beach, with a nostalgic British seaside vibe. devon How cute are these colourful beach huts for hire?

I’ve never hired a beach hut before, have you?

I guess it’s nice to have a base, if you were spending the whole day on the beach. This is the door colour of my dreams, at Bayleaf cottage. The best place for breakfast in Lyme Regis, Devon, is The Town Mill Bakery. All their breads are freshly baked on the day. I believe they also have a traditional Mill next door, but this was not open when we were there.  This was the most delicious Turkish eggs I had for breakfast at the Town Mill bakery with bacon rashes and sourdough bread. Since we’re on the topic of food, I thought I’d show you a great place for lunch in Lyme Regis called Swim on Marine Parade, which is right on the beach.

The view is amazing and the decor is a super cool Boho Urban jungle style. This was what I had for lunch and it was so tasty. It’s called Sunbeam, and consisted of red and white quinoa, falafel, baby spinach, hummus, roasted peppers, slow roasted tomatoes, quick pickled cucumber and red onion, toasted seeds and citrus dressing.

It was as delicious as it sounded. I didn’t do much shopping during my time away, but I did stock up on my favourite Dorset tea. We had such a fabulous trip in Devon and Dorset.

Our drive back to London took us past Wiltshire, and we decided to stop over for lunch at Pythouse Kitchen garden. There is also a walled garden which at the time we were there, was not yet in full bloom. I bet it looks amazing now. I’ve written about my trip to the walled garden a few years back. Our lunch was amazing. Everything was homegrown from their gardens. It was such a treat to see Stonehenge on the drive back too. top places to visit England Hope you have enjoyed my little tour of South West England. It certainly was an amazing time away with the family.

( All photography are my own. I would like to thank Hawkchurch Resort and Spa for inviting me to stay.)

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Yesterday was certainly a ‘full’ day. I started off with a fairly busy morning in the Emergency department. When I finished, I jumped into the car with the family, determined to make the most of a sunny day.

We decided to head into the Wiltshire countryside for some fresh outdoor air and fun. I remembered when I was younger and used to live in Oxford, we were invited to lunch at a quaint English country home there. I can still remember being served this most delicious marmalade glazed Chicken with spinach.

The Wiltshire countryside then was mesmerising and that same memory was once again rekindled.

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We took the opportunity to visit Stonehenge, a truly breathtaking experience. The age of these impressive and imposing stone structures lead me to contemplate about life and time in general.

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It was peaceful and beautiful, set against clear blue skies and the rolling green of the countryside. I could have just lingered there pretending I lived in a different era.

The kids were busy coming up with theories of how the mysterious stones came to be. In the far distance, we spotted druids in white gowns dancing in circles.

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A short drive away from Stonehenge was this sweet little ‘pick your own’ flower farm called Flowers of Hatch. We were first greeted by a curious black labrador, barking, as we emerged from the car. The owner of the farm soon strolled down a path to welcome us. It was a beautiful allotment of wild looking flowers, but I did make a bee line for my favourite sweet peas.

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The kids enjoyed wheelbarrowing their cart around as they clipped flowers of all colours and scents.

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After gathering a large bunch of beauties, we left money in the nearby honesty box.

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We went back to the farmhouse to bid farewell and thank our generous hosts, only to be greeted by four nosy chickens wandering about freely. That prompted us to buy a dozen of their eggs, some of which were had for breakfast today.

Pythouse-walled-garden-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell-blog Our next stop was Pythouse kitchen Garden. This was one of our most amazing finds. It was a walled garden reminiscent of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s book ‘The Secret Garden’.

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A beautiful garden with rows of floral varieties. Through a duck egg blue wooden gate at the end of the garden was a large apple orchard.

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Scattered amongst the garden were interesting period objects, like this four poster bed, in a traditional Farrow and Ball grey. I could have quite easily laid there, had there been a mattress, taking in the blue sky, delicious wafting scents of the herb garden, whilst listening to the sweet song of birds.

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I could not stop clicking my camera as I tried to capture the charm and beauty of this place.

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We had a dinner reservation there. It was wonderful and I highly recommend it. The food was mouthwateringly delicious, cooked with the freshly picked garden vegetables and herbs . The piece de resistance was dessert. I loved the Summer pudding (berries picked from the garden) with a refreshing lemon sorbet.

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The restaurant overlooked the garden via large windows, so between courses, the kids could run wild outdoors playing with other children. They had so much fun on that warm Summer’s eve.

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We drove through more beautiful villages as we headed back. We saw Stonehenge once more in the distance, its structures still so clearly visible in the dim of dusk.

We reached London near midnight. The whole family, although exhausted, felt happy from this most wonderful outing.

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead. x

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