Saturday, March 17, 2018

Springing into Dorset

Lulworth Cove, Dorset

We returned yesterday from five days in Dorset, which provided sun, sea and sand if not the weather for swimming (that would have been too much to expect in early March). After our snowy start to spring it was delightful to have 10'C days without rain - especially as this weekend brings yet more snow both at home and around the UK. We were fortunate to have our holiday when we did.

Here are some highlights from the week away...

Lulworth Cove, Dorset

Lulworth Cove is part of the 'Jurassic Coast' stretch of Dorset, recognised as a World Heritage Site for its ancient rocks, cliffs and fossils. We admired the stunning views and novelty of warm sunshine against water - something we took for granted (and even snubbed!) in Australia but see rarely over here. We were even able to eat a picnic lunch outside, albeit still wearing our winter coats.

Corfe Castle

Not far from Lulworth Cove is Corfe Castle, now owned by the National Trust. Corfe Castle is a ruined castle, as pictured above, but the same name applies to the small town adjoining it. The castle is spectacular and has taken over as one of my favourites in Britain - quite a claim. I liked that you could wander the semi-ruined buildings as well as its majestic hilltop position, complete with sheep wandering on the hillsides.


Further along the coast, we explored the fishing town of Weymouth, which blends historic buildings with a bustling town centre and expansive beachfront. It was very nice, and less touristy than some of the better known seaside towns like Brighton and Bournemouth.

Mini Bite taking in Weymouth beach

Further inland is the amusing Cerne Giant, an ancient naked figure sculpted into the chalk hillside above Cerne Abbas. The Cerne Abbas village is sleepy and refined; the giant, as you may spot below, is not. The 180 foot giant is Britain's largest chalk hill figure and his origins and purpose are unknown.

The amusing, and large, Cerne Giant

We spent our week staying at Rudge Farm cottages, which were well suited to a family holiday and set in an attractive location. Mini Bite enjoyed the birds on the pond and the children's playground, while Mr Bite and I made use of the pool table in the communal games room. As cottages go, we have stayed in better but these were entirely adequate to our needs.

Rudge Farm cottages

All of our dinners were of the self-catering variety, aided by a Tesco supermarket delivery the evening we arrived. Lunches out included our picnic at Lulworth Cove and two Pret-a-Manger meals. We also had one visit to Pizza Express, where I was pleased to try their new vegan cheese on top of the vegan Giardiniera pizza. Those familiar with Pizza Express may remember the Giardiniera from its pre-vegan days - it is now made over to be offered with vegan cheese in its standard form and features artichokes, mushrooms, red onion, black olives and tomatoes. I really enjoyed it, even as someone who doesn't much like cheese or cheese alternatives. Mr Bite sampled it too and agreed the cheese substitute was tasty, if different from original cheese.

Vegan Giardiniera pizza from Pizza Express

Another food highlight came from Weymouth, with take-away cakes from The HiVe Cafe. The cafe also offered many appealing lunch options but we weren't in Weymouth over lunch (if you are, choices include vegan and vegetarian options and span burgers, soup, salads, filo triangles and sausage rolls). We took away a vegan chocolate mint brownie and a vegan rose-pistachio cake slice. Both were delicious. The cake, in particular, was stunning and even won over Mr Bite despite his prediction he wouldn't like it. Rose tones permeated the cake in just the right balance and there were candied rose petals and pistachios on top.

All in all, we had an enjoyable week and I am pleased to have discovered a new-to-me county in Dorset. It is much closer to us than Cornwall and Devon but offers the same stunning coastal views and rolling, green countryside that makes the south-west of England so attractive.

What has your last week involved?


  1. Dorset looks beautiful - I have never been there. Lovely to see Mini Bite up and walking.

  2. Dorset makes me think of 5 go wild in dorset and broadchurch and PD James. A fine heritage! You seem to have seen lots of interesting and different sort of attractions, most of which I have heard of and would love to see but am not really familiar with dorset except on tv!!!! Weymouth looks like a nice little town and I would love to explore corfe castle

    1. A fine heritage indeed! We didn't get to Broadchurch (which is called West Bay in real life) but it did feel reminiscent of those TV scenes.

  3. I've not been to Dorset, so enjoyed this blog post and hope to visit some day. I know Bournemouth in its recent years has been seeing its first Vegan Festivals. Lovely photograph of minibite.

    1. I'll have to keep an eye on the Bournemouth scene! It is well worth visiting the area if you get a chance.

  4. You really did get the best of the weather down there, it looks gorgeous (as do those slices of cake!)

  5. What a completely stunning place. I've never seen anything quite like it. The cottages look really cute.
    That pizza! I love when pizza places offer vegan cheese =)
    And Mini Bite is getting so big!

    1. She really is (and heavy to carry!). Thanks Kimmy :-)


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