Dorchester and around

One of the best things about the UK is the wealth of things to do and see in a small area, in this case that surround Dorchester, the county town of Dorset. One day included natural beauty, an historic home, gardens, heritage towns and an Iron Age fort.

Hardy Cottage (National Trust)
Where the writer Thomas Hardy grew up, a pleasant country cottage.

Maiden Castle (English Heritage)
Among the largest Iron Age hill forts in Europe, now an impressively large earth mound with views across the countryside toward Poundbury.

Hardy Monument (National Trust)
A 22m high memorial to Vice-Admiral Hardy, Flag-Captain of HMS Victory at Trafalgar, rather than Thomas Hardy. Wonderful if very windy views across the Dorset countryside and toward Chesil Beach.

Abbotsbury Sub-Tropical Gardens
Pleasant and colourful if rarely spectacular gardens, with a huge range of hydrangeas of all colours, willow sculptures and best of all, a rope bridge.

Poundbury
The brainchild of the Prince of Wales, this retro village has proved far more popular than the sceptics predicted. It’s also far more interesting than most modern housing developments.

Dorchester
Quite a few historic buildings but in general less pleasant than Poundbury to be honest. The high street was filled with the usual suspects, British retail is great but very identikit.

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