A Travellerspoint blog

The English counties of Dorset, Devon & Hampshire

Route: Hove – Cattistock – Upottery – Ringwood - Hove

rain 9 °C

FEBRUARY/MARCH/APRIL 2019

This blog should have been about our travels in Hong Kong and Taiwan, but a nasty viral throat infection, contracted 24 hours before departure, put pay to this. The illness meant that we had to cancel our trip, now re-scheduled for 2021, and stay in the UK instead.
Several weeks of convalescence, while staying with our friend Rob, were followed by three weeks of touring the English counties of Devon, Dorset and Hampshire. This gave our bodies time to recover and allowed us to catch up on future planning, which turned out to be very necessary.

Our county tour first took us to the delightful village of Cattistock nestled in the rolling hills of Dorset’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our plan was to rest, recover, plan and do some country walks. However, with heavy rain and strong winds, and without a pair of waders, our walking was restricted to firmer ground. An afternoon stroll around Cattistock, in between rain showers, got us started. Then we progressed to exploring the historic town of Dorchester, just down the road. Dorchester is famous as the birthplace of the writer and poet Thomas Hardy, the location of the “Bloody Assize” where the infamous Judge Jeffreys oversaw the trail and execution of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, and for having the very well preserved remains of a Roman House.

Dorchester

Dorchester

Thomas Hardy statue in Dorchester

Thomas Hardy statue in Dorchester

Cattistock Church

Cattistock Church

The weather for our last day in the area was much improved so we visited the attractive village of Corfe Castle. We had visited the castle on a previous occasion so concentrated on looking around the village itself, however this was cut short by a freak hailstorm, so we headed back to Cattistock.

Corfe Castle village

Corfe Castle village

Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle

Our tour then took us into the neighbouring county of Devon, and to a small farming community in the Blackdown Hills. Here we had a very comfortable cottage in a tranquil environment that made you feel you were miles from civilisation, yet was only a couple of miles from the main road. Although still lacking any sunshine, the weather was now dry, and allowed us to get out walking each day.
We kicked off with a circular walk to a local village along the network of farm lanes that surrounded our accommodation. The lanes were quite and relatively dry compared to the surrounding fields. Although the walk was longer than we had expected, it was very enjoyable with lots of wildlife on show.

Stone wall along a Devon Lane

Stone wall along a Devon Lane

Devon Lane in Blackdown Hills

Devon Lane in Blackdown Hills

For the following few days our exploration was concentrated on the coast, with a number of cliff walks and town strolls. We started off with the Otter River estuary and cliff walk, then explored the fishing port of Sidmouth and finished back up on the cliffs above the town of Exmouth. Add a hike and great pub lunch around Chesil Beach on our last day, and we feel we got a good look of Dorset and Devon’s Jurassic Coast.

Walk in Dorset

Walk in Dorset

Black Bird

Black Bird

Fisherman on Sidmouth Beach

Fisherman on Sidmouth Beach

Red Cliffs of the Jurassic Coast

Red Cliffs of the Jurassic Coast

Jurassic Coast between Sidmouth and Exmouth

Jurassic Coast between Sidmouth and Exmouth

Otter Estuary

Otter Estuary

Our last county was that of Hampshire, staying just on the edge of the New Forest in the town of Ringwood. As usual, we rented the Garden Room from our friend Alison, and continued our exploration off the area, something we had started on previous visits.
There had now been a major improvement in the weather, with sunshine every day. The New Forest was the main draw off our stay, and we managed to do a walk in the area on most days.

New Forest

New Forest

Stag in New Forest

Stag in New Forest

Lagoon at Keyheaven

Lagoon at Keyheaven

Jack Snipe

Jack Snipe

Robin

Robin

It was then back to the Brighton area for a few medical appointments, before heading of to Eastern Europe.

Posted by MAd4travel 05:19 Archived in United Kingdom

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Comments

Hope you are both better now. I studied Thomas Hardy in school. I loved 'The Mayor of Casterbridge' most.

by irenevt

So glad to hear you are better now. I love your little robin. I painted one who could be his twin . . . or perhaps it was yours since we were in New Forest too. Beautiful pictures.

by Beausoleil

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