Last of Summer English Road Trip
I don’t know about you but I am starting to feel the seasons changing dramatically and I am not excited about it. As much as I love the Autumn Colours and getting to see the seasons change, I am not ready for a long winter again as winter lasted in London until April.
We decided to escape London for 2 days, so I could showcase off the beautiful Jurassic Coast and the greenery of the English Countryside to my friend from New Zealand who had never been to the UK before. Nothing beats driving through the countryside in between the fields, seeing old-fashioned villages with thatched cottages and the narrow hedged lanes.
We made our way down south towards Dorset. Dorset is always a special place for me as I spent 3 years there studying. Dorset has the most lush green countryside, long sandy beaches, the world’s second largest natural harbour and the stunning Jurassic Coastline.
The Jurassic Coastline was formed 185 Millions Years ago and it a beautiful feat of Mother Nature. The coast features arches, pinnacles, stack rocks, a range of fossils and wonderful walks.
Durdle Door is one of the highlights of the Jurassic Coastline, it is a limestone arch that leads off into the crystal blue waters. It offers some of the most stunning walks and views with an incredible colour palette, it is one of my favourite walks in England. There is plenty of parking at the top of cliff, then it is a short walk down to Durdle Door. As you walk down you will be able to see all the way to Weymouth and the Isle of Portland.
On your left you will witness the cove bay of Man O’War Beach that is incredibly inviting. You can spend your time walking along the cliff paths or walk down the steps to the pebble beach to get a closer look at Durdle Door. The beach is a wonderful place to relax, to skip stones or to take a dips. What a wonderful place in Mother Nature to relax.
Durdle Door, West Lulworth BH20 5PU
West Lulworth is a little village close by to Durdle Door and the perfect place for a traditional pub lunch. The Village is covered in cottages made from stone from the Jurassic Coast all topped with the idyllic thatched roofing. The perfect English Pub to go to is The Castle Inn, this traditional pub that dates back to the 16th Century. It is just how you would imagine a Country pub to be from the low ceilings and nooks inside, along with local brewed beer and cider right down to the thatched roof and the exterior looking like it belongs by the sea. It is a great little place to stop for lunch and enjoy the sun.
If you have time to explore more of Lulworth head down to Lulworth Cove to take a dip or the 17th Century Lulworth Castle.
Main Rd, West Lulworth BH20 5RN (Pub carpark across the road from the pub)
Worth Matravers is really a local secret that you have to be told about to know about it. I was lucky to discover it all those years ago and it is a special gem in the area. I was told about Worth Matravers as it is home to a wonderful unique pub and to a quarry that is on the cliff face.
Winspit Quarry was used to gather stone until 1940 that once provided stone for London. It has been used for such an array of functions, first a quarry then during WW2 it was used a Naval and Air Defense, then most importantly the location of many Doctor Who Episodes from the original series and John Carter. It is a wonderful place to wander through and discover its secrets. The walk down from the village is charming as you follow the path down all the rolling hills, then through a lane edged with Blackberry Bushes and all the sparrows flying over your head. It is easy to follow directions from the Village with a stone marker on the edge of the Green.
The pub is a unique a place to visit. The Square and Compass has been a pub since 1793, making it one of the oldest I have ever been to. It is really old fashioned with local beer and cider served with home made pasties. So grab a bench in the garden where you can see the rolling hills and ocean, be surrounded by this old place and share your drinks with chickens that walk around the garden. Make sure while you are at the Pub, head into the Fossil Museum inside with all the local discoveries that have been found.
It is the perfect English Village with beautiful homes, a tea shop for tea and scones, the 1 phone box and a Green with ducks in the pond.
Worth Matravers Car Park BH19 3LE
Corfe Castle is a little village nested in between the rolling hills of the Purbeck Hills. The village is named after the Castle built there, it is one of the oldest Castles in England as it was built by William the Conqueror. It has been a defensive post, a palace, a lodge for hunt and a home. Elizabeth I sold it in 1572 and it passed hands until the Civil War as it became one of the last remaining royalist strongholds. On the Parliament orders they demanded the breaking down of it so it no longer remained a stronghold. As you walk around the Castle you are able to get a feel of what life would have been like as you imagine Blacksmiths in the Courtyard mending horse shoes or swords, the hurrying feet of the cooks or seeing how the Ladies could manage to walk up stairs in long gowns.
Today is it a lovely place to discover and wander through the village along with visiting the Castle. There are many places to enjoy a traditional Tea and Cakes or having a proper Pub Lunch. The village is so quaint to visit with the homes being made from the same stone as the castle. After all these years I wish to spend an weekend resting in the village and enjoying the landscape.
Another little secret Corfe Castle has is the Steam Train that takes you down to Swanage. There are special events, dining experience’s and a driving experience to be had on the Swanage Railway so if you have time while down there see what is on offer to explore.
There are many hills to walk up to get incredible views of the Castle so no matter where you stand, the view will be breath taking.
Hollands Cl, Corfe Castle BH20 5HH
Salisbury is the hub of life in Wiltshire, where many rivers meet up and it is the doorway for many places to discover. Salisbury is the place where I discover that it is only called a City if there is a Cathedral built there and what a Cathedral it is. Salisbury is a great place to explore from visiting the lane ways with crooked buildings, seeing swans swim down the rivers, to visiting beautifully the old Cathedral dating from the 13th Century. It truly is the perfect town to stroll around to experience the history this English City as gone through.
We stayed in Salisbury for the night in a little village on the outskirts. We used Airbnb and discovered the most amazing place to stay at. We stayed in a Shepherds Hut, these huts where used in the past by shepherds to sleep in as they watched over their flock. We absolutely fell in love with this place and I most certainly will be coming back as soon as possible to escape the world. It has its own garden that looks out onto the rolling fields and the most cosy little room. It is perfect to sit outside and watch sunset and then curl up with a good book or movie while drinking a hot chocolate.
Old George Mall Car Park, 6 New St, Salisbury SP1 2PH
Stonehenge is one of the most famous sites in England. The Stones are over 5 thousand years old making it an incredible Celtic Site to visit. It is all surrounded in mystery, were you wish you could step back in time to discover how the stones where transported there from Wales (each being 13 feet high and weighing 25 tonnes) I want to see it in all its glory, how it was used and to be with the people watching the Midsummer Sun rise through the stones that line up perfectly each year to welcome the summer solstice.
It is a lovely morning walk around the site admiring all the stones and the experience its horizons. I have always wondered why there are so many Ravens that watch over the sight, imaging that they must be the guardians over the stones. Around the stone circle you will notice little hill mounds that are all burial sites of important folk from ancient times.
This is an incredible site to visit and will always be on of my favourite places to visit as it was the second landmark in England that I ever saw.
Stonehenge Visitor Centre, A360 Salisbury SP4 7DE
Bombay Sapphire Distillery
Do you love Gin as much as I do? In the UK there are 100s of Gins that I love so much, in 2014 the Bombay Sapphire Company moved down south to Laverstoke Mill, which has been transformed into a fully sustainable distillery that mixes the Past such as buildings built in the 1700’s and the Gin Pots that make every single drop of Bombay Sapphire Gin, It also includes the modern chic with the most stunning Greenhouses that house the plants that are infused into Bombay Sapphire Gin. During your trip you get to tour the Distillery, visit a museum, get a hilarious guide of how they distill the Gin and a room full of the aromas that are included in the Gin.
Now this room that is full of aromas is important, as you get to smell every item that is infused into the gin. Once you discover the scents you like the most you will stamp it on a card that will give you a gin cocktail that your body is craving. It is a fun little visit to have, all topped off with a delicious Gin Cocktail at the end.
This was the perfect way to get the last of the Summer Sun before the long winter comes. It was perfect weather in mid September with us having to change into Summer clothes. It truly was the perfect escape to enjoy the last of the Summer Sun.