Inclement Weather

When we awoke we found that the weather was wet so we decided to visit the Royal Signals Museum. The museum is situated within Blandford Forum military camp meaning we had to sign in and show photo ID. I was signed in by a former Gurkha who gave me precise details for getting to the museum and about what to do with the temporary passes when we left. He then helpfully advised that photography was allowed inside the museum (but not outside) without me having to ask.

Communications

The museum is excellent. It tells the story of military communications from semaphore to cyber. We had a cup of NAAFI tea before leaving the museum and depositing our temporary passes in the designated place.

Georgian Passage

As we headed into Blandford for lunch at The Georgian Tea Rooms the weather improved. I chose Dorset Apple Cake for lunch because I had not seen it available anywhere we had previously eaten. Afterwards Mr C visited a nearby second hand bookshop. Whilst he was browsing I noticed a book; “The RSPB Guide to Birdsong With CD” which I couldn’t resist buying. I have been enjoying the birdsong in my garden recently and have not been able to identify the birds from their songs so the CD will help (I hope). Mr C came away with another two military books to add to his collection.

Fiddleford Manor

Next port of call was an English Heritage property called Fiddleford Manor. It was very interesting but rather brief so we had time on our hands.

Sherborne Old Castle

Sherborne Old Castle

We opted to visit Sherborne Old Castle which had a lovely atmosphere and is an idyllic setting above the New Castle. As we were leaving, we got chatting to the member of staff manning the kiosk and he told us of other English Heritage properties nearby, one of which was Farley Hungerford Castle. I mentioned that, when we had visited there many years ago, I had felt a presence (not unpleasant) as I walked down into the chapel. To which he replied ‘yes there is’ and proceeded to tell me of (orb activity) that he had witnessed over the tombs when he worked there. Going on to say that the orbs acted differently, sometimes more animated depending on the visitor (captured on CCTV). He also advised that several people had witnessed a ghost dressed in black. Things that make you go “Hmmm”…

We returned to the hotel but, before chilling out, I went for a brief walk into town which upped my step count for the day. We dined in The Green for a second time and found it rather quiet for a Friday evening. The waiter advised that we should visit the Cross Keys for a drink as it ha re-opened that day after being closed for a while. I thought it had a nice atmosphere but Mr C wasn’t so keen he would rather have been in a traditional pub.

6 Comments CherryPie on Jul 11th 2019

Lulworth Cove

The weather was hot and sunny so instead of our planned visit to Dorchester, and after stopping to photograph the Cerne Abbas Giant, we headed to Lulworth Cove. We climbed to see the view of the cove and the Stair Hole rock formation from above.

Dordle Door

After elevenses, we drove to Durdle Door where we walked down to see the view of the rock formations. We regretted not taking a picnic with us which would have been enjoyable on the beach if we had carried on down the steps to the cove. The wind was quite wild, blowing the chalk everywhere, and at one stage setting me off sneezing.

Durdle Door

Following the bracing walk we set off in the direction of Dorchester looking for a suitable place for lunch. We stopped Craigs Farm, Osmington which has delightful farm shop with a tea room that serves sandwiches and cakes. I opted for coconut and lime cake which was delicious. At this point we decided that perhaps there was not enough time to get the best out of a visit to Dorchester and flexed the plan again. We thought that a stately home would fit in nicely with our morning’s activities.

Athelhampton House

We looked to see what was nearby and settled on Athelhampton House and Gardens. It is a delightful property which we both thoroughly enjoyed. The gardens were relaxing after Mr C had needed to take a phone call regarding arrangements for my aunt’s funeral.

Chocolates and Champagne

Returning to our hotel room, I was surprised to find champagne and chocolates waiting. Mr C had organised them because it was our anniversary. We sat and enjoyed a glass of bubbly and one or two chocolates before it was time for me to wash the chalk dust out of my hair.

We dined in the hotel opting for the Tasting Menu accompanied by a flight of different wines to compliment each of the dishes. The food was delicious and so was the wine. Our only complaint was that we were rushed through the courses. As we had finished one course and were savouring the last of the accompanying wine, a new glass of wine arrived followed by the next course. We did point out that we would like to slow down a little but still the courses kept coming meaning that we did not have enough time to savour the wine and fully appreciate the splendour of the dishes.

12 Comments CherryPie on Jul 10th 2019

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

Proverbs 11:25

Coming to Say Hello

12 Comments CherryPie on Jul 7th 2019

Royal Tank Regiment Memorial Statue

One of the things that Mr C particularly wanted to see was the Tiger Tank Exhibition in Bovington Tank museum. After breakfast we drove to Bovington along leafy lanes in beautiful sunshine. After looking at some of the exhibits it was time for a morning cup of tea.

Unfortunately the small cafe that was nearest to us was for some reason had stopped serving food or drink. We made our way to the new restaurant area where, unexpectedly, Mr C bumped into someone he knew and much to the other person’s surprise. They got chatting and, before we knew it, it was almost time for lunch. We decided to have lunch before before continuing with our museum visit. The museum had changed a lot since our previous visits and was much improved.

St Nicholas Church

After our museum visit we drove to Morton Village to visit St. Nicholas Church and its beautiful glass windows engraved by the late Sir Laurence Whistler. The theme of the windows is light and they are replacements for windows that were destroyed by a German bomb in WWII.

The grave of T H Lawrence

The church is also of interest because the funeral of T E Lawrence took place there. Before returning to the hotel we visited his grave which is located in the graveyard near to the church.

Back in the hotel we chilled out before visiting the hotel bar for an aperitif. We dined in a Thai restaurant where the food was delicious and the service excellent. Comfortably replete, we stepped out further into town, to the George, Sherborne’s oldest pub for a nightcap. It had a lovely atmosphere with gentle music playing in the background.

Eastbury Hotel

18 Comments CherryPie on Jul 5th 2019

Sherborne Abbey

After two days of travelling, we decided to give the car a rest. In the morning we walked around Sherborne looking at its interesting architecture along the way. We visited the Abbey, which is a fabulous building. As we entered we were warmly welcomed by one of the Abbey greeters, she was very knowledgeable and informative. After our visit Mr C was drawn into a second hand bookshop where we also enjoyed a cup of tea.

Sherborne

Next we visited the museum and a cook shop before enjoying lunch in Oliver’s Coffee House.

Paddock Gardens

Sherborne New Castle

After lunch we walked to Sherborne New Castle taking in Paddock Gardens along the way. It was an unusual and slightly strange experience walking to, rather than driving to, a stately home. As we arrived it started to drizzle so we decided to visit the house first. This was a good call because by the time we had finished the tour of the house we emerged into brilliant sunshine allowing us to enjoy our walk around the estate.

Sherborne New Castle

We chilled out in the hotel before dining in ‘The Green’. The food was delicious and the staff were polite and friendly. Once again we stopped of at The Half Moon before returning to the hotel.

10 Comments CherryPie on Jul 3rd 2019

Lyme Regis

After breakfast we walked to the information centre to pick up leaflets about places that we might visit. We then hopped into the car and set off towards the coast thinking that we might stop in Bridport but the main street there, because of its location, put us off stopping. It was here we noticed that pub, The Bull, that we had nearly chosen to stay at and we were glad that we had chosen to stay in Sherborne instead. We carried on to Lyme Regis where enjoyed a walk along the seafront and around the town.

West Bay

Mr C couldn’t find the right thing for for lunch so we drove along the coast to West Bay where he was able to have a fish lunch from a kiosk. I chose crab fish cakes and we ate our purchases on a bench with seagulls looking on hopefully. They were not as persistent as the ones we experienced in Eastbourne last year. Then in search of a suitable place for a drink, we found a delightful cafe called Cherries which had excellent food options including cakes. As I had only just had lunch I chose not to indulge, although Mr C was tempted to a Belgian waffle.

Chesil Beach

Suitably refreshed, we continued along the Jurassic coast road stopping at Abbotsford so that Mr C could step onto Chesil Beach. Chesil beach is an amazing natural geographical feature created during the ice age. it forms perfect curve along the coast line. It is a good job we hadn’t intended to go for a walk because I had forgotten to pick up my sensible walking shoes which I had put ready before we left the hotel.

Chesil Beach from The Heights

Once more we set off along the coast, road detouring to the Isle of Portland so that I could show Mr C the view of Chesil Beach from The Heights. We drove down to Portland Bill to see the lighthouse before returning to The Heights Hotel for an afternoon cuppa. The views across Chesil Beach are particularly good from there and Mr C was suitably impressed.

Sherborne Abbey

After the long drive we enjoyed some time relaxing in the hotel before it was time to go out for dinner. We dined in the Tamburino Gold before having a nightcap in the Half Moon pub where we encountered some “interesting” characters. Before we returned to the hotel, I took the opportunity to photograph the Abbey whilst it was floodlit in the darkness.

10 Comments CherryPie on Jul 2nd 2019

Tewkesbury

Things had recently been hectic so we were not as organised as usual and set off later than we had planned. We made good time thanks to my TomTom SatNav rather than the inbuilt SatNav in Mr C’s car. We are rarely confident that the inbuilt one chooses the best routes because it tends to take us off on strange detours that add time to the journey.

Tewkesbury Abbey

We stopped off in Tewkesbury where we had lunch in the Touching Souls tea room next door to the Abbey. It was just as hectic and we were being organised in the same way as we were on our previous visit at Easter.

Sherborne Abbey

We arrived in Sherborne and checked into our hotel, The Eastbury, at around 3.30pm. We had a cup of tea in our room before stepping out into light rain for a walk around Sherborne. As we neared the end of our walk the rain eased off and we were treated to the Abbey’s peal of bells.

Room Delphinium

Back in the hotel room I had an enjoyable soak in the bath, the first time I chanced a bath rather than a shower after hurting my back the week before. This was accompanied by a small glass of the complementary Sloe Gin that had been left in our room for us to enjoy.

We dined in the hotel restaurant, following dinner with a nightcap in the hotel lounge. The receptionist, Gemma, brought us some large folders full of leaflets about things to do and see in the local area. This kept us entertained for the rest of the evening.

18 Comments CherryPie on Jun 29th 2019

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