Escape the stress of crowded airports on peak travel bank holiday weekends. Stay in the UK and head for rural Dorset, the home of Thomas Hardy and the famous Chesil beach, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coastline and the perfect spot to relax and unwind on a romantic spring summer break either at Easter or on one of the May bank holiday weekends.
This article looks at where to stay and what to do on a romantic weekend staying in the pretty village of Abbotsbury in Dorset,
Abbotsbury, Dorset UK
The village of Abbotsbury in west Dorset is full of character and rustic charm as most of the stone cottage properties are built in the traditional style of a Dorset longhouse with a thatched roof. St Catherine’s Chapel, the patron saint of spinsters, is a distinctive landmark on a hill above the village where legend has it that any spinster who recited a poem to Saint Catherine would then find themselves a husband.
Many artists have made Abbotsbury their home, adding an eclectic feel to this charming romantic village and there are many places to stay either in the village itself or in nearby West Bexington.
Quiet Dorset Hotel in Abbotsbury
Perfect for a romantic break, the Abbey House (Tel 01305 871330) is a small licensed guesthouse with 5 rooms offering bed and breakfast and special celebration party dinners (chocolate bread and butter pudding is a house speciality.) Family owned and run by Jonathan and Maureen Cooke, outdoor enthusiasts can use it as a base to explore the Jurassic Coast or simply head for the hills for leisurely walks on the waymarked footpaths with magnificent views of Chesil beach towards the island of Portland, sailing venue for the 2012 Olympics.
Alternative accommodation options include various bed and breakfast establishments in the village or hire a cottage for the weekend such as one of the Old Coastguards cottages (Tel 01305 871335), situated on the coast path a few kilometers from the village or one of the Tamarisk Farm Cottages (Tel 01308 897784) on the beach road in neighboring West Bexington.
Things to Do in Dorset
Apart from invigorating walks towards Hardy’s Monument to take in the fabulous scenery, there are many other attractions in Abbotsbury and the local area:
- Visit the famous Swannery, established by Benedictine Monks who built a monastery at Abbotsbury during the 1040’s and the only place in the world where visitors can actually walk through a colony of nesting swans.
- The Sub-tropical gardens nearby highlight the mild Dorset climate where visitors can gaze at colorful camellias, rhododendrons and hydrangeas and then relax over a cuppa at the Colonial Tea House afterwards.
- Further afield, visit one of the smallest pubs in the UK, the Smith’s Arms in Godmanstone either by car or by bicycle, then carry on to see
- The Cerne Abbas Giant, a distinctive figure on the hill above the village carved from chalk bedrock. Otherwise known as the “Rude Man,” young couples have been known to follow folklore and make love near the appropriate “rude” part of the Giant in order to conceive.
- Or sample a cream tea in the pretty market town of Dorchester, far from the madding crowds of the big city.
Dorset, the Perfect Weekend Break
Get away from the crowds and visit Dorset this spring, staying in Abbotsbury or one of the surrounding villages for a romantic weekend break. Simply chill out or take in the fresh air and magnificent scenery of the Jurassic Coast.