Half Term Highlights

When I was little, half term used to be a week of kicking around at home – don’t get me wrong, we’d have a picnic, go to a beach, go for nice dog walks etc, but it was always up to my mum to amuse us, or for us to amuse ourselves. Nowadays, everywhere you…

Dorset Art Weeks

It’s time again for one of my favourite times in the Dorset calendar – Dorset Art Weeks. The county seems to be crammed with painters, sculptors, ceramicists, photographers and artists of all flavours, and the next two weeks are when we, the general public, get a little window on their world. Officially it’s an ‘open…

Let Battle Commence!

Something a bit different from my usual mix of nature, beaches and gentle landscape this time – a bit more rock’n’roll! Recently I caught up with Phil Gordon, the brains behind the upcoming Battle of The Bands (known as TBOB), to be held at Thorncombe Sports & Social Club on 1st & 2nd July. ¬†Inspired…

Seaton Jurassic

I have always felt a bit sorry for Seaton. Sandwiched between quirky, trendy Lyme and the bigger, more sedate Sidmouth, Seaton has always felt (to me at least) like the poor relation. However, not any more. There seems to be a new optimism about the place, with the Artisan Market, several new cafes and shops,…

A Free Feast

Foraging has become very trendy recently, sort of swept along with the artisan food/provenance craze, but at its most basic, ¬†anyone who has ever picked a blackberry can claim to be a forager. Personally I am a bit sceptical of some of the foraging courses on offer – hundreds of pounds for a few hedgerow…

Furzeleigh Down Dairy

I hope she won’t mind me saying, but at Valerie Voysey’s age, most women with a lifetime of farming and raising a family would be looking forward to putting their feet up and having someone bring them a nice cup of tea every now and again. Instead, Val has started a tea shop! Furzeleigh Down…

Forde Abbey

In the name of full disclosure, I have to admit that when it comes to Forde Abbey, I am biased. Having lived just up the road, it has been the location for many of the iconic events in my children’s early childhoods; crawling on the lawns, rolling down the grassy banks, playgroup Easter Egg Hunts…

Beauty behind The Beast

Tucked away behind a working quarry full of monster tipper trucks and a busy industrial estate is a little-known nature reserve, where even many locals have never set foot. Chard Junction Quarry Nature Reserve, between Holditch and Chard Junction just down the road from Forde Abbey, is a little pocket of wetland habitat reclaimed from…

Coney’s Castle

If Iron Age man had decided to spend generations designing, digging & building the perfect picnic spot, he couldn’t have done a better job than Coney’s Castle. Located high above the Marshwood Vale, with sweeping views over the Char Valley down to the sea, it boasts some of the most spectacular panoramas in West Dorset….

Every Little Helps

I started this blog to celebrate the local, small, independent businesses and enterprises in the area, championing the underdog, and I’m just about to write a whole post endorsing the biggest retail giant in the country. Why? Well, before you denounce me as a total hypocrite, I also aim to find ways families can explore…