Jurassic Coast Wines

For centuries the West Country has been synonymous with cider, and orchards are such a part of the historic patchwork of landscape there are many efforts to preserve or replace them, for both our benefit and the incredible wildlife value. However, when those wily Romans came, they brought not only edible snails and lettuce (thanks,…

Toby’s Garden Festival at Forde Abbey

Nowadays, anybody who’s anybody can be found bedecked in flowers, henna tattoos and artisan cider, ‘doing’ one of Britain’s many amazing festivals. Not to be outdone, I’m joining in – not quite as rock’n’roll as Glastonbury (although I have been there, done it, got the juggling balls), Bestival or Download, I’m taking my mum (who…

The Jurassic Coast

Ever since I was little I’ve loved going to the beach, and growing up near the Dorset Coast we were spoilt for choice. Our beach of choice was St Oswalds Bay, next to Durdle Door, as you can swim out to the rocks, and Durdle Door itself is spectacular. We also loved the sandy beaches…

Lyme Regis Museum

Today was a big day for Lyme Regis – after several years of blood, sweat, tears and fundraising, the staff and volunteers finally got to welcome the public into the newly extended and refurbished Lyme Regis Museum. The original building is a fantastically self-indulgent Victorian mini-masterpiece. It seems like an odd comparison with such a…

An Exotic Experience

I’ve found yet another gem, folks. Today I had a meeting at Abbotsbury Sub-Tropical Gardens, so while I was there I thought I may as well have a look around. Wow. I haven’t been there for years, and then I was somewhat distracted by small children, so I’d forgotten just how exotic it really ┬áis….

Walking the Undercliff

Well, that’ll teach me to endorse wonderful ideas! After reading my blog on Axmouth which included the Undercliff Walk, my friend said “we should do that one day”, and today was the day! I woke up to something I couldn’t really distinguish as either drizzle, fog, rain or sea mist, and knew then it would…

The First Tree in the Greenwood

Due to a lots of wreath-making and a lot of driving around with Christmas music on, I have had this song going round my head a lot lately, and I wondered why the holly (because that was the first tree in the greenwood, according to the song at least) is so special at Christmas. Obviously…

Axmouth Harbour

Every time I drive past the mud flats on the way into Seaton I think “I must come back here with my kayak one day”. Well, I still haven’t! I did stop for a look around Axmouth, though, as friends have been telling me to for years, and I’ve always just passed through. Axmouth is…

The Cathedral of the Vale

If you have ever tried to drive along the A35 in mid-summer, you will be well aware that West Dorset is a major holiday destination. In 2014, there were over 3.4m visitor trips to West Dorset, with an estimated 14.7 million visitor nights, with visitors listing the scenery, pretty villages and walking as the main…

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,…