SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run….
Ah Keats, you nailed it there. Autumn in the countryside is just perfect, my most favorite season.
As beautiful as summer is there is something about September and the start of Autumn that feels much more like a new year than “New Year”. There is a clear change to the season, new diaries, kids back at school and the all exciting feeling that Christmas is just around the corner.
We have a new year plan to discover more of Dorset and the Purbeck’s on foot. We love walking and having Plum gives us an added excuse to get out there and see more of our beautiful county.
Last week we decided to explore Mupe Bay – to the west of Lulworth Cove, with no real plan we just headed down to the beach to see what happened. We nipped in to the tourist information center (which is fab by the way, with a really cute little coffee kiosk and geological info) to pick up a map and discovered that access to Mupe Bay is across the Army ranges which are only open weekends and school holidays. Plans scuppered for another day we had a look at the other maps offering 6 routes around Lulworth. We chose route 1 which starts at Lulworth Castle and takes you on a 5k loop around the estate.
The walk starts at the front of the majestic Lulworth castle (parking £3 per day in car park). You then head through the deer park full of amazing trees, a little further on past the gate house and a farm, across a field or two and you arrive at the Lake. Who knew there was a lake on the Lulworth estate? Not us, what a find. It’s so pretty, there are swans drifting by and an amazing Fort built on one side. You can walk around it and the route then takes you back across parkland to the castle.
I am so pleased we found this walk, one to do with all the family one weekend, rounding off with a drink in front of the fire at the Weld Arms on the way home.
I’ll share more discoveries as we find them.
With wedding season upon us Harry & I have been working flat out at The Manor and Walled Garden to make sure everything is looking great and that our lovely wedding couples have the perfect day.
Depending on the weather, which has been temperamental at best the last few weeks we are painting, fixing, pruning and clearing. Harry has continued to amaze me with his ability to fix pretty much anything with the skill of a professional and we have a great team on the estate who have been working under tight time frames between guests to get essential maintenance completed.
Art Expo at The Manor
Kids play / adults work!
We managed to squeeze a lunch date in one Friday, did our best not to talk shop and had a delicious lunch at The Priory in Wareham.
Wareham is a very pretty town a 15 minute drive from Moreton. It has lots to see and do on a day out and is situated on the river Frome, offering a pretty quay with boat trips and hire through the warmer months. There is a great pub on the river called The Granary and our favorite fish & chip shop “Chipperies” is well worth a visit too.
On this occasion we chose The Priory as it was lovely and sunny and they have the most beautiful terrace and garden which slopes gently down to their jetty and the river. There are 4 acres of beautiful cottage style gardens and various little gardens to discover. It has been privately owned for 40 years, which you can really tell in the loving way it is looked after. The flowers were in full bloom and as we didn’t have the children with us on this particular visit ( no under 12’s allowed unless at a private function ) we decided to make the most of it.
Garden at The Priory
Harry on the terrace at The Priory
The menu is varied with a focus on seafood, Harry had Moules and I went for the dressed crab. It was all absolutely delicious. The staff are knowledgeable and friendly and knew where our food was sourced. After lunch we took our coffee through the gardens and ended up getting caught in a rain shower – luckily there was an amazing pod to escape to, all glass so you can watch the boats go by and relax.
Escaping the rain
If you are coming for a visit to Dorset and can get a reservation I would highly recommend a trip. In the past Harry and I have had wonderful romantic dinners in their wonderfully restored historic cellar, with canapes in front of the fire before hand. My next visit has to be for afternoon tea as I have heard they are delicious too! I now just need an excuse to go…