In the glorious West Country sits the stunning county of Dorset. Its coastline is the world famous Jurassic Coast; a Natural World Heritage site with beautiful beaches, ancient cliffs and craggy caves all providing an excellent stomping ground for holidaymakers. The area is perfect for those looking for activity, with a huge choice for fishing, swimming, walking, riding, kayaking, caving, cycling and more. It is perfect too, for those in search of rural idylls, spectacular scenery, cosy country pubs and some of the best food in the U.K. The County of Dorset resonates with the romance of Thomas Hardy, Jane Austin and Daphne du Maurrier all of whom used it as a backdrop in their works.

Dorset enjoys some of the best weather in the U.K. as the West Country bathes in the gentle warmth of the Gulf Stream. It has green, rolling hills, romantic country lanes and a starkly beautiful coastline. The Vale of Marshwood is a very unique and special place still farmed in much the same way, with its ancient small fields, as it was during the Iron Age. The Vale’s remoteness brings a level of peaceful tranquility that is hard to find in England today and, with it, some excellent star-gazing on clear nights. It is hard to believe it is only 6 miles from the famous Jurassic Coast and only 20 minutes from the bustling market town of Bridport and the tourist must-see resort of Lyme Regis. The area abounds with things to see from fine English country houses and gardens, Roman hill forts to Sealife Centres and wild animal parks.

Although Marshwood Manor Cottages are surrounded by green fields we are only 10 minutes from the coast at Seatown or Charmouth and 15-20 minutes away from three towns of great character and charm :-


Bridport – A wonderful place to spend the day. Its streets are full of galleries, booksellers, cafes, antique shops and boutiques. On Saturdays there is a street market with stalls selling everything from local food to antique ironmongery. There is a wealth of good restaurants too and we will be happy to advise you on these.

Lyme Regis – The famous seaside resort is as charming as ever with its famous cob; setting for the becaped figure of a wan and windswept Merril Streep in The French Lieutenant’s Woman, and its quaint streets and choice of good pubs and shops. It also boasts an excellent local cinema.

Crewkerne – Just over the county border into Somerset is the old market town of Crewkerne. Home to many highstreet shops such as Boots and Waitrose, it also has a wealth of smaller boutiques and an auction house that provides excellent antique hunting with its weekly sales.

Other noteworthy local attractions include :-

Abbotsbury Castle  – an Iron Age hill fort

Abbotsbury Swannery – a great place to visit with children, this managed colony of over 600 swans has been in existence since 1393 !

Forde Abbey – A beautiful nearby historic house and gardens well worth a visit.

Chesil Beach – Read the wonderful novel and then visit this nearby beach to stare wistfully out to sea and wonder what might have been…

Golden Cap – At 627ft this is the highest point on the south coast of Britain. To reach the summit you must brave the 45minute walk up from Seatown

Pilsden Pen – Once a Roman hill fort, this is a lovely place to walk and only 2 miles from Marshwood Manor. It’s a steep walk but a very short one and, when you reach the top, you are rewarded with a 360 degree view of at least 3 counties.

Sherbourne Castle – A 16th century Tudor mansion