Located in Dorchester, Dorset
Old Gaol Cottage is a holiday cottage in Cerne Abbas, Dorset, sleeping 4, a previous winner of England's most beautiful village with this cottage no exception
Old Gaol Cottage lies in the Cerne valley in the village of Cerne Abbas, a village so pretty it was a previous winner of England's most beautiful village. Famous for the Cerne Giant, the largest chalk figure in the UK at 180ft with many tales and folklore surrounding his presence normally to do with fertility. But you don't have to be seduced by the giant when you can be seduced by the village. The River Cerne runs through the village full of chocolate box cottages, many of which are thatched. The village has shops, a rather good tea room, 3 good pubs, The Giant Inn, The Royal Oak and my favourite The New Inn as well as the villages own micro brewery aptly named the Cerne Abbas Brewery. The cottage is the former village gaol and police station and dates back to 1859 with the interior now a very welcoming place and perfect for relaxing holidays for you to discover the area. The village itself holds two events in June, open gardens and a music festival. The walking is fantastic with great countryside views and it won't take you long to realise why this part of the county has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The county town of Dorchester is only 8 miles away with more options for eating out, shopping and five museums and the Jurassic Coast is about a 30 minute drive away so within easy striking distance for those days out on the beach or a coastal walk.
The accommodation at Old Gaol Cottage comprises of a sitting room with comfy seating, TV and WiFi enabled throughout.The kitchen has a dining area as well as a breakfast bar and is equipped with an electric oven and hob, microwave, fridge/freezer, dishwasher and washer/dryer. There are two bedrooms arranged as a king size double and a twin with a bathroom with bath with separate shower, basin and toilet.
Outside is a small courtyard garden with furniture. There is on street parking subject to availability. Your fuel, power, bed linen and towels are all included in the price.
Dorchester is the county town of Dorset with a long history dating back to pre Roman times. Best known perhaps as the birthplace of Thomas Hardy his novel, The Mayor of Casterbridge, is based on Dorchester. Being the county town there are lots of attractions, both indoor and out with plenty of museums, country houses and gardens and historical sites to visit.Read more
Although there is a lot happening in Dorchester the surrounding villages are also worth a visit. In Charminster you will find Wolfeton House, an Elizabethan House set in water-meadows. Kingston Maurwood is just 1.5 miles from Dorchester and is a Georgian mansion surrounded by 35 acres of gardens, 5 of which is a beautiful lake. Lots of events happen here throughout the year including open air concerts so do have a look to see if events coincide with your visit. Tolpuddle houses the Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum, birthplace of the Trade Unions. Cerne Abbas has the largest hill figure in Britain, aptly named the Cerne Abbas Giant, standing at 180 feet in height and carrying a club a sizeable 120 feet in length. While in Cerne Abbas have a walk around Cerne Abbey.
In May the Dorchester Festival is held over 5 days with both free and ticketed events. The festival is broad in nature, with comedy, theatre, music, sculpture, food, painting and much more. The Forever Sun Festival is at the end of July and is a music festival with five stages. August hosts the One World Festival with world food, music and activities. In August, the Dorset Food and Arts Festival takes place in the square in Poundbury with huge farmer's market, music and a mixed programme of arts and performances. From April to October join the Dorchester Town Ghost Walks form the Kings Arms. Dorchester Corn Exchange has events on all through the year, from top comedians to music acts. Finally, the Dorset County Show is held at the start of September and features two days of events, animals, farming, crafts, gardening, shopping and food and drink.
There are many attractions in and around Dorchester, too many to list here to do the area justice but I will do my best. In Dorchester itself lies The Keep Military Museum, 4 floors of military history focusing on the Dorsetshire regiment over the past 500 years. Dorchester also has the Dorset County Museum, a remarkable museum with ever changing exhibitions alongside permanent galleries covering ancient Dorset, Jurassic Dorset, rural Dorset, Writer's Dorset, the Victorians and Dorchester itself. The Dinosaur Museum is also located in Dorchester and has been running since 1984. This award winning museum has life-size dinosaur reconstructions, fossils, skeletons and hands on displays. A must for the dinosaur lover. Finally, the Teddy Bear Museum is a celebration of all things stuffed in teddy form that will delight those young of heart. Aside from the museum is the Teddy bear house and a shop.
If you are looking for a peaceful day out then head to Sculpture by the Lakes. Set in 26 acres of beautiful countryside, this attraction is equally good for lovers of the outdoors as well as the arts blending nature’s beauty with inspiring art. Run by renowned sculptor Simon Gudgeon, the attraction is open all year round but is only bookable online to keep visitor numbers capped so you can enjoy the experience as it was intended.
To the east of Dorchester lies Max Gate, the childhood home of Thomas Hardy now owned by the National Trust and open to the public. Staying with If you want one of the best views over the county then head to Hardys Monument, a monument to Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy who served with Lord Nelson. Set on the hills to the south west of Dorchester, the view from here is far reaching and on a clear day, from the top of the tower, you will be seeing pretty much all of the county of Dorset. Also worth a visit is Athelhampton House and Gardens. Dating from 1485, the house is a great example of Tudor architecture while the gardens have many areas to explore including the Great Court with its pyramid shaped yew trees, the private garden, octagonal pond and out towards the River Piddle where the gardens change from formal to natural. Just to the south-west of Dorchester lies Maiden Castle run by the English Heritage, one of the largest and most complex Iron Age hill fort's in Europe with a 4,000 year history.
Food lovers won't be disappointed with the offering in and around Dorchester with huge variety. You have tastes from around the world, from Japanese to the Mediterranean, traditional English to a French Creperie. Dorchester also has the only restaurant in Dorset with a Michelin Star, Sienna. I suggest you book!Read less
Bournemouth is 34 miles away
Bristol is 42 miles away
Exeter is 50 miles away