Postcard From Dorset

The bank holiday weekend found us driving to deepest Dorset, with a slight detour over the border to North Devon for a delicious lunch at the River Cottage canteen in Axminster.

Dorset: River Cottage canteen at Axminster, spring foliage and a country laneContrary to weather forecasts and bank holiday tradition alike, it was a beautiful weekend; with puffs of cloud scudding across blue skies while the sun shone down. Bluebells, cowslips, wild garlic and primroses lined the country lanes and hedgerows, while the trees were finally beginning to unfurl their fresh new leaves and the vivid green fields were almost too bright to look at for long.

Dorset lanes and Corfe castleWe drove through the rolling countryside to the coast, where we walked along the quiet beach at Shell Bay, watching a hot air balloon drifting over Poole on the opposite shore, the ferry shuttling across to Sandbanks, and smaller boats bustling along the water.

Shell Bay, Dorset

Sherborne, DorsetThe garden of our hotel was a delight, gently overspilling with a mixture of shrubs and herbaceous perennials swelling in the sun; while blossom, green alkanet, forget-me-nots and tulips provided splashes of colour.

Garden of Eastbury Hotel, Sherborne

hotel garden in Dorset

Dorset is deservedly proud of its local produce, and throughout our stay we enjoyed a wonderful range of local food, skilfully prepared and beautifully presented.

We arrived back to find our own garden had raced ahead in the spring sunshine; new tulips open, aquilegias beginning to open flowers on lofty stems above the last daffodils, while the lawn had also shot up again and was demanding a cut.


After just a couple of days away, we have a lot of catching up to do in the garden; this weekend will mostly find us sowing seeds and planting out seedlings – hoping to find some respite from the plummeting temperatures, blustery winds and showers that the later half of this week has seen.



20 thoughts on “Postcard From Dorset

  1. It is amazing how quickly the garden grows at this time of year, almost every time I walk around the garden there is something new! Do write more about your lunch at River Cottage. Christina

    • Amazing indeed how fast the garden changes at the minute. I’ll try and find the chance to write a little more on our lunch soon…

  2. I like staying at places with nice gardens of their own, I like to take a few quiet moments there to read, sort out plans, or digest the sights from recent outings. The garden at your hotel does look lovely.

  3. You certainly had great weather for that little break. I’ve been looking at the weather forecast for the next week, and I don’t like what I see. I think I may have to cover my whole plot with a giant polytunnel equipped with artificial lighting!

    • Thanks, it was all very picturesque. There is something completely unbeatable about driving through British country lanes as spring is surging and the sun is shining.

  4. Good to share a small part of your lovely weekend, so thanks for all the pictures – and enjoy being home again!

  5. Ah the sunny weekend. I remember it well. 😉 I haven’t spent much time in Dorset. Generally we’re passing through or over the border in Devon. Looks gorgeous in all that sunshine though.

    • I hope there are plenty more sunny weekends like that one to come! Hard to imagine earlier this week when the rain was belting down though.
      We hadn’t stayed in Dorset before either; it was lovely.

  6. Dorset always looks a great part of the country to visit – unfortunately we have usually only sailed through to catch ferries leaving from Poole. We did have one unscheduled overnight stop though when our campervan broke down and we were marooned overnight in Shaftesbury which was a magical spot. We must tarry one year and see more of the sights. Such brilliant skies in your photos and it sounds as if you had a great time Sara.

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