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Meadows & hills
Explore the life and worls of Thomas Hardy incuding Tess of the D'Urbervilles and the Mayor of Casterbridge. Also discover the setting for other famous works including John Fowels' The French Lieutenant's Woman, Jane Austen's Persuasion and Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach.
- Explore the rich literary connections of the Dorset
- Learn more about Thomas Hardy, John Fowles and Jane Austen
- Visit places of interest associated with each writer
Great reasons to join us:
- Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, plus three full day tours, with entrances to all relevant sites included
- Knowledgeable leader: learn more about the literary connections in Dorset from your knowledgeable leader
- Accommodation: enjoy high-quality accommodation and excellent food at our Country House at Lulworth Lodge
- Sociability: we pride ourselves on the sociable atmosphere of our holidays – explore together, eat together and relax together
Just a stone's throw from the beach at Lulworth Cove, Lulworth Lodge is a walkers lodge with magnificent sea views from the private terrace.
As one of our smaller properties, it makes a comfortable and exclusive base for smaller groups.
We have 12 bedrooms at Lulworth Lodge, some with spectacular views to the sea.
Our classic bedrooms offer comfortable accommodation and an en-suite bathroom with bath or shower. They also have TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities. Single rooms are available for an extra £8 per night.
You can enjoy extra space or exceptional views plus additional facilities including a towelling robe and complimentary slippers when you upgrade to a premium bedroom. Premium rooms are available at just £5 extra per person per night.
All our Country Houses are tailored to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms.
Lulworth Lodge has a relaxed lounge area with open fireplace. There is also a bar and dining area. Free WiFi is available in the public rooms.
Outside the raised private terrace has seating with delightful views down to the cove.
Complimentary parking is available for guests in the public car park about 100 metres from Lulworth Lodge.
All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with all meals included, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure.
Start your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from a wide selection on the cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. Maybe enjoy a lighter option of fruit and yoghurt followed by scrambled egg, go for porridge followed by a full English breakfast, or select something in between.
Choose from our famous self-select picnic lunches - everything you need to keep you going on a day outdoors. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish.
Our house-based Leisure Activities include an in-house lunch (generally soup, sandwiches etc).
The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.
All our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
During your holiday there'll be a book of readings each day. We'll walk through town and countryside to discover connections with the authors, so bring a love of literature and some comfortable shoes with you!
Friday: Arrival day
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. Please join us for afternoon tea at 4pm. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday.
Saturday: T E Lawrence & Hardy
T E Lawrence takes centre stage as we discover the man and unravel the myth, although Tess and other writers will also feature. We’ll start at the village of Chaldon Herring before exploring the rebuilt church at Moreton, where the beautiful etched windows are not to be missed. The small market town of Wareham and the views over Kimmeridge Bay, both with Hardy connections, complete our first day in gorgeous Dorset.
Sunday: Tess of the D’Ubervilles
We’ll visit Sturminster, where Thomas Hardy lived happily, and nearby Marnhull, the village (Marlott) where Tess of the D’Urbervilles was born and raised. In Sherborne and East Coker we meet the Tudor poets Thomas Wyatt and Walter Raleigh, and one of the most significant poets of the 20th century, T S Eliot. We’ll travel back to the Country House in the footsteps of Tess by way of a jolly green giant and Bere Regis (Kingsbere).
Monday: Free Day
A free day for you to explore the local area or to relax in the Country House.
Tuesday: Hardy’s sisters, Golding & Herbert
Following in the footsteps of Hardy’s sisters and his characters, Jude and Sue Bridehead, we’ll head to the cathedral city of Salisbury (Golding’s The Spire), with a visit to the lovely town of Wimborne Minster on the way. Our return journey brings us back via Bemerton, where the poet George Herbert was rector, and Shaftesbury with its famous Gold Hill and stunning views over Blackmore Vale.
Wednesday: Jane Austen, John Fowles and Beatrix Potter
Tales of smuggling, shipwrecks and love will be our focus today. We’ll spend the morning in that most literary of seaside resorts, Lyme Regis, following in the footsteps of, among others, Jane Austen, John Fowles and Beatrix Potter. In the afternoon we’ll return to Lulworth via the beautiful Jurassic coast, with visits to Hardy’s monument (the vice admiral), the smuggling church at Fleet made famous by J Meade Falkner in his novel Moonfleet, Chesil Beach and a viewpoint over Ringstead Bay, where on a fine day we will be able to see the Isle of Portland (Hardy’s Isle of Slingers in The Well Beloved.)
Thursday: Discovering Thomas Hardy’s Roots
We’ll focus on Thomas Hardy with a visit to the historical village of Tolpuddle, famous for its martyrs, and then see Puddletown to see Far from the Madding Crowd’s famous church. Stinsford church, our next stop, is where Hardy’s heart is buried, then we’ll explore his birthplace at Higher Bockhampton. We’ll visit Dorchester and Hardy’s final home, Max Gate, which he designed himself, and return to the Country House via the Valley of the Great Dairies.
Friday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast
Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.
Lulworth Cove is a justifiably popular destination, with day-trippers and holiday-makers drawn by the stunning local scenery. The Cove itself is a near-perfect circle which has been carved by the waves into the soft rocks. A 20 minute walk along the cliff path will take you to Durdle Door, the area's other geological wonder. This impressive natural sea arch has been carved from the harder chalk rocks. The free Heritage Centre next to the public car park is well worth a visit during your stay.
Facilities in Lulworth Cove are limited to a selection of pubs, cafés and souvenir shops. The nearest towns are Wareham, Dorchester and Weymouth, which all have a good selection of banks, chemists and supermarkets.
During your visit to Dorset you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:
The Tank Museum
The Tank Museum at Bovington, 20 minutes' drive north of Lulworth Cove, houses a particularly impressive collection of tanks from around the world. Trace the history from the tank's origins in the First World War to the present day. www.tankmuseum.org
Situated just a couple of miles inland from the cove, Lulworth Castle is a 17th century mock medieval castle that was once the heart of an extensive estate. Having been gutted by fire in 1929 it was derelict for many years, but has since been completely renovated. www.lulworth.com/castle
The iconic ruins of Corfe Castle stand guard over a natural gap in the Purbeck Hills, about 30 minutes' drive from Lulworth. Dating from the 11th century it is now maintained by the National Trust. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/corfe-castle
Ride on this lovingly restored branch line through the glorious Purbeck countryside. Steam hauled trains run throughout the year. You may want to leave your car in the Park & Ride at Norden, about 30 minutes' drive from Lulworth, and use the railway to visit the attractive seaside resort of Swanage. www.swanagerailway.co.uk
Located near Wool, 20 minutes' drive north of Lulworth Cove, Monkey World is a great family attraction. Orginally set up to rescue mistreated monkeys from overseas, it is now home to a huge collection of primates of all shapes and sizes. www.monkeyworld.org
Brownsea Island is located in the middle of Poole Harbour – boats depart from Poole Quay and Sandbanks, about 40 minutes' drive from Lulworth Cove. The island is now a nature reserve, managed by the National Trust and one of last remaining places to spot red squirrels in the UK. Brownsea is also famous as the location of the world's first scout camp in 1907. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/brownsea-island
Weymouth is a fine Regency seaside resort with an ever-popular beach and bustling harbour.
Thomas Hardy’s Cottage
The writer Thomas Hardy was one of Dorset’s most celebrated residents who used the local towns and villages around Dorchester as the setting for many of his novels. His birthplace near Dorchester is around 30 minutes' drive away and now owned by the National Trust. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hardy-country
Athelhampton House & Gardens
Located near Dorchester, about 30 minutes' drive away, Athelhampton House is a fine Tudor building dating from 1485. The surrounding formal gardens are also impressive and were built between 1891 - 1899. www.athelhampton.co.uk
This fine country house and estate is located near Wimborne Minster, about 45 minutes' drive from Lulworth Cove. Dating from 1665, and now managed by the National Trust, it houses a fine collection of antiques, with many notable examples from the Middle East and Egypt. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/kingston-lacy
Kingston Lacey image ©National Trust Images/Chris Lacey, Swanage Railway image © Brian Robert Marshall
Travel to Lulworth Cove
Our address is: Lulworth Lodge, Lulworth Cove, Dorset BH20 5RJ
The nearest railway station is at Wool. For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).
The 5 mile journey from Wool railway station takes approximately 10 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £13 per taxi. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the West Lulworth House Manager.
The recommended route is via Bere Regis and Wool – although slightly longer this avoids the traffic through Bournemouth and Poole. From Bere Regis follow signs to Wool. At Wool cross the level crossing and turn left following signs to Lulworth Cove and West Lulworth. Continue for a further 4 miles to Lulworth Cove. As you enter Lulworth Cove Village, turn in to the public car park at the turning circle. Park your car here. This car park is free for HF Holidays’ guests. Pick up a parking permit from Lulworth Lodge. Exit the car park on foot by the Heritage Centre and follow the road towards the sea. Lulworth Lodge is 50 yards down this road on the left hand side.
Alban has been a teacher and student of literature for over 40 years. He has shared his enthusiasm for novels, plays and poetry with people of all ages, from pupils in secondary school to graduate and post-graduate trainee teachers in a university Faculty of Education.
Alban has a lively interest in literature of all kinds and, after many years of leading theatre visits and educational work with the Royal Shakespeare Company, completed his MA in Shakespeare and Theatre at the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford on Avon and has directed and taught Shakespeare in a rural senior secondary school in South Africa.
He describes Shakespeare as one of the three pillars of his life (the other two being his football team and family!).
He has chosen to lead with HF Holidays after wide experience as a guest on walking holidays both in the UK and abroad – and has no hesitation in recommending the HF Holiday experience to others.
|Date & Rating||Customer Review||HF Holidays says|
4 May 2016, 4:42 p.m.
After 40 years of walking with HF (greatly enjoyed) I now have to seek alternative holidays. HF does a good job of providing these.
The holiday (not walking) was well prepared and carried through.
2 May 2016, 10:50 a.m.
I always feel that HF holidays in the UK are good value for money because so much is included.
Lulworth Lodge was an excellent venue and the vegetarian food the most tasty and imaginative I have ever had. Everyone commented on how good the food and service were. Our leader was first-rate. Overall, a very good break.
Dates & Prices
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|30 Jun 2017||MHHLH - Literary Dorset - Lulworth Lodge||7||£1,065.00||£990.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
- Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
- Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person