Photographing Thomas Hardy's Dorset Coast
It is well-known that the novels of Thomas Hardy and later his poems are based on places in Dorset, where for example, Casterbridge is Dorchester and Budmouth is Weymouth. This Photographing Thomas Hardy's Dorset holiday is a photographic pilgrimage to the county covering his whole life from his birthplace at Higher Bockhampton to Max Gate, his final residence in Dorchester, with easy short walks on landscapes that have inspired many scenarios in his novels.
- Find out how to get the best results from your own camera
- Our professional photography leader will guide and encourage, in small groups of up to 12 guests
- Daily image review sessions offer constructive feedback throughout your holiday
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (better and best rooms from 1pm). Please join us for afternoon tea.
Located on the edge of Puddletown Forest, a landscape associated with the ‘Return of the Native’, we start our pilgrimage with a visit to Hardy’s birthplace, followed by Max Gate in Dorchester. A short stroll will be taken in Puddletown Forest, his ‘Egdon Heath’.
Morning visit to Murderer's Lane (‘The Woodlanders’) and up Bubb Down Hill for the fine view, before we continue on to Melbury Osmond. After a tasty picnic lunch, we head off to Bere Regis for the ‘Church of the d’Urbervilles’ and nearby Woodbury Hill featured in ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’. During the day we cross the River Frome, the ‘Valley of the Little Dairies’ from ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’.
Depart after a leisurely breakfast.
West Lulworth House
Set just 200 yards from the sea, West Lulworth House has a highly coveted location just above the lake-still expanse of Lulworth Cove on Dorset’s iconic Jurassic Coast. Built in 1881 by the then Mayor of Weymouth, it has been perennially popular with walkers, twitchers and fossil hunters. As well as 22 delightful bedrooms, there’s a south facing garden and elevated terrace with cracking views, an outdoor heated pool and a pair of lovely lounges, perfect for a relaxing walking holiday exploring the Jurassic Coast. Step out the front door and on to the coast path. To the west lies Middle Beach and the picture perfect Durdle Door, with its massive rock arch and gently sloping beach. East lie the beaches of Mupe Bay and Arish Mell. But you’re here for the walking and what adventure you’ll have on the coast path or exploring the interior. Then there’s Lulworth Castle and the famous ruins of Corfe Castle standing guard over the Purbeck Hills to explore.
Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi
Stay in one of the main building’s bright, beautifully presented rooms or in the adjoining cottage. With 22 bedrooms, West Lulworth House has plenty of space and there’s a range of Good, Better and Best Rooms to choose from: each room has an airy feel and the same cosy style. Opt though for Room 3 on the first floor of the main house for its weathered, pastel-painted wood panels and the lovely view looking over the cove, or squirrel yourself away in Room 22 in the cottage to the side of the main house for a large room with more sumptuous views to soak up.
All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.
Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, attractive garden, outdoor swimming pool, multi-purpose activity room, lounge, library and board games to borrow
After a day walking on the Dorset Coast or hunting for fossils, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Relax by sitting in the sunny south facing gardens or take a table on the terrace with matchless views of the cove below. Slip in to the heated outdoor pool then surface in time to retire to the cosy lounge and its squishy sofas and seafaring decorations to read up on the area or the attractive bar with its pretty tiled insets for a sundowner.
Food & Drink
As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at West Lulworth House is hearty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the dining room hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might tuck in to flavours such as Dorset blue Vinney, pork fillet with Purbeck Cider and apple sauce and New Forest wild mushroom tagliatelle. Settle in under the large roof lantern or beside the panoramic double doors to dine in style – if the sun’s out they’ll even throw the doors open to let the outside in.
For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865
3 nights from 0pp
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