01 April, 2016

Easter weekend on the Jurassic coast

We had a lovely Easter weekend on the Jurassic coast, staying in Weymouth. The weather was a bit stormy at times, but otherwise things were great.

We stopped en route at one of our favourite places -- Stourhead. The weather that day was perfect and we absolutely loved wandering round the beautiful grounds in the bright spring sunshine. The kids, despite being teenagers now, were insistent that we do a National Trust Easter egg trail (they're still prepared to do it for the chocolate!!) and so we did. The (gratefully received) prize was a Cadbury's chocolate bunny each. We also enjoyed eating sandwiches and cakes on the terrace outside Stourhead's cafe. We managed to secure a table in the sun after braving the rather stressful queues for food -- unfortunately only too common in National Trust restaurants these days.

Saturday saw us in Lyme Regis in the pouring rain and howling wind. We visited Dinosaurland, seemingly named for marketing purposes rather than accuracy, given that this museum was more about small fossils than dinosaurs. However, it proved rather interesting -- a large, eclectic collection gathered together over the years from Lyme Regis' beach by a husband and wife palaeontologist team. We did a bit of fossil hunting on the beach ourselves, but didn't come up with anything more than a couple of pretty coloured stones. The wind and rain were a bit of a deterrent, to be honest...

We drove back to our holiday cottage via Abbotsbury -- a beautiful village, originally the site of an abbey. We climbed the hill behind the village to visit the picturesque and windswept fifteenth century church, which was built by the monks. Despite being bare inside, apart from some nesting birds, the chapel still occasionally hosts (presumably standing) services. Well worth a visit.

On Sunday, we visited the absolutely beautiful Athelhampton House. This is a fifteenth century manor house with lovely, award-winning gardens. We truly enjoyed our visit here. It is privately owned and so doesn't have huge numbers of visitors, and when we arrived we were warmly welcomed and actively encouraged to sit on any seat we saw -- most unusual in a stately home! We particularly enjoyed sitting in front of the roaring fire in the magnificent wood-panelled great hall.

We came home via family in Bournemouth, having enjoyed a fun-filled, relaxing Easter weekend.

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