A Cultural Trip to West Country

We woke up to another beautiful day in Dorset. Today was a day of visiting the many sights of West Country. We first drove to Shaftesbury, one of the oldest and highest English towns with lots of historical buildings.

Stopped at the local bakery.Jane wanted Mummy to try a lardy cake, a Dorset speciality.

But what we came to see was the view from the top of Gold Hilla steep cobbled street not just famous for its romantic, picturesque sight of England, but also for the 1973 Hovis bread advertising.We walked further on to Park Walk – hey! we didn’t go around the block and went back to our street, did we? No? Ok, I guess there’s also a street named Park Walk here.

We walked past Shaftesbury Abbey It was established by King Alfred’s daughter, Aethelgifu – the first an abbess established in 888 but dissolved in 1539 during the English Reformation by the order of Thomas Cromwell, minister to King Henry VIII. As dogs were not allowed inside, we just stopped to take in the view from Park Walk.Next stop, Messums Wiltshire in Tisbury housed in a 14th century recently restored monastic/Tithe barn. A multi purpose gallery and arts centre that showcases modern and contemporary art design and performance.
Dogs were most welcomed.

We spent some time appreciating the art and we loved posing with the statues. This one we named it – “Where’s the beef?”Hebe says, “Dance with me.”Oops! I pushed her over! Maybe she’s called “I surrender.”Sorry! I didn’t mean to be disrespectful of your fellow statue …Better leave now. Besides it’s time for lunch at the Forrester in Donhead Saint Andrew.  There’s dog in resident – Rhum, the Scottish Deerhound.  He did cause quite a racket when he walked in – Hebe barked, I barked and George of course when crazy! And he quietly walked away from us.

After a good lunch, the hoomans needed a good work out. We drove to Stourhead Woods to see King Alfred’s Tower. And listen to this, Mummy and Christoph climbed King Alfred’s Tower – all 205 steps!!!! Very impressed!  We weren’t allowed to climb the tower but I bet I could have made it up there faster than the hoomans. But Mummy showed us the pictures she took of the view from above.King Alfred’s Tower stands alone in the woods. It is a Folly tower to commemorate the end of the Seven Years’ War.

We drove on to Stourhead – an English 18th century view of Arcadian paradise. An absolutely beautiful and magical of all the great landscape gardens inspired by the painters of the late 17th century. We got there late afternoon as dogs are permitted into the Gardens only from 4pm during the summer months. We didn’t get to see Palladium mansion owned by the Hoare family.

We did stop in and looked inside the Temple of FloraWe liked the Grottos – dark and damp and mysterious …All along the path were majestic trees. Definitely a worthwhile visit … even though we never saw the house. I think Mummy might like to come back to see it properly.Well, we sure got to see a lot of the West Country. Pretty cool.

And we were all set to watch the skies tonight – the red moon! But clouds covered the skies and we’re not sure we will be able to see it tonight. Last night the moon shone brightly into our bedroom.

May’s comment: Wow! What a day! Saw so much and learnt so much. We travel often abroad but there’s so much to see back in our own backyard.





  1. Cheryl

    Wow, what an amazing adventure! We now have more places to add to our list of places to visit when we come back. Your last sentence caught my attention, people ask us why we keep going back to the UK, we always answer, “because there is so much to see and experience!”


    All of these beautiful places I’ve never been to and only about an hours drive away! I must venture further.

  3. Patricia Jenkins

    Lovely, bought back lots of happy memories of my childhood, I was bought up in Tisbury and I now live in Suffolk. As you say lots to see in our own back yard. Love reading your blog thanks.

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