This has been my bedroom for the last few days. Mum, Dad and I have just had a little break in a gorgeous Bed and Breakfast near Shaftesbury. 'Rose Cottage' is tucked away down some seriously narrow country lanes and it's completely 'off the beaten track'. With it's pale colours, vintage style and endless bookcases of well-read paperbacks - it's my idea of heaven....!
Shaftesbury is famous for the 'Gold Hill' - where a certain bread advert was filmed in the 1980s...
Until the Dissolution (in the late 1530s) there was a huge abbey on the hillside. It must have looked very imposing to the pilgrims that approached it from the plain below. Now the remains have been made into a garden and you can pay a small amount to visit. There's an excellent 'walkie-talkie style' self guide provided which re-creates the beautiful buildings in your imagination.
(I learnt a lot about the Anglo Saxon Kings, politics and battles with the Danes on that afternoon!)
We also visited Stourhead and walked slowly round the Lake. Mum and Dad enjoyed it very much. Having stayed on the Estate for a few days in February, I enjoyed playing tour guide!
It was nice to see all the flowers and veg in the walled garden. This part of the Estate had been very bleak during my last visit. Now it's really colourful..
On Thursday the weather turned much warmer. We went over to Sherbourne to have a look round the town and Abbey.
The interior of the Abbey is as imposing as the exterior...
I was fascinated to read about the troubled relationship between the Abbey and the Town in the 15th Century. This culminated in one of the townsfolk firing a burning arrow through the East window while some building work was taking place in the 1490s. The wooden scaffolding caught fire and the intensity of the heat reddened the stone from the base of the tower to the high altar. It can be clearly seen - even in the 21st Century.
At the Dissolution this Abbey was quickly taken over by the town. It's a beautiful place with a huge amount of history in it's stones!
We also got out onto the hills around Shaftesbury. This was the view from our picnic spot on Thursday evening. Our Bed and Breakfast was about four miles away - right in the centre of the photo!!!!
I've loved the chance to spend more quality time with my family this holiday. This year we've managed to be a little more co-ordinated with our holiday dates and everyone seems to have been in Worcester at the same time. Tomorrow Mum, my sister and I are going over to Leicester. I can't remember the last time the three of us went out on a day trip!!!