A unique and special B&B, glamping and self catering in Dorset

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South West Tourism Links

Featuring a lovely mix of coastal locations and rural countryside, holidays in Dorset are wonderfully varied. Find local produce, beautiful scenery and the Jurassic Coast Path nestling on the southern coast of England.

There are so many attractions close to The Old Forge for all the family, here is a list of some of the attractions in the area.

We are fortunate enough to have 'Well Trodden Path' in our village, why not have a guided run from the doorstep or relax with a massage. All in the village! Visit their website for more information. A unique approach to health, wellbeing and fitness, using the Dorset Countryside. Click here!

Well Trodden Path

We are fortunate to have this right on our doorstep! Open expanses of flowery downland and far-reaching views, this area of natural beauty was bought in memory of Thomas Hardy, to protect the landscape in which his novels are set. Fontmell Down and Harding's Down offer stunning views that stretch for miles across the Blackmore Vale. It's a fantastic place to spot butterflies and orchids, which thrive here. Head north towards Compton Down and Melbury Hill and you will find one of the best displays of glow-worms during June and July (if the weather is good).

Fontmell Down Places to Visit Melbury

Just a walk up the hill! Compton Abbas Airfield is located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. They are a busy airfield with a popular bar and restaurant with a runway terrace giving fantastic views of the aircraft and surrounding countryside. Flight vouchers are available for that extra special treat. Open daily for flying from 09.00 with the restaurant opening at 0930.

Places to Visit Compton Abbas Places to Visit Compton Abbas

Shaftesbury (10 minute drive) is the site of the former Shaftesbury Abbey, which was founded in 888 by King Alfred and became one of the richest religious establishments in the country, before being destroyed in the Dissolution in 1539. Adjacent to the abbey site is Gold Hill, the steep cobbled street made famous in the 1970s as the setting for Ridley Scott's television advertisement for Hovis bread.

Sherborne (30 minute drive) is a historic Ham Stone town nestled in green valleys and wooded hills. With its abundance of ancient and beautiful buildings, superb Abbey, world famous Schools, picturesque Almshouse and two Castles, Sherborne makes for a captivating visit.

Salisbury (30 minute drive) is a medieval cathedral city in the southern English county of Wiltshire. It’s 9 miles south of the iconic prehistoric stone circle at Stonehenge, which stands on the grassland of Salisbury Plain. The city’s ornate 13th-century cathedral has a 123m spire, a working 14th-century clock and an original copy of the Magna Carta (the Great Charter), a key document from 1215 A.D. Also good for shopping.

Gold Hill Places to Visit Salisbury

There are lots of places to go and a huge choice for a day out with the family. There's also dramatic coastline, unspolit countryside and beautiful gardens for a fix of fresh air and chance to let off steam in the great outdoors. Dorset has a long and proud tradition of large estates and grand country houses and gardens. Local families have carefully preserved these over the centuries. In the modern era these families have had to find new means of survival and many of these houses are now open to the public. The National Trust has a good range of interesting historic houses, including Thomas Hardy’s and Lawrence of Arabia’s original homes, as well as spectacular landscapes including a number on the fossil filled Jurassic Coast.

Stourhead Places to Visit Hardy

Stonehenge (45 minute drive) is perhaps the world’s most famous prehistoric monument. It was built in several stages: the first monument was an early henge monument, built about 5,000 years ago, and the unique stone circle was erected in the late Neolithic period about 2500 BC. In the early Bronze Age many burial mounds were built nearby. Today, along with Avebury, it forms the heart of a World Heritage Site, with a unique concentration of prehistoric monuments.

Stourhead Places to Visit Hardy

A tranquil 20 minute drive, set in the outstanding landscape of the Cranborne Chase, these beautifully laid out gardens were created by General Pitt Rivers in 1880. Recognised by English Heritage as a Garden of National Importance, they were first privately owned gardens to be opened for public enjoyment. As well as being a beautiful garden to visit, it also holds award winning quirky festivals the Larmer Tree Festival, and End of the Road.

Durdle Door Places to Visit Corfe Castle

Just a 50 minute drive away, the 95 miles of coastline stretching from Exmouth in East Devon to Old Harry Rocks in Studland Bay in Dorset is world renowned as the Jurassic Coast and is definitely one of the places to visit during your stay in Dorset. The Jurassic Coast is England’s first natural UNESCO World Heritage Site and ranks among the Great Barrier Reef and the Grand Canyon as one of the wonders of the natural world. Corfe Castle ruins is also one to visit, and it's breath-taking views across Purbeck!

Durdle Door Places to Visit Corfe Castle

The Tank Museum (35 minute drive) brings the history of tanks and tank crews to life, supported by the world's best collection of tanks, and action packed live displays during the school holidays. Our exhibitions tell the story of armoured warfare spanning almost 100 years of history. As you explore the museum's six large halls, you will come face to face with vehicles that have seen action in all the major wars of the 20th Century. Exhibitions including "The Tank Story", "The Trench Experience" and "Battlegroup Afghanistan" brings war time experiences alive plus don't miss our Tank Action displays during the school holidays; life-like explosions, thundering engines and expert commentary. And of course home to one of the true heavyweight stars of Brad Pitt's recent World War Two film 'Fury'.

Tank Places to Visit Old Forge

Longleat, (35 minute drive) stand tall with the giraffes, walk on the wild side with lemurs and get up close with many of Africa and Asia’s majestic animals - this is just a fraction of what’s on offer at the UK’s No.1 Safari Park. At Longleat, you can go back in time and experience over 450 years of history exploring Longleat House. Hear ghostly tales of the Grey Lady, marvel at priceless antiques and walk in the grounds and gardens created by the renowned Capability Brown.

Places to Visit Longleat Places to Visit Longleat

Monkey World (35 minute drive), the chimpanzee rescue centre, based in Wareham, Rescue and Rehabilitation of primates world wide.

Cann Mills (5 minute drive) is a traditional watermill that makes a professional range of flours from its stones and sieves. It has recently built up an expanding range of organic flours. The miller, Michael Stoate, is pleased to host PANARY courses and is available for students to meet on weekdays. There is ample opportunity to arrange to buy his flours.

Bread making course

Higher Green Farm at Twyford (5 minute drive), near Shaftesbury is a converted farm in a stunning rural setting, for the teaching of all forms of Art and Craft. There is workshop, gallery and studio space set within four acres of inspirational grounds and beautiful surrounding countryside, creating that peaceful 'away from it all' feeling.

This is the website for walking holidays with creature comforts, fantastic local food, and the local knowledge and expertise to help you discover and explore rural South West England.

The best attractions in Dorset. From history and heritage to family attractions, houses and castles to gardens, steam to pottery, crafts to animals and shopping to tranquil tea houses. Value for money brought to you in true Best of Dorset style! All on The Old Forges doorstep.


The Old Forge Bed and Breakfast website and photographs copyright © 2017 Sophie Fairchild