We are thrilled to be able to open once again, and welcome you back to The Old Forge from the 4th July. We have put into place safety measures, to protect you and ourselves and make you rest assured so you can enjoy your stay, stress free. Our glamping is currently closed due to some rearranging of the positioning of the Shepherds huts. The huts will now only be let to one party so they will be exclusive to you in their own private paddock in order to keep you all safe. Please bear with us and we look forward to seeing you all back soon!
The swallows are back! They swoop and dive, a pair of feathered fighter jets, catching insects on the wing.The days are long and hot so Lily and I ride out in the cool of the evening, returning by the light of the silvery moon.There are purple orchids out on the down and dog roses in the hedge. Clouds of chalk hill butterflies dance around us.In the field the elder flowers hang like umbrellas their lacy white heads sending out their sweet perfume. I gather my wicker basket to make elderflower cordial and gooseberry and elderflower jam. In ancient folklore it was to be believed if you fell asleep under an elder tree in full bloom, you would be invited into the world of fairies. I think of my grandchildren who are my little fairies and how I miss them all so much……
Another 3 weeks of self isolation we are told. There is sorrel growing in the herb garden. The veins of the lance shaped leaf are dark crimson. I pick some to make soup then saddle up Lily. We head up the steep incline to Compton Down and Melbury Beacon, an ancient landscape of celtic fields and cross dykes. There are cowslips out on the down now along with sweet violets, red campion and little bright blue speedwell who wish us “speed thee well” on our journey. 2 clouded yellow butterflies dance around us and a chiffchaff calls to us from the blackthorn. We reach the summit of Melbury Hill, 863ft up, an Armada beacon sited here in 1588. High above us piccolo shrill, the skylark in ascendance, sings his heart out.
Our fair green land of lark song, Downs and wild flowers, of brilliant blue plane free skies where the apple, pear and cherry blossom dapples in the sunlight.How can it be that so many people are suffering when this world of ours looks so divine.
I have been inspired by David Hockneys I Pad paintings from the Normanday landscape. Here is one of my own done with paints from the grandchildren!
Notes from The Old Forge Self Catering Cottages & Glamping closed 23 March 2020.
We are closed now. Our business which we have built up over 30 years. The place is eerily quiet, not only no guests but no grandchildren. Our donkey is wondering why they are not scrambling onto his back and our dogs look out of the window waiting for them. I saddle up Lily my Arabian mare. She was born here and is beautiful. I set off up over Fontmell Down and then head up into the woods. The wild garlic is in abundance and I stop to gather a bundle to make wild garlic pesto. There is no income now so I forage. We have hens so I make quiches, cakes and frittatas. The yolks are golden yellow. I still have flour in the cupboard so I bake bread. Spelt and rye, granary, sunflower. The loaves sit by the aga.Lily is startled by a pheasant. She leaps into the air and I grab hold of her mane. Above us the buzzards are soaring. They do their loud mewing peeioo to each other. We ride through the valley now and the ewes and their lambs watch us with inquisitive eyes. There are primroses on the banks.
The Old Forge is now closed as it has become clear that we must all heed government advice to stay at Home and stay safe.
We wish our guests all the best and look forward to a time when we are all able to see each other again in happier times. We hope this will be sooner rather than later.
The next few weeks will give us time to reflect on the last 30 wonderful years in business at The Old Forge. Please do stay in touch on social media. Stay at home and stay safe!
We are happy to announce that we have just been awarded the HotelsCombined Recognition of Excellence Award for 2020.
This award is a recognition for consistently achieving the highest standards of customer satisfaction worldwide. The Award is not a ranking list but a group of outstanding accommodations chosen based on a strict set of criteria.
The Old Forge Holiday Cottages received 117 reviews, resulting in an incredible score of 10 out of 10.