The county of Dorset is welcomingly rural, sprinkled with idyllic thatched villages, just a few large towns and an inviting lack of motorways, making it the ideal spot to unwind in a Dorset country cottage.
Famed in literature as Thomas Hardy's fictional 'Wessex', the delightful county town of Dorchester (or 'Casterbridge') is home to his last, personally-designed residence, 'Max Gate' from where he created some of his greatest works. Enthusiasts can follow the 13-mile Thomas Hardy Trail from Bere Regis, a fascinating walk tracing his steps taking in stately homes and gardens amid breathtaking scenery.
Prefer to drive? Enjoy gentle day excursions pottering around the rolling countryside, with attractions ranging from galleries and museums to children's activity centres. Stop off in picture-postcard villages and savour afternoon teas with lashings of clotted cream - after all, calories never count on a Dorset country cottage holiday!
Even more on offer in DorsetshireWhat else? Step back in time at battle re-enactment days. View intriguing sites such as Cerne Giant, a rather risqué relic of our pagan past etched in chalk across the mountainside. And of course, you must explore the outstanding Jurassic Coast, lined with stunning beaches and wonderful resorts.
Come evening, look forward to cosy, old-fashioned pubs serving local delights, followed by the best night's sleep in your Dorset country cottage!