Suggestions from the Team!
Although we are a small team of 8, we are all very different and lead very different lives when not at work. Some of us have children, some of us don't; some live in quaint Dorset villages and some of us live in the bustling market towns of the Dorset AONB. We even have staff who own livestock and orchards!
We all have our favourite places in the AONB and want to share these with you - hopefully they will inspire you to discover a new bit of Dorset ... there's something for everyone!
At the National Trust site Stonebarrow, there is an amazing new trail for families (and big kids!!) all about Smuggling along the Dorset Coast. The trail is available by downloading it from the Apple store ( type in word Stonebarrow) before you visit, and soon you will be able to hire an MP3 player from the small shop, and collect the activitiy sheets. The walk takes you on a stroll of the Stonebarrow area, telling you great smuggling stories and facts. The children will love the brass rubbings that you collect along the trail. Completed recently by our Support Officer and her 7 year old, where both had great fun, fresh air and excersize.
Pedal & Pub
Our Countryside Officer encourages you to cycle up Spyway Hill, for stunning views of the Marshwood Vale from the iron age hillfort of Eggardon. Walking around Eggardon you will see both Pilsden Pen and Lewesden Hill on the horizon, along with a network of ancient fields. A good start and finish point is the pub in the village of Askerswell, as refreshments may be required after this ride! SY529 933.
Our Landscape Planning Officer reckons you can't beat an afternoon strolling around West Bay, taking in the real eclectic mix of the buildings, both old, new and unique. West Bay is surrounded by dramatic cliffs on one side and the valley heading up to Bridport on the other. The Brit Valley originally used to grow the flax used for the rope industry which was prevalent in this area. Along with the small but busy working harbour, it's so easy to get a feel for the heritage here. If feeling peckish in West Bay, you can choose from one of the many fish & chip huts, dine in a pub, or simply have a cup of tea in a tea room. SY465 932
Fancy a dip? Well the Manager of the team does (maybe it's more than a dip) - he likes to snorkel beneath Scratchy Bottom, just west of the world famous Durdle Door. On a summer's day the water is often crystal clear and therefore a great spot to snorkel. The underwater rocks are amazing, and if you're luck you may see mullet, bass or even spider crabs! Or maybe just relax on the stunning beach watching the array of wildlife around you. SY803 802. Stay as long as you like.
Our Biodiversity Officer suggests a cycle ride starting in the market town of Wareham, crossing over the River Frome and onto the heath of Hartland Moor. It's a place that looks different thoughout the seasons but always stunning. Hartland Moor is a National Nature Reserve and a great place for wildlife - as well as lots of lovely heather and plenty of butterflies, you may see Sand Lizards and even glimpse Dartford Warblers here. 2-3 hours.