Holiday Blog

Short breaks over Easter in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall

Dorset Easter Events 2014

Easter is approaching fast and the supermarket shelves are swelling with chocolate temptations! If you are looking for an Easter break in Dorset then you will be pleased to know that we have opened up a number of our properties for short breaks over this period as well as week-long bookings.   Our short breaks start from three nights and we have a number of special offer properties that overlap with our Easter availability meaning you will save even more if you are looking for an Easter holiday at the Dorset coast or countryside.

There are some great Easter Events in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, if you are wondering what is happening in the South West and are looking for events and activities over the Easter holiday then we have outlined a few you might be interested in (do check with each event / venue before planning your journey):

The Great Easter Egg Hunt, Abbotsbury Sub-Tropical Gardens, Abbotsbury, Dorset 18-21 April 2014

An Easter egg hunt for the whole family to enjoy. In the wonderful surroundings of the subtropical gardens at Abbotsbury. Face painting and much more. Great family day out! Hundreds of creme eggs to be found every day.  Free bouncy castle, children’s entertainer and face painter.

Lyme Regis Beer Festival, 5th April,  Lyme Regis

Beer Fest

Now a regular fixture in Lyme’s Calendar, the Beer Festival is an opportunity to sample beers and ciders from local breweries and enjoy the best in local entertainment – all at the Marine Theatre.

Events at Durlston Country Park – ranging from Delinquent Dinosaurs to Star Gazing.

Durlston Country Park has some great events planned, from Stargazing – Moon, Jupiter, Galaxies and Constellations to Delinquent Dinosaurs and Fantastic Fossils!  Take a look at their full events diary to see what else is on: Events Diary.

Here’s a Link to What’s on in Cornwall over Easter

Here’s a link to Events in Devon


An adventure to The Purbecks, East Dorset


Last Monday I had the day off, it was such a beautiful day that my partner and I decided to go explore The Purbecks. We headed out to Studland through Corfe Castle.

Corfe Castle

I love The Purbecks, there is something wild and rugged about it which somehow is really relaxing. I’m lucky that Studland is only a short drive but it felt like I was on a Dorset Holiday!

We stopped for lunch at the Bankes Arms in Studland. The food is really good – I recommend the Fish and Chips or the      Ploughmans.

bankes arms

Studland Bay is made up of various beaches (one being a nudist) and is looked   after by The National Trust. There is plenty of car parking and a couple of places to get something to eat or drink along the beach (Knoll Beach Cafe is meant to be nice).




After lunch, we headed out towards Old Harry’s Rocks which is about a 1.5 mile walk along a bridalway.

Below are pictures I took of the views at Old Harry’s Rocks. if you stand one way you can see across to Swanage and the other side across to Poole and Studland.



1922390_10152223753019491_1914132943_n 16604_10152223830694491_1230131667_n



1012388_10152223830564491_705298029_n 1013465_10152223830399491_142353792_n


1622875_10152223830754491_684851634_n 1779040_10152223830804491_536628316_n

On our way back we walked via South Beach (no its the one in Miami!) Studland-AP


When we got back to the car we decided to go to Chococo in Swanage – this is one of my favorite places to go for a hot chocolate. Try the ‘deluxe’ hot chocolate. It’s amazing – seriously naughty though!! Oh and The ginger cake is really good too.

hot chocolate

If I’ve tempted you down to The Purbecks and East Dorset, Dream Cottages has a number of lovely cottages in the area. Coombe Orchard is only a short drive from Swanage and Langton Matravers. Its a cute little bolthole for two and welcomes dogs.

The other is Tavern Way in Corfe Castle. This stone property has two bedrooms sleeping four and gorgeous views from the back of the property. This also welcomes two dogs.

For further information on our East Dorset properties do call us on 01305 789000 or drop us an email




Have you been to Ringstead Beach in Dorset?


Ringstead beach is a only short drive from Weymouth. head out towards Osmington and further on you will see a sign for ‘Beach Cafe’ and Ringstead. You take a sharp turn down a steep hill into Upton and you just follow the lane up and down the hills until you arrive at the car park and cafe.

photo 15

Parking can be a little pricey in the summer but it is totally worth it (around £6 per car) you could always park at the top and walk, it’s free in the winter and dog friendly.

photo 16



photo 14



We have had a lot of rain over the last couple of weeks but when the sun came out,I quickly headed down to the beach.


photo 12 photo 11 photo 7 photo 8


I always think I could go on holiday to Ringstead even though I live close by!






photo 13

It’s one of my favorite places in the county. It’s the perfect place for summer (or even winter!) BBQ’s with friends, crabbing, dog walking, swimming, rock pooling and on that particular day a romantic walk with my partner to stroll off all the Christmas food!


photo 21


photo 20


photo 4 photo 7


In the summer there is a popular cafe which serves a delicious crab sarnie and yummy cream tea. You can buy most essentials if your renting a holiday cottage which is handy as I doubt very much you will want to leave once you’ve arrived!

From Ringstead I recommend a short walk along the coast path to Osmington ending up at The Smugglers Pub. Or if you turn East and head up the hills it will take you past St Catherine’s Chapel and onto Holworth where you will witness stunning views over towards Lulworth.

If this has tempted you to come down to Ringstead then have a look at Pitt Cottage which is right on the beach. The property has three bedrooms sleeping seven and welcomes dogs.


Pitt Cottage, Ringstead Dorset.

Hope to see you soon and Happy new year!








Soggy Santas and freezing harbour Swims – Got to love Weymouth at Christmas

Did anyone see the all the Santas chasing a Christmas pudding down Weymouth Beach on Sunday? I haven’t got mad this actually happened! Over 100 Father Christmas’s turned up to chase the pud 5km up and down the seafront to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

xmas weymouth


Next on the agenda for fun things over the festive period is the Christmas Day Harbour Swim. This annual daring swim is organised by the Weymouth and Portland Lions and anyone can get involved… Over 150 brave souls took part in last years event.


xmas weymouth 2

Its not to late to book somewhere for Christmas or New year. We have some fantastic special offers (Some with 30% off a festive break) We can help organize a tree and recommend where you can get a some local food and drink. As always if you would like some further information call us on 01305 789000 or drop us an email

Hope to see you soon






WIN delicious Dorset Tea!


Dream Cottages is delighted to have teamed up with Dorset Tea this Christmas. Simply enter your details below and one lucky winner will win a luxury Dorset Tea Caddy Tin and a box of 80 luxury Dorset Tea bags. This prize will come just in time for Christmas! After lots of running around what could be better than putting your feet up with a delicious cup of Dorset Tea!

 Enter here and one lucky winner will win this gorgeous prize.

xmas caddy comp  

Best of luck!



Dream Cottages outing to Lyme Bay Winery

Last week Joy, Lynn and Hazel went to see our Cornwall properties to take some new pictures (watch this space!) on the way back they stopped off at Lyme Bay Winery near Lyme Regis to sample local tipples in time for Christmas.


Choosing a good bottle of wine can pose similar challenges to choosing a holiday cottage. First you are attracted to the packaging, then the volume, or number of rooms, then the price tag; is it good value for money? And if all of the former meet the brief, then proof of the pudding, (as the old adage goes, or wine or in fact holiday cottage in our case), is in the tasting!

Lyme Bay Winery logo




A recent visit to Lyme Bay’s Winery by Dream Cottages staff, proved most enjoyable. There was a wonderful variety of locally produced wines, liqueurs, ciders and ales. And there was lots of tasting going on too.


 Lyme bay winery 2



The raspberry wine, with its slimmer that usual elegant looking bottle and the chocolate orange liqueur, with equally stylish packaging, which Lynn and Hazel are enjoying sampling below, were particularly delicious and made it onto both their shopping lists!

Lynn Wine Bay 2

We really enjoyed our trip to Cornwall but Lyme Regis and West Dorset are seriously gorgeous too. We have several properties around Lyme Regis.  The beautiful Cobb is famous for being the set of The French Lieutenants Woman and Mark Hix’s Oyster Bar is very yummy.



Victorian Shownight and Weymouth Christmas Lights Switch On 6th Dec 2013

We love Christmas at Dream Cottages, we had some great news this week that there will be a festive Victorian Shownight here in Weymouth on Friday 6th December 2013.
All sorts of festive fun will be happening during the day which starts at 3pm,  There will be a snow machine, Ice Rink, and even real reindeers.  A stage set up in New Bond Street and also events in Hope Square including a Christmas parade - we can’t wait an ice rink right outside the office!!!! 


snow weymouth
Maybe we will have some real snow to go with our Xmas evening!
There will be lots of stalls in Hope Square (shopping and a whizz round the ice-rink after work then!) stalls so far include festive produce, decorations, cards and gifts, books, roasted chestnuts (yum) mulled wine, Bratwurst and delicious mince pies.  Father xmas has taken time out of his bust schedule to even set up a grotto!!
Later on in the eventing the Christmas lights will be switched on (Who is going to switch them on is the question on everyone’s lips!?!) and to finish the day there will be carol singing for everyone.



Below is the timetable of events



3pm Show night Begins Christmas Market and Ice rink Opens

5pm Santa arrives

6pm Mayor arrives to Switch on the Lights

6.30pm Parade around to Hope Square

6.30pm Music including Rock Choir on Stage in New Bond Street
8pm Prize giving and Carols. 

And even better still It is free parking in Weymouth from 6pm every evening after 1st November 2013!!!

If you are thinking about heading down to Dorset to join in with the festive cheer then have a look at our special offers    as some of cottages have 20% off over the Christmas period.
As always we love to hear from our guests or people who are thinking about coming down to the South West, if you have any questions do get in touch on 01305 789000 or email us at

Exploring Worth Matravers

 A couple of weeks ago, I braved the elements and decided to head over to the coastal village of Worth Matravers (near Swanage) for a Sunday stroll. Having lived in Dorset my entire life I still love to explore parts of the county and find East Dorset especially endearing.


The Purbecks

Before we began our hike we sweetened up with a trip to Chococo in Swanage. Inside their gorgeous little shop/cafe you will find the most amazing chocolates, cakes and personally the best hot chocolate I have ever experienced!  

hot chocolate Hot chocolate at Chococo!

After indulging into this chocolaety heaven it was decided that we should go for a walk. Worth Matravers is a small village only a few miles from Swanage. It is well known for its quirky pub The Square and Compass. The pub doesnt really have a bar – you queue ni the entrance and peer over a stable door to order your beer and pasty or pie (it’s the only thing they serve food wise!)

  Square and Compass



Back to the walk… We parked in the car park and headed down to Winspit. It’s easily marked and you just follow everyone else down the track to the coast. Arriving at Winspit it feels like you have arrived on another planet. It’s rugged and powering. The waves crash against the rocks and the caves. You can go into some of the caves and they are huge! Keep your eye open for bats!

Next we headed along up the coastal path to Dancing Ledge. It’s about a two mile walk but the views are breath taking. I think you can even make out the Isle of Wright in the distance!

Worth matravers


Dancing ledge is a big rock cove ledge formation. In the summer small rock pools heat up from the sun and they are like mini hot tubs! I didnt really fancy a dip that day so we just sat on the ledge and looked for puffins. (you can take boat from Swanage which takes you to where the puffins hangout)

The stroll back turned into a bit of a hike (we thought we knew a shortcut!) and in all we think we walked about seven miles. It was stunning and the fresh air felt great. And I didn’t feel so guilty about the hit chocolate!

dancing ledge. 2

On the way back stop in at The Scotts Arms at Kingston. It’s a lovely pub. Also Corfe Castle isn’t to far with its famous castle.

if I have tempted you to come down to brace the cliffs of Dorset then these are the nearest properties to Worth Matravers.








 Hyde Beeches is situated on the edge of Wareham Forest. The property has five bedrooms sleeping ten and a dog is welcome too!

Tavern Way







 Tavern Way is in Corfe Castle and has two bedrooms sleeping four.


Christmas only eight weeks away!

The festive season is fast approaching; many of us in the office are already out Christmas shopping for friends and family.


If you are thinking of having a Dorset Christmas then there is plenty for the whole family or friends to get involved in.

Many of our cottages will provide you with a tree and logs for the fire. Chilcotts turkeys are locally renowned and are taking orders now!

If you’re feeling daring on Christmas Day then head to Weymouth for the Harbour Swim!


Weymouth and Portland Lions invite you to get sponsored for this daring annual swim across the harbour. Work up an appetite for your Christmas lunch! Over 150 brave souls took part last year raising hundreds of pounds for a variety of charities and good causes.

We still have some availability for Christmas and New Year. If you fancy something truly unique then take a look at Pitt Cottage. This picture postcard thatched cottage stands majestically in approximately half an acre of land and offers panoramic sea views. Pitt Cottage is situated on Ringstead Bay close to Weymouth. Inside you will find an open fire in the lounge. There are three bedrooms sleeping seven. The family dog is welcome too.


If you want to purchase a special present for a loved one then we might have the answer! You can purchase Dream Cottage gift vouchers. They start from £100. We think it would a lovely gift for someone – a lovely break in Dorset!

As always if you would like further information on what’s going on in Dorset over Christmas or any of our properties then call us on 01305 789000 or

Would you like to be the first to hear of special offers and late availability discounts? Sign up here!!

Half term in Dorset

It only seems a moment ago that the children were going back to school and now half term is just next week!

If you are heading down to Dorset or thinking about it, below are just a few things that are going on.

Head to Halloween Fright nights at Abbotsbury’s Subtropical Garden. From Thursday 17th October to Sunday 3rd of November the gardens turn magical. The two hundred year old garden which spreads over 20 acre will be lit up with hundreds of colored floodlights, candles and lasers. During the period there are three Halloween Fright Nights for children on Thursday 31st October, Friday 1st of October and Saturday 2nd November. A walk through the enchanted garden takes about 40mins and a torch is recommended. On the Halloween fright nights there is Free Face painting (scary faces), a fire eater, a creepy crawly tent and even a laser rave. Spooky fancy dress is encouraged! Visitors can wander along candlelit pathways enjoying the splendor of the Subtropical Gardens from dusk until 8.30pm.

Abbotsbury gardens


Other fun things for Half Term include Sausage and Cider Festival, Purbeck Film Festival, Red Squirrel Walks and Wizard Week at Swanage Railway.

We have a few properties still available for half term now with special offers!