Looking for a last minute country escape? Craving fresh air and big views? Look no further. Winter is a wonderful time to hunker down at Graston Farm. The lanes are quiet, footpaths crunch underfoot, and local villages radiate a welcoming glow. Clifftop walks keep the winter blues at bay, and our wood-fire burners offer the perfect opportunity to curl up.
Here are five of our favourite things about a winter holiday in Dorset:
Just a 20-minute ramble across fields and along the river from Graston’s cottages is the cosy fold of Burton Bradstock’s award-winning village pub. The Three Horseshoes is run by Jaap and Hannah, who have created an atmosphere that suits families, couples, locals and visitors alike. The food is exceptional and has won two Taste of Dorset Awards. We particularly love that they prioritise local suppliers. Winter weekends are the perfect time to settle in next to one of the open fireplaces for a long lunch.
Air circulation is more ‘sluggish’ in summer (so say the scientists), which make winter sunsets more vivid. We can’t verify for the science, but we can confirm that winter sunsets from our local beaches are breathtakingly beautiful. Also, with the sun setting earlier, watching the horizon glow is an activity that the whole family can enjoy. Our top spots for sunset watching include Abbotsbury Swannery, West Bexington Beach, The Seaside Boarding House and Thorncombe Beacon.
Make up for what you might be lacking in vitamin D this winter with a hearty dose of sea air. From the doorstep of Graston Farm cottages, or just a few miles drive away, there are endless clifftop and seaside walks. We’re fortunate to have the South West Coast path right on our doorstep, and the organisation have put together a handy guide to winter walks here. Whether you fancy a two-mile stomp on Hive Beach or exploring 5000 years of history on a five-mile Abbotsbury circuit, there’s something for everyone.
Dorset is awash with local producers, and the colder months are the perfect opportunity to stock up and tuck in. Take a brewery tour at Palmers – one of Britain’s oldest, family-run breweries, which still churns out ale in a pretty, thatched brewery. If cider is more to taste, head to Dorset Nectar for a behind-the-scenes cider and apple juice making tour. A short stroll down the road, Modbury Farm Shop is bursting with local produce, and the nearby River Cottage HQ is running a series of wintery cookery courses.
Whether you’re looking to get stuck in or browse, exploring Dorset’s handy crafts are a good way to warm up on a cold day. The Symondsbury Estate has several winter shopping events, including an Art Fair at The Gallery and Wreath Making workshops. Just down the road, in Abbotsbury, The Dansel Gallery is celebrating 40-years of championing contemporary British woodworking. A little further afield in Beaminster, Herbal Harmony run soap-making day courses, or try your hand at stained glass window making.
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