Saturday, 7 February 2015

Sherbourne, Dorset

Head south-west out of London and, after a bit of Buckinghamshire and a slice of Hampshire, a serving of Wiltshire and just a taste of Somerset, you (finally!) get to Dorset, to my mind, one of England's nicest counties. Slightly wonky hills; beautiful, wild beaches; thick, high hedgerows lining the roads; and plenty of pretty towns, history and opportunities to go fossiling.

We've come down for a long weekend, staying in very sweet, thatch-roofed Mouse Cottage, courtesy of West Country Cottages. But, to break up the approx 3hr journey from town, we stopped in Sherbourne, also in Dorset, as it calls itself 'one of the prettiest towns in England'. Let's see, I said to companion...

Inside The George
I have to add here that, being that it's the first weekend of February when we visit, it's bitingly cold. The sun does something to take the teeth out of the wind, but not enough to make us want to spend too long outdoors, so it's going to be a quickie.

Cheap Street
We park in the pay-and-display car park, helpfully signposted as we entered town. It's conveniently just behind the high street, which is called, delightfully, Cheap Street. Our goal? Find a pub still serving lunch, as it's nearly 3pm. At the top of Cheap Street, we find two: The White Hart, which looks like it can't decide if it's open or not, even though the sign outside says it is, and, almost opposite, The George, which turns out to be the oldest pub in town.

This is the one we choose and yes, the waitress says, glancing at the clock, they're still serving. We quickly grab a table, get told the specials (variations on pork roast, lamb roast, beef roast and chilli with rice) and glance at the menu, which lists exactly what you'd expect from a pub: baked potatoes with various toppings; cod and chips, scampi and chips, and a ploughman's lunch (translated means: some form of bread, often a baquette, with Cheddar cheese, chutney pickle and sometimes a bit of salad on the side).

After lunch, we brave the cold with a brisk stomp down Cheap Street, which is, as promised very pretty, though the most arresting thing I see is a life-size statue of a bear on an upper terrace.

At the far end of the street is the Abbey (flying buttresses, very pretty, c-c-c-can we get back in the car now?), and then a quick trot back up the street, through the archway into the alley and round to the car park again.

The Abbey
Sorry, Sherbourne, I'm sure you deserve more time, but it will have to be on a warmer day.

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