Location: West Lulworth, Dorset, England
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"This super-comfy house is in a spectacularly beautiful part of…"
This super-comfy house is in a spectacularly beautiful part of the Jurassic Dorset coast. It's in a small cul-de-sac on the edge of the village, with the village shop and a pub in easy walking distance.
The house is very new and hasn't yet built up all the accretions of multiple visitors (stray toys, books etc). It's as if you've acquired a temporary gleaming new home with lovely John Lewis gear, which is very pleasing if you need a break from your own very lived-in, over-familiar abode.
The house does have some useful reference books, DVDs, local maps and plenty of info on walks, places to eat, visit and so forth. You'll need to take your own toys, cards etc for rainy days. There's a huge telly, wood-burning stove, CD player, iPod dock etc when you've exhausted the novelty of family games.
Lulworth Cove is the village's main attraction - it's a perfect, sheltered horseshoe with pebbly beach and beautiful water surrounded by chalky cliffs. To get there, you have to walk for about half a mile along the road (pavement in places), although if you don't want to wear out little legs before you get anywhere picturesque, there is a large pay-and-display car park close to the cove. Before you get to the cove itself, there's a heritage centre, touristy shops, fish and chips, pubs, cream teas etc.
To walk off the cream tea, there are excellent, well-signposted treks to west and east of the village - if you have children remotely interested in dinosaurs and fossils, they should be in clover.
The village is close to an army firing range (where they practise with tanks and guns) and so some areas of the coastal walk (including the weird and wonderful "Fossil Forest") are closed on certain days. If you go when they're open, it should be easier than usual to get your children to stick to the path because there are lots of signs telling you not to pick anything up because "they might explode and kill you" (although the grazing horses we saw roaming around seemed unscathed). Again, for children of a certain age, this could add a certain frisson to the walls - no collecting shells!
Whichever walk you do, expect the first part as you climb up from sea level to the coastal path above to be steep.
We went on a bright but seriously chilly weekend and the house was toasty warm and uber-comfortable on our return each day. In warmer weather, there are big doors from the kitchen and living room out to a back garden that has lovely views towards the village church, fields and hills. There are no steps, which means fewer thrills and spills as children tear in and out. Upstairs there are two double bedrooms with en-suite shower rooms, and a twin children's bedroom opposite a bathroom. There's also a downstairs loo and utility room.
Other nearby attractions include Monkey World at Bere Regis, and, of course, a tank museum at Bovington, plus Corfe Castle. Further afield, for fans of Thomas Hardy there is Dorchester (Casterbridge) and for fans of Ian McEwan there's Chesil Beach (but perhaps not if you're on your honeymoon).
The company that rents Sea Thrift is Dorset Coastal Cottages, a small, family-run company. The staff know all the properties and so can advise on which one is best for your family and age of children. Ring 0800 980 4070 or chat to one of their team online to take advantage of this service.Read moreLess
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