The region that surrounds The Shepherds Hut Retreat is the excellent location of South Somerset and a stone throw from Dorset and Devon with the World Heritage Jurassic Coast only a 30 minute drive away.
What’s On Your Doorstep?
Hinton St George, a picturesque village situated 1 mile to the north, offers a village shop and an award winning gastro pub ‘The Lord Poullett Arms’.
Places To Explore During Your Stay
Lyme Regis famous for the French Lieutenant’s Women and paleontologist, Mary Anning, is 30 minutes drive away. It is a very pretty town with independent boutiques, second hand bookshops, cafes, fossil shops, museums and a cinema.
We recommend having lunch at the Town Mill Bakery or the Mill Tea & Dinning Room, followed by a visit to the microbrewery and Art Gallery housed in an old water mill. And if your pocket stretches to it, you can enjoy dinner at Hix oyster and fish house while you watch the sun go down.
West Bay & Bridport, famous for being the gateway to the Jurassic Coast is only 30 minutes drive away. The market town of Bridport has a thriving artist community. There is still a busy market held on Wednesday and Saturday every week. We recommend attending the Saturday market for vintage bargains and local produce, arts and crafts. It was Bridport where Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall of River Cottage tried out his first produce, and his products are still sold at the monthly farmer’s market.
Bridport also has an independent cinema, The Electric Palace, which also doubles as an entertainment venue. You can also catch a show at the Bridport Art Centre, which is famous for the yearly Bridport writing prize and literary festival, and for the From Page to Screen film festival.
If vintage is your passion, Bridport has a fantastic selection of vintage furniture and clothing shops, which you will find near the St Michael Art studios. There is a sweet Red Brick Café to stop for a cuppa, when you have finished shopping.
West Bay is a 5 minute drive from Bridport. It has a stunning beach with golden cliffs. You can often find fossils on the beach. A great place to stay to watch the sun go down and have a BBQ on the beach. (Bridport has Waitrose, The Co-op and Morrisons if you want to buy BBQ supplies!)
Burton Bradstock home of Billy Bragg and the award winning Hive Beach Café, only a 35 minute drive away. This is a great beach to start from if you fancy covering part of the coast path on foot. If you are feeling fit you can walk to West Bay from here. The beach is owned by the National Trust and is a great spot to fish for mackerel. We recommend getting up early and having breakfast here.
Weymouth is an hour away. It is a traditional seaside town with a long promenade.
The Olympics are coming to Weymouth, so the marina is in the process of being improved, and a new road into Weymouth is being built. Weymouth is a good place for wind surfing, kite surfing and rock climbing.
For Foodies – Places To Eat And Drink
Lord Poulett Arms in Hinton St George is only a 5 minute drive away or can take a leisurely walk through the country lanes. The Lord Poulett Arms won national dinning pub of the year in 2009.
River Cottage Canteen in Axminster is only 30 minutes drive away. Try out their own produce in the restaurant and if you love the food, you can buy the ingredients in their shop to take home.
Hive Beach café at Burton Bradstock is 35 minutes drive away. Visit it for breakfast, lunch and dinner with sea views.
Hix oyster and fish house in Lyme Regis is only 30 minutes drive away and is a great place to eat dinner and watch the sun go down
The Wild Garlic in Beaminster, only 20 minutes drive away, is run by Mat Follas, a MasterChef winner. This is a great place for game and shellfish, which he catches himself.
The Phoenix Bakery in Weymouth run by Aidan Chapman, Master Baker and River Cottage teacher to Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and staff. We think he makes the best brownies in the world!
Olive Tree Restaurant in Bridport, Warming Mediterranean food cooked in front of you in the open kitchen!
Jalopy Pizza brings high quality street food to Dorset and beyond. We use very high quality ingredients and hand make each pizza to order. The pizzas are cooked in our authentic Ephrem wood fired oven, which gives them a unique flavour.
For History And Outdoor Lovers
Montacute House, which is a 20 minutes drive away, is a 16th century mansion built for Sir Edward Phelips. It has the longest Long Gallery in England and houses more than 60 of best Tudor and Elizabethan portraits from the National Portrait Gallery collection.
Forde Abbey, A stately home only 10 minutes away with more than 900 years of history and romance are encapsulated in this elegant former Cistercian monastery and its 30 acres of award winning gardens.
The South West Coast Path National Trail is 630 miles of superb coastal walking. From Minehead on the edge of the Exmoor National Park to the shores of Poole Harbour, in Dorset, it is the best way to enjoy the wonderful coastal scenery, wildlife and heritage.
Abbotsbury Swannery and the Subtropical Gardens, Only 40 minutes drive away the picturesque village of Abbotsbury with its ruined Abbey, Tithe barn and Swannery are bordered by the unique Subtropical Gardens. This is an amazing day out.