"An ancient landscape of rolling downs, sheltered valleys
and Iron Age forts, immortalised in Hardy’s writings ..."
Enjoying a truly tranquil position in the village of Harcombe Bottom, close to the popular resort of Lyme Regis, Harcombe House offers a variety of accommodation to suit all tastes and requirements. The house started life as a Victorian gentleman’s residence, and was later used as a boarding house for the local public school. Surrounded by 9-acre grounds, comprising gardens brimming with rhododendrons, well-tended lawns and shady woodland, each property is furnished to a good standard and enjoys shared use of an indoor swimming pool, hard tennis court and games room and well-equipped children’s playroom – making this an attractive choice for families. With sandy beaches, a host of seaside attractions, and beautiful countryside peppered with picture-postcard villages, all on the doorstep, Harcombe House truly is an ideal holiday location for exploring the delights of Dorset.
Just 2 miles distant lies Lyme Regis, setting for the TV adaptation of John Fowles’ novel A French Lieutenant’s Woman. Here colourful fishing vessels and pleasure craft line the pretty harbour, and a host of outdoor activities, such as fishing, boating, sailing and windsurfing tuition, and golf can be enjoyed. Superb coastal walks can be taken along the World Heritage Coast, with its stretches of fossil beaches to explore, and magnificent views to admire from Golden Cap – the highest point on England’s south coast at 626-ft high.
Nearby, Hardy Country beckons visitors to discover the rolling green pastures and pretty thatched villages made famous in his novels, while for a great family day out, the Georgian seaside town of Weymouth is within easy reach, offering in addition to its harbour and sandy beaches, a host of all-weather attractions, as well as several RSPB sanctuaries. Also well worth a day trip is the county town of Dorchester (20 miles), alias Hardy’s Casterbridge; offering a bustling market square, and some excellent shops and restaurants, Dorchester is also a great base from which to explore the impressive Maiden Castle rising up from the plains. Exeter is within easy driving distance, its skyline dominated by the distinctive monument of St Peter’s Cathedral. Other important historical buildings in the city include the 14th-century Guildhall, several ancient churches and the restored Quayside with its Custom House dating back to 1681. Another town well worth a visit is Weymouth, with many attractions for all the family. The Sea Life Park gives the opportunity to get close to sharks and rays, the Deep Sea Adventure tells the sobering story of the Titanic disaster and The Timewalk contains an entertaining and educational walk-through exhibition of Weymouth’s maritime and brewing past.
Nearby Sidmouth boasts nearly 500 buildings listed as having special historic or architectural interest, and in August the town hosts what many consider to be the country’s best folk festival at the beginning of August. Folk and roots artists from around the world as well as dance and theatre companies take over various venues in the eight-day event. The fishing village of Beer lies huddled within a small sheltered cove between gleaming white headlands. Much of the village remains unchanged since the time when it was a smugglers’ eyrie. With numerous stately homes and gardens to visit locally, including Abbotsbury Swannery and Tropical Gardens, ancient forts perched upon hilltops affording far-reaching views and a host of seaside towns, including Seaton (with its tramway) stretching along the coastline, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this part of the country. Shops ¾ mile.
Fourteen steps to entrance: ‘Upside-down’ style accommodation. Ground floor: Two double bedrooms, one with en-suite shower room and toilet. Twin bedroom. Bathroom with shower attachment and toilet. First floor: Spacious living/dining room with rugs on wooden floor, door to garden and modern fitted kitchen area with tiled floor. Twin bedroom.
SUPERB INDOOR AND OUTDOOR FACILITIES (AVAILABLE ALL YEAR ROUND)
* Indoor heated swimming pool (10m x 4.5m, max depth 1.35m) with shower and changing facilities (open everyday 10am–10pm)
* Hard tennis court
* Indoor games room with TV, video, table tennis, coin-operated pool table and seating area with wood-burning stove
* Children’s room with table football, small pool table, toys, books, games and videos