The Casterbridge (Dorset)
In the centre of Dorchester, The Casterbridge provides comfortable accommodation a 20-minute drive from Weymouth coast. Hardy’s Cottage, where Thomas Hardy was born, is less than 3 miles from the building.
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Our weather forecast for Dorchester in Dorset is split into two widgets. The first shows a timeline containing temperature, wind, sunrise/sunset and chance of rain, whilst the second shows the forecast for the week ahead including severe weather alerts when available.
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In this 'you may also like' section we attempt to answer what else can I do? Here you have a list by order of being the closest some more beaches, things to see and do, places to eat and upcoming events.
- The Dinosaur Museum in Dorchester is totally devoted to dinosaurs and is the only one of it’s kind in the United Kingdom. The life size reconstructions really get the kids going and they’re part of a multi media experience that includes sound and computer displays to find out more! The real fossils and skeletons help you to visualise the sheer enormity of these creatures and imagine their life on earth. It’s a perfect day out especially with the Jurassic Coast as part of the immediate neighbourhood! Take the kids fossil hunting later on and see what they find on the coastline of Dorset! Charmouth, Lyme Regis, Burton Bradstock – they’re all great places to find fossils and the beaches are stunning! Voted one of the best of Dorset’s attractions, the museum has been on television and in print making it one of the areas most famous attractions for all the family. OPENING TIMES – All year daily, including Sundays, January to March 10am to 4pm. April to September 10am to 5pm. October to December 10am to 4pm. Closed 13th to 26th December inclusive. FACILITIES – The ground floor of the Museum is accessible for people using a wheelchair (only one step with temporary ramp at the entrance). The two upstairs galleries are inaccessible to wheelchair users and to compensate a concessionary rate is charged. Car parking and a wide range of catering establishments can be found within easy walking distance of the Museum. Toilets are available in the Museum. THE DINOSTORE – The ‘Dinostore’ within the Museum is well stocked with a wide range of dinosaur toys, gifts and souvenirs. There is an extensive dinosaur book section with a range of dinosaur titles for kids, schools, and adults. SCHOOL VISITS – The Dinosaur Museum has an enviable reputation for its educational services. The Museum is extremely popular with schools linking various topics to the study of dinosaurs.
- Max Gate was the home of novelist and poet Thomas Hardy – it is believed Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure and the Mayor of Casterbridge were written here. Thomas Hardy designed this red-brick mansion himself and lived here for the last 40 years of his life, and died here on 1928, although his ashes were buried in Westminster Abbey, Thomas was a Dorset man through and through.
- Maiden Castle was built in about 600 BC; the early phase was a simple and similar to many other hill forts in Britain and covering 6.4 hectares (16 acres). Around 450 BC it underwent major expansion, during which the enclosed area was nearly tripled in size to 19 ha (47 acres), making it the largest hill fort in Britain and by some definitions the largest in Europe. At the same time, Maiden Castle’s defences were made more complex with the addition of further ramparts and ditches. Then around 100 BC habitation at the hill fort went into decline and became focused at the eastern end of the site. It was occupied until at least the Roman period. After the Roman conquest in the 1st century AD, Maiden Castle appears to have been abandoned, although the Romans may have had a military presence on the site. In the late 4th century AD, a temple and ancillary buildings were constructed. In the 6th century AD the hill top was entirely abandoned and was used only for agriculture during the medieval period. There is a small car park at the fort which can become busy at peak times.
- This simple thatched cottage in Higher Bockhampton was where Thomas Hardy was born in 1840. The quaint cottage, remote setting and natural beauty of this location helps explain the Hardy’s great writing. Thomas Hardy spent most of his life in an around Dorchester.
- Cerne Abbas Giant is a huge outline sculpted into the chalk hillside above the village of Cerne Abbas representing a naked, club-wielding giant. The outline is 180ft tall making it Britain’s largest chalk hill figure and probably the most controversial. Managed by the National Trust, although parking is on the roadside and the nearest facilities are in the village Cerne Abbas.
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