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English Countryside Travel Diary – Wiltshire & Dorset, England

Filed in: Lifestyle

A peek inside my trip to the English Countryside including Gold Hill, Shaftesbury and Old Wardour Castle.

Gold Hill, Shaftesbury

A Spontaneous Trip to the English Countryside

At the end of September my sister and I travelled to England to visit with our dear friends. My sister, who is not one for planning ahead (apparently!), gave me a call on Wednesday and asked if I was interested in going to England with her ‘next Friday’. I checked my calendar and saw that, while the first weekend of the proposed trip was free, I had a wedding the following weekend so a trip couldn’t work for me. When I told her the news (10 seconds later), she replied ‘OH! I meant this Friday! Do you want to go to England this Friday?’.

Ummm…sure!

So the stars aligned and 2 days later we were off! It had been about 5 years since my last visit to England but it is such a special place to me. I always say that if I were a place (ya ya, not possible, I know) I would in be the English countryside. Lucky for us, our friends live right in the heart of the beautiful rolling hills and my English countryside yearnings were going to be well satisfied.

Getting There, Getting Around

So, before sharing the beauty, I’ll start with the travel details. We flew with Air Transat who I’ve flown with every time I’ve gone to Europe. We were lucky that they had seats available with such a last minute booking and we were doubly lucky that the cost of our flight wasn’t more expensive because of it. My sister and I both agreed to pack carry on only which made our journey seamless. I’m all about the quick convenience of grabbing your bag, walking off the plane, and heading out to explore!

Air Transat flies into Gatwick Airport. I prefer Gatwick to Heathrow because it is a bit more low-key. There are plenty of train and bus connections into London from Gatwick and, once you are in London, you can basically travel all over England with their vast train system. We considered using the train to get around but decided on a rental car so we could have lots of flexibility. My sister is the real trooper in our duo and she handled driving on the opposite side of the road like a pro. However, if you are not 100% comfortable as a driver, I might recommend against this! Most of the rental cars are manual transmission and the traffic (especially leaving the airport!) is not exactly straightforward or slow. Steph wasn’t too intimidated though and we made out very well in the end!

Below I am sharing some of my favourite shots from our trip. I’ve split my photos from the trip into 2 posts starting today with our time in lovely Wiltshire County. Seriously, be still my damn heart. This place is beautiful.

The Walk to Old Wardour Castle

Walk through the English Countryside

Our friends showed us all the lovely sights of the area starting with a country walk to Old Wardour Castle. Only in England can you walk through fields and forests and wind up at an amazing historic castle. Old Wardour Castle was built in 1390s and was badly damaged during the civil war. It now stands as a beautiful ruin which is open for tours to the public. We were too late in the day to go inside the castle but the walk to Old Wardour and around the grounds was plenty for me!

View to Old Wardour Castle

Our forest path eventually opened up to this view of Old Wardour through the trees – so lovely!

English Countryside - New Wardour Castle

Can you spot the small (but not in reality!) building near the centre of the picture? That is the New Wardour Castle which, for the last few years, has been a luxury apartment building with 10 grand units (seriously, Google it…they’re beautiful!). I love how this beautiful rural setting is such a contrast to the luxury apartment buildings that we have here in North America.

Stone archways like this were not uncommon even on the infrequently travelled forest paths that we walked along.

English Countryside walk to Old Wardour Castle

Wilf, the sweetest (and tiniest!) farm dog.

English Countryside Walk to Old Wardour Castle

What I’m Wearing: Levis 501 Jeans (my faves!)//Goorin Bros Hat//Ports 1961 jacket

Old Wardour Castle

Old Wardour Castle

I can only imagine this wall in the spring when all of the rhododendrons are in bloom!

English Countryside farmhouse

Horses at Old Wardour Castle

Came across some ponies and made friends…obviously!

The Farm House

English Countryside farmhouse

We stayed with our friends in their lovely farm house – it couldn’t be more perfect in my eyes!

English Countryside farmhouse

The window in the bedroom – so old, so beautiful.

Farmhouse Gate in the English Countryside

The Wessex Heavy Horse Show

Wessex Heavy Horse Show in the English Countryside

Venturing to the Wessex Heavy Horse Show felt like such a quintessential English Countryside outing but it really was a perfect place to spend a Sunday afternoon (and we were not the only ones who thought so!). There were classic cars, heavy horses, antique steam engines and more dogs than one could identify. So much tweed and so many wellie boots…I loved it!

Wessex Heavy Horse Show in the English Countryside   Wessex Heavy Horse Show in the English Countryside   Wessex Heavy Horse Show in the English Countryside

My cool sis who also became my photographer for the week – she learned quickly!

Shaftesbury

Shaftesbury was a lovely town with many small shops and restaurants and is located in Dorset . We had lunch, ate ice cream, and walked the famous Gold Hill. The picturesque view of Gold Hill is entirely worth the visit to Shaftesbury, even if that is all you do.

Shaftesbury Pub, England

My kind of pub!

And my kind of patio!

I am already itching to go back and visit more English towns. Is there a place that you would go back to over and over?

Gold Hill Shaftesbury


Are charming villages your thing, too? Read our post about beautiful La Gacilly in France – narrow streets and old buildings – the prettiest scene you ever did see!

comments +

  1. Aleksandra

    January 4th, 2018 at 3:40 am

    Last moment trips are always the best ideas 🙂

  2. English Countryside Travel Diary - Bath & The Cotswolds - Threads & Blooms

    January 10th, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    […] week we started with Wiltshire and Dorset and today I am sharing photos from the second part of our trip. After spending time at our friends […]

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