Exclusive Autumn Offer! Greenwood Grange is offering BFB users an exclusive 20% Discount of Autumn stays in its newly refurbished 2-bedroom cottages (valid for bookings of 2 adults & 1-2 children staying in Marlott, Yalbury, Weatherbury, Mellchester, Stourcastle or Sandbourne Cottages) between 2/09/16-14/10/16. Use Discount Code: 8WCL1 in BFB booking form to receive the discount.
Where better to escape the ‘madding crowd’ than virtually the very spot Thomas Hardy wrote the novel in the lush and leafy Dorset countryside. The original farm buildings at Greenwood Grange were even built by Hardy’s father in the 1800’s and have been rebuilt, extended and converted into a fantastic cluster of luxury cottages with onsite pool and leisure facilities.
Greenwood Grange has scooped a whole load of awards for its eco friendly ethos and the sensitive transformation of the brick, stone and slate buildings into 4/5-star cottages. These include a gold award in the 2014 Dorset Tourism Awards and being named their self catering establishment of the year for the second year running. Beamed ceilings, exposed brickwork and wood burning stoves give many of their cottages the authentic charm and character, which is perfectly complemented by fresh decor, period furnishings and all the home comforts and mod cons for families to chill out in style.
Children and ‘big kids’ of all ages are in for a fun packed few days with all the things to do in the 7 acres of garden and grounds at Greenwood Grange. The 32ft x 16ft indoor heated swimming pool is an obvious favourite, whatever the weather, and wide Roman steps mean babies and toddlers can have a paddle and play with mum or dad in the shallows. A well-equipped games room will also keep youngsters entertained, featuring a soft play area, pool table, bar billiards, table tennis, table football, flatscreen TV’s and a Nintendo Wii (open from spring to autumn, and over the festive period). Outside, children can burn off energy in a grassy play area, which includes swings, a giant trampoline and a fab, full-size play yurt filled with toys, or follow nature trails, discover willow dens and maybe meet Tess the cat, free range chickens or one of the resident hedgehogs. The owners also run a kids gardening club throughout the summer holidays for hands-on learning about their home grown fruit and veg, composting wormery and hive of busy bees, kindly making yummy honey. Dog are welcome at several of the cottages and the owners can even provide grazing to bring along a horse!!
Greenwood Grange comprises 17 cottages to suit all sizes of families and friends, from couples with a baby right up to 12 people under one roof, many of which are set around a central courtyard with a fenced pond and fountain in the middle. Each one is named after places and people from Hardy’s novels and all the cottages have their own, individual character and interior style, with free Wi Fi.
Yalbury (sleeps 4 + baby) is a two-story terraced cottage within the central courtyard cluster and with French doors onto a patio, shared garden and barbecue area. The cosy lounge has a comfy sofa and armchair, wall mounted fire, flatscreen TV and DVD player, plus natural carpets and rugs throughout make the cottage toasty for little feet. The kitchen/dining room is modern and well equipped, including an oven, hob, microwave and dishwasher. Both bedrooms and a family bathroom are on the first floor, one with a double bed and TV and the second with zip link beds that can be made into a double. A cot can be provided.
Literally at the heart of Thomas Hardy Country in Dorset, Greenwood Grange is just a few hundred yards from the cob and thatch cottage where he was born, bordering beautiful Thorncombe Woods and just a few miles from Dorchester.
The 66 acres of Thorncombe’s woods and heath are cross crossed with trails and tracks to head out with a picnic or plan a bike ride and Dorset Forest School runs play schemes for under 7’s and Bushcraft for over 8’s. England’s Jurassic Coast is just a few miles from Greenwood Grange, where families can spend happy hours hunting for fossils and peering into rockpools. Alternatively, there’s all the quintessential seaside fun and sandy beaches of Weymouth.
There are lots of country pubs in the surrounding villages and countryside to indulge in delicious Dorset produce, the nearest to Greenwood Grange being The Wiseman Arms in West Stafford (5 mins drive). The Blue Vinny in the quirky named Puddletown is also close by and has a great beer garden with a climbing frame and serves good food, so booking is recommended.
Dorchester (3 mins by car) is the pretty county town of Dorset and steeped in history, from the Romans to the Tolpuddle Martyrs so naturally there’s a wide range of shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants and things to do. A thriving market takes place on Wednesday mornings and there’s Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Tesco for essential provisions. The supermarkets will deliver to Greenwood Grange or families could order a fab food box from www.theruralfarmshopcompany.com, who are based locally and provide ready meals, meat, fruit, veggies and even wines, beers and ciders, all delivered to the door.
Besides its history and heritage, Dorchester boasts a Dinosaur Museum and Teddy Bear Museum that will especially appeal to little ones. Families can also plan a fun day out to the award-winning Farmer Palmers Farm Park in Organford near Poole, with indoor and outdoor play areas, themed woodland trails, deer safari, pig racing and friendly animals. If the weather really isn’t great, Monkey Bizness soft play centre in Poole can also be a godsend.
Nearest medical services: GP/A&E in Dorchester, 3 miles.