Holmegate seems located in a more innocent age. But the reality is better, because it’s just ten minutes from romantic Lulworth Cove and twenty from the sailing, surfing and kayaking at Studland Bay and the fossils and fine sands of Kimmeridge Bay. Enid Blyton’s adventures were set here. Maybe you can start some of your own.
The excitement in the back of the car will build as you follow the winding lanes. The gate swings open, the gravel crunches and the serene silence is enchanting. Explore the welcome hamper and unpack as the kids battle over the six bedrooms, invade the games room and dive into the heated pool.
After dinner, table tennis and toys await in the games room, or air hockey and table football in the conservatory. In the bedrooms, you’ll sleep deeply in the crisp linen with the sash windows notched open. Wake up to the pure air of the nature reserve, take breakfast on the terrace, explore the coast, remember what family means.
Dorset is the ultimate garden. The fields wend their way through sleepy thatched villages to bustling seaside towns and the rocky, romantic Jurassic beaches. But there’s a slice of that English dreamscape right out of the French windows, with the promise of serene seclusion and cricket and croquet on the lawn.
The sun’s out, so let’s celebrate. And where better than in the heated outdoor pool? Dive in with the kids. This is where memories are made. Towel off and explore the nooks and crannies of the garden trails beneath the big skies and the swooping skylarks.
Work up an appetite with pre-prandial strolls or football on the lawn, then light the gas barbie, get the steaks out and toast the rolling hills and the taste of freedom.
Spread out, chill out and break out with a book in the expansive spaces at Holmegate. Be apart, be together and be yourselves on comfy sofas in front of roaring fires.
This is a period-features world of grand fireplaces, picture rails and wooden-chest coffee tables. Everything is cosy and comfortable – from the throws on the chairs to the rugs on the floors.
There’s space for 18 here, to read, feed logs onto the fire, watch the flicks on Sky TV or play family games in the lounge or drawing room. For a view of the rolling gardens, repair to the conservatory.
Kids can let off steam with table tennis in the games room or air hockey and table football in the conservatory. There’s a space, a place and a pace for everyone at Holmegate, the house with big spaces and an even bigger heart.
Pile the pot high and let it simmer in the classic country kitchen. Pick up your fresh mackerel, mullet and scallops at The Salt Pig, then let the Aga belt out the heat and cook up a storm as the air fills with the aroma of fresh produce about to hit the huge oak dining table.
Gather at the table, butter the bread, pour the drinks and chinwag away as you remember the simple beauty of family and friends being together over fine food. If you’re celebrating, let us do the work. Pick the phone up and put your feet up as our chef wades in and even washes up afterwards.
In East Holme, you can cook your own steaks on the Black Grill at The Quay Inn or enjoy hearty, family-friendly fare at The Antelope Inn. Try your luck with the 16oz ribeye at SteakASaurus or tuck into Nepalese nosh at The 29029. Head off for breakfast at The Salt Pig and leave with produce from the deli.
Half an hour away by road but a world apart in quality is Sienna. Celebrate in style at this Michelin-starred Dorchester eaterie. On sunny days, load up at The Salt Pig and gather in the garden to fire up the gas barbie and clink glasses on the terrace as you breathe the clean air and watch the birds swoop over the rolling English hills.
The six bedrooms on Holmegate’s first floor cater for deep and dreamy sleep. Sash windows stare out on an English scene of rolling greenery. At night, the clear skies glitter with a billion bright constellations.
The master bedroom comes with superking bed and en-suite bath for long and languorous soaks. There’s a superking in bedroom two as well, and bedroom three follows suit – but, with zip-and-link, converting to twins is the work of a moment. Bedroom four is another en-suite superking.
There’s further flexibility in bedrooms five and six, which you can use as superking doubles or zip-and-link twins, plus a zed-bed, for the folks you simply can’t leave behind.
Holmegate is the rural retreat that’s a riot of fun for families. But the bedrooms are a haven after a long day. Inch up the sash, wind down with a book or a soak and drift off with clear country air in your lungs and the hoot of an owl in your ears.
So it’s down to you to book a house that will keep every generation happy. Holmegate ticks the boxes for kids with activities inside and out that’ll win the day for you and make memories for them.
They’ll dive right in on day one when they see the pool in the garden. If they’re ever done with that, the adventure playground awaits. Before tea, there’s just time for hide-and-seek in the expansive acres, or cricket or croquet on the English lawns.
The fun continues inside. Prepare to be challenged at ping-pong in the games room, or maybe some air hockey or table tennis in the conservatory? Elsewhere, there are ample spaces for cards or charades, or just a family film night in front of Sky TV and the burning logs.
Gone are the days when the only way to view a house was solely by way of poring over flat and sometimes confusing floor plans. With the emergence of 360-degree video we have an exciting new way of being introduced to the layout of a house.
With a few clicks you can be leisurely making your way through living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, kitchens and bathrooms – the whole house in all its beauty waiting for you to step on in for an effortless and insightful virtual tour.
Holmegate and the Jurassic Coast make a wonderful destination in autumn and winter. There are great walks from the house into East Holme and the countryside around. The Farm Shop at Holme for Gardens has a scrumptious selection of local food and you can pick up fish and shellfish caught fresh each morning from Cove Fish in Lulworth Cove. For a hearty lunch and some great local ales head to The Weld Arms in East Lulworth, or one of the many other good pubs close by.
Kite surfers and windsurfers scud across the water at Studland as you wrap up for a walk on a beautiful, deserted beach. Enjoy golf, shooting and sailing on crisp, clear days. Make the most of Dorset’s many attractions, including the Tank Museum, Corfe Castle and Monkey World, open all year round. Try your hand at baking in the warm, comfortable kitchen or curl up in front of the open fires with a glass of red wine. Holmegate is a haven of comfort, perfect for a winter weekend.
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