3 (off peak)
Rex Officio is a memorable name for the perfect Dorset Cottage. It’s hugely popular with couples searching for a peaceful and romantic hideaway, being tucked away in a quiet corner of the serene village of Chaldon Herring. The Sailor’s Return, a pretty thatched pub renowned for the quality of its menu, is a hop, skip and a jump from the front door, and is a wonderful place for a relaxed drink after a walk through the countryside, or a hearty evening meal when you don’t feel like cooking.
Chaldon Herring boasts some of the loveliest views in the county as well as interesting features like the Five Marys Bronze Age barrows. The church dates from the 1400s, although part of the west tower is even older. Not all of Chaldon’s previous residents were pious - at least four families had members arrested for smuggling!
There is a good village store on Winfrith High Street, around a mile from the cottage, with Dorchester being a 15-minute drive from Rex Officio. This vibrant market town is the county town of Dorset and where you will find a wide assortment of shops and amenities. There are four walking trails around the town, each showcasing a different part of Dorchester’s charm and history. You can find out more on the information board by the Town Pump next to the Corn Exchange in the centre of town.
Dorset’s coastline is as breathtaking as the countryside, and staying at Rex Officio allows you to access it with ease whether your preferred mode of transport is a car, bike or on foot. A fantastic way to spend the day is to walk to Durdle Door (around 45 minutes). The shingle beach can get busy on summer weekends, and the archway is a must-see. Pack a picnic and keep going to Lulworth Cove, which is around another 15 or 20 minutes along the coastal footpath. Looking at the rocky cliffs with caves and tiny coves makes it easy to understand why smugglers gravitated towards the area.
Other attractions in the region include Corfe Castle, Swanage and the Isle of Purbeck. One of the biggest pleasures of a holiday in Dorset is not only seeing these popular sights but also discovering for yourself the unnamed coastal nooks and crannies and the rock pools and beaches revealed by low tide. There’s always something beautiful to look at, whatever the season or the weather.
Make sure you visit Moreton at least once. St Nicholas Church has a set of beautiful stained glass windows, and Lawrence of Arabia rests in the churchyard. There are some lovely paths around Winfrith Heath and Tadnoll Heath, as well as several trails like the Jubilee Trail and Lawrence Cycle Ride. Bovington Tank Museum and Monkey World are also nearby, as is Weymouth.
Couples searching for a romantic holiday in Dorset need look no further than Rex Officio. Decorated in a fresh country style, it includes everything you could need for a comfortable stay, including a location that’s quiet yet convenient for Dorset’s major attractions.
Rosemary Hodder joined Independent Cottages in August 2017
The cottage is ideal for couples, with an open plan living area downstairs, and bedroom and bathroom upstairs.
Outside: The owners have created a lovely garden and patio area which allows guests to make the most of the wonderful countryside views. There is garden furniture where you can sit and enjoy a cup of tea on a sunny morning, or a pre-dinner drink after a full day of enjoyment. Off street parking.
Additional Information: The property has oil-fired central heating downstairs and upstairs. There is free WiFi. Utilities, linen and towels are all included. No smoking. Short breaks may be possible out of season depending on availability.
Star Rating: 4 Star
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Short Breaks welcomed; price varies on number of nights' stay eg 70% for 3nts; 76% for 4nts and 85% for 5nts