Launceston Farm loves
Here are our favourite places in and around Dorset and Wiltshire and how long it will take you to get there. I’m already jealous…
Museum Inn Swanky and ever-so friendly. Offers an affordable selection of bar meals as well as more refined a la carte options – I go for the burger with cheese and bacon every time (10 mins).
The Langton Arms The emphasis is on local and traditional and you can walk to this cosy watering hole from the farm in five minutes.
Home FarmTea Rooms, in a converted stable, are run by another Tarrant Valley farming family with a commitment to quality and deliciousness. Perfect for a traditional Dorset cream tea or a light lunch.(10 mins).
The King John. On the pricey side but you won’t be disappointed. Sample chargrilled lobster and pigeon salad from the outdoor kitchen(20 mins)
The Castleman This is one not to be missed. Rustic charm takes on a whole new meaning and the food is superb. You MUST book ahead particularly at the weekends(10 mins).
Sculpture by the Lake. Art and landscape in perfect harmony. Row out across the lakes to get up close and personal with the awe inspiring bronze sculptures(45 minutes).
Kingston Lacey House & Gardens. A magical mixture of ornate and wild. Lots of lovely secluded bits – our favourite one for hide and seek and it’s National Trust(15 minutes).
Stourhead Gardens. World famous National Trust landscape garden and top picnic spot with a lovely farm shop to raid for goodies(50 minutes).
Pythouse Kitchen Garden. It’s worth visiting this superb Victorian walled garden for the café which uses garden ingredients in its fresh, simple menus. Perfect for Sunday brunch (45 minutes).
It’s great outdoors
Cranbourne Chase and Wiltshire Downs. Launceston Farm is nestled at the heart of one of the country's finest Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Go Ape at Moors Valley Country Park. Swing from the trees for the day – monkey madness all round (30 minutes).
World Heritage Jurassic Coastline. Walk the South West coast path, take to the sea by boat from Lulworth Cove, by kayak at Kimmeridge bay, coasteer or scuba dive – you can’t miss it (45mins – 60 mins).
Shaftesbury. Set for Ridley Scot’s iconic Hovis advert, lots of independents and a focus on Fair Trade and local food shopping (25 mins).
Salisbury. Go for the cathedral. There are some nice cobbled bits for pedestrians but shops and eateries are very main stream. Tuesday and Saturday market days are fun (30 mins).
Sherborne. Very pretty market town with an emphasis on hand crafted loveliness and boutique fashion. Home to Honey Buns bakery and a rather nice castle(50 mins).
Bath. It might just break our one hour rule, but if shopping is what you need, this is it. Go for the day. Don’t miss the rooftop pool on a trip to Thermae Bath Spa(60 mins).
A different sort of day
Centre for Rural Skills. Build an outdoor cob oven, learn to paint or glassblow – all in a day…(20 mins).
Sarpenela Natural Therapies Centre for a deliciously relaxing holistic therapy. We love Sarah's Thai Hot Stone Massage. (10 mins).
Mark Hix runs fish and oyster courses from his kitchen in Lyme Regis (60 mins). Hugh FW’s River Cottage HQ is slightly further (1hr 15) but another popular option with taster days on bread, fish and veg.
Gorcombe Outdoor Activity Centre. Paint balling, clay pigeon shooting, zorbing, archery - its got it all (15 mins).
At Launceston Farm
For Farmers. Budding farmers - or anyone interested in where their food comes from - can take part in one of Jimi's entertaining and informative organic farm tours. He's famous for them.
For walkers and cyclists. You are spoilt for choice. From the farm gate you can join a number of long-distance trailways and bridalways including the North Dorset Trailway, Wessex Ridgeway Trail, Blackmore Vale Path and Jubilee Trail which all pass through the idyllic Tarrant Valley.
For Foodies. Cosy up in the farmhouse kitchen with Sue Brown, one of Leith's of London's finest, for a day or an evening of informal, tailored cookery demonstrations and feasting. For group of eight minimum.
For Riders If you are that way inclined, you are welcome to use the stabling on the farm for a small daily charge.