Gillingham is the most northerly town in Dorset and is an excellent base for a self-catering holiday with easy road access to towns in Dorset, Devon and Salisbury Plain. It sits conveniently between the A303 and A30, major roadways through the West Country that merge north of Honiton in Devon. Gillingham is an attractive town, surrounded by quaint Dorset villages with some beautiful countryside and is the hub for this pretty part of Dorset. The town remains mainly unspoilt and has attractive streets and some historic buildings dating as far back as the 15th century. Whether you are looking to take a self-catering break in Gillingham itself or a country cottage holiday in the nearby countryside, this is a picturesque part of the West Country with lots to offer visitors.
Hints and Tips on Cottage Holidays in Gillingham
It has had its share of visitors over the centuries, the Romans were in the district, one in the form of a skeleton still resides at the local museum. Gillingham was the site of a royal hunting lodge during the middle ages that was said to have been frequented by King John, and Kings Henry I, II, and III. In Hardy’s novels Gillingham is portrayed by Leddington and John Constable was a regular visitor, producing some fine drawings and paintings of the town. One of the old bridge is displayed in the Tate Gallery. The church of St. Mary the Virgin was restored in Victorian Times but an Anglo-Saxon stone bearing what could be an interlaced cross can be seen in the church as evidence of very early Christianity in the area. Today there are in excess of 70 shops in the town besides pubs and restaurants, so you are well catered for during your self-catering stay.
Just five miles from Gillingham is the larger town of Shaftesbury. Whilst on your cottage holiday you can walk up the cobbled Gold Hill just like the lad with his baker’s bike in the famous Hovis commercial, while to the north a great day out is to be had for families with a safari at Longleat Safari Park. Railway enthusiasts don’t have to travel far from Gillingham as the Gartell Light Railway can be found off the A303 at Templecombe. A trip out to Salisbury Plain and Stonehenge is a memorable experience, and although much of the area is one huge MOD training ground there are paths and routes for walkers to enjoy legally and safely. The cathedral town of Salisbury is a beautiful place recommended for a visit and as it is on the railway line from Gillingham, you can leave the car behind and stay free from parking charges whilst you explore. You can even take a bus from the bus station for an organised guided tour of Stonehenge if you wish.
Whether you plan to discover this part of the West Country with your family, friends or partner, you will find this a beautiful part of Dorset with lots to offer. When it comes to finding somewhere to stay choose from family cottages, large cottages and romantic cottages, we hope you find an ideal place to stay.
Whether you choose to book a holiday cottage in Gillingham, an apartment, a lodge or another type of self-catering holiday accommodation, we hope you have your best holiday yet in Dorset.