We got up at 07:00 and by 08:30 we were out on the road headed in the direction of Dorchester and went straight through to Cerne Abbas. In this village there is a giant carved into the limestone rock though it’s origin is not entirely known. There is speculation that it may be an ancient carving of Hercules, or a Saxon (or other) deity. What sheds some doubt on it’s age though is that it is not mentioned in any historical context until the 17th century. This has led some to believe that it is a satirical depiction of Oliver Cromwell.
Whatever the case may be, there is however evidence that the figure has been modified over time and it’s believed it once held an animal skin in it’s empty hand. This would tie in with some depictions of Hercules, the Roman equivalent of the Greek mythological character, Heracles. It seems though that it may not be that well maintained at the minute though as it was difficult to pick out against the grass. it could be though that the weather makes a difference to how well it shows up.
Our next stop was at Athelhampton House. For this one we got a two-for-one offer through “Groupon” which meant it only cost us £6.25 for entry. This house was used for exterior shots during the filming of the Doctor Who story “Seeds of Doom”. An episode during the time of Tom Baker, the fourth actor to play The Doctor, the Time Lord from Galifrey.
To start with we went around the gardens. The first area has large pyramid shaped bushes with a fountain as a centre piece. As we wandered from section to section it seemed evident that these fountains were common amongst them all. Eventually we got a path that crossed some water and led through some trees around to the other side of the house. This comes out where they have a large cylindrical Dovecot you can enter. Inside the Dovecot they actually have space for an incredible number of doves, and there were quite a few in there. Once done we then moved on to the house.
Unlike other houses we’ve been to most of this one was not roped off, and they allow you to sit in the chairs. This is because the owners are quite laid back and probably like having people visit their house. There is an exception though — in the Kings room the bed and a number of items are roped off. The same also applied to the library and dining room – which is understandable as those rooms had things that could be moved.
Once we’d done there we’d intended to go to Lulworth Castle, though after we’d had a cooked picnic at Affpuddle we decided we’d leave Lulworth Castle for another day.
On the way back we stopped off in the Weymouth city centre to look around the shops. My sister bought her third Charlie bear of the holiday for just under £50. I think she may be obsessed with stuffed animals, though that’d be why I usually bring her one back from the other countries I visit.
Before heading back to the car we walked across the sandy beach and found you could walk out a really long way before the water even reached your knees. This indicates the beach is incredibly flat so that when the tide comes in and goes out there will be a massive difference in where the water reaches.
The rest of the afternoon was spent back at the house so we could have a roast dinner. Once we’d had it though we headed back out. My mum and sister spent some time in the amusement arcade – I’d given them a bag filled with about £2 worth of 2p coins.
I went out and walked around the beach for a while as it got darker. Eventually I rejoined them and found that most of the machines in the arcade were out of order, and that their “Van Gogh” booth was in fact a webcam plugged into a PC running Windows 98, with two CRTs and a black and white HP Laserjet. The quality of it’s prints are so incredibly poor.
I then started to watch “The Ring” in the evening once we got back.