Driving from Devon through Dorset to Hampshire
This morning we left our cosy Cobblers cottage in Pennymoor and tonight we are in a lovely little bungalow in Bishopstoke, Eastleigh - our base for our final two nights in England. The drive lead us from the narrow and winding lanes of Devon, to the more open roads of Dorset, though the New Forest and finally onto the busy M27 and M3 highways in Hampshire.
Our first stop was Maiden Castle, the huge site of a Neolithic settlement and Iron Age fort. We walked to the top for amazing 360 degree views and Doug studied the incredible ramparts and earthworks that remain. The area was occupied until the Romans attacked and captured the fort, moving all the people to the nearly town that is now Dorchester, our next stop. We really liked this attractive town and enjoyed the Roman walk around the site of the original walls. Found a lovely park with an outdoor gym - very cool. A highlight was the Roman town house, where a glass-walled replica house has been placed over the stone ruins to protect them. You can see the remains of the mosaic floors as they were excavated. Like Maiden Castle, this site was free and we were able to wander around at our leisure, the only ones there - such a contrast from the long queue and approx $60 NZ to view the Roman baths in Bath!