About town

Explore the medieval towns and World Heritage Sites that surround us.

Local towns

We are very lucky at The Acorn Inn to have such a fantastic and vast selection of historic towns and villages on our doorstep. The best way to know a place is to get out and experience it first hand...

The estimated times for the journeys below are based on driving.

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Forde Abbey mansion from its ornamental pond and formal gardens. Chard, Somerset The Forde Abbey mansion from beside its ornamental pond and formal gardens

Beaminster, Forde Abbey & Lyme Regis

Travelling west from the hotel, head towards Beaminster, a town with a square of over 200 listed buildings. Continue to Forde Abbey, formerly a Cistercian monastery founded in 1141, renowned for its award-winning gardens and still privately owned. From there, travel to the quaint seaside town of Lyme Regis, former home of Jane Austen and the town where ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’ was filmed. There you can visit the Harbour Inn, Town Mill (cheesemonger, micro-brewery, art galleries, pottery, knitwear studio and ancient working flour mill) and Dinosaurland. Lunch at the Mill Tea and Dining Room, or Lyme’s Fish Bar for the best fish and chips. Afternoon Tea at the Alexandra Hotel offers spectacular views over Lyme Bay.

Distance: 22.4 miles
Journey time: 46 minutes

Tyneham village evacuated during the war in Dorset,UK

Lawrence of Arabia, Lulworth Cove & Tyneham

T. E. Lawrence’s Cottage, Clouds Hill, was chosen by him because of its proximity to Bovington Camp where he was stationed. Bovington remains an army camp today and is home to the world’s largest Tank Museum. Lulworth is a short drive away, famous for its mock Jacobean Castle (where Emma Thompson’s ‘Nanny McPhee’ was filmed), horseshoe-shaped harbour created about 10 000 years ago and of course, Durdle Door. A motorboat service will take you to Durdle Door by sea from where you can best enjoy this beautiful coastline. Tyneham is also nearby – a deserted and perfectly preserved village in a hidden valley.

Distance: 23 miles
Journey time: 37 minutes

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Local cities



The largest coastal town in Dorset, Bournemouth is a popular holiday destination, and it has been voted one of the best coastal resorts in England. A family-friendly destination, its seven miles of golden beaches are perfect for activities or simply just relaxation. A major tourist spot, Bournemouth is home to the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, just a couple of minutes from the beach. It’s a popular foodie destination too - enjoy award-winning fish and chips from Harry Ramsden as you watch the many surfers riding the waves.

Distance: 41.1 miles
Journey time: 1 hour 

Aerial shot of Exeter,


Known as Devon's cathedral city, Exeter has over 2,000 years of history. Exeter Cathedral, which lies at the heart of the city, is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in England. A compact size, Exeter is a great shopping destination with both high street and independent stores to browse. Underneath the city's streets lies exciting underground passages, which you can explore on a tour - these passages date back to medieval times.

Distance: 57.1 miles
Journey time: 1 hour 20 minutes