Winterbourne Abbas, Minterne Magna, Worth Matravers, Burton Bradstock. The charming village names of Dorset evoke a bygone age of rural England and its hedgerows, thatched cottages, and stone churches. One village I am particularly familiar with, is Sydling St. Nicholas, just a few miles upvalley from Dorchester, and just over the hill from the Cerne Abbas giant. My Aunt has lived there for thirty years in a picture postcard thatched cottage with a stream running past the front door. Indeed the house has actually featured on a postcard, and a magazine cover to boot, such are its quintessential charms.

On the first of many visits as a child, I was immediately captivated by the mere fact of having to go over a little bridge to get to the front door. It felt like crossing over onto your own private island, where, under the cottage’s protective thatch, the warm stone walls are covered in a riot of rambling roses and wisteria, framing each of the windows. And now someone else has the chance to be captivated, as my Aunt has decided the time has come to sell up.

Inside is equally charming, with its mix of flagstones and elegant Victorian fireplaces. Here are a few shots I took some time ago. Some of the decor has since changed a little. For more info, click here.