Portland, England, United Kingdom
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Approximately 4½ Hours
Travel through the countryside of Dorset towards Cerne Abbas, a village in the valley of the River Cerne in steep chalk downland. Gorgeous and ancient, Cerne Abbas grew up around a great Benedictine abbey founded in AD 987.
The area's unusual geology lends itself to the making of 'chalk figures,' and just north of the village, you will pass the Cerne Abbas Giant -- or 'the Rude Man' as he is often called for reasons that will be quite apparent. This giant hillside carving measures more than 180 feet tall. It is estimated to be anything between a few hundred and a couple of thousand years old. There are many theories about the identity of the giant, but one common interpretation is that he is a prehistoric or Celtic fertility god or symbol.
Continue along a quiet country road to Athelhampton House, steeped in history. Upon arrival enjoy a traditional English cream tea.
The Great Hall lies at the heart of the house and would have served as the entire accommodation when it was first built in 1493. It has been greatly expanded throughout the centuries, but still remains a fine example of Tudor architecture. You'll explore the various rooms of the house, including the
Great Chamber, the King's Room, the Library and the Gallery. Out in the gardens, which are a mixture of both formal and woodland landscapes, explore the Great Court, with its striking pyramid-shaped yew trees.
Re-board your motorcoach and return to the port.
Please note: The giant of Cerne Abbas is just a Photostop and can only be seen from a distance – the sight is weather dependent as it is often not visible on foggy/rainy days.