The Dorset village of Litton Cheney lies at the foot of chalk cliffs, in the River Bride valley, nine miles west of Dorchester. It is also just a few miles from the incredible geology and dinosaur fossils of the Jurassic Coast. With a population of less than 400, Litton Cheney is a peaceful, rural community where narrow, winding country lanes are dotted with historic cottages and farms. There are no shops in the village, but there is a charming pub, the White Horse, serving Dorset ales and a menu of hearty classics, including fish and chips and an excellent Sunday roast. Holiday cottages in Litton Cheney lie within the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a renowned nature reserve of cliffs, beaches, forest, heath and hills.
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On the village’s doorstep, several footpaths meander into the surrounding countryside before ascending to remote hilltops, providing far-reaching views across the county. Self-catering holidays in Litton Cheney are popular among history enthusiasts, thanks to the abundance of ancient sites in the area. These include a Bronze Age stone circle which was discovered just outside the village, and an Iron Age settlement, excavated on Pins Knoll during the fifties.
The parish church of St Mary has a number of striking features, including a nave, porch and chancel which are believed to date back to the 4th and 5th centuries.
A short drive southward from your holiday cottage in Litton Cheney, Chesil Beach is a wild, 18-mile stretch of shingle shore. Exploring this unique stretch of the Dorset coast is highly recommended. Don’t miss Fleet Lagoon, one of the world’s few remaining brackish lagoons, or the swan colony at Abbotsbury.
At the mouth of the River Brit, West Bay is a charming village with a harbour and towering cliffs overlooking a sandy beach. Dorset’s county town of Dorchester is a short drive eastward from Litton Cheney. Visit the former home of Thomas Hardy and other historic landmarks such as the Keep, Maiden Castle, and Athelhampton House and Gardens.