This pretty Dorset village lies on the banks of the River Piddle, nine miles north of Dorchester. Take a wander from your holiday cottage in Piddletrenthide and you will discover a peaceful, rural community, centred around the road which runs through the village, heading south, toward the coast, and north, through the Dorset Downs. The road follows the river, which rises by the church in the neigbouring village of Alton Pancras and meets the sea at Poole Harbour. In the centre of the village, a leisurely stroll from holiday cottages in Piddletrenthide, the Piddle Inn is a welcoming pub with a riverside beer garden, a bar stocked with plenty of well-kept ales, roaring fires in the winter, and a menu of hearty classics.

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A substantial 18th-century farmhouse turned into a rural holiday retreat on the grounds of a 650-acre organic dairy farm, Armswell House near Piddletrenthide in Dorset, offers child-friendly accommodation for up to 18 guests, with games room, hot tub, and seven bedrooms (four with en-suite).

Further north on the road through the village, the Poachers’ Inn is an atmospheric 17th-century pub with a reputation for serving excellent food prepared with fresh, local ingredients. Nearby, All Saints is known as one of the county’s finest churches and includes several striking Norman features and a tower that dates back to 1485 with spectacular pinnacles and gargoyles. Following one of the footpaths that lead from the village into the surrounding countryside is highly recommended on self-catering holidays in Piddletrenthide. Near the Poachers’, there is a path to Morning Well, where a number of springs bubble from the foot of a wooded hill into a cool, clear pool.

On the village’s doorstep, the rugged hills, limestone valleys, fields and woods of the Dorset Downs are a paradise for outdoor pursuits. West of Piddletrenthide, near the village of Cerne Abbas, Cerne Giant is an enigmatic, club-wielding man cut into a chalk hillside. Further south, the Jurassic Coast is a breathtaking stretch of sandy beaches and towering cliffs where dinosaur fossils can be found.