A very English scene with rolling green hills tumbling down to long sandy beaches and The Mount which sits apart from the hustle and bustle of Swanage in quieter Durlston. Here lovely local owners Elaine and Carl know exactly what makes a great get together and have thought of everything – a pool table disguised as a dining table, an ‘arty stuff’ drawer for budding artists, musical instruments for prodigies and a secret attic for the kids to pile into. Cooks will love the big colourful kitchen and there are long evenings to be spent crashed out on leather chesterfields heaped with velvet cushions, fire lit. Bedrooms at the front are elegant with sea views (one en-suite) but you won’t feel hard done by in the servants’ quarters, smaller but with iron beds and pretty curtains. There are two family bathrooms and a charming garden surrounds all – grab a colourful deckchair from the wall and spend the day on the lawn with a book. For days out there’s Swanage town with some great up-and-coming eateries, a steam train for littlies, or if you just want to get away from it all the coastal path is at hand for walking and wild swimming.