Summer is well underway!

Cassie writes .........

' Well we have loads of visitors at Graston Farm at present, with  cottages, caravans and the B&B busy this week. We have had some smashing guests, particularly those with doggies - or who take a special shine to me!!!

Last week it was the Norris's whose big dog Jed became a special friend. Here we are playing in the caravan paddock! Sally Ann and Stuart, Jed's parents also brought me TREATS! Woof Woof!

Then Jed showed me his travelling arrangements - very posh with his own air conditioning. He let me spend some time in there with him

Toby, Martha and Cassie.jpg

Then this week Martha brought her family to visit me too. She was great and took me for walks. She had two brothers Toby and Richard and they spoilt me rotten! 

Now a whole new lot of guests have arrived and they are slowly getting used to the fact that I sometimes tag along on walks and pop-into their caravans and gardens. For some reason I had to be brought home this morning in a very smart van from the leisure park next door,I have no idea why - I know my way home perfectly! Hey Ho! I never get tired of meeting new people!

Barn Cottage - newly refurbished and taking guests (who love it!)

Following a full refurbishment Barn Cottage is now taking guests again. We have refitted the kitchen and bathroom, added a shower room downstairs and fitted new carpets and flooring. There is a new wood burning stove in the cosy sitting room, and new new door out to the beautiful garden - where we discovered a well during our works! 

Barn Cottage has a gorgeous and very private garden and at this time of your it is a tranquil place to rest, read and relax. You will have your own parking place and plenty of room if you have more than one car in your party.

Barn Cottage - a welcome awaits .....

Barn Cottage - a welcome awaits .....

Barn Cottage Terrace

Barn Cottage Terrace

Barn Cottage

Barn cottage is undergoing a major make-over and progress is being made with a new bathroom, kitchen and downstairs shower room. Everywhere has been painted and we have new carpets and wooden floors throughout. The new wood burning stove is installed and we provide a complimentary basket of logs - hopefully the weather will mean you don't need them!

We discovered an old well underneath the foundations in the front garden, which we have tidied up and which provides a point of interest in front of the new sitting room door. 

But best of all - the garden is looking so beautiful at present. The lilac bush is in full flower and many of the mature shrubs are starting to look ready to bloom. The garden in Barn cottage is at the front of the plot, however, it is beautifully secluded and private.

Our first visitors following the make-over come in early June - we can't wait

We also have some new little lambs - just arrived and pictured here with the bit of the farmer's thumb. They are smashing little chaps, and are taking their milk more easily every day. Together with their 4 big sisters and the four calves there is plenty of feeding to be done - which guests can watch at least twice a day. 

5 new little lambs! (Sorry about my finger!)

5 new little lambs! (Sorry about my finger!)

So all in all plenty to do at Graston Farm, and Barn Cottage is rapidly getting ready for guests soon!

Nene Trekkers come to Graston Farm

We were very pleased to accommodate the Nene Trekkers for a long weekend recently. These guys really put in some serious miles whilst they were with us, and were great company and good to have around. They took Courtyard and Cobbles cottages, meaning that through the interconnecting door they could use the two properties as one. 

The group really enjoyed local walks and most said they'd like to return to Graston Farm Cottages. Where fewer people stay and don't use all of the rooms/linen etc., we can offer a discount, making it economically possible for couples to holiday at reasonable cost.

The Nene Trekkers have been together since 1979!

 

 

We have also got some new friends on the farm, four lovely calves, which the children this week, have really enjoyed watching being fed. I introduced the Nene Trekkers to the new calves and all were entranced at how beautiful they are. The calves have adjusted to life at Graston Farm very quickly - settling in and feeding well. They are very sociable too!

With Easter approaching we are planning our Easter egg hunt. We have three cottages full for Easter and so there will be plenty of opportunities to hide and seek the eggs.

Looking forward to Spring time!

Here at Graston Farm Cottages we have had some lovely families to stay during the period after Christmas, and last week for half-term we were full to the gunnels! All of the families we have had staying have found loads to do in West Dorset, and most have been sad to leave after their break with us. Cassie remains a real favourite with the children - and a good many adults too. Last week we looked everywhere for her, she does like to join people for a walk - even people just walking on the farm tracks - so we thought she had gone for a stroll. However, on further investigation, she was curled up in Cobbles Cottage with the little family staying there!! 

We have early signs of Spring showing here on the Farm, with Daffodils and Snowdrops all over the place. We have had very little real winter weather - we often come of lightly here on the coast - however we feel a little nervous that we might get a late 'snap'. Never mind all of the cottages have cosy wood burning stoves and are fully heated by our Biomas boiler, so always cosy inside.

We have been doing some work on Barn Cottage, new bathroom, kitchen and carpets etc. To our surprise and delight our builders discovered a WELL in the front garden, in front of the cottage. It seems to be very deep, so we have been building up the sides and will install a safety grid on the top. But now it is found its definitely staying!

So! we are looking forward to our spring and summer guests, to welcoming some new spring lambs into the paddock and generally having a fun time!

Well at Barn Cottage
Cassie on the top!

Four cottages, one family - great Christmas day lunch!

We had a full-on Christmas and New-Year here at Graston Farm, with a massive changeover between. These photos show just how four cottages can be squeezed into one for a great Christmas get together, 

At New-Year we had our usual Firework display (Andrew a great firework technician)! and some of our guests also let of some amazing rockets to herald 2017.

Stile Cottage (plus the other three) for Christmas Day lunch! A squash but they made it!

Stile Cottage (plus the other three) for Christmas Day lunch! A squash but they made it!

Christmas - only two more sleeps!

Here at Graston Farm were all ready for Christmas and one family has taken all four of our cottages for the festive season. They have all arrived, settled in and enjoying their time by our lovely wood burning fires.

Cassie is very curious about the Christmas tree in the farmhouse, and is generally energised by the fact that there is clearly something on the horizon - probably because there is so much baking going on, and so many cake bowls to lick - lucky girl.

Tomorrow our family arrives and we shall be going to the annual Crib Service at St. Mary the Virgin in Burton Bradstock. This will be followed by 11am service on Christmas morning, and then drinks for the neighbours chez nous!

Shame about the weather - but lovely and cosy here at Graston Farm! Merry Christmas!

Dippy is coming to the Jurassic Coast: Dorchester first stop!

Director of Dorset County Museum, Dr Jon Murden and Dr Sam Rose, Jurassic Coast are excited to be welcoming Dippy to the heart of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, and agree that “as the birthplace of palaeontology, there is nowhere in the UK more appropriate for Dippy to start his national tour than Dorset and we’re thrilled to have been chosen as the first host venue."

The Jurassic Coast Trust is delighted to be partnering with Dorset County Museum to bring Dippy to Dorset. We will be working with schools, community groups, local charities, children’s centres, and other museums and visitor centres along the length of the World Heritage Site to help people across the region take full advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

 

Cassie goes fishing!

Every day at Graston Farm we feed the fish in our garden fish pond. Yesterday whilst my back was turned Cassie decided she rather liked the fishes' food! She often gets perilously close to the edge and one day I'm sure she will loose her footing (or pawing) and fall in.

It was a beautiful day and one for spending time in the garden. We do have some little children in the cottages this week, who are a bit intrigued by Cassie, but they are too young yet, to get down and really enjoy playing with her.

Over the summer several items have been left in the cottages, and not always discovered straight away! (Note to the cleaners - please check every drawer, every week!) Displayed below are some of the precious things left by visitors - if you recognise them, let me know and I'll post them on to you.

 

Super wet weather cagoole

Super wet weather cagoole

Lovely child's fleece and scary dinosaur, and cheeky monkey pants

Lovely child's fleece and scary dinosaur, and cheeky monkey pants

We've loved having all of our guests this year, and hope that that they recognise these items and claim them soon.

I'm Bored!

With the 'season' (thats what Andrew and Chrissie call it) drawing to a close, I'm afraid life has got a little bit boring. All of the great children who visited over the last month have gone home (some to places like Australia, New Zealand and Canada) and I only have Chrissie and Andrew to play with now. There are visitors still in our cottages, and they seem really happy, but they don't have children. Still a few have nice little doggies - so not all bad!

Chrissie says that you should check out the Literary Festival coming up in Bridport (www.bridlit.com) in November - some really great authors and celebs are coming to talk about their books? (I personally find books very tasty!) We apparently have room for extra guests that week if you are tempted.

With it being autumn the days don't seem to last so long, and everything feels a bit busy, the farmer is working a lot with harvest and moving animals around the place. 

We are still looking after calves, hens and lambs and a good supply of eggs is still forthcoming from 'The Mables'. I guess I'd better get used to a quieter life for a while, however, A&C keep mentioning something called half-term, sounds hopeful to me!

Happy days - must roll over now!

Changeover day ...............Sunshine!

Quite frequently when we have a big changeover day, the skies are grey and wet stuff falls from the clouds above. Not today! Clear blue skies and lovely warm sunshine, which together with a beautiful breeze means perfect drying weather.

Cassie has had such fun over the last three weeks, with a visit from James and Rebecca followed by children in most of the cottages, she has been in seventh heaven. But yesterday during the changeover she was completely stumped as to where all her new friends had gone. 

However by this morning normal service was resumed, with loads of new children in the cottages and many coming to collect eggs from the chickens, offer to take her for a walk and making a general fuss of her.

However by this morning normal service was resumed, with loads of new children in the cottages and many coming to collect eggs from the chickens, offer to take her for a walk and making a general fuss of her.

We also had Kiya to stay in the house last night - with her Mum and Grandparents, and that meant lots of fun after they had eaten their breakfast. Not such a bad life! 

WOT?!

"Well! I don't know what all of the fuss is about. I expect it is because it is something they call 'changeover day', but my humans are real mad with me! 

Nearby we have a building site, where the some other humans are working on a house and garden. There the humans are always pleased to see me, and make quite a fuss of me - including letting me sit in their vans sometimes.

Well I was feeling a bit left out this morning since my little friend in Hopscotch cottage was having a 'lie-in' and because of the 'changeover day' thing all my humans were busy. So thought I'd pay my chums at the building site a little visit. One of the humans had left the door of his van open so I snuggled down for a while in the warm sunshine. Whereupon I discovered a little package of food, which he must have left for me - all nicely wrapped with cling film - Great!

I rushed home - very proud - to show Chrissie what I'd got - and she was most iffy, she was really worried that the food was intended for someone else, and kept saying she'd have to make more sandwiches to replace those I'd stolen! Stolen! 

Whose lunch?!

Whose lunch?!

Anyway - I'm keeping a low profile this afternoon, in my favourite place in the garden room. I don't think Chrissie knows I'm here since she normally gets iffy with me when B&B guests are coming, she doesn't agree that a nice light dusting of white hairs enhances the furniture!

Hey Ho! nearly supper time!

Low-profile Cassie

 

Oxeye daisies on the breakfast table

When I'm laying the table for my breakfast guests I love to wander out into the lanes on the farm and pick fresh country flowers for the table. This morning my guests came down to red campion, oxeye daisies, and buttercups.

This weekend at Graston Farm we have welcomed thee families into the cottages, three caravan/campers into the paddock and three guests are staying with us in the farmhouse. This morning James and Isla - two of our cottage guests who are both in the region of four years of old, came to collect eggs from the 'Mabels'. They (the Mabels) gave us four lovely eggs on that visit to the coup - so eggs forbreakfast in the cottages tomorrow.

Quite a few of our guests are off to Bridport to catch the end of the Bridport Food Festival. My local Rotary club were present at the Beer Festival last evening where we cooked many burgers for the hungry revellers. Although our burger stand was positioned outside the Beer tent we benefited from the music and the atmosphere which was absolutely great.

 

 

Feeding the lambs

We are just about at the end of the season for feeding lambs although our little flock are still here on the farm. Recently Arthur and William came to stay with their parents and grandma, and helped Andrew with feeding. They also helped us to give the lambs names! Billie, Bobbie, Bernie and Belle. So now together with Anna, Elsa and Cheeky (or Greedy), they are being weaned onto grass, with fewer milk feeds a day. 

Also recently Zachary - who was staying in Hopscotch cottage, made us a lovely picture of a chicken and egg, after helping us to collect them with his brothers Reuben and Samuel. His picture is featured on the 'on the farm' page of the site.

........And they're off!

........And they are off!

We have started to work in partnership with Jurassic Electric, who offer electric bike rides in the area. Today our first tour left Graston Farm to explore the Bride Valley.

As an electric bike rider myself - I'm a great fan of this form of transport. The hills just melt away, leaving the rider to fully enjoy the scenery and the countryside. Its a great way to get back into cycling if it has been awhile since you rode a bike, and for local journeys it means no more parking problems, less fossil fuel use and a feeling of being in touch with the environment around us. 

So! if you are coming to Graston Farm Cottages this summer, enquire about these tours. We also have some regular cycles available for hire just ask!

Such a lovely late spring/early summer day

Cassie and I have been walking before lunch and had the most lovely time. The meadow flowers are so vibrant and plentiful, and there are loads of butterflies down by the riverside. The pheasants are everywhere and we detect a new brood by the silage pit on the farm. Also ducks are protecting ducklings on the lagoon. 

The 'Mables' are laying well, there are 10 hens and yesterday they rewarded us with 10 eggs. Children visiting the farm like to go and help Andrew collect them, and also get involved with feeding the lambs and calves.

Last weekend we had visitors in all four cottages who had met at university some years ago. The layout of the cottages and their proximity to each other meant that the guests could gather for meals and leisure, but also find their own space for quiet times. In all we had 13 children staying, across the four cottages, although despite pretty poor weather they managed to find things to amuse themselves. They all enjoyed the Burton Bradstock Food Festival which is held annually on the Hive Beach, and also treated themselves to lovely meals at the Anchor and the Hive Beach Cafe.

One of the wonderful things about this part of the world is that there is literally no light pollution. We are about a mile from the village of Burton Bradstock, a village with no street lights, so when the skies are clear at night views of the stars are quite amazing. Apart from lambs bleating and farmers going about their work, there is very little noise also, so its a perfect place to seeks some peace and quiet. 

Why not look us up and see for yourselves!

 

Breakfast at Graston Farm

If you come to Graston Farm and take the Bed and Breakfast option, you are guaranteed a really hearty breakfast. We always have fresh fruit and yoghurt, cereals and toast, croissants and jam. Then comes the show stopper! Full english breakfast, or something lighter if you prefer, but always eggs from our own chickens!

Having come back from a break in our home in Spain, I'm winding myself up for the season, which as far as the bookings go for the cottages and the B&B - looks as if it is going to be really busy. But its not difficult when you have lovely guests like the ladies I have this weekend. The beauty of having guests in our home, is the variety of interesting people who come to stay. Breakfast is in our farmhouse dining room, which is a continuation of the kitchen. So there is always lively chat between the chef (me) and the guests. 

Some things have changed since I was away in Spain, the lambs have grown exponentially! The three largest are in the paddock now, soon to be moved into their newly prepared field enclosure. The three little ones will then have their growing time in the paddock. Its impossible to go out of the boot room door without the bleating of 'Cheeky' the greediest and cheekiest lamb ever!

So on with the season!

 If you want to enquire about staying at our home in Spain (Costa Brava) take a look at the pictures on the S'Agaro Gallery of this website, and enquire by phone on 07766 912403. There are three bedroom, two bathrooms a solarium and a magnificent view of the Med! 

Our new babies

Over the last week we have been able to offer cosy and comfy homes to some lambs and calves. We have adopted 6 orphan lambs to keep our baby calves company. Of course we have had to name them all since they all have emerging and very individual temperaments. The Calves are, Teddy, Sid and Buttercup. The lambs are Elsa, Anna, Blossom, Bubbles, Jemima and Minnie (the tiny one). They have settled in well, but Andrew has his work cut-out with 4 hourly feeds!

All of our cottages at Graston Farm are occupied this week and we also have visitors in the caravan paddock too. With daffodils out all over the farm it really feels like spring is really here.