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South West Dorset, Bridport, The Chantry, no longer available


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Note, the Vivat Trust has gone out of business and no longer offers this holiday cottage. I have removed them from the Slow Europe listings but am keeping this review in case the house becomes a holiday cottage again.


Vivat Trust, The Chantry

Description: 2 bedroom/2 bathroom house
Link: http://www.vivat-trust.org/properties.php?pid=76
Location: Dorset, Bridport
Date of Stay: July 2011

The Vivat Trust purchase historic buildings throughout the United Kingdom, restore them and turn them into vacation rentals (holiday cottages) to bring in an income for the trust (similar to National Trust but with fewer properties).

The Chantry is the most interesting vacation rental I have stayed in. The house dates from Medieval times - 13th - 14th century - and has been beautifully restored. It was a unique opportunity to spend a week or a short break is such an historic building. The ground floor is the main living room, dining room and kitchen. The first floor is one bedroom, and one more floor up is the second bedroom, each with their own bathroom.

The house is very spacious and full of interesting architectural and historic details. There are partial frescos in the dining room (covered in glass) and carved stone work in several rooms. You can see where the "garderobe" (toilet) was in the master bedroom (now just an interesting stone niche). In the top level bathroom there are some steps leading to a small door that brings you out onto the roof! Even the furnishings were beautiful and in keeping with the place.

It was a dream-come-true staying here and the only reason I don't go back every year is that it is pricey (as you would expect) and we shared the cost with a friend when we went.

The house is in the center of Dorset, on one of the main roads, but traffic is not an issue because the main highway by-passes the town. You can walk to all the wonderful shops and restaurants of Bridport. They have a very good Saturday market. Leakers Bakery is fantastic. There is a Waitrose in town. The coast is a mile away at West Bay. The popular TV series Broadchurch was filmed in this area.

Read more about the Jurassic Coast on Slow Europe Day Trips.


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