Wend your way through woodland and hit big skies and harvested fields. You’re in the heart of Thomas Hardy country with Horton Tower on the horizon where scenes from Far from the Madding Crowd were filmed. Approach this semi-detached cottage through swathes of anemone and towering purple verbena. Once an 18th-century barn, now a well-decorated and uncluttered space. An open fire steals the show in a cosy sitting room with squidgy sofas and TV. Seat six around a farmhouse table in a smart kitchen groaning with good quality cutlery and pristine white china. Pretty country bedrooms have beams and fabulous views of fields. You’re spoilt for spotless and contemporary bathrooms – three in all. Sit long enough on the small terrace out the back or in the pretty front garden and you’re sure to spot a deer or an owl. Walk to Cranborne Chase, once King John’s hunting ground and one of England’s last ancient woodlands. Expect a thoughtful welcome from garden-loving Pip who lives in the nearby farmhouse: homemade cake and flowers. A bucolic bolthole within easy reach of Dorset’s market towns and beaches.