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  1. If you are looking for somewhere special to stay in Dorset where the children can run free, play and enjoy the great outdoors then you need to know about Mountain Cottage Yurts in Corfe Mullen.

    Having only ever camped in a tent (which leaked last time) I was very excited about all 4 of us spending the night in a yurt.  The location is idyllic with beautiful fields all around and a lovely woodland area perfect for a family stroll.

    I was a little nervous about the weather forecast but luckily we arrived in bright sunshine and once we’d had a wander around we were shown to our huge yurt.  Having never been in one before I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of space we had.  There were 3 double futons with linen, blankets, duvets, and pillows plus a wood burning stove which made it feel all snug and warm.  I was relieved to see that there was a fire guard as our children are very inquisitive and they were desperate to see what was going on when their Daddy lit it in the evening.

    fotor mountain cottage yurts 1

    The owners have been very keen to keep the site as natural and eco friendly as possible but that certainly doesn’t mean you’ll be without your luxuries.  Having only used stinky eco toilets before I was very pleased when I went in and found that the firstly it didn’t smell bad and secondly they were very clean.  The shower room was well equipped with everything you’d need including a baby change area and even a potty if needed.  My favourite part was the open plan communal kitchen with everything you would need for a stay away from home.  They had stoves, pots, pans, cutlery, cups, a fridge, tubs to keep your food in and plenty of tables and chairs. 

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    Right next to it was a bespoke wooden play frame with slide, mud kitchen, sand pit and water area which the kiddies loved and they would happily play there while I was making food or a cup of tea.

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    Before dinner we decided to stretch our legs and went to find the woodland walk which is just across the neighbouring field.  We would of gone further if we’d had more time but the children were happy finding sticks, stones and flowers so we didn’t actually get to go too far down the track which is a shame.

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    I was told before we arrived that they had a wood burning pizza oven so I thought making our own pizzas for dinner would be a great activity for us and the kids.  I knew that pizzas were meant to prove beforehand but I didn’t have a spare few hours so I found a recipe online for no prove dough which actually worked pretty well.  The kids did a grand job with their bowls and my son weighed out the ingredients required while his little sister just made a mess.  Once the dough was made I split it into 4 balls and then I got the toppings ready for them.  After we attempted a bit of lazy kneading we flattened them down as thinly as possible and then everyone chose their toppings from tomato passata, oregano, mozzarella, ham, pepperoni, mushroom, sweetcorn, onion and cherry tomatoes.  All this time, Daddy was getting the fire up to temperature and we waited patiently for it to be hot enough. 

    I was a little nervous as my culinary efforts are not always successful so I cooked up a can of hot dogs which ended up being a bit of a starter while the pizzas cooked.  To my absolute delight the pizzas were pretty good!  They were much better than shop bought and really satisfying to know we’d made them ourselves and that they were not full of artificial junk or too much salt.

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    By now it was starting to get late and after washing up while the children played I thought it would be a good time to get them ready for bed.  Daddy however thought it would be good for us to take them out for a walk in the dark with torches!  Not the brightest idea with 2 VERY tired children but I went with it and after a walk and a little cup of warm milk in the yurt there were ready to fall in bed.  Trying to get them to sleep was another thing though lol.  The predicted thunderstorm had now started and we could see flashes of lightning through the top of our yurt.  Our daughter had never slept in a bed before and the freedom of her getting up was just too exciting and she bounced between our bed and Daddies who was with her big brother.  I just kept saying ‘she’ll crash in a minute, she must be tired surely???’  Phew, finally she collapsed back in my bed so I snuggled her up and went off to make the cup of tea I was dying for while the boys cuddled up together watching and listening to the storm. 

    It was very eerie in the communal kitchen with the thunderstorm, outside darkness and odd animal noise.  I rarely get such silence and ended up sitting there for nearly an hour writing in my note book like I do, tidying up and enjoying more than one cup of tea.  When I went back to the yurt everyone was fast asleep and I lay there with my baby girl next to me watching the flash lightning surrounded by fairy lights.  I couldn’t have been happier.


    In the morning Daddy put the fire on while I took the kids to the loo and got the kettle on.  Once we were all dressed and tidy with the beds back to where they should be I was on Full English Breakfast duty and rustled up a feast.

    I really can’t recommend this site enough, the owners are very friendly and welcoming and they provided everything we’d need for our stay.  I was worried that our children were making a bit too much mess in the play area with the water but having 2 small children themselves they were completely understanding and encouraged them to get their hands dirty.

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    For more information on Mountain Cottage Yurts please visit the Website.  You’ll find everything you need to know including details on the 4 different sized yurts, availability, costs, info on the local area and a helpful list letting you know what they provide and what you would need to bring.

    If you do end up booking and staying, please say hi from Dorsetmums and enjoy your peaceful break.



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  2. Everyone loves grabbing a bargain but if you visit the charity nearly new sales which are run by Helen, Janet and Pat at Hamworthy and Broadstone you’ll be helping a really great cause too.

    I knew that you could sell your own things at the sales but they will also happily accept donations with money taken going to their chosen charity SPRING.  SPRING stands for Support for Parents and Relatives In Neo-natal Grief - i.e. supporting families through losing a baby either during pregnancy, at or just after childbirth.

    A couple of lovely Mums at school knew I was donating and gave me a few things to take along so I had a good bundle of children’s bits to give for their next sale.

    nearly new sale bits donated

    Helen, Janet and Pat have voluntarily been running these sales for over ten years now, alternating venues each month (excluding July and August).

    I spoke to Helen and she told me it all started when she went to chaotic nearly new sale in Parkstone.  At the time she was helping to run a baby and toddler group in Upton and thought that a sale would be a great way to generate some much needed funds for the group.  With Pat and Janet they agreed that they should split the profits from the sales with a local charity and after a discussion with other mums in the group, SPRING was chosen. Unfortunately the toddler group closed but now all the proceeds from both sales go to the charity.

    SPRING is a relatively small charity and the money these sales raise is highly appreciated.  Last year, they donated an amazing £2883 to the charity.  SPRING provides support and professional counselling for families and there are special suites at St Mary's Maternity Unit where families can go when experiencing difficulties during pregnancy.  It has proved an invaluable resource for so many people, so much so that with the Maternity unit's expansion they now have their own entrance separate to the main maternity ward so that grieving parents no longer have to walk through it on their way home.

    These lovely ladies are very grateful for any donations of baby and children's items like toys, clothes, and equipment.  They’ll label them up themselves and sell them on behalf of SPRING.  If you have any items you would like to donate or you would like to sell your own items then you can contact Helen in Hamworthy by email on thehelenhunt@yahoo.co.uk or Janet in Corfe Mullen on cliffandjanetsibley@hotmail.co.uk.

    For details on upcoming sales, please see the poster below or visit the Facebook page.

    spring nearly new sales 2018

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