Arthur Mee said of Up Cerne that it 'lies among the downs smiling to itself like a child in hiding.....', and few would argue with that even though the great man was writing about the hamlet some 60 years ago.

The manor house has looked out on the chalky landscape for some 400 years, and with its little church in the drive, seems as much a natural part of the scene as the beech trees that clothe the low hills hereabouts.

There are a few brick and flint and thatched cottages to one side of the manor's drive, and along the lane that leads into the valley an oddly ill at ease four-square pink-painted Regency house that looks as if it has strayed into the valley from Leamington Spa.

And by the lane's side, a tiny chalk stream, gin-clear and in places choked with watercress and harbouring wild brown trout, rushes down the valley to find the River Cerne.

This is, to quote Mee again, 'Up Cerne among the hills'.

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