Princess Anne Comes To Dorset

Two Dorset landmarks will receive the Royal seal of approval when HRH Princess Anne visits the county.

The Princess Royal will be inspecting the newly-restored Osmington White Horse, near Weymouth, today - Monday 12 March - before formally opening the refurbished Durlston Castle in Swanage.

Over the past three years, local volunteers and organisations including Dorset County Council, West Dorset District Council, the Osmington Society and English Heritage have worked to return the hillside White Horse to the way it would have looked when first established in 1808.

The Osmington White Horse

This has involved painstakingly removing the Portland stone chippings that have covered the figure in recent times, and uncovering the original chalky bedrock - work  supported by the Royal Engineers and Dorset Army Cadets.

The project has also reinstated a clearly defined outline for the monument. The Princess Royal will view the successful restoration for herself, meet some of the people involved and unveil a plaque which will be sited at the new viewing area.

Durlston Castle, the centrepiece of the county council-run Durlston Country Park, has recently undergone a £5.5 million restoration.

It's had a £5.5Million restoration

With a significant contribution from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Grade Two listed Victorian building has been transformed into a visitor centre including interactive displays, rock room, exhibition gallery, cinema room, wedding facilities, restaurant and shop.

There are also new art installations and a geological 'timeline' path at the entrance to the castle, highlighting the park's position on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

The Princess Royal will tour the building, meeting staff and others involved in the project, before unveiling a plaque in the gallery area.

She will then travel to Bournemouth to open the Volunteers' Teamroom at the Cherry Tree Nursery, before heading to Poole, where she will open the new Twin Sails Bridge.

The bridge opens!