Douglas Adams

Where to See Places Associated with Douglas Adams in Stalbridge and Sturminster Newton

Walk around the Stalbridge History Trail

Douglas Adams wrote much of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in Stalbridge which is a few miles from Sturminster Newton. Lydden Cottage on Grove Lane is the house where Douglas heard workmen demolishing buildings at an old glove factory which inspired the opening lines in the Hitchhiker’s Guide and possibly his thoughts on the Vogons demolishing the earth. Today it is a private residence. However, the Stalbridge History Group has written a walking trail that includes Douglas Adams’ home and several other interesting places in the small town.

Link to Stalbridge History Trail pdf document

Check out the sign on Sturminster Newton Bridge

Douglas Adams was familiar with the medieval bridge in Sturminster Newton where a sign has stated anyone damaging it will be transported. Douglas wrote that he was amazed the bridge was still standing!. Take care on the bridge as there is a lot of traffic, but you can still see that signage that captivated Douglas Adams. Sadly, there are no dolphins in the River Stour – rather worryingly they left some time ago after thanking us for all the fish.

Buy a Towel

As any Douglas Adams fan will know, you can’t go anywhere without a towel. So, if you don’t know where yours is you can get one in Sturminster Newton. Check out the tea towels in Agnes and Vera or Harts of Stur – who also have bath towels. Harts also sell petunias (“Oh No, Not Again!”) and you’ll also find these flowers in Williams Florist in Stalbridge.

Visit Bishops Caundle and Henstridge

Douglas Adams defined a Bishops Caundle in the Meaning of Liff. According to Adams it is an opening gambit before a game of chess whereby the missing pieces are replaced by small ornaments from the mantelpiece. Bishops Caundle is a few miles from Sturminster Newton, and while we can’t promise a game of chess, there’s a nice village shop and you can grab a pint at the White Hart. Douglas Adams also immortalised the village of Henstridge in The Meaning of Liff. Apparently, Henstridge is the dried yellow substance found between the prongs of forks in restaurants. We can assure you the cutlery in the pub and cafe in Henstridge is very clean.

A Nice Cup of Tea

Arthur Dent famously asked the Nutrimatic Drink Dispenser on the Heart of Gold for tea in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Instead he received something that was ‘not entirely unlike tea’. Douglas Adams insisted on tea made in a properly warmed teapot. So, you can get a cup of tea that is entirely like tea at Joshua’s Coffee Shop or the Stur of the Moment. You’ll also find quality tea at Comins Tea House on Bridge Street. There’s also Time After Thyme near Stalbridge.

Other tea shops and cafes are available (but not a Restaurant at the End of the Universe).

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