YOUTH MATTERS Jess Pilkington...Paradise? Look no further than this jewel in the South’s crown

Dorset may be only a few hours’ drive away, but offers a totally different landscape.

Rolling patchwork hills, dotted with white and black sheep, eventually meeting the jagged Jurassic coastline.

My auntie has grown to love the area and I grab every opportunity I have to join her in her small cosy cottage. Most teenagers crave night life, but this is my idea of heaven.

Sitting on the balcony enjoying the sea breeze, snuggled under a fleecy blanket, your eyes can gaze over the local landscape.

On a beautiful summer’s day the sun glints on the vast stretch of water while seagulls screech up above. Even on a blustery winter morning you can watch the power of the wave’s crash on to the shingle beach.

Further inland you can discover old vintage tea rooms nestled at the end of twisty country lanes. Sitting in their gorgeous gardens, you can enjoy a traditional cream tea, served from the original farmhouse.

During the summer you’d expect to see the sun shining, but last weekend the weather was forecast to be horrendous and like predicted, it rained...and rained. Non-stop.

But despite the weather we pulled on our waterproofs and dashed into my dad’s battered landrover.

Down a dusty track full of potholes we discovered an old disused watermill which had been converted into a museum, operated by the means of an honesty box.

Ducking under the low ceilings we explored the antiques displayed haphazardly on shelves and in cabinets.

From old iron beds to the pigments used in paints, the range of antiques was incredible. I think I can safely say we’d unearthed a gem, right under our noses.

As we twisted through more narrow lanes towards the small harbour of West Bay, the torrential rain lashed against the windows.

Pulling into the parking bay we watched the waves roll in, before crashing against the rocks, sending a fountain of spray over the prom.

My inner child dared me, like the urge to stamp in puddles, to venture outside. The howling wind snatched the door out of my hands and the rain soaked me within minutes.

Despite the conditions a smile couldn’t help but creep across my face at the insanity of the English weather.

So my plea to you is, whatever the weather, wind, rain or shine get out into the great outdoors as you never know what you might discover.