ABBAS and Zubeda Kapasi had been planning to spend their 40th wedding anniversary in South America.

But when the couple were forced to abandon their plans amid the coronavirus pandemic, their anniversary celebrations took a whole different direction - travelling to Dorset to visit every town they could find with the word 'Abbas' in the title.

Over a week long period, the couple, who live in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, have visited Milton Abbas, Melbury Abbas, Compton Abbas, Cerne Abbas, Winterbourne Abbas, Bradford Abbas, before finishing up in Itchen Abbas in Hampshire. They made sure to snap a picture of Mr Kapasi standing by a road sign on each occasion.

Born in India, Mr Kapasi first discovered the town names existed more than 20 years ago when he stumbled across them while looking at a map of the UK.

He said: “A colleague asked me to find a town and I came across the name 'Abbas' and was amazed. I couldn't believe my name is on the UK map!

“I only wanted to see the one town but when we looked it up on the internet we found out there are so many in Dorset.

“No other trips have compared to this journey - you can see beaches anywhere.

“It’s been such a wonderful experience, meeting great people and enjoying one of the most peaceful parts of England.”

The word 'Abbas' has several different meanings. As a part of a place name it usually refers to land that was owned by the abbess, a traditional name for a woman who is the head of an abbey of nuns, while in terms of a person's name it means 'lion' in Arabic and 'father' in Hebrew.

Mrs Kapasi, originally from Uganda, said: “Abbas kept saying he wanted to see his town name and unfortunately we couldn’t go on the trip because of the lockdown so I said, 'let’s just do it'.

“It’s driving me a bit crazy going to all these places but Abbas is so excited.

“With the amount of photos my husband has taken, I think he could be in the Guinness World Records.”

She added: “Even though my husband is overwhelmed, I have to admit it’s beautiful. We’ve never been to Dorset before.

“I think it’s amazing that his name is related to the English heritage. For a true Indian, born and bred, to discover he has English heritage is incredible.”