Japanese students got a taste of rural English life when they were welcomed to Dorchester on a school exchange.

Six students and their teacher from Tsukuba Kaisei High School, in Kyoto, Japan got a crash course in Dorset history and culture when they buddied up with students from the Thomas Hardye School.

After a long trip via London, the students met their host families before taking a tour of the school and meeting their 'buddy students' for the exchange.

The following day, they visited Hardy's Cottage, which for some of the students, was a first introduction to Dorset's most famous writer.

On their third day, they spent the morning in West Bay with Year 10 pupils on a Geography field trip followed by an afternoon at Shire Hall in Dorchester.

Here they learnt about the Tolpuddle Martyrs and the UK's criminal justice system a century ago - which included a case of a seven-year-old boy imprisoned for arson.

The highlight though was seeing the courtroom and trying on some of the costumes.

The day ended with a buffet reception back at school, where the visitors met with some of the school governors and headteacher Mr Foley.

The next day, they spent the day back in school, attending different lessons with their buddy students to get a feel for a typical school day in Thomas Hardye.

On Friday, they students headed to Portland and enjoyed an ice cream in the heat. There they saw the monument put up to celebrate the Olympics of 2012. From there they went to Weymouth beach, paddling in the sea, then experienced that great British seaside tradition - fish and chips.

During their exchange they also made trips to London and Bath.

A spokesman for the Thomas Hardye School said: "The Japanese students expressed how much they had enjoyed themselves and would have loved to extend their stay at least another week.

"We hope that some Thomas Hardye students will be able to visit Kyoto in 2019. We very much hope this is the start of a positive and rewarding relationship with the school in Kyoto."