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I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.

There may be debates about which seaside village to visit, what style of cuisine to choose for dinner, or what strength of sun cream to apply – but there is never any doubt that enjoying ice cream is a key part of any summer holiday. It is the perfect way to enjoy a warm summer’s day.

But the sweet treat has moved past the days of Mr Whippy and the standard 99. Especially for those of you enjoying a cottage holiday in Dorset, Hampshire or elsewhere along England’s south coast, we have gathered together the finest purveyors of ice cream and its foreign friend, gelato.

Here are some of our choices to tempt you. All you need to do is decide which flavour you want:

Purbeck Ice Cream

We start with a fine company that not only sells delicious ice cream, but they make it for supermarkets and restaurants as well. In the dairy business for nearly 30 years, the family farm behind Purbeck Ice Cream started making the cold treat as a way to use excess milk supplies. The cows, farm and dairy all work in the shadow of Corfe Castle and produce “super-premium” Dorset ice cream. For a bit of difference, they also make delightful sorbets with local spring water.

There are over 30 exceptional varieties to enjoy – all free of gluten, artificial additives, and bursting with natural flavours. They offer traditional flavours including Clotted Cream, Chocolate, local marvel Honeycombe Hash and the lovely Banoffee Ripple. They also make innovative ice cream concoctions with exciting names like ChilliRED, Dorset Wasabi, and Champagne and Strawberry.

Purbeck Ice Cream is available at a number of local shops and restaurants. They are committed to creating local products from locally sourced ingredients. For a true taste of Dorset, find yourself some great Purbeck-made ice cream.

Sprinkles Gelato

The Italian import of gelato has found a home in south England, and one of the best is Sprinkles Gelato. With locations all over the region, the company has been providing a rainbow of flavours since 2012. They serve a wide variety of ice cream, elaborate waffle dishes, crepes and sundaes. They pride themselves on creating gelato that tastes authentic.

Sprinkles is constantly looking for new and innovative recipes to tempt your sweet tooth. There is the Minty Madness sundae, the Nutella & Cookie crepe, and delectable White Chocolate Sensation atop a waffle. To wash down your ice cream treat, at all locations they also serve fresh roasted Arabica coffee.

For the location closest to your holiday cottage, check their various locations.

Sweet Ice Cream Lounge

Located in Southampton, the Sweet Ice Cream Lounge takes the concept of dessert to new levels. They mix Italian gelato with other natural ingredients to create amazing sweet creations. Sundaes, crepes, waffles, doughnuts, drinks and milkshakes are all available at Sweet.

Their hip shop offers comfy leather sofas and a cocktail lounge feel with ice cream as the star. The lounge also caters to the little ones with party hosting available. They believe ice cream is the key to making the most of your day. They see ice cream as the “ultimate therapy” and key to smiling.

Open seven days a week, you can enjoy their ice cream until 10 pm every evening.

Artie’s Ice Cream Factory

This ice cream shop on the Southampton High Street offers the best in artisanal ice cream. It is both ice cream parlour and factory, and they focus on great, simple ice cream. They have 24 spectacular flavours and you can choose to add them to sundaes, crepes, waffles or milkshakes. Using state-of-the-art equipment, all of their ice cream is produced on site.

Amidst the bright, colourful décor, visitors can also order from a complete hot and cold drinks menu. To learn more about Artie’s and their ice cream, visit their website.

Giggi Gelateria

Luigi “Giggi” Bray brought his gelato from his home in the Puglia region of southern Italy to the south of England. With two locations in Bournemouth and Poole, Giggi Gelateria is the perfect place to visit. They offer ice cream, milkshakes, paninis and waffles, as well as a wide variety of treats and gifts. Their ice cream is authentically Italian and is made fresh each day.

“We Italians take food very seriously,” Giggi says to his customers. “And ice cream is no different. We make our ice cream every day on the premises using local dairy products and incorporate fruit that is in season.

“If you love ice cream as much as we do, drop in and try our ice cream – I am sure you will not be disappointed,” he said.

Giggi Gelataria has been ranked as the best ice cream on the south coast by The Times and has special summer hours to accommodate holidaymakers looking to enjoy their treats.

Barford Ice Cream

Going back to the source, the Barford Farm in Wimborne, Dorset makes some delicious ice cream and sorbets. Located on the National Trust property of the Kingston Lacy Estate, they offer a great place to eat ice cream. To really enjoy their cool treats, they operate an ice cream garden during the spring and summer months. The farm is the perfect place to enjoy the beauty of Dorset with a number of walks and attractions on the property to enjoy as well.

During the summer months, Barford Farm is open from Tuesday to Sunday, as well as Bank Holiday Mondays. There are children's sizes and gluten-free cones available, as well as diabetic ice creams. More than just cones and cups, you can take a 1/2 litre or 1 litre tub back to your cottage too.

Italian Creams

Another Southampton gem, Italian Creams has brought Italian equipment here to south England to create fresh, delicious ice cream. Everything is made on location and they offer cones, cakes, sundaes and milkshakes.

This family-run business was created to be a comfortable atmosphere where families, couples and friends can all enjoy a sweet treat. There is a buggy parking station and upstairs party parlour. Open seven days a week until 10 pm, it is perfect for you and your family at all times of the year.

Scoops Gelato

With locations in Portsmouth City Centre, Southsea and Southampton, another stop on our southern England ice cream tour takes us to Scoops Gelato. A feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds, the team from Scoops set out to make enjoying ice cream a truly memorable experience. All of their amazing gelatos and sorbets are made by hand locally.

Using their dozens of interesting flavours, ice cream enthusiasts will enjoy any of their exciting creations. From sundaes to waffles, cakes and cold stone creations, you will be spoilt for choice at Scoops.

Open from 7am to midnight, they also have some great take-away options so you can enjoy their great tastes back at your cottage.

Mundy’s Gelato Bar

This Southampton dessert bar takes eating ice cream to new levels of sophistication. More than an ice cream parlour, Mundy’s Gelato Bar serves not only gelato, pancakes, and waffles, but also a variety of artisan soft drinks, unique cocktails and other adult beverages. They also offer a unique event space hosting business functions and private parties.

With late night hours, Mundy’s is the perfect place to treat yourself and enjoy your holiday in the south that much more.