WELL it is certainly an unusual if not unique way of celebrating a 40th wedding anniversary and it ended in a village near Winchester.

Abbas Kapasi, 68, and his wife Zubeda, 59, from Nuneaton, in Warwickshire visited every village with the Abbas in the title over the course of a week.

They started in Dorset at Milton Abbas before looping round Cerne Abbas, Winterbourne Abbas, Melbury Abbas, Compton Abbas and Bradford Abbas, before ending the trip at Itchen Abbas.

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 told the Dorset Echo, the Chronicle's sister paper: “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.”

Zubeda 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.”

Abbas in lots of languages means 'father' and 'lion' in Arabic. In village names it derives from the local links with an abbey, although it seems to be restricted to Hampshire and Dorset when there were abbeys all over the country is unclear to Belgarum. We're sure a reader will know.