Photo of Dorset

About Dorset

Criss-crossed with sunken lanes, dotted with gentle hills and unspoilt villages, Dorset has so far escaped the brutality —yet convenience — of a motorway.  So the landscape of Thomas Hardy's novels has retained much of its lush, pastoral look, and the incredible coastline, with its bevy of beaches which will be irresistible to walkers, runners and sitters alike.  Many of the best places to stay in Dorset can be found on the coast, along the wildly fascinating Jurassic Coast, and the pretty seaside towns with their piers and arcades.

Rich both in fossils and iconic coastal locations, three quarters of Dorset's coast is a World Heritage Site, and over half the county is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  So it’s not just Thomas Hardy who’s waxing lyrical about Dorset’s landscape.  But Dorset’s towns and villages are a pretty, often interesting bunch too, and this is where you’ll find the majority of the best places to stay in Dorset, though we do have some rural recommendations too if you’re looking for a Dorset escape.  

The Jurassic Coast, with its bounty of fossils and incredible water-carved stone landmarks, is one of the region’s main draws, but when it comes to man-made sights, the Roman Town House in Dorchester tops many sightseeing lists for the Dorset-bound: the only example of a fully exposed Roman town house in the UK.  Dorchester is also where you’ll find Maiden Castle, one of the largest and most complicated Iron Age forts in Britain.  Other highlights are Corfe Castle, Sherborne Old Castle, once home to Sir Walter Raleigh, and Kingston Lacy, the stately home which housed the Bankes family after the Roundheads turfed them out of Corfe Castle.  Dorset is also home to Clouds Hill, the home of T.E. Lawrence, which is much as he left it, when he was tragically killed at 46, in a motorbike accident just down the road.  There’s a lot of people, historic and current, who think Dorset is the most beautiful part of the United Kingdom.  

Some of our Dorset Collections:

Where to Stay?  Which Part of Dorset?

  • The Jurassic Coast is one of the places many visitors to Dorset are coming to see: a stunning stretch of coastline which alternates pale cliffs and rocky beaches with green headlands and really charming little fishing ports.  And where regular erosion of the cliffs creates a fossil field where even a total novice can strike it lucky.  Lulworth Cove is one of the best places to stay in Dorset if you’re here to hunt for fossils, with cliffs packed with the prehistoric treasures rising along either side of the coastline beside this pretty town.  This is where you’ll find one of the Jurassic Coast information centres, and it’s just around the headland from the Durdle Door, an incredible arch of Portland stone which has been eaten away by waves over the past 150 million years or so.  
  • Chesil Beach which runs 18miles between Portland and Bridgeport is another Dorset highlight, a shingle barrier beach between a brackish lake known as the Fleet Lagoon.  Historic, dramatic, and known for its incredible wildlife, this is a fantastic place to spend time.  There’s accommodation in Abbotsbury of Chiswell.  You might want to pack a copy of Ian McEwan’s short elegant novel On Chesil Beach to read during your stay.
  • Lyme Regis is a bigger centre, though still in the heart of the Jurassic Coast area.  Originally a fishing port, today it’s charming, with beautiful views of the coast and some great museums and an aquarium.  This part of the world features heavily in literature, and in the case of Lyme Regis it’s the harbour wall, The Cobb, which is famous, appearing in several Jane Austen novels.  Lyme Regis is one of the best places to stay in Dorset if you’re looking for quintessential English charm, with some lovely old B&Bs and boutique hotels.  
  • Bournemouth is a larger centre, so there’s quite a lot of choice when it comes to accommodation, and you’re still close to the Jurassic Coast, and all the highlights of Dorset we’ve yet to touch on.  Bournemouth used to be a glamorous spa town, this is about a hundred years ago, where celebrities of the day flocked to enjoy the seven miles of sandy beach and good weather, by British standards.  Unfortunately the spa hotel is now the Town Hall, so you can no longer stay there, but there are some heritage alternatives among the accommodation options.  Bournemouth also has a reputation for lively nightlife and its pier is a lot of fun.  
  • Weymouth is another popular Dorset seaside town, and one that’s been popular since George III made regular visits here 200 years ago.  The Georgian architecture is his gift to us, but the gorgeous stretch of golden sand was what he used to come here for, and it’s what many come for today.  The harbour is pretty too, with its colourful Georgian houses, and there are a couple of interesting heritage sites nearby: Sandsfoot Castle, Nothe Fort and Portland Castle, in particular. You’re also right by the South West Coast Path, so this is a great base for walkers.  
  • Dorchester is Dorset’s county town, but its real appeal is as an historic market town.  Dorchester goes back to Roman times, its set in gorgeous countryside, and its rife with notable sights and architecture — while walking through Dorchester's streets you may well feel that you've been plunged into a Regency-era period drama, and the quaint thatched cottages, elegant Georgian townhouses, and charming little churches are truly stunning.  But it’s probably best known for its association with Thomas Hardy, whose romantic words have made this one of the best places to stay in Dorset for a romantic weekend.  It’s great for families too, mind.  
  • Dorchester might be the capital, but Poole is Dorset’s largest town.  It’s an historic old port which was apparently tramped through by invading Romans, and Normans.  In the 18th century this was an exciting place to be, a key point on the trade routes with America, and full of pirates, smugglers and sailors.  Today there’s some great museums and heritage experiences here, which is why its history was worth mentioning, but the modern harbour is a charming place to be too, lined with working potteries, an aquarium, and cafes and restaurants. Poole also has a choice of gorgeous Blue Flag beaches.  And a model railway.  
  • Inland you'll find the iron age forts, stately homes and pretty pastoral villages of Thomas Hardy, and if it’s some of these you’re interested in seeing then Shaftesbury may then be one of the best places to stay in Dorset.  Shaftesbury’s a very charming, hilltop market town with idyllic views of green and pleasant lands dotted with medieval ruins. The Dorset County Museum has the world's largest collection of Hardy artefacts if you're interested in the great man, and the ruined abbey, once one of the country’s wealthiest, is also really worth visiting.  

The coastal stretch is hugely popular during the summer months and school holidays, so if you want to guarantee a bed in one of the best places to stay in Dorset, you'll have to get organised and plan ahead. Alternatively visit the county off season when you can truly appreciate the stunning countryside without the crowds.

The Best Places to Stay in Dorset

Dorset’s Best Special Occasion Hotels 

  • Hidden behind a picturesque church, just off Wareham’s charming market square, the Priory Hotel is a family-run hotel in a building dating from the 16th century.  There are just 18 rooms and suites, decorated with classical style, within a wisteria-clad exterior surrounded by dreamy English country gardens.  The stone-vaulted dining room serves a very satisfying meal and if you want even more romance than that make sure you boo one of the rooms with a four-poster bed.  
  • The Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa is a stylish white building right on Christchurch Harbour – as you might have guessed from the name, and easily one of the best places to stay in Dorset if you want to be right on the coast. Everything is designed to make the most of the views, from the rather glamorous bar to a choice of restaurants — including one outdoors. On the other side of the hotel are lovely gardens. The decor is pale and chic and a bit nautique.
  • Summer Lodge, near Eveshot, is a Hardy-esque country house turned 24 room hotel.  Outside are picturesque gardens and rolling countryside, and inside there’s a feeling of old fashioned luxury, with rooms featuring draped four-poster beds, elegant antiques, and a variety of colour schemes ranging from country chintz to manor-house-regal.The restaurant is gourmet and there’s an indoor pool, a spa and tennis courts.  It’s ideal for a memorable mini-break.  
  • The name makes it sound a bit old fashioned, but The Seaside Boarding House is anything but.  The nine room brainchild of the Groucho Club’s founders, this nine room outpost overlooking Lyme Bay has an excellent restaurant known for championing local produce, and a fantastic cocktail bar with an incredible view.  The decor is a mix of Edwardian antiques, marine salvage and Cape Cod chic, and it’s family friendly too.  With the South West Coast Path on your doorstep.  

Dorset’s Best Beach Hotels 

  • Perched on the cliffs overlooking the harbour at Lyme Regis, the Alexandra Hotel is one of the best places to stay in Dorset if you want to wake up to panoramic ocean views.  There are just 21 rooms and suites, styled with understated luxury, plus a gourmet restaurant and a spa.  One of the reasons our Gurus love it so much is the charming grassy terrace overlooking the ocean.
  • The Pig On The Beach is chic, cosy and right beside about four miles of unspoilt South Dorset coastline, on Studland Bay. The stunning views are complemented by the wonderful rustic chic, classic Pig decor in the 23 rooms and suites, and in the welcoming and relaxing public areas. As you would expect from a Pig hotel, the food is exceptionally good and locally sourced — some brought direct from the hotel's garden!

The Best Dorset Escapes

  • Popular with shooting parties for its eclectic, but traditional design, the Castleman Hotel, near Blandford Forum, is a charming eight room 'restaurant with rooms'. The bedrooms are big and the food is good, served in a long functional dining room. And the beautiful gardens mean guests can start enjoying the truly great outdoors of Dorset from the moment they step out of the hotel.
  • Plumber Manor, just outside Sturminster Newton, in the heart of Thomas Hardy country, is a charmingly fading Jacobean house which has been owned by the same family since it was built. Now an extremely homely and welcoming, 16 room hotel, it’s run by three members of that same family, who look after guests like friends, helped by a few laconic labradors.  It’s worth paying special attention to the family portraits still on the wall, and asking questions about the characters you find most interesting.  
  • Evershot’s Acorn Inn is an historic charmer built in the 16th century from the local, honey-coloured stone. Inside there are just ten rooms, which still features many of the original features: think exposed beams, oak panelling, flagstone floors and four-poster beds in the best of the ten rooms. The restaurant as won several awards.  
  • Part thatched and low ceilinged, the Museum Inn is an award-winning country pub in a postcard perfect village in rural north Dorset. Just the thing you crave after a muddy walk, and one of the best places to stay in Dorset for a weekend escape.

The Most Romantic Hotels in Dorset

  • Shaftesbury’s Grosvenor Arms is a charming Georgian-built inn with 16 elegant rooms and suites.  It’s been recently revamped, and today, as well as having fresh, chic decor, he restaurant is really first rate.  And this is Hardy country, so it’s romance wherever you look.  
  • The Wooden Cabbage is a superbly enlarged keepers cottage with stunning estate views and three, cosy-but-stylish rooms decorated with family antiques  This is a really charming spot in the country, perfect for long strolls.  And your hosts bring the perfect combination of homeliness and professionalism. 
  • The Kings Arms is a grand Georgian property in Christchurch. There are 20 carefully decorated rooms with traditional architecture, yet modern furnishings, and a gourmet restaurant.  This is the kind of hotel to do a beautiful afternoon tea, and it’s extremely well positioned for exploring the highlights of Dorset.  
  •  Just a few hundred yards back from the beach in Bournemouth, The Green House is a chic, 32 room hotel with crisp, contemporary decor and eco-friendly values.  Green and comfortable, with all the mod. cons., The Green House also has a restaurant with an ambitious menu.  

The Best Family Hotels in Dorset

  • The Captain's Club Hotel & Spa is a modern seaside hotel on the banks of the River Stour at Christchurch. There are just 17 self-catering rooms, suites, and family apartments, with all the mod. cons - kitchen and otherwise. Most suites and apartments have lovely, waterfront balconies, and there's a good restaurant and an even better spa.
  • The Stapleton Arms near Buckhorn Weston, is a reinvented English country pub, with boutique details, as well as lots of nice original features. There are just four rooms, all recently redesigned, and are now fresh and welcoming as well as comfortable.  The pub’s turned gourmet too, with great success.  This is the sort of place with a good range of toys for your kids and a great kid’s menu/.  

Dorset's Best B&Bs

  • Arty B+B by the Sea in Lyme Regis, is a quirky and stylish two room B&B in the centre of town, which is crammed with all sorts of the owner's artworks. This Georgian villa features a sloping lawn where you can take breakfast in warmer months and wonderful sea views. You're also just five minutes walk to the beach.
  • On the Weymouth seafront, B+B Weymouth is part of a chain of concept B&Bs which offer superb value for money. Pale, minimalist and clean with no frills, metaphorical or otherwise, it has an open plan kitchen/breakfast room which serves cheery breakfasts.
  • Tudor Cottage is a pretty thatched cottage turned B&B just outside Dorchester. Artwork adorns the walls and the property oozes character. Book ahead and enjoy one of Louise's relaxed dinners — as an ex-professional cook she provides delicious home cooking.

The Best Value Places to stay in Dorset

  • Holyleas House is a delightful, three room B&B in quaint Dorchester. Decorated in creams and blues, and with a smart dining room used for breakfasts, this is a welcoming place to stay in the heart of Hardy country.
  • For under £100 per night you could stay at The Bull Hotel in Bridgeport, an 18th century coaching inn with 14 individually decorated rooms. Whoever designed this hotel had a bit of fun with it, but it’s quite stylish and there are two great restaurants and a bar.

Prefer a country cottage or seaside apartment?

  • For a wide range of self catering accommodation, we recommend you visit our online partner,

Travel Information

  • Bournemouth, Southampton and Exeter airports are all local international airports. And being on the coast, Dorset is also well served by ferries coming from Europe and the Channel Islands - most dock at Southampton and Poole. Alternatively South West trains run the service to Dorset from London, which leaves from Waterloo Station.
  • If you want to hire a car - which we highly advise if you’re staying in Dorset - we recommend you visit our online partner, Rentalcars.
  • This is the UK, so expect changeable weather whatever the season. Dorset is popular in summer, of course, when people are here for the beach. But it’s also beautiful in spring and autumn - if you don’t mind a chill and a bit of a shower or two - and you can still expect plenty of clear days. Winter is wonderful if you like things to be ‘bracing’.

Still not sure which is the best place to stay in Dorset?

Best Hotels in Dorset

  • The Pig On The Beach South Dorset 23 rooms from £135

    Exclusive offer  -  Complimentary Upgrade
    Full of character  -  Shabby chic rooms with vintage touches
    Restaurant  -  Delicious food from the kitchen garden
    Garden  -  Kitchen garden, terrace and huge lawn
    On the beach  -  Four miles of unspoilt beaches

    Stylish country hotel ideal for a weekend break in Dorset. 23 rooms are ultimate shabby chic with four-posters, wooden floors, stand alone bath tubs. Gourmet restaurant uses produce fresh from the kitchen garden. Miles of English coastline to explore and stunning views. The perfect getaway. See More

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  • Alexandra Hotel Lyme Regis, Dorset 24 rooms from £180

    Exclusive offer  -  3 nights for the price of 2
    Views  -  Fabulous views over Lyme Bay and the Jurassic Coast
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Fishing  -  Excellent fishing nearby.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays

    Panoramic views over the ocean and the harbour from this cliff top boutique hotel. Luxurious bedrooms, gourmet restaurant and sea-facing terrace, and an excellent spa too. Great for a weekend away, think lobster and sea breeze. See More

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  • The Eastbury Hotel & Spa Dorset 26 rooms from £215

    Exclusive offer  -  ZERO DEPOSIT
    Local exploring  -  Head into Sherborne for local exploring, where you can find boutique shopping, the historic Abbey and endless antique galleries
    Romantic Break  -  Couples rate the well-appointed rooms at this heritage hotel highly; book a romantic dinner at the acclaimed Seasons Restaurant
    Spa  -  Eastbury Spa by Amelia Rose and Caudalie is set in the walled garden & offers a hydrotherapy pool and wide range of treatments.
    Great walks  -  Discover the beautiful Dorset countryside with a long walk; take the North Dorset Trailway for marked routes

    A superb Georgian façade announces this West Country bolthole, steps from the Abbey in Sherborne. The elegant guest rooms are dressed in heritage furnishings, in keeping with the 18th-century property; book a luxury room for a four-poster bed. Dine at Seasons Restaurant or book out the new spa. See More

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  • Holyleas House Dorchester, Dorset 3 rooms from £80

    Sights nearby  -  This is Thomas Hardy county: visit his cottage in nearby Dorchester.
    Great walks  -  Traverse the dramatic Dorset Downs.
    Local markets  -  Dorchester, Sherborne & Bridport
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays

    A delightful B&B located in the quaint village of Buckland. Decorated in calming magnolias and blues. Comfy beds and immaculate bathrooms. Enjoy a full English breakfast in the smart dining room: a combined effort between Tia and the local farmer's market. Children of all ages are welcome. See More

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  • The Living Room Bournemouth (East Dorset) 6 rooms from £80

    Hideaway  -  An inconspicuous boutique B&B hidden in a pretty residential area of Bournemouth.
    Great walks  -  Take a stroll via the 'chine walks' to Alum Chine beach.
    Restrictions on children  -  Children over 12 are welcome
    Full of character

    A charming B&B in a smart district of Bournemouth. Seven individually styled rooms are light and airy with soft hues and large sash windows. An atmospheric lounge and traditional tea room are the ideal respite after a day exploring the region. See More

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  • The Fontmell North Dorset 6 rooms from £80

    Great walks  -  The surrounding countryside is full of lovely walking routes.
    Sights nearby  -  Pay a visit to Sherborne Old Castle.

    Taking its name from the surrounding village, The Fontmell mixes a traditional pub atmosphere with a modern, more urbane aesthetic. The result is an atmospheric bar, an excellent restaurant and lovely rooms with luxury trappings. A great base for a trip to Dorset and superb value for money. See More

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  • Langtry Manor Bournemouth (East Dorset) 14 rooms from £81

    Weddings  -  A beautiful venue for a wedding catering for up to 100 people.
    Great walks  -  Only 15 minutes from the beaches of Bournemouth.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.

    A romantic hotel set in a 19th century Edwardian manor, offering traditionally furnished rooms with bay windows, antiques and paintings. Afternoon tea is served in the drawing room and hearty meals are set in a restaurant adorned with chandeliers and stained glass windows. See More

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  • B+B Weymouth Weymouth (South Dorset) 26 rooms from £85

    Local exploring  -  Well situated for exploring Weymouth on foot or two wheels, right on the seafront and only five minutes from the town centre.
    Fishing  -  For all the fanatics, Sea Angling on the Dorset coast is an absolute must!
    Great walks  -  The B&B offers guided walking tours of West Dorset.
    Views  -  From some rooms facing the beach

    Smart B&B - part of a new b+b concept chain - offering modern design on Weymouth's seafront. Simple light and airy rooms with crisp white linen. Comfortable beds with duck down pillows and duvets. Serves delicious Dorset breakfasts. Affordable price in a convenient and central location. See More

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  • Lyme Townhouse Lyme Regis (West Dorset) 10 rooms from £90

    Local exploring  -  Perfectly placed to explore the historic town of Lyme Regis and South West Dorset.
    Great walks  -  Dicover the Jurrasic Coast on long walks.
    Restrictions on children  -  Children over 7 are welcome
    Full of character

    A smart townhouse located in the centre of historic Lyme Regis. A handful of beautifully renovated rooms feature white washed walls, a choice selection of antiques, crisp white linen and large sash windows. With plenty to explore in the seaside town and beyond this is ideal for a weekend getaway. See More

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  • Duchess of Cornwall Inn Dorchester (South Dorset) 20 rooms from £90

    Local exploring  -  A great base for exploring the Dorset coast.
    Birdwatching  -  The nearby Dorset coastline is a haven for birdlife.
    Great walks  -  The surrounding countryside is great for walking.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit local sites such as Athelhampton House.

    Set in a glorious 18th century property, the Duchess of Cornwall Inn is a spectacular hotel in Poundbury just outside Dorchester. History and heritage permeates through the hotel with antique furnishings, period artwork, ornate beds and a real country house ambience. A stunning Dorset gem. See More

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  • The Scott Arms Wareham, Dorset 4 rooms from £95

    Great walks  -  Go for lovely walks in the surrounding Purbeck Hills.
    Sights nearby  -  Less than two miles from Corfe Castle.
    Restrictions on children  -  Adults only accommodation

    Set in the beautiful Purbeck Hills overlooking Corfe Castle, The Scott Arms is a charming rural inn. Offering four comfortable rooms as well as an excellent restaurant plus a jerk shak for Caribbean cuisine, and a garden with stunning panoramic views. A superb base for epxloring the local coastline. See More

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  • The Chetnole Inn Sherborne, Dorset 3 rooms from £95

    Country Escape  -  Everything rural dreams are made of: hearty food, cosy accommodation and beautiful walking country.
    Sights nearby  -  Admire the architecture of the pretty yellowstone town of Sherboune and stop by the church and castle.
    Great walks  -  Head to Stour Head for scenic walk through the parkland and gardens.
    Local markets  -  Visit the farmers market at Sherbourne for a taste of local life.

    A delightful pub with rooms set in a quiet village near Sherbourne. Simple, traditional rooms feature white washed walls, chintz curtains and pine furniture. Downstairs an atmospheric bar and restaurant serve traditional hearty fare with a modern twist alongside a choice selection of ales. See More

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  • Tudor Cottage Frampton, Dorset 2 rooms from £95

    Sights nearby  -  Explore Dorchester, Weymouth and the Jurassic Coast
    Four poster beds  -  One room has an antique four poster
    Restrictions on children  -  No children under 12
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays

    Thatched tudor cottage turned B&B just outside Dorchester. Period features and walls crammed with art. Only two bedrooms ensure an intimate atmosphere. Great bolthole for exploring the Jurassic coast and surrounding area. See More

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  • Urban Beach Hotel Bournemouth,, Dorset 12 rooms from £97

    Sights nearby  -  Visit the magnificent Durdle Door or Kimmeridge ledges.
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays, Good Hotel Guide

    Attractive boutique hotel in Bournemouth just five minutes from the beach and not far from the New Forest. Contemporary chic rooms have paintings, luscious fabrics, and all the mod cons. A lively bar and bistro is a focal point. Family friendly, stylish, and surrounded by easily found attractions. See More

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  • Little Court Dorchester (South Dorset) 8 rooms from £98

    Country Escape  -  A charming country house set in the heart of Dorset's Thomas Hardy country
    Great walks  -  Take long walks along the spectacular World Heritage Jurrasic coastline.
    Swimming Pool  -  Heated outdoor pool situated in the walled garden
    Full of character

    A pretty Edwardian country house set in a charming part of rural Dorset. Individually styled rooms are light and spacious and filled with antiques; the best have heavy wooden four-posters. An award winning breakfast, swimming pool and tennis court make this a special stay. See More

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  • Acorn Inn Dorset 10 rooms from £99

    Lively  -  The Hardy Bar is very popular with the locals with quiz nights, skittles competitions and yard of ale drinking challenges
    Great walks  -  Guests have access to the adjacent 600 acres Melburg Estate and Deer Park with walking and artistic opportunities
    Full of character  -  Each of the rooms is named after an aspect of Thomas Hardy's 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles'
    Sights nearby  -  Manor houses and their gardens are in abundance in this area
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays

    The Acorn Inn oozes historic charm. Built in the 16th century from local honey coloured stone, the decor maintains much of the original features; exposed beams, oak panelling and flagstone floors are in abundance. Award winning food in the restaurant. A stylish base for exploring Hardy country. See More

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  • The New Inn Cerne Abbas Cerne Abbas, Dorset 10 rooms from £100

    Local exploring  -  Use this hotel as a base for local exploring in Dorset, set within easy reach of Weymouth, Bridport and Shaftsbury
    Country Escape  -  Set on an idyllic country road on the way to Cornwall, this hotel makes a charming escape from the city
    Foodies  -  Foodies will be pleased with the hotel's seasonal menus, highlighting the best in local produce
    Great walks  -  Explore the quaint Dorset countryside on a long walk; head to the pretty Minterne Gardens in the village on the way
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays

    This quaint hotel is located in a 16th-century former coaching inn nestled in the pretty village of Cerne Abbas, Dorset. Inviting guestrooms are spread across the inn and converted buildings facing onto the courtyard; book a suite for a luxury roll-top bath. Sample craft ale in the pub; a cosy stay. See More

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  • The Bull Hotel Bridport (West Dorset) 14 rooms from £100

    Local markets  -  Bridport market, open Wednesdays and Saturdays is perfect for hidden gems and bric-a-brac.
    Great walks  -  This is the gateway to the Jurassic Coast with all its dramatic coastal paths.
    Sailing  -  Lyme Regis is a sailing mecca and a quaint town to spend an afternoon.
    Sights nearby  -  Country house lovers will appreciate Mapperton House.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Mr & Mrs Smith, Good Hotel Guide

    An 18th century coaching inn, yet full of fun from within. Rooms are decorated with individual touches like ornate mirrors, brass beds to antique dressers complete with floral Cole & Son wallpapers. There are two restaurants, with an emphasis on locally sourced seafood and the popular Venner bar. See More

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  • Fullers Earth B&B Dorchester, Dorset 2 rooms from £100

    Local exploring  -  A great base from which to explore rural Dorset.
    Great walks  -  Go for walks along the nearby coastline at places such as Chesil Beach.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit Cattistock’s church with its William Morris windows.
    Views  -  Lovely views over the surrounding countryside

    Delightful B&B in the sleepy Dorset village of Cattistock. Just two en suite guest rooms, traditional in style, and a lovely garden. Expect a very warm welcome and home from home atmosphere. It's a great base for exploring the countryside surrounding Dorchester, and excellent value for money. See More

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  • Winyards Gap Inn Beaminster, Dorset 4 rooms from £100

    Country Escape  -  A quintessentailly British pub set in the beautiful Dorset countryside.
    Great walks  -  Take picturesque walks in the surrounding countryside staring straight from the property.
    Full of character
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.

    A charming inn set in a secluded spot on the outskirts of Chedington village surrounded by beautiful Dorset countryside. Simple and comfortable rooms have recently undergone a refurbishment leaving them fresh and bright. An atmospheric pub serves hearty fare alongside a choice selection of ales. See More

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  • Grosvenor Arms Shaftesbury, Dorset 16 rooms from £100

    Sights nearby  -  Walking distance to all Shaftesbury's sights
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.

    After a makeover, this former Georgian inn in the middle of Hardy country oozes casual elegance. Retire to stylish rooms upstairs after dinner in the first-rate revamped restaurant. Great service and classy accommodation without the high price tag. See More

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  • The Ollerod Beaminster (West Dorset) 13 rooms from £109

    Country Escape  -  Set in an idyllic cottage dating back to the 13th century, this hotel is perfect for a tranquil country escape
    Families  -  Family suites at the hotel are designed to accommodate children, making this hotel popular with parents
    Romantic Break  -  Couples love the heritage detail at this hotel; book a suite for added indulgence
    Great walks  -  Explore the dramatic Dorset coast on a long walk; head to the Golden Cap, a flat-topped hill of deep orange sandstone
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, I Escape

    This charming hotel occupies a 13th-century country house in Beaminster. In the unique guestrooms, modern design contrasts with beautifully preserved heritage details like centuries-old inglenooks and stone-mullioned windows; book a luxury suite for a four-poster bed. A stylish country hotel. See More

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  • Stapleton Arms Buckhorn Weston, Dorset 4 rooms from £110

    Foodies  -  Locally sourced, responsibly reared meats, veggies from the back garden, homemade pork pies, scotch eggs and relish- heaven!
    Families  -  Child friendly, with kids menu, highchairs, crayons, and plenty of fun countryside activities.
    Great walks  -  They will show you where to go, supply you with wellies, umbrellas and picnics- so get out there and explore!
    Local markets  -  Towns of Shaftesbury and Gillingham both have markets to explore.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Sawdays

    A reinvention of the English country pub, boutique style. Original highlights - wooden beams, inglenook fireplaces - retained, with addition of stylish, freshly designed rooms. The gourmet pub food has gained a reputation for Sunday Roasts, inspired menus and a breakfast fit for a king. See More

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  • Castleman Hotel Blandford Forum, Dorset 8 rooms from £110

    Total relaxation  -  Sipping Champagne in your claw footed tub, feasting on traditional English delights, and bracing walks through the countryside.
    Great walks  -  Bring your wellies, there are beautiful walks from the village to sandy beaches, chalk downlands and ancient heathlands.
    Fishing  -  Anglers will be kept busy with fantastic fishing on the river Stour, Allen and Avon.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays, Good Hotel Guide

    Stunning country house in beautiful parkland. Excellent restaurant priding itself on using local produce. Traditional interiors with dark woods, warm coloured walls and chintz fabrics. A handful of rooms some featuring roll top baths and antique four poster beds. The ideal country escape. See More

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  • Museum Inn Blandford Forum, Dorset 8 rooms from £110

    Foodies  -  Both gastropub and fine dining options at the Museum Inn offer locally sourced, wholesome food, expect game from nearby shoots.
    Groups  -  Moles cottage sleeps up to 16 and is popular with shooting parties in the season and families in the summer.
    Traditional  -  There is a period feel throughout the Museum Inn, with flagstone floors & roaring fire in the bar and antique furnishings.
    Fishing  -  Damerham Fisheries offers Trout fishing and Gorcombe Farm boasts fishing, clay pigeon shooting and archery.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays

    The Museum Inn is an award-winning country pub located in a picture-postcard village in rural north Dorset. Eight individually designed rooms either in the main house or converted stables feature plush decor with Bramley bathroom accessories. Plus a separate large cottage for families or groups. See More

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  • Limestone Hotel West Lulworth, Dorset 10 rooms from £110

    Local exploring  -  Lulworth is surrounded by numerous cultural and natural attractions.
    Great walks  -  Explore the beautiful coast and countryside on walks starting straight from the property.
    Kayaking  -  Discover the coast by kayak.
    Restrictions on children  -  Children over 7 are welcomed

    A small rural hotel set in the picturesque village of West Lulworth. Chic rooms mix traditional and contemporary styles with boldly patterned wallpaper, chandeliers and sash windows. The fabulous restaurant is a celebration of all things Dorset. The perfect spot for a relaxing country escape. See More

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  • The Old George Beaminster, Dorset 3 rooms from £110

    Country Escape  -  Set in a picturesque village and ideally located to explore the unspoilt Dorset countryside.
    Local markets  -  A number of farmers markets run throughout the week in local towns, the proprieters will happily advise on when to go.
    Great walks  -  Take scenic walks along the Jurrasic coastal path.
    Sights nearby  -  Stroll around the stunning gardens at Forde Abbey.

    Ancient coaching inn turned charming B&B set in an idyllic Dorset village. Traditionally dressed rooms are bright and airy with large windows, soft hues and spacious bathrooms. Indulgent breakfasts are served using superb local produce. A quiet spot to relax and enjoy the countryside. See More

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  • Gutchpool Farm Dorset 3 rooms from £110

    Country Escape  -  Set in the rolling hills of the lovely Dorset countryside, this is an ideal base for a tranquil rural retreat
    Sights nearby  -  Visit some lovely country houses and gardens, such as Stourhead, Longleat and Montecute
    Restrictions on children  -  An adults-only B&B
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays

    A charming farmhouse B&B set amongst pretty rolling hills. Interiors are rustic-chic with exposed beams, fireplaces and pretty distressed furniture. Expect cosy rooms with wonderful 1950's style floral wallpapers and fabrics, and lovely garden views. A rural gem ideal for a rural weekend escape. See More

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  • Lulworth House Dorset 2 rooms from £110

    Country Escape  -  Set in a quaint Dorset village, close to many rugged coastal walks, this hotel makes an idyllic country escape
    Local exploring  -  The hotel is well-located for local exploring set within walking distance of pubs and many hiking trails
    Romantic Break  -  With just two guestrooms, this B&B makes an intimate stay, perfect for a discreet romantic getaway
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the St Nicholas Church, a parish church known for its thirteen windows, engraved by the artist Sir Laurence Whistler
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays

    An intimate B&B nestled in sub-tropical gardens in the beautiful village of West Lulworth. The two ground-floor guestrooms are bright and airy and look onto the garden; book the suite for extra living space and French doors with direct outside access. Superb breakfast and excellent friendly hosts. See More

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  • Wooden Cabbage near Dorchester, Dorset 3 rooms from £115

    Country Escape  -  A country house with charming hosts, sweeping views of the Dorset countryside and fragrant flower filled gardens.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit any one of the many local stately homes including Mapperton House and Gardens, Forde Abbey & Gardens or Montacute House.
    Great walks  -  Take your pick of rolling hills or stunning coastal walks on the beach or headlands (20 minutes drive).
    Local markets  -  Shop in the local market towns of Sherborne, Beaminster, Crewkerne and Bridport.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays

    Superb private country house with stunning views. Cosy and stylish decor with oh so comfy beds. Enjoy the very local produce for breakfast whilst surrounded by lovely countryside. Ideally situated for walkers in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A charming spot for a country escape. See More

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  • Dorset House Lyme Regis (West Dorset) 5 rooms from £115

    Value chic  -  Seriously smart accommodation with prices that won't break the bank
    Local exploring  -  A great base for exploring the charming Dorset town of Lyme Regis.
    Great walks  -  Go walking at the lovely nearby Golden Cap. Or borrow one of Dorset House's maps and head further afield
    Views  -  Some of the rooms have lovely views over the Jurassic Coast.

    Dorset House is a charming boutique B&B in the coastal town of Lyme Regis. In a town that famous for it's fossils, this spot is distinctly contemporary with sharp, elegant rooms and plush ensuites. A great spot for those looking to explore the Dorset coast. See More

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  • The Plantation Poole (East Dorset) 10 rooms from £116

    Local exploring  -  Well located in the smart area of Canford Cliffs with many of Poole's main attractions within easy reach.
    Great walks  -  Stroll through the beauitful Compton Acres, an expanse of glorious manicured gardens.

    A lively combination of chic pub and stunning contemporary accommodation. Rooms are beautifully styled with a bold colour palate, patterned wallpaper and crisp white linen. The restaurant mixes British classic with more tropical offerings and is worthy of a visit alone. See More

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  • The Lord Bute Christchurch 13 rooms from £117

    Local exploring  -  Boasting a fabulous location wedged between the two natural bounties of the New Forest and the spectacular Dorset coast.
    Sights nearby  -  Take the Ferry across to Hengistbury Head, famous as a site of archaeological and ecological importance.
    Great walks  -  Discover the pretty rugged landscapes of the New Forest on long walks.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.

    A luxury boutique hotel set in the original grounds of the Highcliffe Castle. Elegant rooms are traditionally dressed with heavily draped sash windows, antique furniture and spacious bathrooms. An award winning restaurant serves up innovative fusion dishes to great success. See More

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  • The Castle Inn Dorset 12 rooms from £119

    Country Escape  -  The location of this quiet country inn is perfect for exploring the beautiful countryside of the Isle of Purbeck
    Families  -  With lots to explore on the coastline, and family rooms available at the inn, this pub is a family favourite
    Local exploring  -  With Lulworth Cove a stone's throw from the hotel this is a great base for local Dorset exploring
    Great walks  -  There are endless great walks to explore the Dorset countryside and coastline; tuck into a warm meal in the pub afterwards

    This historic Dorset inn is nestled on the beautiful Jurassic coast. Under the thatched roof, individually designed rooms invite you in with warm and cosy soft furnishings. The 16th-century pub has been lovingly restored and offers a separate dining area and garden. A charming and traditional inn. See More

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  • Glebe Farm Salisbury, Dorset 2 rooms from £120

    Sights nearby  -  Take a day trip to Salisbury to visit the cathedral and the library.
    Great walks  -  The surrounding area is full of lovely walking trails.
    Fishing  -  Go trout fishing on the nearby river Stour.
    Restrictions on children  -  Adult only.

    Glebe Farm offers excellent B&B accommodation in rural Dorset. Set in a modern farmhouse, the rooms are comfortable and spacious with adjoining bathrooms. Tranquil and intimate, it's perfect for a relaxing weekend away in the countryside. See More

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  • HIX Townhouse Lyme Regis (West Dorset) 8 rooms from £120

    Foodies  -  Naturally the nearby HIX Oyster & Fish restaurant is the real draw which guests get discounts at.
    Groups  -  The guesthouse can be rented out in its entirety for groups.
    Fishing  -  Spend a day fishing at sea before returning to the HIX Oyster and Fish House where the head chef will cook the catch.
    Great walks  -  Take long walks along the striking Jurrasic Coast.

    An elegant townhouse owned by famed chef and hotelier Mark Hix. Smart rooms are spacious and atmospheric with rich hues, open fireplaces and sash windows. Just a short walk from the fabulous HIX Oyster & Fish House the hotel also features an 'honesty kitchen' for late night snacks. See More

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  • Moonfleet Manor Weymouth (West Dorset) 36 rooms from £120

    Families  -  Pleasing both parents and children alike. Adults can unwind in the spa and there's plenty of activities for kids.
    Great walks  -  Take long walks along the beach.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor pool
    Full of character

    A family orientated hotel located on the coast in a former stately home. Boasting a mix of modern and traditional rooms, a bustling restaurant and pretty grounds. A certified kid's club is sure to keep children of all ages entertained while adults may relax in the spa or with a drink in the bar. See More

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  • The Crown Hotel Blandford Forum (North Dorset) 27 rooms from £124

    Country Escape  -  Find easy access to the beautiful Blackmore Vale and the Dorset Downs countryside.
    Great walks  -  Embark on long walks along picturesque trails starting straight from the property.
    Birdwatching  -  Spot a wide variety of birds located on the marsh lands along the River Stour.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.

    An imposing country manor in the market town of Blandford offering spectacular views across the River Stour and surrounded by beautiful countryside. Traditionally dressed rooms are light and spacious. The food is hearty and bar has a wide variety of ales coming from the hotel's own brewery. See More

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  • Yalbury Cottage Dorchester (South Dorset) 8 rooms from £125

    Foodies  -  This is a chef owned property, and a talented one at that, expect local produce turned into superb creative dishes
    Country Escape  -  Set in a particularly picturesque part of Dorset countryside this is a perfect spot for walking enthusiasts
    Great walks  -  Step out the front door and head out on long picturesque walks
    Sights nearby  -  Thomas Hardy's cottage is walking distance from the property
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide

    A charming cottage set in a particularly picturesque corner of Dorset. A handful of rooms are simply and traditionally dressed with exposed beams, whitewashed walls and light-wooden furniture. Downstairs, cosy lounges are warmed by roaring fires and the restaurant serves superb gourmet dishes. See More

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  • No 98 Boutique Hotel Weymouth (South Dorset) 9 rooms from £126

    Local exploring  -  Perfectly placed in the heart of Weymouth to explore the town's main attractions and the Jurrassic Coast
    Views  -  The best rooms have lovely views over Weymouth Beach
    Great walks  -  Take long walks along the coastal path
    Full of character

    A chic boutique property in one of the UK's favourite beach resort towns. Bright nautically inspired rooms feature hardwood floors, sash windows, and simple contemporary furniture. The best have sea views. Breakfasts are served and restaurants are a stroll away. A hip beach escape. See More

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  • The Kings Arms Christchurch (East Dorset) 20 rooms from £135

    Sights nearby  -  The historic Christchurch Priory Church, Christchurch Castle and Highcliffe Castle are within walking distance or very close.
    Great walks  -  The many pathways of the Jurassic Coast are on your doorstep.
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.

    This grand Georgian property provides a stylish stay. Inside it is a sympathetic blend of traditional architecture with modern furnishings. Rooms are decorated with velvet headboards, sumptuous armchairs and luxurious bathrooms. The gourmet restaurant has a seasonal delicious locally sourced menu. See More

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  • Hotel du Vin, Poole Poole (East Dorset) 38 rooms from £159

    City Style  -  A luxurious property in the heart of old Poole offering smart rooms and a chic french bistro.
    Great walks  -  Take long walks along the stunning Jurassic Coast.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Full of character

    A smart hotel located in the heart of the pretty Georgian old town. Elegant rooms feature Egyptian cotton, soft hues, panelled walls and contemporary bathrooms. A glamorous restaurant offers hearty, yet well executed fare with a real emphasis on 'slow-cooking'. See More

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  • Plumber Manor Hotel Sturminster Newton, Dorset 16 rooms from £160

    Country Escape  -  A perfect base for exploring the Dorset countryside- gardens, National Trust Houses, villages and walks.
    Great walks  -  Bring your dog and enjoy the 20 acres of well kept grounds, with a river running through.
    Birdwatching  -  Take a deckchair and plonk it down by the river, sit, relax and listen to the birdsong.
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays

    Characterful, family-run Jacobean manor house in glorious Thomas Hardy country. This quintessentially English manor has been in the same family for centuries, with portraits to match. An air of faded grandeur. The real deal. See More

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  • The Green House Bournemouth, Dorset 32 rooms from £160

    Sailing  -  Bournmouth Cruises offers both cruises and rides on their speedboat.
    Great walks  -  Within easy access of the New Forest - a paradise for walkers.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit Christchurch Castle ruins.
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith

    Eco hotel a few hundred yards from the beach. Contemporary rooms with designer wallpaper and some with free standing baths. Award winning restaurant uses produce from the local area. Well placed for exploring Dorset and the New Forest. See More

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  • Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa Christchurch 64 rooms from £160

    Kayaking  -  Complimentary single and double kayaks available for the guests to use.
    Great walks  -  Plenty of coastal walks for all abilities
    Views  -  Superb views over Christchurch harbour

    Style and exceptional service on the Dorset coast. The newly refurbished Christchurch Harbour Hotel offers smart bedrooms, excellent food, pampering spa and wonderful views. Perfect for an indulgent break by the sea. See More

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  • The Seaside Boarding House Burton Bradstock, Dorset 9 rooms from £195

    Sights nearby  -  Visit Roman Camps, beautiful gardens, Lyme Regis and historic stately homes
    Local markets  -  The Saturday market in Bridport rivals that of London's Portobello Road
    House party feel  -  With only nine rooms, this is property has a great vibe.
    Fishing  -  Chesil Beach is famous for its beach fishing
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays

    A stunning addition to Dorset's Jurassic Coast. Nine stylish and comfortable bedrooms, most with views over Lyme Bay, excellent restaurant championing local seafood and mainland produce, plus a bar specialising in classic cocktails. A recipe for a laid back break in fossil hunting country. See More

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  • Priory Hotel Wareham (South Dorset) 18 rooms from £220

    Local exploring  -  From the Saxon town walls of the ancient market town of Wareham to the rolling Dorset countryside there is plenty to see.
    Great walks  -  The lovely gardens slope down to the River Frome, a perfect starting point for an afternoon stroll.
    Sights nearby  -  Check out nearby Corfe village with the spectacular ruins of Corfe Castle, only a few miles away.
    Restrictions on children  -  Not under 14
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays

    A slice of old England served with China tea. A peaceful and romantic hotel in lovely Wareham on the edge of the Isle of Purbeck. Classically styled rooms and a beautiful garden. Plenty of great excursions for adults and older kids. See More

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  • Captain's Club Hotel & Spa Christchurch (East Dorset) 17 rooms from £229

    Families  -  Family can accommodate between 3 and 6 guest (plus furry friends) and one even comes with a cinema room!
    Riverside  -  Perfectly set on the banks of the River Stour.
    Swimming Pool  -  The spa has an indoor hydrotherapy pool complete with resistance jets and poolside loungers
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Sawdays

    A modern seaside hotel on the banks of the River Stour in Christchurch. Self-catering rooms and suites have fully equipped kitchens, modern furnishings, and balconies with views. Top of the range spa and therapies, terraces, good restaurant, and plenty of local activities. Very family oriented. See More

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  • Summer Lodge Evershot, Dorset 24 rooms from £265

    Foodies  -  The dream team of Head Chef Steven Titman and world-renowned Sommelier Eric Zwiebel make dinner an unforgettable experience.
    Romantic Break  -  Let your romantic side out with candlelit jacuzzi sessions, in room champagne and rose petals on the bed.
    Great walks  -  Borrow wellies for strolls around the English garden or the adjoining deer park teeming with wildlife and natural beauty.
    Spa  -  As well as wide range of treatments the spa offers heated indoor pool, jacuzzi and sauna.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Frommers, Good Hotel Guide, Kiwi Collection, Relais & Chateaux

    A Hardy-esque country house turned hotel, surrounded by lovely gardens and spectacular countryside. Luxurious rooms boasts elaborate floral fabrics and plush furnishings. The gourmet restaurant is not to be missed, nor the extensive bar. A cosy countryside base, complete with pool, spa and tennis. See More

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