The Dorset Arms

Pub with rooms in Hartfield, East Sussex

Curator's notes:

  • Simply yet elegantly refurbished​
  • Menu brims with estate goodies
  • Local ales on tap
  • Lovely rooms in the old schoolhouse
  • Family favourite
  • No car needed
  • Dog-friendly
Enquire to book

Speak to us on +44 (0)20 8161 0100

Overview

Set back from the road in the heart of the Ashdown Forest, the distinctive Dorset Arms dates to 1595 and forms part of the Buckhurst Estate. Recently restored, the inn retains the charm of a traditional pub with an emphasis on offering quality food prepared from local and seasonal produce, much of it sourced from the Estate itself. The interior oozes period and traditional charm - expect stripped beams, a wood floor, scrubbed tables, cushioned wall benches and a blazing log fire in the welcoming bar.

Equally smart is the dining room, replete with heritage hues, thick beams, an eclectic mix of old dining tables, bookshelves and family paintings adorning the walls. There are benches to the front of the pub and a peaceful and secluded raised garden to the side of the pub, replete with summer barbecue, bar and food serving area. The heated Garden Room offers valuable extra dining space and works well for shoot parties and family gatherings, plus it has retractable roof for summer alfresco dining.

Rooms from

Doubles: £105


Good to know

  • All major credit cards accepted
  • Parking available
  • Disabled access to bar and restaurant
  • Alfresco and private dining

Family favourite
The pub is family-friendly and children are allowed throughout the pub, with smaller dining portions available.

No car needed
You're just five minutes in a taxi from Groombridge station, making the Dorset Arms a great car-free option.

Dog-friendly
With so much wonderful local walking, spoil your canine companion with a weekend away - dogs are welcome in the bar and rooms.

Rooms

Expect the unexpected with the gorgeous range of bedrooms, occupying a beautifully restored and refurbished cottage situated behind the pub. The six beautifully designed rooms are simply yet tastefully refurbished with gorgeous fabrics, fittings and furniture. All are decked out with big comfy beds, jugs of fresh flowers, Nespresso machines and fresh, spacious bathrooms. Rooms upstairs make the most of the pastoral estate views.

Accessed via a gravel drive and through the pub garden, Old School Cottage was originally the village school and comes complete with cottage garden and a serene views across sheep-grazed fields to the village cricket pitch - the perfect choice for a family gathering.

Restaurant & bar

With quality produce being reared and grown on the doorstep, plus a brilliant network of local suppliers delivering top-notch seasonal goodies direct to the inn, you can expect seasonal, local and delicious fare at The Dorset Arms. Venison and game from the estate make up much of the winter menu, while year-round produce includes stunning beef from the organic pure-bred Pedigree Sussex herd, free-range pork and the locally famous Buckhurst Park sausage. Asparagus from Groombridge and local lamb are springtime favourites in daily specials, which combine pub classics with more inventive dishes.

Check out the chalkboard on the bar for delectable bar snacks - expect to find superb Sussex ales on handpump, notably Harvey's Best alongside micro-brewery guest ales, perhaps Long Man Old Man and Black Cat Original, brewed near Uckfield. The short, interesting wine list favours France and includes fizz from the local Bluebell Vineyard in Sussex.

Things to do

Withyham lies at the heart of the glorious Ashdown Forest making it a perfect spot for nature lovers. Exploring this vast area of attractive heathland and oak and birch woodland takes you to Pooh Bridge, the Five Hundred Acre Wood and many other landmarks associated with AA Milne's famous children's books about Winnie-the-Pooh. Elsewhere there's plenty of good walking to be had - including scenic stretches of the Sussex Border Path and the High Weald Landscape Trail.

Experience the great era of steam travel at the Bluebell Railway and enjoy the sights that greet you along the line between Horsted Keynes and Sheffield Park, where you'll find a beautiful 120-acre garden close to the station. Created by 'Capability' Brown, the garden is famed for its spring flowering rhododendrons and dazzling autumnal colours.


When exploring East Sussex, don't miss the stunning Charleston House and Garden. Virginia Woolf spotted this remote settlement on the South Downs while out walking one day in 1916; Charlesto sincen became the home and country meeting place for the writers and artists of the Bloomsbury group. The Bloomsbury artists painted furniture, ceramics, and murals, which can be seen at the house from March to November, along with a collection of paintings by Picasso, Derain, Sickert and Delacroix.

Getting here

Directions

Nearest train station: Groombridge
Taxi from station: 5min
Drive: 15min from Royal Tunbridge Wells, 40min from Crawley, 1h from Brighton

Address
Withyham, Hartfield, East Sussex TN7 4BD