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Unique and quirky, this rambling medieval inn was bought by the Grosvenor family in 1820 and has remained the hub of the thriving hilltop town of Shaftesbury ever since. Stay Original Co have put their quirky, unique stamp on this old coaching inn.

Step off the street and expect to be wowed by the glass-covered walkway that links the stylish bar with the light, airy and spacious dining room. The Mediterranean-style quadrangle courtyard is an unexpected surprise and a peaceful refuge from the hustle and bustle of the High Street, with a central fountain, terracotta pots and planters.

On cooler days, hunker down in the cosy bar-cum-lounge, full of muted tones and suede, leather and velvets, with a mix of sofas and upholstered chairs, blazing wood-burners, soft lighting and intriguing artwork. The contemporary wood-floored dining room comes with a cool deli area with a huge marble-topped table (great for an informal party) and a wood-fired pizza oven. Rooms are spread over the inn's two floors and have a smart, contemporary feel.

Rooms from

14 doubles: £90; 2 suites £190

Good to know

  • Credit cards accepted (not Amex)
  • Disabled access (not rooms)
  • Private & alfresco dining
  • Weddings
  • Parking: permits for town car park
  • Dog stay: £10

Family favourite
Children are very welcome, with a great kids menu and most rooms suitable for the whole family.

A real treat awaits pampered pooches - overnight doggie guests can have a bed in the room and get a Woof Box full of goodies for £10, too.

Outdoor adventures
Set in the heart of Wiltshire's great walking country, there are plenty of walks from the pub's doorstep through picturesque villages and fine scenery.

Events and celebrations
The Assembly Room seats 70 and is the perfect venue for a wedding or a special celebration.


Sixteen contemporary-smart rooms ramble across two floors and around the central courtyard - all were refurbished in spring 2022.

Most are very spacious, with the Cranborne Suite (the biggest and best!) having a vast bathroom with roll-top tub and the largest walk-in shower imaginable. With many of the rooms recently refurbished, you can expect rich fabrics and furnishings, bold colours, jazzy tiled bathrooms, and quirky detail touches.

Rooms come equipped with coffee machines, homemade biscuits, and bathrobes. For breakfast, enjoy the Full Grosvenor breakfast, or for something a little lighter, how about smokey beans on malted toast?

Restaurant & bar

Former River Cottage chef Tom Blake oversees the kitchen team and the seasonally changing menu and the big focus here is on fresh, seasonal and local produce with local artisan suppliers.

Cooking style is modern British with Mediterranean influences and the all-encompassing menu features excellent pizzas, cooked in the open wood-fired oven, and sound use of imaginative, often unusual, ingredients. Breads, cakes and biscuits are made in-house using flour milled by Stoate & Sons in Shaftesbury, and the jams, chutneys, preserves and sauces are all homemade, as is the ice cream, which is made using milk and cream from Blackmore Vale Dairy. Typical dishes may include spiced chicken terrine with coconut and apricot chutney; flat iron chicken, garlic, olive and sage butter and triple-cooked chips; and warm Dorset apple cake. Sunday roast lunches come highly recommended.

Open all day, the bar is a smart, warm and convivial space in which to peruse the papers over a pint or to enjoy a morning coffee and slice of cake, or a delicious afternoon tea. Expect to find a good selection of boutique gins and vodkas available behind the bar, too.

Things to do

Join artisan baker Paul Merry at Panary in Gillingham, who has been craft baking with masonry ovens for over 40 years. Established in 1997, the school teaches an array of baking skills in a working watermill. Much of the flour used in the courses is sourced from the mill and it's also the perfect place to learn everything there is to know about baking.

For a relaxed day out, visit the Pythouse Kitchen Garden at West Hatch. The 18th century walled garden and Victorian kitchen garden produces fruit and a wide variety of vegetables; everything grown here is sold in the small shop and appears on the menu in the appropriately rustic café: The monthly Saturday 'Pytfire Suppers' often feature Pythouse's own organic lamb or beef.

History buffs can enjoy Chettle House, a Queen Anne manor house near Blandford Forum designed in 1710. There's an elegant oak entrance hall with two sweeping flights of stairs meeting at an impressive gallery at the top. Stroll in the gardens and take a peek at the nearby church with its early-16th-century tower.

Acknowledged as one of Europe's finest landscaped parkland gardens, stunning Stourhead is managed by the National Trust. The gardens serve as a perfect example of the English landscape style, and the lake is a picture at any time of the year. Not to be mixed.

Getting here


Nearest train station: Gillingham
Taxi from station: 12min
Drive: Warminster 26min; Salisbury 40min; Yeovil 42min


High Street, Shaftesbury, Dorset SP7 8JA

Prices & availability