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Overview

Farnham is a sleepy village, enticingly lost within the rolling folds of Cranborne Chase and filled with timeless thatched cottages.

At its heart is the part-thatched Museum Inn, which owes its name to the 17th-century archaeologist General Pitt-Rivers who took over Gypsy School nearby to house one of his museums.

Original features in the three civilised beamed rooms around the bar have been retained, so expect yellow-washed walls, flagstone floors, crackling log fires and scrubbed tables, which perfectly set the scene in which to enjoy some superlative modern British cooking, local ales and top-notch wines. The cosy sitting room for guests exclusive use has comfy wing chairs, a roaring log fire, and an honesty bar.

The eight comfortable bedrooms and Moles Cottage, a self-contained thatched cottage sleeping 16 behind the inn, are the icing on the cake.

Rooms from

8 doubles: £100; Moles Cottage: £1,000


Good to know

  • Most credit cards accepted (not Amex)

  • Private & alfresco dining

  • Parking available/Electric charging point

  • Dog stay: £15

Outdoor adventures
The inn is surrounded by ancient woodlands and chalk river valleys perfect for walking, cycling, riding, fishing and shooting.

Family favourite
Moles Cottage is a self-contained thatched cottage sleeping up to 16 people, ideal for large get-togethers and family gatherings.

Dog-friendly
Your four-legged friends are welcome overnight in all the rooms, as well as in the bar and casual dining areas. Dog beds and bowls can also be provided.

Rooms

Style and attention to detail extends to the eight bedrooms - four in the pub and four in the converted stables - each individually decorated with warm colours, quality fabrics, easy chairs to sink into and comfortable beds for a sound night's sleep.

Big bathrooms have power showers over baths, while added touches in the rooms include magazines, Noble Isle toiletries, fresh coffee and homemade biscuits, and soothing village views. A favourite is the stately General's Room with its handsome darkwood four-poster bed and its own private balcony overlooking the garden.

For the ultimate in luxury country comfort, Moles Cottage is a self-contained cottage offering accommodation for up to 16 people, ideal for large get-togethers, extended family breaks and shooting parties. It has antique furnishings, a huge fireplace, a well-appointed kitchen, its own entrance, and a private patio and garden.

Restaurant & bar

Behind the bar you'll find tip-top real ales, interesting wines and a raft of spirits, while the menu evolves with the seasons and makes the most of locally sourced produce.

Expect classic British dishes with a modern twist - meat is reared in a traditional way, poultry is free range, fish is fresh from the south coast, game is sourced from neighbouring estates, and salads and vegetables are from local growers.

Typically, tuck into ham hock terrine with pickles and sourdough, followed by confit pork belly, butternut squash puree, braised red cabbage and cider jus. And don't forget to leave room for pudding - think pear and almond tart or apple crumble with creme Anglaise.

Private dining

The Shed (don't be fooled by the name) is an elegant dining space that can seat 34 guests (or 60 standing) for private functions. Featuring high wooden walls, sloping ceilings and book-lined shelves, it's a great space for parties, drinks receptions and business meetings. For a more intimate affair, The Hall can seat up to 14 for dinner. The residents' sitting room is also available for use as a break-out space.

Things to do

Farnham is situated in Cranborne Chase, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which features rolling chalk grassland, ancient woodlands, chalk escarpments, downland hillsides and chalk river valleys, each with a distinct and recognisable character. The area is dotted with historic villages, nationally important wildlife sites and quiet country lanes.

Looking for a place to go for a walk, then head to Win Green, the highest point in the Cranborne Chase, which offers panoramic views stretching all the way to the coast, or try Ashmore Wood, where trails wend their way through ancient semi-natural woodland, plantation conifers and hazel coppice. Two ancient hillforts - Badbury Rings and Hambledon Hill - are close by and worth the climb.

For something more sedate, visit The Larmer Tree Gardens, the first private gardens in the UK to be opened to the public, or take a drive down The Beech Avenue to admire this man-made arboreal wonder en route to Kingston Lacy, a grand country estate owned by the National Trust. The medieval cathedral city of Salisbury, with its magnificent 13th century cathedral, is a 30-minute drive away.

Getting here

Directions

Nearest train station: Salisbury or Tisbury
Taxi from station: 30min from both
Drive: Shaftesbury 20min; Salisbury 30min; London 2hr 10min

Address

Farnham, Blandford Forum, Dorset DT11 8DE

Prices & availability