The New Inn

Pub with rooms in Cerne Abbas, Dorset

From £100 per night

Curator's notes:

  • Historic inn; heart of picture-book village
  • Contemporary courtyard rooms; big suites
  • Wrackle Room oozes original charm
  • Modern pub food; decent wines
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Speak to us on +44 (0)20 8161 0100

Overview

'New' refers to 16th-century modernisation to an 11th-century structure - a redbrick arch and steep slate-stone roof - so no nasty architectural shocks here. It was originally used as a dormitory for the nearby Abbey, accommodating passing pilgrims, before becoming a coaching inn during the 16th-century.

Owners Palmers Brewery lavished money revamping and breathing new life into the old inn back in 2014 and the result is impressive, without losing the history and charm of the old building. Expect slate and oak floors and a contemporary-smart feel throughout the spruced up bar (with mullioned windows and cosy nooks and crannies) and rear dining room. Experienced operators Julian & Annette have been at the helm

Hands-on landlords Julian and Annette, tip-top Palmers beers, decent wines (many by the glass) and interesting pub food, which makes sound use of local Dorset produce, completes the pleasing picture.

Rooms from

10 doubles, 2 suites: £100

Good to know

Credit cards accepted (not Amex)

Disabled access (Courtyard Rooms)

Alfresco dining

Parking for residents

Dog stay: £10

Scenic & serene

The Wessex Ridgeway, Cranborne Chase and Chesil Beach are just three of Dorset's many popular walking destinations - all of them offering immense variety and great scenery. Dorset's famed Jurassic Coast, with its breezy high points and stunning sandstone cliffs, is a true walking experience.

Cerne Abbas Giant

Follow the Giant's Walk path from the village to reach the viewpoint to see one the 55 metre high naked figure that is carved in the chalk hillside. It's one of Dorset most iconic images and dates from at least Roman times and is most likely to have been an ancient fertility symbol.

Rooms

Rooms are named after local rivers and are split between the inn and the converted buildings facing onto the inn's sheltered rear courtyard.

The atmospheric Wrackle room in the inn has a Tudor feel with its ancient leaded windows, stone fireplace and heavy dark beams - guests love the room. Although some find the room a bit too spooky. Courtyard rooms are bright and contemporary and include two split-level suites with feature roll-top baths (situated in the bedrooms in true boutique style) and separate spacious living areas.

There's a good mix of period charm and fashionable neutrality to the stable block, while the upstairs rooms in the pub offer rather more period atmosphere. A cup of Clipper tea and a homemade biscuit in your room gets things off to a great start.

Restaurant & bar

Our very enjoyable overnight visit in late February coincided with the recent arrival of a new head chef, who was still getting to grips with his new kitchen and in the process of meeting local suppliers and developing his menus.

However, this was thwarted when lockdown hit and the pub closed in mid-March. We look forward to updating this section but can assure you the menu will champion local Dorset produce and the popular mussel and homemade gourmet burger evenings will remaiin, with both featuring on the new menu.

Annette & Julian's background is rooted in providing first class service on all levels having worked for Davys of London Wine Merchants in the heart of the city. Naturally, as well as great food, they offer an interesting global wine list to choose from, with 11 by the glass (including fizz) and some less commonly seen varieties, and there are three local cask ales brewed by Palmers.

Things to do

A short drive from Dorchester brings you to the birthplace of Thomas Hardy, one of Britain's greatest writers. Hardy wrote his early novels here and today this modest National Trust cottage illustrates the primitive conditions and simple daily routine of his youth.

The Wessex Ridgeway, Cranborne Chase and Chesil Beach are just three of Dorset's many popular walking destinations - all of them offering immense variety and great scenery. Dorset's famed Jurassic Coast, with its breezy high points and stunning sandstone cliffs, is a true walking experience. Following the South West Coast Path between Swanage and Weymouth you feel the unmistakable stamp of prehistory on the landscape.

Palmers Brewery welcomes ale lovers to their Bridport Brewery from Easter to the end of October. Over two hours guests go behind the scenes in the historic brewery buildings and are able to watch every stage of the centuries-old brewing process. The tour ends with a beer tasting.

Getting here

Directions

Nearest railway station: Dorchester

Taxi from station: 14 min

Drive: Sherborne 22min; Blandford Forum 33min; Weymouth 27 min

Address

14 Long Street, Cerne Abbas, Dorchester, Dorset DT2 7JF

Prices & availability