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The Grosvenor Arms, Shaftesbury, Dorset
A smart hotel in the centre of the historic hilltop town of Shaftesbury, close to stunning countryside and fabulous walks. With its robust Georgian front, the building has a sense of history but sports an up-to-date interior. The country-style bar (picture tweed and leather furniture around an open fire) is the perfect spot for a sloe gin and there's a good restaurant. Far less busy than the coast but only an hour from its beaches, unspoilt North Dorset is a peaceful base from which to explore. Shaftesbury is worth seeing in its own right, with impressive Saxon ruins, quirky independent shops and photogenic Gold Hill, the steep cobbled street made famous by the 1970s Hovis bread 'Boy on Bike' advert.
Pack your wellies as Shaftesbury is surrounded by superb walking country, including the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The hotel is on Shaftesbury's buzzing high street, with plenty of shops and cafés nearby, as well as a regular market.
By car: The hotel is 2 hours 10 mins from London, 2 hours 35 mins from Birmingham and 3 hours from Cambridge. There is free public parking nearby.
By train: London Waterloo to Gillingham train station takes 2 hours. The hotel is a 10-minute taxi from the station. thetrainline.com
By plane: Bournemouth Airport (29 miles)
Style & Character
The Grosvenor Arms is great for couples or families wanting a relaxed weekend. With memorable walks all around it's good to know the dog is welcome too. We love hunkering down with a hot chocolate on comfy leather chairs around the cosy fire in the bar.
Service & Facilities
We love the snug country-style bar with its leather sofas, tweed chairs, antlers mounted on the wall and log fire. Dogs are welcome in all rooms (£10 surcharge per pup) and the bar, but not the restaurant, and they'll love the walking.
- Outdoor dining
- Free Wi-Fi
- Free parking
The Cranborne Suite is spacious, overlooks the courtyard and has a decadent bathroom with free-standing bath and vast walk-in shower. Rooms retain period features, like fireplaces and sash windows, alongside modern touches like giant, bespoke, fabric headboards and coffee machines.
Standard Double, Premium Double, Balcony Suite, Cranborne Suite
Facilities include: large double or king bed, ensuite bathroom, Dualit espresso machine, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
Provenance matters here. Fresh, seasonal, wild and organic ingredients are carefully selected to create unfussy, tasty dishes. Dry-aged rump steak, with a sauce created from the renowned Dorset Blue Vinney Cheese - made just a few miles away - is our favourite.
The restaurant: modern British and European cuisine, wood-fired pizzas. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Mains from £13.75.
The bar: coffee, cakes, pastries, bar snacks, cocktails, spirits, beers and wines. Full menu also available. Open every day.