Guest Blog written by Steph the creator of Destination Downtime. After recently exploring this picturesque part of the Jurassic...
A stay in one of our Dorset Dream Cottages would not be complete without a long walk and a glass of something lovely in a cosy pub, complete with a roaring fire. We have picked out some of the best pubs to visit in the area, this Winter.
Thick stone walls, wooden floors and a cosy open fire. The pub literally lies on Chesil beach next to the Portland Cliffs. Take a long walk along the cliffs before warming up in front of the fire at the Cove House Inn. A fine wine list and fantastic guest real ales are bonus and the food is delicious.
As the owners say: “Relax in front of the open fire and watch the stormy seas pound Chesil Beach.”
A beautiful thatched pub that was once a row of 17th century farm cottages. Intimate and cosy, the wobbly walls, low ceilings, open fires, exposed beams and horse brasses all add to the Drusilla’s Inn olde-worlde charm. Sit back with a glass of international fine wine or a glass of local ale or cider and take in the view of Hortons Folly. The food is locally produced or hand reared and all home-made.
There are plenty of great walks or cycle routes that either begin or end at Drusilla’s, so enjoy Thomas Hardy’s Wessex countryside and pop to Drusilla’s for a well deserved rest.
Perfectly settled on the edge of the Jurassic coast, The Smugglers Inn boasts breath taking views of the sea and the stunning coastline. Once home to the leader of the most notorious gang of smugglers, this pub is full of mysterious charm. It is idyllic and a must to visit.
Sit by the large open fire with a glass of Badger cask ale or lager from around the world and enjoy some real pub grub.
An absolutely delightful 17th century thatched village cosy pub serving gorgeous food and offering a cosy and friendly ambiance. Featuring fantastic winter warmers on the menu such as beef bourguignon, pork belly and butternut squash and chickpea tagine. Best washed down with a Palmers ale in front of a roaring log fire. Reviews of The New Inn all say that the food is excellent as is the service and the friendliness of the locals and the owners. A quiet village pub with a big reputation.
A traditional chocolate box pub in the beautiful village of Piddlehinton in Dorchester complete with pretty streams flowing through the gardens. The Thimble Inn is a real find. Boasting beautiful sandstone floors, antique furniture, open fires, an indoor well and excellent food.
Piddlehinton sits on the river Piddle. Traditional Dorset thatched cottages, river views and rolling hills make the village picture perfect. The Piddle Valley is renowned for its excellent walks with many paths and bridal-ways. Park up at The Thimble Inn, take a walk and then return to sit by the roaring log fire and sample their amazing quality food. A day out in itself!
A beautiful award winning pub, the Bankes Arms dates back to 1549. Situated in the heart of Purbeck overlooking Studland beach and the start of the Jurassic Coast. Cosy and warm with two roaring log fires and in the evenings, the pub is candle lit which makes it even more special. Awarded for the pub itself and the beers and ales it serves, this old smugglers haunt is definitely worth a visit.
Real ales and traditional ciders will great you at this wooden beamed, cosy pub lit with oil lamps. With three roaring fires, one being a gorgeous large inglenook, The Hunters Moon is a dream. What is more, it is child friendly since they have a selection of children’s books, toys and board games. They also serve 16 wines by the glass which is rather unusual for a country pub and very appealing. Bag yourself a booth near the inglenook fire and enjoy a lovely afternoon in the country.
Nestled on the hillside overlooking the beach and sea at Seatown, this lovely pub enjoyed a renovation in 2014, but retains all of its original character and charm. Local ales and cider sit on the drinks menu alongside delicious cocktails made from fine local spirits. The Anchor Inn has a great reputation for delicious food, it’s a great spot to stop for lunch or dinner with a view. For those who want to work up a healthy appetite, scale Golden Cap then walk down to The Anchor Inn. Watch the sun set over the sea with a well earnt cocktail in hand.
Set in a fantastic location, between the beach and harbour in West Bay, the Bridport Arms makes for a perfect rest stop to follow a wintery walk along the beach, or iconic cliffs.
Local ales, a wide range of Cask Marque beers and, as you would expect from its location, great seafood and home cooked meals all make for a warm welcome.
Situated in the beautiful village of Portesham, just outside of Weymouth, The Kings Arms offers a delicious menu which reflects their use of local produce. Visit in July or August to experience fresh pizza from the wood fired pizza oven, which is located in the large, sunny beer garden. 3 traditional open log fires will keep you cosy inside, it is also a great place to enjoy a roast, with the option of ordering a whole joint of meat for your table to share with all the trimmings.
Legend has it that this Inn was once a popular haunt for smugglers and earnt its name from a previous Landlady, who suffered the wrath of the smugglers having talked too much at a local market, consequently giving away smugglers’ secrets!
Nowadays, this is a hidden gem of a pub, tucked away in Wareham forest, offering delicious food and drink. The Silent Woman is designed specifically for adults and does not allow children in the restaurant or bar area.
Favoured for its beer and ale selection (although there is also a wide selection of other drinks on offer), The Blue Raddle was converted in to a pub in 1850 and originally named The Dolphin. Today, the pub preserves its traditional atmosphere, frequented by locals and serving up food, cooked by the Landlady.
Nestled in the hills of Nettlecombe, near Bridport, the Marquis of Lorne is a 16th Century building and a fine example of a country pub, surrounded by rolling countryside. Serving up lunch and dinner in the cosy bar, the pub uses locally sourced produce wherever possible and has strong links with its local community, aiding many local fundraising events.
Offering home cooked and, where possible, locally sourced food from the family farm, friends or trusted suppliers, the Poet Laureate is relatively new, however the owners are well established in the area, having previously managed the Blue Vinney in Puddletown with great success.
Set in the idyllic Dorset village of Symondsbury, home of the local landmark Colmer’s Hill, this quintessentially English pub has everything you could possibly need to relax and unwind after a walk through the beautiful surrounding countryside.
The Ilchester Arms offers fantastic local ales from Palmers Brewery and home cooked food is also available. A huge open fireplace, oak beams and traditional skittle alley make this 15th Century thatched pub a lovely spot to spend a wintery afternoon or evening.
The George is a real favourite with the locals, this traditional thatched pub follows a strong ‘keep it local’ ethos, with all cask ale brewed by the local Palmers brewery and produce bought daily (depending on the season) ensuring it is as fresh as possible. Cosy log fires make the bars welcoming during the winter and, during the summer, you can enjoy a fresh pizza from the woodfired oven on the pretty terrace.
Set in the tranquil village of Sutton Poyntz, excellent food, alongside fine ales, gins and wines create a warm welcome at The Springhead. The log burning stove burns throughout the winter and traditional entertainment, like the quiz night, ensure punters feel right at home. The duck pond opposite is great for children to enjoy along with the play area at the back of the pub.
This award-winning pub is situated at Burton Bradstock provides locally sourced, seasonal gourmet food along with gorgeous roast dinners. This cosy pub is family run and has a superb reputation and is a true locals pub. The Three Horseshoes is an excellent choice and there are plenty of adoring cottages in the village in perfect stumbling distance!
The Sun Inn is a delightful 17th century inn located just outside of Dorchester, near to Charminster. A seasonal roast by the fire is well sought after so booking is advised to experience the country charm of this cosy pub.