10 of the Best Dorset and South Wiltshire Pubs

November . 2021

We’re fortunate to have the pick of some truly great pubs on our doorstep here in Dorset and South Wiltshire, and what could be better than living within walking distance of a welcoming inglenook fireplace, a top selection of West Country ales and a scotch egg cooked to perfection?


For thatched rooves, exposed beams and great food, look no further than our top ten.


  1. Beckford Arms, Fonthill Gifford
    Situated on the edge of the beautiful Fonthill Estate, The Beckford might just be the perfect pub. Roaring fires in winter, beautiful garden in the summer, and exceptional food all year round.
  1. Bradley Hare, Maiden Bradley

New in 2021 and already named on The Times Best Places to Stay list. The recently opened Bradley Hare is well deserving of its rave reviews, both for its very good menu, and its stylish interiors.

  1. Grosvenor Arms, Hindon

A 17th century former coaching inn in the pretty village of Hindon, The Grosvenor describes itself as a country boozer, and as such is both welcoming and unpretentious. You can’t go wrong with the menu, but the burger is recommended.

  1. Pembroke Arms, Wilton

Sister pub to the Grosvenor best known for its pies and Nole sourdough pizza, and both are worth the hype. The lively outside tent has a huge roaring fire to keep drinkers cosy into the evening.

  1. The Compasses Inn, Lower Chicksgrove

With thatched roof, flagstone floors, roaring fires, comfortable rooms and superb food, it’s no wonder The Compasses got the elusive full marks from Giles Coren in the Times.

  1. The Royal Oak, Swallowcliffe

Part-owned by Top Gear’s James May, The Royal Oak in the picturesque Swallowcliffe is much more than just a celebrity-owned pub. Great food and friendly service makes it a gem of a gastropub.

  1. The Benett Arms, Semley

Dog-friendly and beloved by walkers and locals alike, The Benett Arms is a great village pub. There’s plenty of choice for beer lovers, and traditional pub grub is served.

  1. The Forester – Donhead St Andrew

Fantastic food -awarded a Bib Gourmand in 2020- and an excellent wine list. Add to that friendly service and an open fire and The Forester is the perfect pit-stop.

  1. The Ship Inn, West Stour

A proper country pub with scrubbed tables, an extensive real ale and cider offering, good home-cooked food and delightful views across the Blackmore Vale.

  1. King John Inn Tollard Royal

Surrounded by great estates, the relaxed King John is a favourite with shooting parties, and you can expect locally sourced game on the menu. Overnight enjoy a very good breakfast followed by some of the best walks the Cranborne Chase has to offer.

Image credit : (https://www.thebradleyhare.co.uk/)

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