The Setting

Semley Lodge is an early 19th century cottage which sleeps 6, built out of Shaftesbury greenstone with a slate roof, set back from the village common with its own drive, on the edge of the hamlet of Semley, three miles from the ancient Anglo Saxon hill top town of Shaftesbury, with its world famous Gold Hill and fabulous views over the Blackmore Vale.

London is a two hour drive away. The railway station at Tisbury is under 10 minutes drive away and a direct train journey of an hour and fifty minutes away from London Waterloo.

The Interior

The main kitchen, dining and living area comprising DeVol kitchen, dining and living area

The interior, whilst modern in style and layout, pays homage to Semley Lodge’s past with exposed stonework and oak beams.  British antiques dating back to the 16th century are mixed with representative pieces from the Cotswold School, Heals and the wider Arts and Crafts movement alongside furniture from contemporary makers including Pinch Design and Another Country.  Lighting in the Lodge is provided by Angelpoise, Original BTC, Heals and Hector Finch.  Rugs are from Irish carpet makers Tretford.

The entrance hall is dark but welcoming with a Danny Rolph painting over a 17th century coffer; the passage of time is marked by a mid nineteenth century grandfather clock.  A dog basket and baby gate are tucked under the stairs. 

The sitting room comfortably seats six with a woodburning stove, internet connected television and Playstation and is decorated with early 19th century prints and maps dating back to the 17th Century.

The main kitchen, dining and living area comprising DeVol kitchen, dining and living area looks out over Semley Common and the garden to the rear and one side.  The wood burner in the main sitting room is framed by oak shelving made from a Semley oak tree displaying works by British based ceramicists including Nicola Tassie (whose exhibits at Collect – Saatchi Gallery -as well as through Margaret Howell), Barry Stedman and Marlene Hartman Rasmussen (who also recently exhibited at Collect as well as Messums Wiltshire).

The kitchen/dining/living area is laid out to give you various dining options.  A breakfast area, overlooking the garden, comprises an oak settle and table made out of a local Semley oak tree is a good place for a simple family breakfast.  For more formal dining, a refectory table can seat up to 8 is in the middle of the room, dividing the kitchen area from the sitting room.  

Double doors open out from the kitchen to a brick herringbone patio with a teak dining table for up to 8 and brick BBQ and food preparation area to one side.  Leading off the main living area is a small pantry with microwave and dry goods cupboard and a downstairs loo with Lefroy Brooks brassware.

The Kitchen is equipped with tableware from Another Country and John Julian, knives, cutlery and glassware from David Mellor, linens from 31 Chapel Lane and rush table mats from Rush Matters (Felicity Irons).

Upstairs.  A dark wood paneled staircase leads up from the hall to the bedrooms.  The two double bedrooms have high ceilings with original oak beams and old wooden floorboards.  The master bedroom is decorated with GP&J Baker wallpaper and has a luxurious ensuite shower room with Lefroy Brooks brassware including rainwater drench shower.  The second double room is decorated with William Morris wallpaper.  Both double bedrooms have a mix of antique and contemporary bedroom furniture from Heals, Another Country and Pinch Design displaying handmade ceramic lamp bases.  The third bedroom has twin beds.

Five star hotel quality bedding including Siberian goose down duvets, pillows and mattress toppers with 400 thread count bed linen.

Library – In the bookcase on the upstairs landing there is a wide range of literature from a selection of British writers.  In the living and sitting rooms there are books on various subjects relevant to British craft and design including the seminal biography on William Morris by Fiona McCarthy.  These are for your enjoyment and “enlightenment” during your stay: please do not remove from the Cottage.

UtilityThere is a separate utility room which is just outside the back double doors to the left containing washing facilities (washing machine and tumble drier) as well as a large fridge freezer stocked with ice.  The key to the utility room is on the key ring along with the front door key.  


Front garden with formal Edwardian design framed with pleached lime, box and bay trees overlooking Semley Common.

Back garden – outside seating area for up to 8 with parasol.

Charcoal BBQ with preparation area

Off road parking in front of the Lodge for up to three cars

The Annex

The Annex is an entirely self-contained studio building with its own slate courtyard overlooking a gravelled garden, comprising an open plan living area with a Sebastian Cox kitchen by DeVol, Sony internet connected TV and bluetooth sound system, shower room with Lefroy Brooks fittings and wood burning stove. There is underfloor heating all at ground floor level.  There is a kingsize bed at mezzanine level: ideal for those who want a bit of peace and quiet away from the cottage yet linked by a garden door to the back of the cottage.

The Annex is available to rent should your party exceed 6 people.  The Annex sleeps two adults and could accommodate one infant in a cot.

Key Features

  • Internet connected 48 inch smart TV with Netflix
  • Sony Playstation (also plays DVDs)
  • Two woodburning stoves
  • Rangemaster cooker with double oven (gas hob and electric oven)
  • Nespresso coffee machine
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge freezer
  • Ruark DAB radio with blue tooth connection
  • DAB/FM radios in each double room
  • A selection of games and books
  • Laundry room with washing machine and separate tumble drier
  • Baby chair
  • Travel cot
  • Baby gate


Up to two small to medium sized dogs are welcome but the cottage is not ideal for anything larger than a labrador/spaniel.  Dogs are not allowed upstairs or on any of the furniture.

There is a supplemental cleaning charge of £40 per dog per stay.

A dog bed for a small to medium sized dog is provided.

The Village

Local shop/off licence with fresh bread, newspapers etc. is 50 yards walk over the Common – safe for children to visit for a few pocket sweets without having to go along the road.

17th century pub with traditional pub food and cask beer 3 minutes over the Common.

Local Sports Facilities Included

Access to four outdoor tennis courts and boules pitch at Pythouse Club (one mile away) .  The club has luxurious changing facilities with Lefroy Brooks brassware, showers and Fired Earth tiles.


  • Welcome hamper with a selection of award winning British craft food and drink
  • Fresh milk, butter, eggs and bread
  • Bramley bath and shower products
  • WiFi in all rooms
  • Logs and charcoal for the BBQ
  • Microwave
  • Hair drier

Local services, courses and talks

Courses and Talks From time to time the Craftsman’s Cottage will offer guests courses and talks either at public venues (such as Messums Wiltshire and Summerleaze Gallery) or in the Craftsman’s Cottage Studio.

Private catering by prior arrangement and subject to availability
Scarlett Watts Catering
Contact Scarlett –
01747 838 280
Mobile – 07931 510 844

Wine, beers and spirits from the Beckford Bottle Shop – free delivery – list available on request and free private wine tastings can be arranged at the Bottle Shop in Tisbury.

The Fishmongers Tisbury Outstanding fish which comes from the day boats of Looe, Cornwall who are renowned for their quality, as they harvest the best fishing grounds off the South coast, ensuring high quality, sustainable and very varied catches.  The Fishmongers can deliver fresh fish and delicious home made fish pies and other ready meals by prior arrangement 01747 871 011 The Fishmongers

Massage and other beauty therapies by prior arrangement and subject to availability

Jess Hyde – Divinely relaxing and pampering holistic massages and beauty facials using Neal’s Yard Remedies organic skincare which is produced locally.  The Annex is a lovely calm quiet space to enjoy your treatment. Jess Hyde Holistic and Skincare Therapist

Beth Cox –

Babysitting  can be arranged on request

Finally – Words of Warning

Whilst we do everything we can to make sure that your stay with us is as you would expect and more, sometimes issues do arise and the best way to deal with the problem is to call us or, if you prefer, email us. Unlike some booking systems, this one works on personal contact.  Mobile 07720 448 706 and email

There are some matters which we feel we should flag.

DisabilityAccess is not easy for wheelchairs (gravel path) and the bedrooms are all upstairs; please call us to discuss, prior to booking.

ConnectivityThe cottage is in the country and the wifi is not cabled so can be affected by the weather – we have been “guaranteed” levels of 30 MB and generally that guarantee is met but not always.  We hope you are booking your stay with us to get away from connectivity and generally it does work well but we cannot guarantee the weather and gremlin free service!  There is no BT land line so please bring your mobile charger with you.

AllergiesThe cottage is next to fields and at times the pollen count can be high.  If you are susceptible to hay fever please ensure that you have some anti-histamine to hand.  Dogs are allowed and although we pride ourselves on making sure all is clean (and use a hoover designed to cope with pet dust) we cannot guarantee the cottage  is free of all allergens.

BirdsThe birds can be very noisy, especially early in the morning; the double glazing cuts out most of the sound but be warned if you like sleeping with your windows open.

InsectsThe cottage is thoroughly cleaned and dusted before your visit but flies do have a habit of dying and spiders may spin their webs just after the cleaning has been.

Taxis –  can be difficult to find.  Contact details for local firms will be provided on request but book far in advance; bookings on the day can be difficult – Uber does not exist yet in SP7!

Driving hazardsThe Cottage fronts a common which can resemble a pond/marsh in parts at some times of the year so please drive only on the gravel – we have had to tow 4x4s who have strayed from the drive before – the gravel path is clear and wide enough for all cars! Also we provide some wellington boots but you might want to bring your own, to be sure.