Things to do
The Cottage is in Semley, near Tisbury and between the three counties of Wiltshire, Dorset and Somerset offering a huge variety of things to do from visiting some of the best Art Galleries in the South West of England to walks along the Jurassic coast.
Alternatively, stay closer to home and enjoy some beautiful walks and a delicious pub lunch at the Beckford Arms.
Eating & Shopping
Semley Village Shop – 2 minutes walk. Turn left out of The Lodge and after a minutes or two you will find yourself outside the shop; here you can buy most basics (including newspapers, bread, wines and beers) as well as some not so basics. They also serve sandwiches and hot drinks.
The Bennet Arms Semley. A short 3 minutes walk over the Common (turning left as you leave The Lodge going past the village shop). It is a traditional 17th century pub with straightforward pub food (steak, pies, fish & chips burgers, sandwiches etc) and very well kept beers, deservedly awarded Heart of Wessex CAMRA Pub of the Year award in 2015; outside seating on the Common as well as a boule pitch: 01747 830 221
Pythouse Kitchen Garden West Hatch SP3 6PA. 3 minutes by car. A magical 18th century walled garden; it serves coffees and teas as well as seasonal dishes based on its own produce; the restaurant is open seven days a week for lunches and for suppers on Fridays and Saturdays – booking is advisable and essential for the evenings. It comes into its own on a sunny summer’s day but is snug in the cold of winter, with wood burners. 01747 870 444.
The Beckford Arms Fonthill Gifford SP3 6PX. 9 minutes by car. A stylish traditional pub and restaurant, frequently mentioned in one of those articles about “The top 10 places to….”. Great pub food combines with a more sophisticated menu for those not interested in fish and chips and juicy burgers or a tangy welsh rarebit, served with a soupçon of Guinness; advisable to book for food at busy times. Dog friendly, the bar has a log fire and for those summer days with sun, a herringbone brick patio and garden with boules pitch. 01747 870385
The Forrester, Lower Street, Donhead St Andrew SP7 9EE. 7 minutes by car. A 15th century pub, with a large inglenook fire and low beams; dog friendly with a Michelin Bib Gourmand (2017) for its food. We would advise booking ahead for a meal; note that it is closed on Sunday nights and all day Monday, save for bank holidays. 01747 828038
Pythouse Tennis Club West Hatch. 3 minutes by car. This sits below the Pythouse Kitchen Garden and has 4 tennis courts. The Lodge has membership (so guests do not have to pay extra) and booking of courts is via the website www.pythouseclub.co.uk. There is a changing room and showers on site.
Tisbury Pool. Weaveland Road, Tisbury, Wiltshire SP3 6HJ 7 minutes by car. Tisbury boasts Wiltshire’s only open air heated swimming pool, a rather quaint 1940’s lido style pool – open in the summer: 01747 870896.
Places of Interest
Shaftesbury Abbey Museum and Garden SP7 8JR – 7 minutes by car.
Old Wardour Castle Tisbury SP3 6RR 10 minutes by car.
Stourhead Garden and House Stourhead Wiltshire BA12 6QD. 20 minutes drive
An outstanding example of the English landscape style, designed by Henry Hoare II and laid out between 1741 and 1780. Built in the 1720s the mansion was home to the Hoare family, owners of Britain’s only independent private bank surviving to the present.
Compton Abbas Airfield Ashmore SP5 5AP. 4 miles south of Shaftesbury.
Stonehenge Amesbury Salisbury SP4 7DE. 25 minutes by car.
Longleat House and Safari Park Warminster BA12 7NW. 30 minutes by car.
Wilton House Wilton Salisbury SP2 OBJ. 20 minutes by car.
Salisbury and its Cathedral and Cathedral Close SP1 2EJ. 40 minutes by car.
Old Sarum Castle Castle Road, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP1 3SD. 35 minutes by car.
Sherborne Old Castle Castletown Sherborne Dorset DT9 3SA. 40 minutes by car.
Bovington Tank Museum Wareham BH20 6JG – 01929 405096. 40 minutes by car.
Monkey World Wareham BH20 6HH. 40 minutes by car.
Corfe Castle, Corfe Wareham BH20 5EZ. An hour by car.
Fleet Air Arm Museum Ilchester BA22 8HT. 50 minutes by car.
The Jurassic Coast – a World Heritage Site – Starts at an hour away by car.
Studland Bay (National Trust) An hour by car.
Lulworth Cove, The Fossil Forrest and Durdle Door. An hour by car. One of the most photographed parts of the coast
Bath. 60 minutes by car. Just outside Bath (and before you get to Bath coming from The Lodge) is the American Museum in Britain, Claverton Manor, Claverton, Bath BA2 7BD. It holds a remarkable collection of American folk and decorative arts and is the only museum of Americana outside the United States.
Art & Culture
Messums Place Farm Tithe Barn Tisbury SP3 6LW. 10 Minutes drive – At the edge of the village is the Grade 1 Listed thatched Tithe Barn at Place Farm, the largest tithe barn in England. The barn, which is a scheduled Ancient Monument, is now a stunning mult-purpose gallery and arts centre run by Messums Wiltshire.
New Art Centre Roche Court, East Winterslow Salisbury SP5 1BG. 45 minutes by car. The New Art Centre was founded in 1958. The original gallery was located in Sloane Street, London. In 1994 it was relocated to Roche Court, Wiltshire, a nineteenth-century house in parkland near Salisbury. The existing house and Orangery were built in 1804. Roche Court is now a sculpture park and gallery with an educational centre which is open to the public. There are three contemporary buildings in which there is a changing programme of exhibitions of artists from 1950 to the present day. All works are for sale. 45 minutes drive
Hauser & Wirth Durslade Farm, Dropping Lane, Bruton, Somerset BA10 0NL is a pioneering world-class gallery and multi-purpose arts centre, which acts as a destination for experiencing art, architecture and the remarkable Somerset landscape through new and innovative exhibitions of contemporary art. A landscaped garden, designed for the gallery by internationally renowned landscape architect Piet Oudolf, includes a 1.5 acre perennial meadow, which sits behind the gallery building. The centre also contains the Roth Bar & Grill – worth booking ahead to secure a table as it is a “destination” for all those seeking culture and good food. 01749 814 700 (for the restaurant). 25 minute drive.