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A cosy country cottage B&B with supremely welcoming hosts – and award-winning breakfasts.

The Old Forge

Compton Abbas Near Shaftesbury Dorset SP7 0NQ 01747 811 881

We say

Tim and Lucy Kerridge have been running their Bed & Breakfast for some time now, and it shows. Situated just outside Shaftesbury in a particular beautiful part of Dorset, the house itself is an old stone farmhouse with lovingly tended gardens that is perfectly placed for exploring the surrounding area. Their breakfasts are legendary – hearty affairs made with eggs from their own hens and a whole host of locally sourced ingredients that recently won a 'Taste of the West' Gold award. And the rooms? They have just three: two doubles – the large and light-filled Green Room which is big enough for a family of three, and the beamed Blue Room which is a regular double with an adjacent private bathroom stacked full of books – and the so-called 'Single Room', which, er, does what it says on the tin; it shares the Blue Room's bathroom but is never let at the same time - making this also a good choice for families. The rooms are beautifully and imaginatively furnished in a cosy cottage style, with lovely cast-iron bedsteads, patchwork quilts, tea-and coffee-making facilities, a TV and radio; plus across the yard there are several self-catering options – a cottage, The Smithy, as well as a couple of shepherd's huts and a gypsy caravan. You might have guessed from the retro signs everywhere that owners Tim and Lucy are mad on classic cars, so do ask for a peek at their workshop if you're interested. They are also a mine of information on the surrounding area, and you really are well placed to see a lot, from Salisbury and Stonehenge in one direction, Sherborne Abbey and Castle in another, and of course Dorset's famous Jurassic Coast, which is less than an hour away to the south – though frankly we would be tempted to just stay put and strike out across the surrounding fields. The excellent Fontmell pub in nearby Fontwell Magna is not a bad target – just a mile or so away and serving great food.

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