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The Old Forge

UK England South West England Dorset

Compton Abbas, Near Shaftesbury, Dorset SP7 0NQ

A romantic self-catering cottage along with equally romantic glamping options - in a glorious rural location. 
Tim and Lucy Kerridge run a small but highly desirable B&B in the heart of rural Dorset, not far from the charming country town of Shaftesbury – think about the classic Hovis ad and you've got it. But just across the yard from the main house they also let out a beautifully converted blacksmiths forge – The Smithy – that sleeps two along with three cosy glamping options: a gypsy caravan and a couple of shepherd's huts. The Smithy is a great place, rustic and at the same time contemporary, decorated with the Kerridges' old blacksmiths tools and fab old retro signs (many of which pertain to their love of classic cars) but with all the mod cons you could possibly need, including wifi. Inside there's a lovely beamed sitting room with a wood-burning stove, a well-equipped kitchen and bathroom and a galleried upstairs bedroom. It's also got its own outside terrace and and vine-covered pergola.

In a nearby field you'll find Rosie, a genuine 1930s' vintage gypsy caravan that also sleeps two in a small double bed covered with a patchwork quilt. Lace curtains frame the windows and there's a small kitchen and fan heater to keep you warm, plus the nearby 'Tuck Shop' which has sweets and goodies and a fridge, sink and crockery for picnics, etc, and the 'Glamping Kitchen', where you can cook up the local sausages and bacon provided (just put your money in the honesty box). Rosie shares a field with Sam the Shepherd's Hut, which provides romantic glamping accommodation for another couple in a comfy 4' x 6' bed, with a wood burner and small stove; it's breathtakingly cosy, and very sensitively furnished in a pretty, old-fashioned style with country furniture, retro tins and containers and more quilts, and like Rosie with easy access to the nearby Tuck Shop and Glamping Kitchen. Finally, there's Mabel, another shepherd's hut, a short walk away across a stile and some stepping stones, which is furnished in the same cosy retro style, with wood-burning stove, quilts and a multitude of cool wall signs. It shares the the Tuck Shop and Glampers Kitchen with Sam and Rosie – and of course the glorious views over the surrounding green hills – but each of the glamping options has their own bathrooms: the shepherd's huts have compost loos and washbasins and showers, while the gypsy caravan has a flushing loo, washbasin and shower. All the glamping options also come with a food hamper, but you might also consider a visit to the excellent Fontmell pub in nearby Fontwell Magna, which is just a mile or so away and serves great food.
In any case, whether you opt for glamping or The Smithy, sitting outside of an evening, nursing a glass of wine while your sausages sizzle, is a treat indeed - especially if Scrumpy Jack, the Kerridges' tame donkey, has come by for a visit.



Open all year.


The Smithy costs £375–£575 a week; short breaks £275–£475. Rosie the Gypsy Caravan and Sam and Mabel (Shepherds' Huts) each cost £95 a night. You can also order a fabulous, award-winning cooked breakfast at a cost of just £10 a head. All prices include linen and towels, electricity and hot water.


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