From £105
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Jamie and Ariane have found a winning formula and after 14 years of trading have a loyal following of regular guests. Thomas Hardy fans will enjoy the location, a short distance from Hardy's birthplace and the church where he is buried.

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Rooms available from £105 per night

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Your expert reviewer

Alexandra Richards
Travel writer and photographer
Alexandra Richards is a freelance travel writer and photographer based in Dorset. She is the author of numerous guidebooks, including Bradt’s Slow Travel Guide to Dorset and the Bradt guide to Mauritius. She has a particular interest in food, wildlife, outdoor activities, remote places, travelling with children and encouraging an outdoor childhood.



You're in Thomas Hardy's old stomping ground - his birthplace and school are nearby. Yalbury Cottage is in a tiny hamlet in the pretty Dorset countryside. Visit Maiden Castle near Dorchester - it's one of Europe's largest Iron Age hillforts.

You'll need a car to explore - Dorchester with its Roman ruins and museums is two miles away, and the coast is a 30-minute drive.

By car: around 3 hours 30 minutes from London, 2 hours from Bristol and 4 hours from Birmingham. Free on-site parking available.

By train: London to Dorchester take 4 hours, after which, it's a 10-minute taxi to the hotel. Book trains to Dorchester.

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This thatched cottage dates back over 300 years and is still full of period features, giving it a homely, intimate and characterful feel. The dining room and sitting room have low ceilings, old beams and brick fireplaces. There's also a pretty garden perfect for pre-dinner drinks in the summer.


Owners Ariane and Jamie go out of their way to make guests feel at home. There aren't too many facilities aside from the restaurant - but expect a special fine dining experience.

  • Restaurant
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Pet-friendly
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi


There are eight ensuite rooms which are in a newer part of the cottage. All are simply furnished but very comfortable and clean, and feel light and spacious. Pretty views overlook the gardens or the surrounding countryside.

Room types: Room, Family Room

Key amenities: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, tea and coffee-making facilities, bottled water, TV, free Wi-Fi

Food & Drink

Start with pre-dinner drinks in the sitting room and enjoy an utterly memorable dinner, from the artistic amuse bouche which will bring a smile to your face to the local, seasonal produce, crafted into creative dishes. Choose from two or three courses, with options from the sea, garden and fields. Try the duck breast with duck croquettes, carrot purée, Dorset honey and red wine sauce.

The Restaurant: relaxed dining room. British cuisine, locally-sourced ingredients. Open Tue-Sat, 1-3pm and 6-8:30pm; Sun, 12-2pm.

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