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The Acorn Inn, Evershot, Dorset
If a first-time visitor to England wanted to experience a genuine old English pub, they'd be delighted to stumble across this 16th-century coaching inn. It ticks all the boxes when it comes to character - flagstone floors, wonky walls, battered beams, even a skittle alley. Plus, it lies within a quintessentially English village, complete with adorable thatched cottages and a pretty church. Thomas Hardy was a fan - the pub and the village appeared in Tess of the d'Urbervilles. The countryside is beautiful and the coast is just half an hour by car. The Acorn's upmarket sister hotel, Summer Lodge, is across the road and guests can use the restaurant and spa there. There's also a decent restaurant at the Acorn.
You can hike tranquil hills with stunning views in the morning then drive to the seaside in time for lunch.
Surrounded by beautiful countryside, Evershot is a 25-minute drive to the Jurassic Coast.
By car: around 3 hours from London, 1 hour 30 minutes from Bristol and 3 hours from Birmingham. Free parking available.
By train: trains from London to Dorchester take 4 hours. The hotel is 25 minutes' drive. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Children and dogs are well looked after, making this a peaceful escape for the whole family. Historical details are all around, adding oodles of character. Thomas Hardy aficionados will love the Tess of the d'Urbervilles connection.
Service & Facilities
The cosy lounge with leather chairs, a roaring fire and selection of books invites you to relax after a day exploring. There are water bowls and dog treats at the bar, and lots of great dog walks in the area.
- Games room
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
The Hardy Room has a four-poster bed, decorated with carved acorns and oak leaves, believed to be 350 years old. The rooms haven't been overly modernised and retain an old-fashioned charm, but the bathrooms are reassuringly modern.
Kingsbere, Evershead, Flintcombe, Emminster, Hope Cove, Kings Flintock, Tess, Hardy, Silvethorn, Evershot Suite
Facilities include:ensuite bathroom with toiletries, tea and coffee facilities, bottled water, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
The menu caters to a range of budgets and tastes but local produce is the star across the board. We loved the the grilled on-the-bone Dorset sirloin steak with hand-cut chips and béarnaise sauce.
The Restaurant: traditional British pub. Locally sourced produce, hearty fare. Mains include ham, egg and chips, fish and chips, lamb chops. Open daily, hours may vary.