From £108
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OVERVIEW

This former coaching inn is in the centre of Blandford, a small market town surrounded by unspoilt Dorset countryside and under an hour from the coast. Georgian architecture and antiques give an elegant feel to the accommodation and restaurant, while the oak-panelled bar has more of a country boozer vibe.


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Rooms available from £108 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.

OUR REVIEW

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

The Crown is in the centre of Blandford, so although it's convenient for exploring the town on foot, it doesn't feel like a country retreat and some rooms suffer from road noise. However, there are peaceful countryside walks nearby, and the coast is under an hour away. The handsome Georgian centre of Blandford is worth a wander and there are markets on Thursdays and Saturdays.

By car: around 2 hours 30 mins from London, 1 hour 30 mins from Bristol and 3 hours from Birmingham. Free public parking is available.

By train: trains from London to Bournemouth take 2 hours 45 mins, the hotel is a 45-minute taxi ride from Bournemouth station. Book trains to Bournemouth.

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THE LOOK AND FEEL

The handsome Georgian building with tall ceilings, large sash windows and antique furniture feels grander than the average pub. The top section of the restaurant is very smart, with art-laden walls reminiscent of a gallery. The oak-panelled bar feels more like a country boozer and is popular with locals.

THE FACILITIES

Aside from the restaurant, bar and function room, there aren't any additional facilities. The courtyard, which has lots of seating, is pleasant in summer. The service is more informal than you may expect. The Crown is owned by Hall and Woodhouse whose brewery is down the road - tours are available.

  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi

BED AND BATH

The 27 rooms have a distinctly Georgian feel thanks to high ceilings, large sash windows and antique furniture. The statement wallpapers are fun. The long-life milk in plastic containers is disappointing, but you can ask for proper milk. Rooms at the front of the building suffer from some road noise.

Room types: Standard Double, Duperior Double, Family Room, Luxury Double/ Wedding Suite

Key amenities: ensuite shower or bath with complimentary toiletries, hairdryer, tea and coffee facilities, TV, free Wi-Fi

FOOD AND DRINK

Hall and Woodhouse own The Crown and their brewery is just down the road, so this is a proper English pub experience with plenty of their own Badger beers on offer. The atmosphere in the restaurant is much more upmarket than in the bar, but the food is pub grub.

Hall & Woodhouse: classic pub dishes including Forum lager battered fish & chips, cheeseburgers and Sunday roasts. Open daily. Mains from £11.95.

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