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Charmingly traditional accommodation in an elegant Jacobean manor house, which has been in the same family for over 400 years. It's child-friendly, dog-friendly and has an excellent restaurant serving a classic British menu. Surrounded by quintessentially English gardens and unspoilt North Dorset countryside, Plumber Manor is private and peaceful.

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Rooms available from £171 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.



It's tempting to simply stay put and enjoy the peaceful and private setting, but it's worth venturing into the pretty market town of Sturminster Newton with its mishmash of architectural styles, healthy population of independent shops and centuries-old mill on the River Stour. The surrounding Blackmore Vale offers outstanding walks. The charming towns of Sturminster Newton and Sherborne are nearby, and there are superb walks straight from the front door.

By car: The hotel is 3 hours from London and Birmingham and 3 hours 30 mins from Cambridge. There is plenty of free parking on-site.

By train: London Waterloo to Yeovil Junction train station takes 2 hours 20 mins. The hotel is a 30-minute taxi from the station. Book trains to Yeovil Junction.

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Plumber Manor has resisted the wave of tarting up and urbanising that has swept through many country hotels. An antidote to minimalist sleek, it's delightfully old-school from head to toe. The friendly welcome from Richard and Alison, together with the many ancestral portraits, are reminders that this is a family home.


Richard and Alison have perfected the art of making every guest feel special. Guests are greeted by name, Richard always has time for a chat, and he's a font of local knowledge. Facilities include a tennis court, croquet lawn and gun safe for those who come here to shoot.

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Gardens
  • Family rooms
  • Pets allowed on request
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi


The six rooms in the manor house are packed with character and history - stone-mullion, leaded windows overlook the gardens - but they sport reassuringly modern bathrooms (either ensuite or private). There are ten comfortable but less characterful, ground-floor ensuite rooms in converted outbuildings.

Room types: Smaller Double, Standard Double/Twin, Superior Double/Twin

Key amenities: ensuite bathroom, tea and coffee facilities, homemade shortbread biscuits, TV, hairdryer, free Wi-Fi


There are several dining areas, meaning it never feels crowded, while white linen and weighty cutlery give an air of formality. It's popular with locals, and the chefs (including Richard's brother, Brian) have been there for years - both good signs. The traditional British fare is carefully prepared and reasonably priced.

The restaurant: fine dining, local produce, British and European inspired, daily specials, Sunday roasts, cocktails. Open daily for dinner, 7-10pm. Two courses £30.

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