Cosy pubs in Dorset to snuggle up in this winter
PUBLISHED: 13:45 30 September 2019 | UPDATED: 14:24 20 August 2020
Roaring open fires, hidden nooks and crannies and huge comfy armchairs are all signature traits of a cosy pub – and Dorset has cosy pubs aplenty. Here are just some of the best inns to snuggle up in as the nights draw in and the temperatures drop
Recently crowned as our 'Pub of the Year' at the Dorset Food, Drink and Farming Awards 2019, The Royal Oak is the master of all trades. Excellent food? You'll find it here, with seasonal produce and daily changing specials. A well-stocked bar? Absolutely, with a range of local brews. A cosy atmosphere? That can be ticked off the list too, with beamed ceilings, exposed brick walls and charming fireplaces.
As a result, after a stroll around the village on a cold winter's day, this is certainly the place to retreat to.
The Castle Inn can be found a huff and a puff up the hill from Dorset's famous Lulworth Cove and it's just the spot for a bit of rejuvenation after a brisk walk on the beach.
Recline by the fire with a pint of Butcombe beer from neighbouring Somerset whilst you look at the menu. We've heard marvellous things about the Sunday lunch and the pub has one of the most tempting pudding menus in the county - so make sure you leave some room.
When it's blowing a gale outside, head to The Old Inn where the beer list is big, the wine list is long, and a roaring open fire crackles away in the dining room. Food is an all day affair with plenty of hearty pub classics, meaty mains and pizzas for the taking. Relax in the bar with a glass of full-bodied red whilst you soak up your rustic surroundings before retreating to the restaurant for dinner.
As the winner of our 'Pub of the Year' at the Dorset Food, Drink and Farming Awards 2018, and one of the finalists this year, we couldn't not mention The Acorn Inn. On a cold winter's day, grab a coveted spot on the large leather Chesterfield in front of the fire and crack the spine on a good book.
If one fire isn't enough, you'll find another in the dining room so you can enjoy a cooked meal fireside. Afterwards, head to the characterful bar for a digestif.
This gem of a pub can be found on the doorstep of Seatown beach, surrounded by rolling country hills on one side and the beauty of the Jurassic coast on the other. Once you've finished exploring the area, warm your feet by the log burner in the Anchor Inn and kick-back with a pint of hand-drawn ale from Palmers Brewery in nearby Bridport.
If beer isn't your thing, the Anchor Inn knocks up a cracking cocktail too. Make ours a Bramble please!
Easily recognisable by it's thatched roof and cottage windows, The Three Horseshoes has a wonderful community feel; a proper village pub - the type you'd love to have as a local. On a cold winter's day, it's a cosy spot to while away the afternoon in a big comfy armchair playing Scrabble and Backgammon by the fire.
And did we mention the food? We could sit and nibble on the bar snacks all day…
From the low beamed ceilings to the exposed brick walls, the Square and Compass is absolutely brimming with history. The quirky interior has an atmosphere to match with live music and a bar full of punters to be expected almost on a daily basis.
The pub is popular with walkers, and Wellington boots and four-legged friends are very much welcome. Find a seat in the bar by the large open fire and sip on a home-pressed cider made by the owner whilst Fido lies at your feet. The pasties here are the perfect accompaniment to your pint.
Come the festive season, The Greyhound looks as though it has been lifted straight from a Christmas carol. Inside you'll find flagstone floors, a glowing log burner flickering away by the bar and friendly locals.
As the moniker suggests, dogs are very welcome here which, as dog lovers ourselves, is music to our ears. There are lots of picturesque walks nearby and the pub is within reach of the Cerne Abbas Giant making it the perfect place for warming up after a winter ramble.
Nestled within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, The Inn at Cranborne has long been used as a hangout for walkers, cyclists and a place for supper after a day of country pursuits. Ingredients are local where possible, and the menu consists of hearty pub dishes such as battered haddock, steak and ale pie and gammon.
In the colder months mulled wine is served in the bar where you'll find a huge open fire blazing away. The pub has rooms too, so you can sneak off to bed when you're full and dozy.