A glorious country house built 200 years ago of stone from the Purbeck Hills, situated within its own beautiful, formal gardens

While hotel receptions usually house a rack of leaflets describing places to visit, ours is different, our reception is the home of a unique tourist information guide: The Grange Guide to Wessex.

Abbotsbury Swannery and Subtropical Gardens

Abbotsbury Swannery and Subtropical Gardens (30 miles/48.5 km)

Voted ‘Best Family Attraction in Dorset', Abbotsbury Swannery is an ancient and special site providing protection for hundreds of nesting swans and their broods. The nearby Subtropical Gardens are sheltered from the northerly winds and the temperate climate created by the nearby sea makes it ideal for the flowers and shrubs that grow there.


Athelhampton (27 miles/43.5 km)

Athelhampton is a magnificent Tudor house set in a beautiful 19th century garden. Here you will see the world famous topiary pyramids!

Barrington Court

Barrington Court (23 miles/37.0 km)

This is an Edwardian-style estate featuring a Tudor house and kitchen garden - which also supplies their restaurant.

Bath Town

Bath (48 miles/77.5 km)

Bath is a unique city; its hot springs, Roman Baths, splendid abbey and Georgian stone crescents have attracted visitors for centuries. Set in rolling Somerset countryside, it is a beautiful and unforgettable place to visit.

Bovington Tank Museum

Bovington Tank Museum (34 miles/55.0 km)

Here you will find what is probably the best and certainly the largest international collection of armoured vehicles in the world, featuring exhibits from the First World War up to the Gulf War.

Cadbury Castle

Cadbury Castle (6 miles/9.5 km)

The Iron Age Hill Fort at Cadbury, has long been associated with Camelot, the famed citadel of Arthur where the Round Table was housed and from where the Fellowship of Knights rode forth in search of adventure.

Cerne Abbas Giant

Cerne Abbas Giant (14 miles/22.5 km)

For fairly obvious reasons, also known as the rude man, this ancient chalk carving is the largest in Britain at 180 feet tall.

Cheddar Gorge and Wookeyhole Caves

Cheddar Gorge and Wookeyhole Caves (36 miles/58.0 km)

Apart from the Gorge, Cheddar also has a spectacular cave system - and of course the village is home to the original, world-famous cheese! At nearby Wookey Hole, there are also mysterious caves where you can see the petrified remains of the infamous Witch of Wookey. Also featured is a 19th century paper mill and various childrens entertainments.

Clouds Hill

Clouds Hill (33 miles/53.0 km)

This is a tiny isolated cottage, formerly owned by Lawrence of Arabia. It is now preserved as a museum about his life and work.

Coleridge Cottage

Coleridge Cottage (49 miles/79.0 km)

This is the cottage where the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

Dorchester Town

Dorchester (22 miles/35.5 km)

The County Town of Dorchester is full of history; Judge Jeffries (The Hanging Judge) held court here in 1685 and the largest Iron Age hill fort in England, Maiden Castle, lies two miles south of the town. Hardy's Cottage where Thomas Hardy was born is at Bockhampton, near Dorchester. Hardy was also schooled and worked in Dorchester and, while living at his Victorain house, Max Gate, wrote, among others, Tess of the d'Urbervilles.

The Fleet Air Arm Museum

Fleet Air Arm Museum (14 miles/22.5 km)

This is an outstanding military aviation museum, exhibiting aircraft used throughout the Navy's flying history. There are also many other interesting things to see including Concorde.

Forde Abbey

Forde Abbey (24 miles/38.5 km)

Founded in 1140 as a Cistercian monastery, Forde Abbey survived Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries to become one of the oldest homes in England open to the public.


Glastonbury (24 miles/38.5 km)

The attractions here include Glastonbury Abbey, Glastonbury Tor and Glastonbury Lake Village. The many myths and legends associated with the town concern Joseph of Arimathea, the Holy Grail and also King Arthur.

Haynes Motor Museum

Haynes Motor Museum (8 miles/13.0 km)

This excellent museum features over 300 historic cars and motorcycles, including a $1.5million Duesenberg and an entire hall of red cars!

Jurassic Coast

Jurassic Coast (37 miles/50.0 km to Lyme Regis)

'The Jurassic Coast' is a world heritage site, covering ninety-five miles of magnificent coastal scenery stretching from Dorset to Devon. The centre of the Jurassic coast is at Lyme Regis.

Kingston Lacy

Kingston Lacy (29 miles/46.5 km)

This is a 17th century house with fine art and Egyptian artefacts. There are also lovely gardens, woodlands extending to 250 acres and the restored 18th century corn mill on the River Stour.

Lacock Abbey and Lacock Village

Lacock Abbey and Lacock Village (46 miles /74.0 km)

Lacock is a little known picturesque village dating back to Saxon times. Its attractions include a medieval cloistered abbey converted into a fine country house, newly-restored botanic gardens and a fascinating museum dedicated to William Henry Fox-Talbot, the ‘Father of Modern Photography'. Uniquely preserved by the National Trust, Lacock has provided the setting for Pride & Prejudice, scenes from the Harry Potter films and many other period film and television productions.


Longleat (25 miles/40.0 km)

Longleat House is regarded as one of the finest examples of Elizabethan architecture in Britain, while the safari park is one of the UK's most popular family attractions. Be sure to visit the maze!

Lytes Cary Manor

Lytes Cary Manor (16 miles/26.0 km)

Lytes Cary is a beautiful medieval manor house featuring a 14th century chapel. The gardens are also very attractive.

Lytes Cary Manor

Lytes Cary Manor (16 miles/26.0 km)

Lytes Cary is a beautiful medieval manor house featuring a 14th century chapel. The gardens are also very attractive.

Mompesson House

Mompesson House (40 miles/64.5 km)

Mompesson is an elegant 18th century house where the movie Sense and Sensibility was filmed. The house features magnificent plasterwork and a collection of 18th century Turnball drinking glasses.

Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre

Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre (27.6m/44km)

Set amongst the woodland of Dorset lies 65 acres of sanctuary for over 240 primates. Monkey World was set up in 1987 by Jim Cronin to provide abused Spanish beach chimps with a permanent, stable home. Today Monkey World works in conjunction with foreign governments from all over the world to stop the illegal smuggling of apes out of Africa and Asia. At the park visitors can see more than 240 primates of 15 different species.

Montacute House

Montacute House (11 miles/17.5 km)

Montacute is an Elizabethan house with elegant chimneys and carved parapets. Inside there are magnificent tapestries, heraldic glass and portraits from the National Portrait Gallery.



A short walk around the village of Oborne is a rewarding experience. You might like to begin by looking at the file in The Grange Guide To Wessex, ‘The Grange and the Local Area'. The beautiful houses built from local stone include an ancient school house and a splendid Victorian rectory. The houses are centred around the church of St. Cuthberts, built in 1862. Although much older, the original church fell into disrepair and was demolished; the chancel survives and can be found on the A30 near the turning into Oborne. The stream which meanders through the village is the River Yeo which rises at Poyntington; after passing through Yeovil, the Yeo eventually joins the River Parret at Langport.

Perry’s Cider Mills

Perry’s Cider Mills (22 miles/35.5 km)

Perry's is a working business which also features an excellent cider museum. Here cider is still made in the 16th century thatched barn, which also houses many farming antiques.

Prior Park Landscape Garden

Prior Park Landscape Garden (45 miles/72.5 km)

This is an 18th century garden created by Ralph Allen. It features a Palladian bridge, several tranquil lakes, and spectacular views of Bath

Salisbury Town

Salisbury (40 miles/64.5 km)

With its magnificent 13th century cathedral, Salisbury has plenty of ancient buildings - some dating back to the 13th century. There is also a wide range of pubs, restaurants and tea rooms. A choice of arts and culture venues complement individual shops and regular street markets.

Shaftesbury Town

Shaftesbury (15 miles/24.0 km)

Steeped in history and tradition, Shaftesbury offers visitors breathtaking views. Gold Hill, with its steep cobbles and picturesque cottages, made famous by the Hovis bread advertisement, is the epitome of rural charm from a bygone age.

Sherborne Town

Sherborne (1.5 miles/2.5 km)

The town is one-and-a-half miles to the west of Oborne. The origins of the town can be traced back to Roman times. Perhaps the most attractive town in Dorset and even in England, Sherborne is a delightfully sleepy place, famous for its old-world charm. You will find many individual and interesting shops along Cheap Street. We will supply a suggested walking route around Sherborne together with a fact sheet about the various places you will see.

Sherborne Abbey

Sherborne Abbey (1.5 miles/2.5 km)

The Abbey is the centre piece of Sherborne. Consecrated more than twelve hundred years ago, it was formerly a cathedral and later, the church of a Benedictine monastery. Two Saxon kings, Ethelbald and Ethelbert are interred in the Abbey. Take a 20p coin to light up the magnificent fan-vaulted ceiling.


Sherborne Museum

There is an excellent museum in Sherborne which has a wealth of information about the history of the town. The building is located on Church Lane which connects the Conduit at the bottom of Cheap Street with the Abbey. In fact the premises, now a Grade ll listed building, were formerly the Almonry belonging to the Abbey.
As well as a mummified cat and a smoker's pipe with seven bowls, the museum has a wealth of photographs and other artefacts connected with the town. A top exhibit is a touch screen version of the world famous Sherborne Missal. Although the original is now housed at the British Library, modern technology enables visitors to turn the pages as if they were viewing it in person.

The museum is a registered charity having independent status. It was the first volunteer-run museum in Dorset to be awarded full Accreditation.
During the summer the museum is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10.30 am until 4.30 pm. On Sundays it is open from 10 am until 1.00 pm. Out of hours opening can also be arranged by telephoning 01935 812252. Winter opening - from the middle of December until the middle of March - is more restricted, the museum being open on Tuesday and Thursday mornings only.

Sherborne New Castle

Sherborne New Castle (1.5 miles/2.5 km)

Built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594, Sherborne Castle has been home of the Digby family since 1617. Set in 40 acres of glorious ‘Capability' Brown landscaped gardens and grounds around the 50 acre lake, the Castle contains a splendid collection of art, furniture and porcelain.

Sherborne Old Castle

Sherborne Old Castle (1.5 miles/2.5 km)

Built by Bishop Roger of Salisbury in the 12th century as a strongly defended palace, Sherborne Old Castle became a powerful Royalist base during the Civil War. Described as ‘malicious and mischievous' by Cromwell, it fell in 1645 after a fierce eleven-day siege.


Stonehenge (38 miles/61.0 km)

Stonehenge is without question the most famous prehistoric monument in the world. You will marvel at this mysterious feat of ancient engineering and design.

Stourhead Estate

Stourhead Estate (28 miles/45.0 km)

Stourhead is a famous Palladian mansion filled with Georgian treasures, Chippendale furniture and fine paintings. Enchanting temples, monuments and rare planting surround the tranquil lake. There are also woodland and chalk downland walks towards nearby King Alfred's Tower, one of the finest follies in Britain. There are also two Iron Age hill forts to explore

The Helicopter Museum

The Helicopter Museum (60.1 miles/96.7 km)

A longer ride to get there - but worth it for enthusiasts and those involved in the helicopter business! The museum has the world’s largest international collection of Rotorcraft.

Tintinhull Garden

Tintinhull Garden (15 miles/24.0 km)

Here is a formal garden which has been created around a 17th century manor house. The estate features small pools, varied borders, a kitchen garden and secluded lawns.

View to Poyntington

Walking in Dorset

There are many stunning walks in Dorset, which has nearly 3000 miles of rights of way, much of it well way marked and signposted. To improve the state of this network, Dorset County Council has embarked on an ambitious refurbishment program. So far 4000 new signposts have been erected, 1500 stiles and gates repaired or installed, and many miles of paths cleared of obstructions. We have local OS maps and several books and guides in the hotel reception.

Meet the Locals

Walking in Somerset

There are five ranges of hills giving magnificent views across the county and on the Somerset Levels and Moors walkers can see the wildlife of the Wetlands, Whether you want a short gentle ramble or a long hike, a walk in the countryside or by the coast, the county of Somerset has it all!

Wells Cathedral and The Bishop’s Palace

Wells Cathedral and The Bishop’s Palace (32 Miles/52.0 km)

The Cathedral dates back to the 8th century and, with its scissor arches, is one of the most unusual and beautiful in the country. The Bishop's Palace is said to be ‘one of the most memorable of all bishop's palaces in England.'

Wilton House

Wilton House (39 miles/63.0 km)

Wilton House is the 450 year-old home of the Earl of Pembroke. The house contains many splendid state rooms and a world famous art collection.

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