The Grosvenor Arms Pub with rooms in Shaftesbury, Dorset

Prices from:
£90 per night

David Hancock says:

  • Contemporary inn; hub of town
  • Cracking bar; stylish and comfy
  • Secret alfresco courtyard
  • Mediterranean inspired food
  • Great pizzas; wood-fired oven
  • Big, smart rooms; being revamped

Sticky FingersMuddy PawsGood for WalkingOutdoor PursuitsGreen FingersVisit a Stately Pile15 Minutes from the MotorwayPrivate Dining

Call this inn 01747 470297

Real Time Booking Available

The Grosvenor Arms Shaftesbury, Dorset, SP7 8JA

The personal touch

Stay Original Co snapped up this famous old coaching inn in late 2016 and continue to put their quirky, unique stamp on the place, freshening up the décor downstairs, refurbishing the 16 bedrooms and revamping the menu. The hub of this thriving hilltop town, it was originally called the Red Lion until the rambling medieval inn was bought by the Grosvenor family in 1820 and re-named The Grosvenor Arms. Step off the street and expect to be wowed by the glass-covered walkway that links the stylish bar area with the light, airy and spacious dining area, and the Mediterranean-style quadrangle courtyard is an unexpected surprise and a peaceful refuge from the hustle and bustle of the High Street. On cooler days, hunker down in the cosy bar-cum-lounge, all muted tones, stripes, plaids, suede, leather and velvets, with a comfortable mix of sofas and upholstered chairs, blazing wood-burners, soft lighting and individual artwork. The contemporary wood-floored dining area comes with a cool deli area with huge marble-topped table (great for an informal party) and a wood-fired pizza oven.

Sticky Fingers

Children are made very welcome; there’s a great kid’s menu (homemade gnocchi, ragu & pesto; Wedmore pork sausages, peas & mash); and most rooms can take an extra bed (£20). Note: there’s no outside space for children to play in.

Muddy Paws

Your canine chum will be well and truly pampered – dogs are allowed in the bar and there’s a jar of treats on the bar; and overnight doggie guests can have a bed in the room and get a Woof Box (treats & toy) – £10 per stay


The pretty quadrangle courtyard has a Mediterranean feel and is a delight in summer, replete with central fountain and box and bay in terracotta pots and planters.

What’s on?

Expect a cool mix of jazz, blues and funk from saxophonist Paco Read on the first Thursday of the month. The Assembly Room seats 70 and is the perfect venue for a wedding or a special celebration.

What’s the Damage?

13 double/twins & 3 suites £90 – £190

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (not Amex)
  • Private dining: room seating 16 and upstairs Assembly Room seats around 70
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access to bar, restaurant & first floor room 1 (lift)
  • Parking: none; residents have permits for town car park
  • dinner allowance for the inclusive dinner rate is £27.50 per person, or £55 per couple



The Grosvenor Arms Shaftesbury, Dorset, SP7 8JA

Do not disturb

Sixteen contemporary-smart rooms ramble across two floors and around the central courtyard. Most are very spacious, with the Cranborne Suite (the biggest and best) having a vast bathroom with roll-top tub and the largest walk-in shower imaginable. Stay Original are refurbishing all the rooms, upgrading fabrics and furnishings and adding their individual style, so expect bold colours, rich fabrics, jazzy tiled bathrooms, and quirky detail touches.

Creature comforts

Coffee machine; Clipper Teas, fresh milk & homemade biscuits; Bramley Bathroom Products; bathrobes in suites


i-Pod dock, Freeview TV and free wi-fi

What’s for Breakfast?

Fresh pastries; soya porridge & summer berries; smokey beans on malted toast; Old Spot sausage, bacon & egg ciabatta; smoked salmon & scrambled eggs; The Full Grosvenor breakfast

What’s the Damage?

13 double/twins & 3 suites £90 – £190

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (not Amex)
  • Private dining: room seating 16 and upstairs Assembly Room seats around 70
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access to bar, restaurant & first floor room 1 (lift)
  • Parking: none; residents have permits for town car park
  • dinner allowance for the inclusive dinner rate is £27.50 per person, or £55 per couple


Eat & Drink

The Grosvenor Arms Shaftesbury, Dorset, SP7 8JA

Mastering the menu

Ex-River Cottage chef Tom Blake overseas the seasonally changing menu, while Tyler Barnes, formerly at the Beckford Arms, heads up the kitchen team. Cooking style is modern British with Mediterranean influences, the all-encompassing menu featuring excellent pizzas, cooked in the open-to-view wood-fired oven, and imaginative, often unusual, ingredients in summer salads (baba ganoush, fine beans, rocket, olive, lemon & spelt) and main courses like Cornish hake, served with samphire, fennel, harissa and sorrel. A classic burger is livened up with chimichurri and paprika mayonnaise. The big focus is on fresh, seasonal and local produce and the artisan suppliers are showcased on the menus (see Local, Local, Local below). In addition, all breads, cakes and biscuits are made in-house using flour milled by Stoate & Sons in Shaftesbury, and the jams, chutneys, preserves and sauces are all homemade, as is the ice cream, which is made using milk and cream from Blackmore Vale Dairy.

On the menu

(Starters: £5.50-£10; Main Courses: £12.50-£23.50; Desserts: £6.50-£7.50)

Spiced chicken terrine, spring onion, raita, naan crisp bread; Dorset crab on toast, pickled cucumber, kohlrabi & dill; chargrilled chicken Caesar salad

Hake fillet, samphire, fennel, harissa, wild rice & sorrel; rump of lamb, rocket & hazelnut pesto; chargrilled Old Spot pork, fine beans, haricot, aubergine, feta & mint; chimichurri beef burger

Salted caramel & chocolate tart; strawberry & gooseberry pavlova, pistachios & lavender

Lunchtime Ciabattas


Steak, rocket & mustard mayo; smoked mackerel, crème fraiche, horseradish, watercress

All-day Pizzas


The Devil (chorizo, chilli, fennel, mozzarella); Dorset Summer (heritage tomato, courgette, mozzarella); The Grosvenor (duck egg, broccoli, mozzarella, pancetta, salsa verde)

Sunday Roasts


Dry-aged topside of beef, red wine gravy; Orchard Farm pork belly, fennel & sea salt crackling; Castlemead chicken, lemon & thyme, salsa verde; triple roast (all of above). All served with garlic & herb roast potatoes, roasted vegetables, buttered greens, root mash & Yorkshire pudding

Time to Eat

Breakfast: 7.30am – 11am
Lunch: 12 noon – 3pm
Afternoon Tea 3pm – 5pm
Dinner 6pm – 10pm

Bar food served all day: 9am – 9pm

Local, local, local

Beef, Chicken and Game – Prime Cuts, Shaftesbury Butcher

Pork, sausages, bacon – Orchard Farm, Wedmore

Fish – Samways, Bridport

Charcuterie – The Real Cure, Shaftesbury; Somerset Charcuterie, Wrington; Trealy Farm, Monmouthshire

Eggs – Fluffets in New Forest

Leaves and Vegetables – The Watercress Company, Dorchester; Lovejoys, Melksham

Rapeseed Oil – Fussells, near Bradford on Avon

Flour – Stoate & Sons, Shaftesbury

Cheeses – Dorset and surrounding counties

Behind the bar

Open all day, the bar area is a smart, warm and convivial space in which to peruse the papers over a pint of Otter Bitter or Palmers Dorset Gold, or to enjoy morning coffee and cake, or a delicious afternoon tea. Expect to find a good collection of boutique gins and vodkas, with Chase, Sipsmith and local Dorset Conker Gin and Godminster Horseradish Vodka on the back shelf, or kick-start the evening with the 2 for £10 cocktail deal, served between 5pm and 8pm, perhaps choosing the Grosvenor Garden (gin, seasonal fruit, apple juice). Top-drawer juices and mixers come from Luscombe and Fever Tree.

Time at the bar

9am – 11pm

What’s the Damage?

13 double/twins & 3 suites £90 – £190

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (not Amex)
  • Private dining: room seating 16 and upstairs Assembly Room seats around 70
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access to bar, restaurant & first floor room 1 (lift)
  • Parking: none; residents have permits for town car park
  • dinner allowance for the inclusive dinner rate is £27.50 per person, or £55 per couple


Food Trail

Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.

Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know –

1 Inn Location - The Grosvenor Arms


Stourhead Farm Shop, Stourton BA12 6QF

Situated on the magnificent Stourhead Estate and renowned for the quality of its meat and its choice of locally produced seasonal foods and drinks, the Stourhead Farm Shop has been trading since 2005. There are 10 varieties of handmade sausages on offer - including the Stourhead Sizzler - a range of home-cured bacon and hams, cheese, fruit and veg, free range eggs, bread, jams and pickles.


Ansty PYO and Farm Shop, Ansty, Wiltshire SP3 5PX

Thriving Farm Shop selling a wide range of home-grown seasonal fruit & vegetables (or you can Pick Your Own) and locally produced goods, including fresh baked breads, plus there’s a busy tea room if you fancy a pot of tea and homemade cake.


At the Chapel, High Street, Bruton BA10 0AE

Former coaching inn, now a multifaceted operation comprising bakery, wine store and cafe with wood fired oven. Head to the bakery for takeaway bread (the sourdough is excellent), cakes, biscuits, pies and exemplary wood-fired pizzas, explore the wine store for keenly priced organic, non-organic and biodynamic wines from small producers, or just chill out in the cafe with a coffee and cake. There's lunch and dinner too, pizza of course, or local ribeye steak with peppercorn sauce.


Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival, Sturminster Newton DT10 1DQ

This festival is a celebration of cheese and based on the 100 year old tradition of cheese making in the town. With over 70 cheese and food stalls to choose from and cooking and cheese making demonstrations, this is a perfect day out for cheese lovers in Thomas Hardy land.


Baking courses at Panary, Gillingham, SP8 4GG

Artisan baker Paul Merry has been craft baking with masonry ovens for over 40 years. He established Panary in 1997 and teaches an array of baking skills in a working watermill. Much of the flour used in the courses is sourced from the mill and it's also the perfect place to learn everything there is to know about baking.


Cranborne Stores, 1 The Square BH21 5PR

Cranborne Stores has revived the tradition of the village shop. Formerly a bakery, the shop now provides an extensive selection of fresh and local produce including meat and seasonal game. The delicatessen counter offers a wide selection of English cheeses, home-baked pies, cold meats and pastries - perfect for anyone setting off with a picnic.


Cranborne Manor Garden Centre BH21 5PP

The cafe is the hub of Cranborne Garden Centre, a small private garden centre set in the pretty walled gardens of Cranborne House and specialising in old fashioned roses. The cafe is the perfect place to relax with a cappuccino, cake or other fresh homemade goodies. It is renowned for stocking freshly baked bread and tempting treats from local bakers 'Let Them Eat' and draws devotees from afar!


Pythouse Kitchen Garden Shop and Cafe, West Hatch SP3 6PA

The 18th century walled garden and Victorian kitchen garden produces fruit, a wide variety of vegetables and flowers. Everything grown in the garden is sold in the small shop and appears on the menu in the appropriately rustic café: Thursday night dinners may feature Pythouse's own organic lamb or beef.


Shaftesbury Farmers Market, Town Hall, Shaftesbury SP7 8AA

Founded in 2004, this family-run company is the place to go if wild birds and historically renowned country estates are your thing. Husband and wife team, Robert and Kate Cuthbert, together with their dedicated band of experts, strive to ensure your day is exactly what it should be.


Somerset Brandy Company, Martock TA12 6BU

Based on a farm at Martock in the countryside of South Somerset, the Somerset Cider Brandy Company stands amid 160 acres of cider apple orchards below Burrow Hill. The cider is made in traditional vats and the company uses original methods of production. If this is your tipple, then make time to visit.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Grosvenor Arms



Rushmore Golf Club, Tollard Royal SP5 5QB

An 18-hole championship golf course situated in Rushmore Park on Cranborne Chase, a part of the world renowned for its fine beechwoods, rolling grassland and sense of solitude. Unusually, nine holes are in Dorset, while the remaining nine are to be found in neighbouring Wiltshire. The course offers stunning scenery, from ancient parkland to views of the south coast and the Isle of Wight. The Rushmore Clubhouse is a popular venue for lunch, tea and even breakfast.


Ballooning, Larmer Tree Gardens SP5 5PT

Begin at the famous Larmer Tree Gardens on Cranborne Chase and enjoy stunning views of Wessex and southwest Wiltshire from the air. The trip usually lasts between three and four hours and offers a rare opportunity to see this vast landscape, known for its ancient sites and enigmatic crop circles, from a totally different perspective. An exhilarating experience!


Wilderness Survival Skills, East Woodyates SP5 5QY

Escape from the comfort and convenience of the modern world and learn all about the harsh reality of life in the wilderness, discovering the skills required to navigate and survive in places that are beyond our imagination. For example, do you know how to light a fire in all weathers or build a waterproof shelter from natural materials? These fascinating survival courses offer the chance to find out and to experience something completely different.


Empire Farm Courses, Templecombe BA8 0HR

Empire Farm is a 100-acre Soil Association certified organic farm on the edge of the Blackmore Vale. The farm is home to poultry and pigs, many of which are rare breed. The Farm’s School offers a wide range of courses such as ‘introduction to smallholding’, curing and smoking meats, charcuterie and hours of fun making sausages using the farms own meats!



Ludwell Village Stores, Ludwell, SP7 9ND

Village Shop of the Year, Ludwell Stores is one of the finest village shops around. A 200 year old store with shelves piled high with a myriad of local and not so local goodies.


Pythouse Kitchen Garden Shop and Cafe, West Hatch, Tisbury SP3 6PA

The 18th century walled garden and Victorian kitchen garden produces fruit, a wide variety of vegetables and flowers. Everything grown in the garden is sold in the small shop and appears on the menu in the appropriately rustic cafe: Thursday night dinners may feature Pythouse's own organic lamb or beef.


Wilton Shopping Village, Wilton SP2 0RS

A short drive from Salisbury, in a pleasant riverside setting, this courtyard development in the village of Wilton is the perfect spot for a bit of out-of-town shopping, with restaurants and an antique centre included.


Chester Jefferies, Gillingham SP8 4QE

This Gillingham retailer specialises in gloves that are made from exceptional leathers from around the world and expertly finished by hand with minute attention to detail. Ideal for flying, driving and equestrian use.


Clementines Shop, Lower Lawn Barns, Fonthill Gifford, Tisbury SP3 6SG

Persevere down the bumpy track to locate Clementine's gorgeous gift shop situated in barns around a beautiful 19th century courtyard. A treasure trove filled unusual, interesting and traditional items and gifts, it perfect for finding presents for all the family, plus there are stylish and imaginative products for kitchen, home and garden. Gift fairs throughout the year.

Places to visit


Fovant Badges, Fovant SP3 5JH

Drive along the A30 near the village of Fovant, park where indicated and you get grand views of the famous regimental badges cut into the chalk downland - an extraordinary sight. During the First World War there was a training camp at Fovant and thousands of servicemen from all corners of the world gathered here before departing for the Western Front. In their spare time they carved the badges of their regiments. For a closer look follow public footpaths and tracks to the top of the downs.


Wilton House SP2 0BJ

Home of the Earls of Pembroke, Wilton House was designed by Inigo Jones in the 17th century, replacing the original house, which was destroyed by fire, and later remodelled by James Wyatt. Inside is the Double Cube Room, which contains a famous collection of Van Dyck paintings. Look out, too, for the former riding school, a Tudor kitchen and a Victorian laundry.


Salisbury Cathedral SP1 2EJ

Its spire is the tallest in the country, immortalised in John Constable's famous painting Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows, painted in 1831. The cathedral was begun in 1220, finished about 1280, and includes a medieval frieze and an original copy of the Magna Carta.


Gold Hill, Shaftesbury SP7 8JW

Classically English, Gold Hill in Shaftesbury is one of Britain's most famous landmarks. The steep street, lined by rows of picturesque cottages, is still remembered for a much-loved television advert for Hovis, directed by Ridley Scott. Thomas Hardy, Dorset's most famous son, is also associated with Shaftesbury and among the town's many attractions are two fascinating heritage museums.


Old Wardour Castle, Tisbury SP3 6RR

If the ruins of this secluded, 14th-century stronghold seem familiar, it's because they featured as one of the locations for the 1991 Hollywood blockbuster Robin Hood; Prince of Thieves.


Edmondsham House, Cranborne BH21 5RE

Close to the Inn at Cranborne, Edmondsham House is a fine mix of Tudor and Georgian architecture, with well-established trees, sweeping lawns and a walled garden that's been in use for more than a century. All produce is grown to organic standards. Note: opening times for the house are limited.


Stourhead, Mere BA12 6QF

Acknowledged as one of Europe's finest landscaped parkland gardens, Stourhead is managed by the National Trust. The gardens serve as a perfect example of the English landscape style, and the lake is a picture at any time of the year. The autumn colours here are a real treat.


Sherborne, DT9 3BJ

With its medieval buildings, ancient Abbey, Alms-houses and two Castles, Sherborne is one of the most beautiful towns in England. It also has a good selection of independent shops, cafes and a farmers market on Saturdays. Wandering the streets, you may recognise backdrops to numerous films, including most recently The Imitation Game.


The Grosvenor Arms is set in the heart of Wiltshire’s great walking country. From the pub’s doorstep numerous walks link the region’s picturesque villages and fine scenery. Cranborne Chase is perfect for exploring on foot and there are even trails and tracks on remote Salisbury Plain, where you might be lucky enough to spot the Great Bustard, Britain’s heaviest bird, which has made a comeback.

Cranborne Chase is an obvious choice for exhilarating cycle rides. Further north there are numerous quiet lanes and downland tracks to explore in the vicinity of Salisbury Plain, and to the southeast the vast wooded expanse of the New Forest offers over 100 miles of off-road cycle routes.

Dorset offers plenty of choice during the year. There’s the popular Purbeck Literary Festival in February, while at the end of August the county hosts the Great Dorset Steam Fair at Tarrant Hinton, near Blandford Forum. Expect 2000 exhibits and over 200 full-size steam engines. Another popular fixture in Dorset’s social calendar is the Larmer Tree Festival in July. This five-day music and arts event has been running for more than 25 years.

Getting there

Location, Location, Location

By Road: In the middle of the town on the high street – 15 minutes from A303 via A350

By Rail: Nearest train station is Gillingham – 6.5 miles away


High Street, Shaftesbury, Dorset, SP7 8JA

Room rates & booking


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