We visit The Eastbury Hotel and Spa in Dorset, an idyllically placed Georgian Townhouse hotel with a dreamy secret garden, in the picture-perfect town of Sherborne
The countryside as you drive through Dorset and towards the picture-perfect town of Sherborne, is nothing short of idyllic. It’s hard not to feel like you’re in a Thomas Hardy novel as you pass endless landscapes of softly undulating and exquisitely green rolling hills, dotted with farms and pretty English villages with quirky pubs, where you could easily stop for hours to explore and relax.
Sherborne is a market town in northwest Dorset, just on the edge of the Blackmore Vale, boasting a gorgeous array of medieval and Georgian architecture, independent shops, cafés and restaurants, and a magnificent abbey, as well as not one, but two castles – more on that later.
The Eastbury Hotel & Spa
Sherborne is also home to the delightfully bijou Eastbury Hotel & Spa, housed in one of the prettiest Georgian Townhouses in the town. The hotel’s charming exterior far exceeds itself inside, and it not only offers 5* accommodation, but a picturesque walled garden and a luxurious hidden spa. It’s also dog-friendly for anyone wishing to bring a four-legged friend along.
We were lucky enough to stay in one of the Eastbury’s Victorian Garden Potting Shed suites, and, as it was dark when we arrived, it felt like we were walking into a Narnian forest as we were led through the hotel and out into the garden towards where we were staying. Softly lit lamposts led the way down the deliciously green and luscious garden path to our suite.
There are five Potting Shed suites in total, each with their own eco friendly moss and sedum roof with flowers, so you really do feel like you’re part of the garden.
Although they resemble a red-brick Victorian potting shed inside, internally they boast luxurious bedroom accommodation with en-suite wet room facilities & a private terrace – the perfect spot to soak up some sun with a refreshing glass of wine.
The main house also has more bedroom options, including luxurious suites, and the 3-bedroom Eastbury ‘cottage’, offering self-contained accommodation adjoining the hotel.
Although as of December 2022 the hotel is operating as a Bed & Breakfast only, the cocktail bar is still open for a late night drink in an intimate, relaxed setting – and the cocktails are excellent. There are two lounges and a billiards room inside too with comfy armchairs, shelves of books and a great selection of boardgames.
The hotel’s crowning glory, however is their tranquil walled garden. A sanctuary in the middle of the town, fringed with blooming flowerbeds and equipped with giant chess and a badminton net, the garden is hard to resist when the sun is out – especially with a glass of local wine in hand.
Resembling an adorable hobbit house, right at the bottom of the garden, and away from the hustle and bustle of the hotel, the luxurious exclusive-use spa is one of the most unique I’ve ever seen.
The spa’s hot tub sits outside the main room, and there really is something special about relaxing into a bubbling hot tub under the stars, surrounded by woodland – a chance to reconnect with nature.
Inside, a hydrotherapy tub and a Sauna and Jacuzzi shower and two serene private treatment rooms await, with a GAIA treatment menu on offer.
Breakfast too, which is open to both residents of the hotel and non-residents, was a highlight of our stay. We filled ourselves up on the heavily-laden buffet, before enjoying freshly-made traditional cooked breakfasts to send us on our way for a day exploring.
It would be very easy to spend several days at Eastbury and, aside from pottering out to a local restaurant (of which there are plenty of good choices within the town), never feel the need to leave – a home away from home is an understatement.
However, the surrounding area is one of Britain’s most beautiful, and with historical sites, pretty towns and a world famous coastline just a short drive away, it would be a shame to miss it all.
Sherborne Castle & Gardens
Sherborne Castle is ten-minute walk from the hotel and, set within its own 1,200 acre Lancelot Capability Brown designed gardens, is a charming way to spend an afternoon. The castle was built for Elizabethan explorer and statesman Sir Walter Raleigh in 1547 and has been home to the Digby family since 1617. Visitors can tour the beautiful interiors of the castle and learn the fascinating history of the house, before exploring the acres of parkland, where Raleigh himself was often spotted, before his untimely execution in 1618.
The 12th century Sherborne Old Castle also stands within the grounds of the newer 16th century castle and, now owned by English Heritage, visitors can tour the ruins and learn its history.
Exploring the surrounding areas
In addition to the town of Sherborne, where a happy afternoon can be spent pottering around independent shops, exploring the history of the town in the museum and enjoying fresh food in one of the main restaurants, within an hour’s drive of the hotel are the of the seaside town of Lyme Regis and Shaftesbury, home to the steep cobbled Gold Hill, one of the prettiest streets in all of England.
Dorset’s Jurassic Coast is also just a short drive away, where miles of sandy beaches meet dramatic rocky cliffs, including the famous Durdle Door, and evidence of where dinosaurs once roamed can still be seen today.
Book your stay at The Eastbury Hotel and Spa, here.