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Little Black Book Pubs & Inns

The New Inn, Cerne Abbas

Charm, comfort – darned good food and drink – and a welcome that's second to none at this 16th century former coaching inn, in one of Dorset's prettiest villages.

With its original carriage entrance, cosy bar with open fire, ancient oak beams, antlers on the walls, The New Inn in Cerne Abbas, near Dorchester, is your archetypal country pub. It may be called the New inn, but the former coaching house dates back to to the 16th century and today it offers a 21st century eat, drink, stay experience.

Landlords Annette and Julian are super friendly hosts and, as you’d expect from a couple with a combined 35 years’ working with Davy’s of London wine merchants, the wine and local Palmers cask ales are excellent – and so is the food and the service.

Menus are award-winning, British, seasonal and use the fruit (and veg and meat and fish) of the land and nearby coast. So expect stuff like Wookey Hole cheddar souffle, game terrines, Dogbury Farm venison, poached trout, Portland crab, root vegetable Wellington, Jurassic Coast Fossil Farm steak and rice pud with rhubarb, honey and oat crumble with pine nut ice cream.

Soak up the atmos as well as the luxury bath products in the roll top bath tubs, rain showers in their 12 comfy bedrooms and suites in the main building – mullioned windows, period fireplaces – and converted stable block where huge two-storey suites complete with Chesterfield sofas look awesome.

Stretch your legs on one of the many brilliant walks directly from the village. You won’t want to miss the 180 ft Cerne Giant carved out of the chalk hillside above the village (could be a Roman god or a Pagan fertility symbol  – you’ll see why when you see him), there’s 27 acres of wild woodland at Minterne Gardens and the ruins of medieval Cerne Abbey are within a mile or so. Weymouth, Bridport and Shaftesbury are also within easy reach.


14 Long St, Cerne Abbas, Dorchester, Dorset DT2 7JF

01300 341274

Opening hoursMonday: 12pm – 11pm
Tuesday: 12pm – 11pm
Wednesday: 12pm – 11pm
Thursday: 12pm – 11pm
Friday: 12pm – 11pm
Saturday: 12pm – 11pm
Sunday: 12pm – 10pm

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