Wiltshire, United Kingdom

The Beckford Arms

Rates from (ex tax)$110.49

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP95.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.


Great Brit-inn


Tisbury’s walkers’ wonderland

An impeccably appointed, well-kept country inn near Tisbury in Wiltshire, The Beckford Arms hotel is revitalized and better than ever after a fire temporarily shut it down in 2010. Weary country walkers will sink gratefully into soft overstuffed sofas beside open fireplaces after a hearty English meal accompanied by excellent local ales and bitters. The eight rooms look and feel modern, but a closer look shows a dedication to traditional materials such as stone and wood, with accents like woven wool blankets, fresh-cut wild flowers and handmade natural toiletries.

Smith Extra

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Home-made scones and a pot of tea on arrival


Photos The Beckford Arms facilities

Need to know


Eight rooms.


11am. Check-in from 3pm (flexible, depending on availability).


Double rooms from $110.49 (£79), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP79.17), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates include a full English or Continental breakfast.


Local therapists Rachel and Anouchka will see to all your stress-busting needs. Bookings must be made directly for in-room massages; ask at reception for contact details.

At the hotel

Gardens, private dining room, petanque piste, library including DVDs, and free WiFi. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD/CD player, iPod dock and the hotel’s home-made Bramley toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

Room 1, nestled into the corner of the building above the sitting room, is one of the larger rooms, with both bath and shower. Room 5 is a cosy suntrap, with elegant mirrored bedside tables and a small stone fireplace. Note to big packers: the Beckford's rooms don't have wardrobes, just wall pegs and hangers.

Packing tips

Walking attire; a classic Agatha Christie for fireside reading; bed socks and big knits for snuggling up on the sofa; a dog.


If you want your dog to join you, book Room 6.


Dogs are allowed, in Room 6 only; please request this room when booking. For £10 a night, you get a bed for Fido, plus a bowl and biscuits. See more pet-friendly hotels in Wiltshire.


Little Smiths are more than welcome, with cots provided free for babies. The restaurant has a menu tailored to tots.


Little Smiths are more than welcome, with cots provided free for babies. The restaurant has a menu tailored to tots.

Best for

All ages.

Recommended rooms

There is space to add baby cots – ask the hotel and they will provide them.


Little Smiths can ramble in the sprawling garden, or read a book in one of the hammocks under the shady trees. There’s a petanque piste, plenty of board games, and PG DVDs to watch from the comfort of your room. Sometimes family movies are played on the projector in the Sitting Room, and the hotel can organise fishing lessons or horse riding.


Children can eat in the restaurant at any time, and there is a menu tailored to tots. The emphasis on homely, comforting fare should make meal negotiations easy.

No need to pack

Travel cots are provided – they don’t cost extra, but need to be booked.

Food and Drink

Photos The Beckford Arms food and drink

Top Table

Choose according to your mood; tables in the pub make for a sociable and relaxed setting, the sitting room is the place for a DVD-dinner, and the conservatory is bright and airy, with its pale wood panelling, gilt-framed mirrors and garden views.

Dress Code

Blend in with the locals by sporting shooting-chic: tweed, wools and russet hues, accessorised with Hunter wellies.

Hotel restaurant

Pravin Nayar has returned to the Beckford with a menu of old favourites. Making headlines in its homemade fare is the local produce, pork pies and zingy piccalilli, the house burger, Brixham fish 'n' chips, and suckling pig on the open fire. Fans of all-day brunching can pounce on eggs Benedict, waffles and Bloody Marys, and those feeling like a family-style Sunday roast can order a chicken to carve at the table. Breakfast is served in the conservatory; however, if you're staying in the Lodges you can ask to have the fridge stocked with breakfast goodies.

Hotel bar

Loyal locals head here for the ales and bitters, the cosy country pub atmosphere and the relaxed setting – wooden beams, parquet flooring and roaring fire. There is a large oval table by the bay window, perfect for a group of friends, and every Sunday, the bar hosts a cinema night (check the blackboard by the fire to see what’s showing). Look out for the collection of antique silver teapots.

Last orders

Breakfast is served in the conservatory from 8am to 9.30am, lunch is 12–3pm, and dinner is dished up between 6pm and 9pm.

Room service

No room service, but you can plunder in-room nibbles such as pork pies and crisps from the bar.


Photos The Beckford Arms location
The Beckford Arms
Fonthill Gifford, Tisbury
United Kingdom


Bournemouth and Bristol are the nearest airports, served by the likes of Ryanair (www.ryanair.com), Flybe (Bristol only, www.flybe.com) and EasyJet (www.easyjet.com). By car, the hotel is an hour from Bournemouth, nearer 80 minutes from Bristol.


Trains from London Waterloo to Tisbury take around one hour and 45 minutes (www.southwesttrains.co.uk). Tisbury station is a five-minute drive away.


The hotel is a short hop off the A303, and has free parking on site. If you’re arriving by public transport, you may want to hire some wheels, to help you explore the area’s attractions at your leisure. Salisbury is the nearest city, a 30-minute drive away. Tisbury is a 10-minute walk away, if you decide to leave your car at home.

Worth getting out of bed for

Head to the 14th-century Old Wardour Castle in the valley, a 10-minute drive or 35-minute walk from the hotel (www.english-heritage.org.uk). The castle has graced many a movie and is the perfect spot for a picnic – ask the hotel to make you one before you set off. Another great spot to hunker down with a hamper is the Fonthill Estate, a five-minute walk away (+44 (0)1747 820 246; www.fonthill.co.uk). If you have a car, Stonehenge is a 20-minute drive away, Bath is a 30-minute drive, and (for the little uns) Longleat’s Safari Park is just 20 minutes away (www.longleat.co.uk). The hotel has a list of all the best walks nearby, and will lend intrepid guests an ordnance survey map. They can also recommend where to go for deer stalking and shooting (whether simulated or real), fly fishing, horse racing or golf. Remember to nab a copy of the Blackmore Vale magazine as soon as you arrive at the Beckford Arms – published on a Friday, it lists all the local hotspots and events (www.blackmorevale.co.uk).

Local restaurants

Dine at The Compasses Inn, a 14th-century freehouse just a 10-minute drive from the hotel, in Lower Chicksgrove (+44 (0)1722 714 318; www.thecompassesinn.com). The main bar has 11 tables, and there is a small dining room used for private parties. Expect plenty of sturdy beams, wood galore and fresh, seasonal dishes, such as pigeon and puy lentil salad with quail eggs, and wild mushroom, chestnut, butter bean and fennel casserole. At the King John Inn (+44 (0)1725 516207; www.kingjohninn.co.uk) in nearby Tollard Royal, local produce is brought to the fore in dishes such as Pythouse lamb breast and Portland crab on toast. Near Shaftesbury, the Fontmell (+44 (0)1747 811441; www.thefontmell.com) serves traditional fare such as steak and claret pudding and roasted saddle of venison.

Local cafés

Wander around the walled Victorian Pythouse Kitchen Garden (+44 (0)1747 870 444; www.pythousekitchengarden.co.uk) and stop for lunch at the wonderful café on the verandah. The cream teas are worth piling on the pounds for, but if you’re feeling guilty, forego the five-minute drive for a half-hour walk back to the hotel. Turnbulls café and deli is in the centre of Shaftesbury, at 9 High Street (+44 (0)1747 858 575; www.turnbullsdeli.com). Try their take on tapas – River Exe mussels in local cream and local cider sauce, mini Westcombe cheddar rarebit toasties, Mere trout bruschettas, paté and terrines, and local hams and pies. De-liz café and delicatessen in Tisbury is crammed with enough cakes, chutneys, cheeses and charcuterie to feed an army, and is just a 10-minute walk, or three-minute drive, from the hotel (+44 (0)1747 871 771; www.deliz.co.uk).


Photos The Beckford Arms reviews
Rosie Birkett

Anonymous review

‘Whoa! William Beckford was a rum one!’ says Mr Smith, sprawling out on the soft Welsh wool blanket covering our bed – replete from the roast lunch we’ve just inhaled. Reading aloud from the book of bumf he’s found on our bedside table, he recounts how Beckford – from whom Wiltshire pub takes its name – was an obsessive aesthete who scandalised Victorian society with his ‘romantic’ relationship with a 10-year-old viscount.

Funded by his plantation-owner father’s fortune, Beckford (dubbed England’s wealthiest son by Lord Byron), took self-imposed exile, pursuing a life of art and architecture, penning a novel Vathek, and constructing the dizzyingly towering folly, Fonthill Abbey. The gothic revival country house is no more, but its crumbling remains are a short stroll away, and we agree to walk to it tomorrow, if for no other reason than this was where Beckford once ‘bathed in the rain with a sylph-like Albanian footman’, as revealed by a cursory Googling.

This boutique inn’s name, and its proximity to the stunning Fonthill Estate, is as far as its synonymy with Beckford’s archaic strangeness goes – the hotel is about as gothic as a Cath Kidston catalogue. An upscale country pub with rooms, the Beckford Arms is right on the edge of Fonthill Bishop’s acres of farmland, woods and gardens, which when we pass through it, is alive with posturing pheasants and frolicking lambs. The Wiltshire hotel is celebrated for its food, and when we arrive earlier that day the carpark is full with status wagons. This is proper down-from-London country and the place is crawling with glossy dogs and their even better-bred owners, all gathered for the feted Sunday lunch.

Promisingly rich smells of roasting meats fill the air, and despite arriving smack-bang during lunch service, we’re speedily checked in and shown to a table in the grand wooden-floored sitting room, amid rugs, lamps and muted paintwork. We’re seated behind a handsome French couple canoodling on the sofa over the Sunday papers, their toes warmed by the log fire; meanwhile ours are snuffled by the pub’s dog Elsa, who’s particularly taken with my tan-leather brogues. It would seem her masters’ good taste has rubbed off on her.

Swedish chef Chef Pravin Nayar has been with the property since it opened in 2010, and took over as head chef last July when it reopened following a devastating fire. His seasonal menus are bursting with carefully selected local produce, and the food is confidently cooked, refreshingly simple, and pleasingly devoid of the gussied-up flourishes often affected by pubs clawing at that ‘gastro’ prefix. I scan the menu for my usual alarm bells – but there are no ‘deconstructed’ pies or classics ‘with a twist’ here.

Fixated on a blow-out roast lunch, we find that the Swede doesn’t disappoint us, serving up two plates strewn with perfectly pink beef, golden dripping-roasted potatoes, deep, flavourful gravy and Yorkshire puds the size of a baby’s head. It’s a feast fit for a naughty Sunday in the country, and we wash it down with a soft Languedoc cabernet sauvignon. A shared British cheeseboard with the most delicious, crumbly salty-sweet homemade oatcakes propels us into a soporific food coma, and we retire to our chamber for the afternoon, nabbing the Sunday supps from beneath the noses of the now-dozing Frenchies.

Our room is simple and stylish – flooded with natural light, with a view over the garden and a vase of wild flowers on the window ledge. I brew a pot of afternoon tea and tuck into the bar of Dairy Milk. ‘How sweet,’ I say, ‘to give everyone a complimentary tea tray including fresh milk and a chocolate bar.’ Too many hotels have phased that out. To me, being able to make a replenishing cuppa after a food- and wine-induced nap is much nicer than a room-service delivery.

Added extras are partly what give the Beckford Arms a boutique edge. Touches abound like a cute little washbag, pitched perfectly at the well-heeled traveller, stuffed with things I usually forget – razor, toothbrush, cotton buds and possibly this cold-tootsied reviewer’s favourite: a hot water bottle clad in its own Aran knit cover. Even the inanimate objects here are well turned out. When owner Charlie Luxton tells me the fragrant Bramley toiletries are made by his wife, the founder of cult smellies company Cowshed, it all makes perfect sense.

In the candle-lit dining room that night, still full from lunch, I only manage a starter plate. But this is an appetiser that dreams are made of. A delicate, perfectly flaking piece of seared mackerel atop a salad of pickled cucumber, with dill mayonnaise speckled with capers and finely chopped shallots. Mr Smith tucks into a salad of Jerusalem artichokes with heirloom beets and some silky soft mozzarella from Laverstoke farm, marvelling at the incredible flavour of the local and seasonal ingredients.

Cosying up on our well-plumped bed upstairs, with the rest of our Chilean pinot noir, we are overcome by that special sleepy mood that only good food, wine and expertly executed comfort can bring. Tomorrow we’ll explore the old stomping ground of that rogue Beckford, but for now, we’ll enjoy the crisp Egyptian cotton sheets with our newfound bedfellow, the well-dressed hot water bottle. Something tells me we’ll be back at the Beckford Arms.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Beckford Arms’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The beautifully decorated room with luxury bath products and delicious food. Perfect for an indulgent weekend! The local area and suggestions for walks. The Beckford Bottle Shop in Tisbury is well worth a visit.

Don’t expect

Consistent service or your free treat! Staff were all friendly but clearly preoccupied and there were several occasions on which the experience didnt quite live up to our expectations as a result – fires not lit, fresh milk taken away before it could be used, drilling in the bar, brownies (delicious) on the tea tray one day and nothing the next. All minor things that added up. There was even a Fawlty Towers moment when they decided to drill in the crowded bar during Saturday afternoon! We also didnt love the labels on everything saying 'please dont take me' – hopefully most people dont need to be told that!


Stayed on 9 Feb 2018

We loved

The most idyllic setting. At night you can choose to dine in a cozy pub with a fire roaring, a lovely dining room or a cozy sitting room with another fire roaring. The food is spectacular. A real dog-friendly hotel with a huge jar of biscuits for dogs, and dogs are allowed everywhere! The staff were very professional and really helpful, especially Hannah. The walks around the estate are wonderful – my cocker spaniel had a blast. I cannot recommend it more highly. At 7am they bring you fresh milk so that you can make coffee in your room before breakfast starts at 8am. Heaven. This was one of my favourite dog-friendly hotels, and I go away with my dog once a month. I cannot recommend it more highly.

Don’t expect

There is not a lot of room in the rooms. I was in the dog-friendly medium room, which did not really bother me, but some people might mind. For these people, I would recommend the larger rooms, which I saw sneakily as one was being cleaned, and it was huge!


Stayed on 9 Oct 2017

We loved

The food, friendly atmosphere, the room, the buzz in the evening and the location.


Stayed on 22 Aug 2017

We loved

The position, decor, ambience and food. The local recommended walks through the Fonthill estate are wonderful.

Don’t expect

Huge rooms. 


Stayed on 28 Jun 2017

We loved

The peaceful surroundings, the food, the bathroom. Visit The Riverbarn Restaurant.

Don’t expect

To do much.


Stayed on 23 Jan 2017

We loved

The view from the upper mezzanine bed or bathtub in the Splendens Lodge is stunning and makes you feel like you've really escaped into the country. The staff could not have been more helpful and discreet, and having breakfast delivered to the Lodge meant we could enjoy a real lie-in and an exceptionally lazy day in front of the fire. Perfect! Salisbury Cathedral and Stone Henge are an easy drive away.


Stayed on 9 Dec 2016

We loved

Set in a beautifully well-maintained estate, perfect cosy rooms for a weekend escape from the city. Plenty to do during the day including long walks and drinks by an open fire! A dreamy autumnal weekend break. Go to the Chapel at Bruton, Hauser and Wirth and walk around the Fonthill estate.

Don’t expect

Large room, being a pub hotel the rooms are small but perfectly formed!


Stayed on 4 Nov 2016

We loved

Extremely helpful and responsive staff who helped me arrange a couple of surprises for my boyfriend's birthday ahead of our stay. Great experience in a lovely village, with fab food. The Beckford Bottle Shop is a hidden gem near the station!

Don’t expect

To be bothered by noise - it's super peaceful


Stayed on 24 Jun 2016

We loved

The food, staff and the all the little details in the rooms that made it feel special. We had a small baby with us - who they were happy to accommodate.

Don’t expect

Spacious rooms.... the original old building means small rooms - although they are beautifully fitted out - full of character, comfortable and cosy


Stayed on 23 Jun 2016

We loved

Lovely relaxed atmosphere with very good food and beers. Cafetiere, filter coffee and high quality toiletries in rooms were way above the norm. Recommend walks around the Fonthill Estate. 10/10

Don’t expect

Music or TV in bar (thankfully), or a lively night.


Stayed on 21 Jun 2016

We loved

The amazing breakfast, superb service, the sofa with weekend papers and the DVD library. Recommend visiting Salisbury.

Don’t expect

Spacious rooms and anywhere to hang clothes


Stayed on 8 Apr 2016

We loved

Everything! Food is amazing, room was lovely, location is fab with great walks nearby. The 4.5 mile walk around the nearby estate is well worth the effort – followed by a pint and a fantastic dinner in the hotel of course!

Don’t expect

To want to leave!


Stayed on 30 Mar 2016

We loved

The big bath next to the bed. Stunning local countryside - beautiful rolling hills. 9/10

Don’t expect



Stayed on 29 Mar 2016

We loved

The food was amazing and loved the atmosphere/decor of the hotel. Make sure you get a room with a roll-top bath, as they are fab-u-lous. Make sure you mention the Mr & Mrs Smith extra at arrival as needs to be prompted. If you like cooking then definitely go to the Waitrose Cookery School in Salisbury, which is really close by. 9/10

Don’t expect

Wild nights out, its all about cosy nights in here.


Stayed on 27 Mar 2016

We loved

The cosy pub, lovely rooms and great pub food. Lovely local walks


Stayed on 11 Mar 2016