Wiltshire, United Kingdom

The Beckford Arms

Price per night from$123.54

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (inclusive of taxes and fees) 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

Forget happy hour, it’s happy days at The Beckford Arms, with open fires, local ales, cosy sofas galore and a gastropubby restaurant. There are just eight rooms, kitted out with solid, traditional materials such as stone, wood and sisal. Hand-picked wild flowers and woven wool blankets add splashes of colour. A fire tore through the building in 2010, forcing the hotel to shut down. Proving its indomitable spirit, it’s back now, and better than ever.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A bag of Beckford Brownies.


Photos The Beckford Arms facilities

Need to know


Eight rooms, two lodges and one house (The Arch).


10.30am. Check-in from 4pm (flexible, depending on availability).


Double rooms from £95.00, including tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates include a full English or Continental breakfast and a make-your-own Bloody Mary station.


Bramley Treatment Cabin at the Bath Arms will see to all your stress-busting needs with face and body therapy. 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, coffee- and tea-making kit 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. Room 5 is a cosy suntrap, with elegant mirrored bedside tables and a small stone fireplace. The Arch is located a little further afield and is the perfect space for families with two bedrooms, a kitchen, boot room and living room with a warming wood burner. 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.


Pooches are allowed (in room 6 only) for a one-off fee of £10, which includes a bowl and some treats – make sure you mention it when booking. See more pet-friendly hotels in Wiltshire.


Little Smiths are more than welcome, with cots (£10 a booking) provided for babies. There's a nightly £50 charge a child for stays in Room 8. The restaurant has a menu tailored to tots.

Best for

All ages.

Recommended rooms

There is space to add baby cots (£10 a booking) to some rooms – ask the hotel and they will provide them. Two extra beds can be added to the Attic room (£25 a night for under-11s, £60 a night for older guests).


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, 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

The Beckford has a menu of old favourites. Making headlines in its homemade fare is the local produce, the house burger, Brixham fish 'n' chips, and of course, the Sunday roast. Breakfast is served in the Bar and Sitting Room; 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 a roaring fire. There is a large oval table by the bay window, perfect for a group of friends, and for all you teapot enthusiasts, look out for the collection of antique silver teapots.

Last orders

Breakfast is served in the Bar and Sitting Room 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 from the minibar.


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

The Beckford Arms in Wiltshire is not far from Tisbury, to the west of Salisbury. Close to the north Dorset border, it’s a short hop off the A303.


Bournemouth and Bristol are the nearest airports, served by the likes of Ryanair and EasyJet. 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. 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. The castle has graced many a movie and is the perfect spot for a picnic, if you fancy picking up provisions at the shops on your way. Another great spot to hunker down with a hamper is the Fonthill Estate, a five-minute walk away. 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. 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.

Local restaurants

Dine at The Compasses Inn, a 14th-century freehouse just a 10-minute drive from the hotel, in Lower Chicksgrove. 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 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 serves traditional fare such as steak and claret pudding and roasted saddle of venison.

Local cafés

Wander around the walled Victorian Pythouse Kitchen Garden 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.


Photos The Beckford Arms reviews
Rosie Birkett

Anonymous review

By Rosie Birkett, A lot on her plate

‘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.

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Price per night from $123.54