The Museum Inn in Dorset is a place well versed in the needs of those enjoying countryside pursuits and is more than capable of serving them. With eight first class rooms – and a self-contained shooting lodge – the Museum Inn is perfectly poised to welcome shooting parties of varying sizes throughout the season.

It’s the shooting lodge – and the fantastic service that accompanies a stay there – that really makes the Museum Inn stand out as a destination for shoot parties. Known as Moles Cottage, this self-contained cottage has eight en-suite double rooms, a beautiful drawing room with a log fire, a fully fitted (and stocked) kitchen, and a dining room that sits 16 people. Most importantly, there’s a gun cabinet with enough space for 16 guns.

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The building, built by General Augustus Lane Fox Pitt-Rivers, has been standing since the 17th century. It underwent a renovation in 2012 that overhauled the interior, but the pub itself has still retained an antiquated, cosy ambience that lures in the locals.

The Museum Inn is also near the DBW Clay Company, based in the Crichel Estate, where you can book clay shooting lessons or a game bird shoot. A short drive will take you to Shaftesbury, to visit the Hovis hill, or nearby Blandford Forum and Salisbury.

If you choose to stay in the area, relaxing at the Museum Inn is time well spent: there’s the resident’s sitting room with honesty bar to enjoy; The Shed to dine in, or the pub itself to settle down in, warmed by a hearty fire.

Dining here is a pleasure we strongly recommend and one the locals seem to share. The seasonal menu, when we visited, boasted venison parfait and pan friend pheasant breast alongside hand-dived scallops, Dorset snails on cheese rarebit toast and sea bream fillet with cockle & saffron sauce. The slow roasted pork belly, which we were told is a favourite with diners, surpassed our expectations and was tastier than anything that’s passed our lips previously.

We’d dine at the Museum Inn regularly, if it weren’t 120 miles from the office.

See photos of the Museum Inn

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