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The Old Forge

I am always excited when we go to the UK for holiday. Yes, I have been there many times before and each time we go to different places and thus we experience something new each time.  One of the things I always get excited about is finding accommodation. Elsewhere on our travels we normally stay in a hotel, either it’s cheap or a fancy five star hotel, but in the UK, there are so many options that let me be exposed to the daily life of the “ethnic English” – as my husband used to say when we are mingling with the “locals”.   As we are in the UK, and I am the foreigner, I love to see how the “locals” go about their daily life.  London gives me the metropolitan and busy look of UK, but the country is not about London; it’s about the other cities, the villages and the countryside.

Thanks to Booking dot com we found a great little Bed & Breakfast place near Shaftesbury – the small English town that I planned to photograph.  I decided to stay in the B&B called The Old Forge, however, the picture shown in it’s website shows everything except the most important thing: the bedroom and the bathroom.

The entrance to the Old Forge... during day time

The entrance to the Old Forge… during day time

However, from Booking dot com, there are:

  1. No pictures of how the bed/bed rooms look like. In normal condition, I wouldn’t want to go to a place where I can’t see where I would sleep – I ignored this condition.
  2. No review from previous visitors about this place; as I think its important to know what people say about the place – I ignored this condition again. (this is a new place in Booking dot com, thus no body had written a review).

The reason I was so attracted to this place is because the outdoor images were so interesting; this is the country living that I could ever imagine. Fingers crossed that this place was the genuine article and good enough to stay overnight. We booked it for 3 nights, and if it was not good enough we could always run away to the next better place near by….

We arrived at The Old Forge very late that day, almost 10pm, and we failed the intelligennc test as we missed the location which was exactly by the main road.  There was no sign from the street that this is It, and it was dark already. My husband then said: “I think this is it, it looks similar to the picture on the website….”

It was darker than the picture when we arrived, and missed the turned to the place.

It was darker than the picture when we arrived, and we missed the turning.

As soon as we knock on the small cottage house door we were greeted by Lucy and Tim, our hosts for the next few days. As it was very late already – at least according to our norms when we normally go to bed at 9.00 pm – they directly show us around, where breakfast was serve and our bedroom and bathroom.  Somehow they understood that we were too tired to have a little chit-chat, so they let us go to our room after agreeing breakfast time.

To my surprise, the room was beautifully clean, and it had everything there as a 3+ star hotel would have, small telly with it’s widget, kettle to heat water  in case we wanted to make our own coffee or tea. In the hallway, there’s a little fridge where Lucy put a pot of milk, for our tea with milk as some English people do.  As it is an old cottage house, there is a wash basin inside our room. however, our bedroom has no en-suite bathroom but we have our dedicated private bathroom/toilet in the very next room.

Our bed, with attic ceiling.

Our bed, with attic ceiling.

I love the bathroom, very neat and cute bathroom.

I loved the bathroom, very neat and cute.

The next morning, as agreed we came down to the breakfast room, the breakfast table was set nicely looking towards the window to a small garden and another cottage house they owned as an independent cottage.

Our breakfast table with home made freshly pressed apple juice waiting for us

Our breakfast table with home made freshly pressed apple juice waiting for us.

If you look at the picture above, Lucy offered us four different menu options, where she baked the bread every morning and the eggs are from their free range chickens.

Attention to every detail

Attention to every detail

My breakfast consist of scrambled egg, sauteed mushroom and toasted home made bread.

My breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs, sauteed mushrooms and toasted home made bread.

As we were the only guest that morning, Lucy and Tim show us around their interesting barn/cottage, where it turned out that they have several room to rent, as a matter of fact they have three types of accommodation:

  • Conventional bed and breakfast the type we were staying.
  • Self catering accommodation, with it’s own living room and kitchen, one located attached to the main cottage, and the other one is an annex to Tim’s garage.
Tim's car restoration

Tim’s car restoration

  • Last type of accommodation are what they call ‘Glamping’ – glamorous camping. Located on their grounds.
Self cater cottage as part of Tim & Lucy's facility

Self catering cottage as part of Tim & Lucy’s facility

Glamping on a Gypsy's caravan at The Old Forge's ground.

Glamping on a Gypsy’s caravan at The Old Forge’s ground.

Added to the attraction of a unique facility of this B&B, they also has a bit of ground where they keep their animals such as a horse, a donkey called Scrumpy Jack who even has his own Facebook page

Scrumpy Jack

Scrumpy Jack

We stayed there for three nights and before we knew it, it was time for us to leave. Lucy and Tim had been perfect hosts and we enjoyed very much our stay with them, including their three generation dogs Willow, the black lab, Pudding and Pie, the labradoodle dogs, Scrumpy Jack, the chickens which we ate their eggs everyday and their horse.  When we left, Lucy was waiting to give us her last wave from in front of their porch.

I have even more photographs of the Old Forge which I will upload on my gallery on the 1st June.

What I did not know was they are not new in the business, they have run this business for more than 20 years, even though they are new to the Booking dot com database. If circumstances enable us to visit them again, I definitely will do that, however if you are interested to visit Tim & Lucy Kerridge then contact:

The Old Forge Bed & Breakfast  The_Old_Forge-17

Chapel Hill
Compton Abbas

Nr Shaftesbury
Dorset SP7 0NQ
Tel: +44 1747 811 881
Filed under: eJournal, Explore UK

About the Author

Posted by

I used to live as an expat and travel around the Middle East. After 10 years working in the Arabian Gulf I am now retired and living in the UK but still retain my interests of further travels and exploring new horizons.


  1. I love British B&Bs. Once spent a month by myself traveling through England, Scotland and Ireland without reservations. I’d arrive in town, spot a likely B&B, and stay for the night. As you said, it is a great way to get to meet the people. Liked you blog… well written and fun.



  2. Wow, that was a bit of luck! Usually I will not book if there are no pictures and not enough details of the room to go by.


    • Nin

      Yes, we were really lucky, and everything were perfect on our stay there.
      Thank you for dropping by.


  3. Pingback: The Old Forge Gallery | Nins' Travelog

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