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At a glance

  • You'll love

    Rural Wiltshire setting

    Great gastropub food

    Well-stocked, cosy bar

  • Kids will love

    Pétanque piste

    Playing in the sandpit

    DVD library

  • Don’t expect

    A toddler-proof setting

    Childcare on tap

    Hi-tech frills

Overview

A family-friendly Wiltshire pub with rooms, The Beckford Arms is perfect for a weekend of lazy lunches and rural rambles. This gorgeous gastropub’s child-welcoming credentials come not in the form of toddler kit on tap, but in the laid-back atmosphere and amenable attitude of staff.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking The Beckford Arms with us:

Home-made Beckford crumpets and a pot of tea on arrival, with mugs of hot chocolate for the children

Parent-approved

Anyone who’s ever spent long, lazy afternoons lingering in their local with the family will love the Beckford Arms

Smith & Family

Facilities

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The Beckford Arms Hotel - Wiltshire - United Kingdom

Need To Know

Rooms

Eight, including one suite.

Check–out

11am. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $157.41 (£95), including tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates exclude breakfast. Children Under-16s stay in parents’ rooms on extra beds and are charged at £25 a night (for under-12s, otherwise £60 a night), including breakfast. Cots are provided free for under-3s.

Also

 Before you arrive, organise an in-room spa treatment.

At the hotel

Gardens, private dining room, pétanque piste, sandpit, DVD library, and free WiFi throughout.

In your room

Flatscreen TV with DVD player, CD player, Roberts Radio, iPod dock, tea- and cofee-making facilities, handmade Bramley toiletries, Egyptian cotton sheets, Siberian goose down duvets and vintage Welsh blankets.

Our favourite rooms

You won’t fit a cot into a Small Double, but Standard Doubles are spacious enough to hold an extra bed alongside the parental king-size. Rooms 1 and 2 interconnect. If juniors having their own room appeals, book the attic suite, which comprises a large double, small extra bedroom, ensuite and separate sitting room.

And…

Don't forget your changing mat: there are no baby-changing facilities.

Book ahead

Book babysitting one week in advance; you might like to pre-arrange some in-room treatments, too.

Pet-friendly

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.

Food & Drink

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The Beckford Arms Hotel - Wiltshire - United Kingdom

Dining

This a pub with serious commitment to all things local and seasonal. Chef Pravin Nayar’s menu reads like a pastoral idyll of a picnic: home-smoked wild salmon, game pies with home-made pastry, Brixham hake and Tamworth pork; Beckford hams and piccalilli, or a pint and a pork pie with house chutney at the bar… Anglo-puds include Pimm’s and summer berry jelly or Cambridge burnt cream with shortbread. Low-food-mile ingredients, including herbs and vegetables from the garden, are used wherever possible. On occasion, whole suckling pigs are spit-roasted on the bar’s open fire.

Family fare

A tailored menu for little Smiths features staples such as fish 'n' chips and pasta carbonara, all served with buttered vegetables. Dessert has been turned into an art form with DIY sundaes: children are invited to accessorise their vanilla ice-cream with chocolate sauce and candy. Buy yourself grazing time by requesting paper and coloured pencils. Highchairs are available.

Hotel Bar

First and foremost, this is a relaxed and cosy country pub that lures in locals with a good selection of bitters and ales: try a half of Phoenix, brewed especially for the Beckford when it reopened in 2011. Children are welcome throughout, although toddlers will need containing around the open fire and on the no-mercy parquet floors.

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 8am to 10am, with the option to have a later brunch on Saturdays by arrangement; lunch is 12 noon–3pm, and dinner is dished up between 6pm and 9.30pm.

Smith Insider

  • Top table

    Head for the conservatory for family dining in a bright and airy setting, with pale wood panelling, gilt-framed mirrors and garden views. Or, opt for a low-key occasion by dining in the sitting room with a DVD over dinner.

  • Room service

    There’s no room service at the pub, but staff will happily heat up milk for your baby, and you can plunder in-room nibbles such as pork pies and crisps from the bar.

    Also

    Note that if you’re planning to wheel Junior to dinner in a buggy or pram, there are some steps up to the bar and to the toilets.

Childcare

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The Beckford Arms Hotel - Wiltshire - United Kingdom

Parent approved

'Anyone who’s ever spent long, lazy afternoons lingering in their local with the family will love the Beckford Arms'

Smith & Family

Babysitting

Sitters can be arranged for £10 an hour; book seven days in advance.

Baby-listening

The hotel can lend you a digital audio baby monitor; you’ll get reception in the bar and restaurant from any of the rooms.

What's there already?

For babies

• Highchairs • Weaning spoons • Travel cot • Baby pillows and bedlinen • Digital baby monitor • Stair gates • Socket covers

For toddlers

• Highchairs • Cutlery • Travel cot/extra bed • Baby pillows and bedlinen • Stair gates • Socket covers • Digital monitor • Sand pit • Lawn to toddle on • Crayons and paper • U-rated DVDs

For older children

• Extra beds • Sand pit • Lawn to play on • Pétanque piste • Giant Jenga • Board games • Paper and colouring kit • DVDs • Free WiFi

Activities

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The Beckford Arms Hotel - Wiltshire - United Kingdom

Things to do

Consider the inn your bountiful base from which to explore the Wiltshire countryside, history-steeped nearby Salisbury and the butter-stoned charms of north Dorset. But when lazy days are called for, the inn has homespun entertainment indoors and out. Book an in-room spa treatment, riffle through the library’s stash of books and DVDs; or curl up with a tome in one of the garden hammocks.

Sunny days

The childproof garden is home to a sand pit and pétanque piste. Take the hotel’s Giant Jenga outdoors for a spot of tower-building in the sun.

Rainy days

Choose a DVD and watch a film in the comfort of your own room or piled onto the sitting room sofa; borrow a board game or log onto the guests’ computer (there’s also free WiFi if you bring your own). Paper, colouring pens and paints can be provided to keep little fingers busy.

And there's more…

Book a massage or personal training session with the hotel’s in-house therapist Angela Parsons – great value, with treatments from £35 lasting an hour or longer.

Local Guide

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The Beckford Arms Hotel - Wiltshire - United Kingdom
Smith tip

Longleat Safari Park (www.longleat.co.uk) is a great way to keep the whole family entertained; beyond spotting lions, tigers and rhinos, or hand-feeding parrots, there is Longleat House itself, packed to the turreted roof with antiques and artefacts.

Don't miss…

… a wander around the Pythouse Kitchen Garden (www.pythouse-farm.co.uk); stop for lunch or a cream tea at the wonderful café on the verandah. Safe grounds around the café mean that the children can blow off steam while you linger over a pot of tea.

Tisbury sits in an idyllically rural corner of Wiltshire with country pursuits such as hiking, shooting and fishing on the doorstep. Happy geography means a stay at the Beckford Arms puts you within driving distance of Salisbury, Stonehenge, Longleat, Wells and Bath – not bad for a 30-mile radius.

Old Wardour Castle may have been destroyed during the English Civil War, but its halls and ramparts are all the more atmospheric for being in ruins. Consider turning your recce into a ramble, by leaving the car in the village of Fonthill Gifford and making the 35-minute cross-country walk to the castle. England’s tallest spire – Salisbury Cathedral's – is visible for miles around and it’s worth exploring the glorious detailing on this Gothic icon up close. Wiltshire’s masterclass in mediaeval masonry houses one of the original copies of the Magna Carta, 13th-century choir stalls and Europe’s oldest clock. Tower tours run daily up to five times, but always at 1.15pm.
 

+ Enlarge
The Beckford Arms
Fonthill Gifford, Tisbury, Tisbury, wiltshire SP3 6PX, United Kingdom
Hotel setting

Tisbury’s walkers’ wonderland

Getting There

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.

Planes

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

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.

Automobiles

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.

Parent travel tip

Only masochistic types should go anywhere near the A303 around bank holiday weekends and the top and tail of British school holidays. Although dual carriageway prevails, there are occasional traffic-clogging stretches of single-lane highway (not to mention the tailbacks caused by drivers rubbernecking at Stonehenge).

Reviews

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The Beckford Arms Hotel - Wiltshire - United Kingdom

Smith & Family  Parent Panel reviews

 Every property featured in the Smith & Family collection – including the Beckford Arms – has been selected and approved by parents.

Anyone who’s ever spent long, lazy afternoons lingering in their local with the family will love the Beckford Arms. It’s got all the trappings of the perfect pub (cracking roasts, comfy sofas, friendly bar staff, nooks and crannies to hide away in), along with a fair few added perks. How many inns roast a suckling pig by the bar, or host Sunday film nights, or have lovely rooms upstairs? Especially ones in which you can safely put the kids down, sneak off and keep an ear out via monitor while sampling the Wiltshire-made bitters and ales.

And not many pubs can claim such scenic surroundings: this is prime hiking territory, with rural paths made for rambling. Whether you’re seeking a family countryside adventure or a cosy, snuggle-with-baby break, the Beckford Arms will make you feel like a regular. You might even end up becoming one.

Smith & Family

Cheerful customers having a jolly drink at the bar – what a warm, perfectly pubby, welcome to Beckford Arms. As there isn’t an actual reception, a friendly member of staff soon noticed us and helped us to our Attic room. Here, in true Smith style, I explored every corner with lots of ‘oooohs’ and ‘aahhhs’ as we admired the garden view, the chic country-house decor and little touches such as woolly hot-water bottles. Oscar, meanwhile was happy playing with the bathroom light switch.

After a relaxed dinner where our little fish ’n’ chips expert polished his plate, and we cooed over scallops with chorizo and an excellent viognier, these parents enjoyed a restful night courtesy of a comfy bed, with Oscar in a cosy cot. The next day, following an outing to nearby Wardour Castle, we let our toddler loose in the hotel’s garden as a post-nap treat – he loved playing hide and seek with maman behind the trees. Rain made an appearance before he could get stuck into the sandpit, but inside, cosied up by the log fire our little man was most content. The scene of us all sat opposite a young couple with a book and Kindle, probably appeared the perfect marketing portrait of a boutique inn suitable for all.

Anonymously reviewed by Peggy Picano-Nacci, Smith Hotels

The Guestbook  Smith member reviews

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.

 

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