Pimperne B&B, Dorset
An historical gem: it beggars belief that homes like this exist for guests to stay in. Built in 1534 as a hunting lodge for Henry VIII, this home was also lived in by the Tudor king and his last of six wives, Catherine Parr. It is not however a museum in any sense, nor simply a place where one can visit for the day, it is an impeccably elegant and truly comfortable and welcoming home; where family living goes side by side with a staggering sense of history.
The original house was badly destroyed by fire in the early 1690s, and a Queen Anne Rectory was rebuilt in 1695 – 1710. The current owners bought the property in the 1990s and set to lovingly restoring it to its former glory, being true to the original style and layout, and using materials that were still on site. Staircases are all original, and one can see beams which were rescued when the house burnt down in the 17th Century, plus an original Tudor window in what would have been the Catholic prayer room from Henry VIII’s days.
The house is spacious and chic; bedrooms are vast and elegant; the garden is mature and inviting. With Catherine Parr’s original walk-way re-instated around the grounds, you would be quite forgiven for a stately, regal bounce in your step as you pass through the front door.
* Number of bedrooms: 3
* Sleeps: 5
* Nearest station: Salisbury train station
* Prices from £100 per night
'Charming hosts and a very comfortable house with beautiful gardens. The bedroom was huge, which we loved, and had a pleasant outlook, the towels were heated, and tea on arrival was much appreciated.' - Mr & Mrs O, Greece, August 2010
'Staying at this property was one of the most memorable experiences of our UK trip. Memories like this are what you take with you when you get back home. This made our holiday very special. We felt privileged to stay here, and were looked after extremely well. ' - Mr & Mrs J, USA, February 2010
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This page was last updated: 01 January 2011