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   Bed & Breakfast in Dorset
in the heart of Thomas Hardy country  


Dorset is open again!  We want to reassure you that we will be fulfilling ALL the necessary requirements to give you a safe and secure holiday.  At first this will include only accepting one booking for a couple or family group at a time, so you know that you will not meet other guests within the house. We provide sanitiser, but you may wish to bring your own, and also face masks for your own peace of mind.

There is a Guest Information Sheet here

For more information ring Sarah (number above on the header) for a chat about  how best you would like to organise your visit. 


  • Off Road Parking

  • Tea & coffee is available in all bedrooms

  • Free Wi-fi access

  • Dogs welcome

  • Child Prices on request

  • Cots, Travel Cots, High Chair

  • Good pub in the village

  • Secure dry storage for bicycles

  • Next door shop & post office with cash-machine  and freshly made sandwiches, (good social distancing rules)

  • Exceptional breakfasts meeting any special requirements

Our Accommodation in Dorset

click pictures to enlarge

THE OLD BANK B&B is a comfortable, pretty 18th century house with off road parking in the centre of the attractive village  of Marnhull, near Shaftesbury in the heart of Thomas Hardy country.  We have ideal family accommodation and also welcome couples and individuals wanting a country break away from it all.  We are a dog friendly B&B with a secure garden.  Relax and unwind on your holiday in a warm and friendly atmosphere at our bed and breakfast in Dorset.

Set on a hill overlooking the Blackmore Vale in Dorset, Marnhull is an excellent centre from which to explore the countryside, the coast and the ancient towns of Shaftesbury, Sherborne, Bath and Salisbury. National Trust and English Heritage properties and gardens are close by, as are the historic hill forts of Hambledon Hill, Hod Hill and Maiden Castle. There are many events which attract visitors ranging from Food Festivals to Air Shows and the famous Dorset Steam Fair nearby.

Walking and cycling holidays are popular in Dorset and our guest house has facilities to lock up cycles and to dry clothes. The village also has a pub, The Crown - (or 'The Pure Drop Inn' featured in Tess of the d'Urbervilles) which offers good food and is recommended by our guests. 

Sarah looks forward to welcoming you to The Old Bank and to the pretty village of Marnhull. We are situated next to the village shop, Robin Hill Stores, which has a cash machine and where you can stock up on freshly made sandwiches and other goodies for your days out. 

The Courtyard is surrounded by barns and planted with traditional plants and flowers - and brightly filled tubs in summer.  A great place for breakfast outside on warm mornings and for afternoon tea.


The Cottage Garden:  The Courtyard leads through to a 'secret' garden. An established sunny cottage garden (lovingly tended by Sarah, the owner, a knowledgeable and enthusiastic gardener) where our guests are welcome to sit and enjoy the peace.


Our sitting room is furnished with traditional furniture and fabrics. A wood burning stove makes this a warm and welcoming room during the winter for our guests to enjoy, watch TV or simply relax.

some of the 


taking place - please check places are open

The Jurassic Coast

The Walk Through Time, where the rocks record 185 million years of the Earth’s history across 95 miles of coastline, is the most compelling theme in the Jurassic Coast story. Every part of the coast has its own story to tell.

Listed from west to east along the coast, these iconic towns and natural sites will enable you to get under the skin of the Jurassic Coast, and find out what makes it such a spectacular and unique World Heritage Site. See  Gallery Page

Monkey World

Open all the Year (except Christmas Day!

Monkey World was set up in 1987 by Jim Cronin to provide abused Spanish beach chimps with a permanent, stable home. Today Monkey World works in conjunction with foreign governments from all over the world to stop the illegal smuggling of apes out of Africa and Asia. At the 65 acre park visitors can see over 250 primates of more than 20 different species.

Farmers Markets

The producers at our farmers’ markets have to meet specific criteria so that you can be assured of authentic high quality produce.  Local really does mean local – all the produce must be grown, reared, caught or processed by the stall holder and all within a 30 mile radius of the market.

Dorset farmers’ markets give you the chance to meet the farmers, producers and growers directly. See video here

Cheddar Gorge and Caves

Open most of the year:  Explore one of Britain's most spectacular natural landmarks. From its awe-inspiring cliffs to its extraordinary subterranean stalactite show caves. Cheddar Gorge & Caves holds many fascinating secrets about our prehistoric ancestors, and is an international centre for caving and rock climbing.

Sculpture by the Lakes

Open throughout the year - see website for times and dates. Nestled in 26 acres of Dorset’s glorious countryside lies Sculpture by the Lakes, an oasis for art lovers and collectors alike created by renowned sculptor Simon Gudgeon. Simon’s vision was to create an environment for enthusiasts that blends nature’s beauty with inspiring works of art free from the constraints of enclosed spaces of a traditional gallery. Watch the beautiful video on our Gallery Page.


Open most of the year - check on their website above.

Enter a land of adventure. Where lions roam. Tigers stalk. And monkeys swing. Travel through time in a grand stately home. Lose yourself in one of our magical mazes. Hold exotic creatures from the ends of the Earth. This is Longleat.  Jump in.



Great to return and meet you again.  The Old Bank Guest House is highly recommended for being central to so many National Trust properties and a pleasant drive to Studland beach (also National Trust - so free parking for members!)

Thank you for a delicious breakfast in your charming courtyard too!



In the UK: 01258 821019 

International:  +44 1258 821019

Mobile:   07434 280963



Mrs Sarah Hood,

The Old Bank,

Burton Street, Marnhull, Dorset.  

DT10 1PH

         How to find us

  • As you approach Shaftesbury from the A350 (ex A303 or M3) from London and the East, you will see an Esso petrol station above a large roundabout just before you enter the town centre.

  • Take the A30 from the roundabout, marked 'East Stour / Yeovil' and proceed for four miles, arriving at the East Stour crossroads.

  • At this point, turn left taking the B3092 towards Marnhull / Sturminster Newton. After 3-4 miles, you will see village signs for Marnhull and shortly thereafter, a large church in front of you.

  • Turn right immediately in front of the church into 'Church Hill'. Follow the lane for half a mile, when it becomes Burton Street and you shortly come upon a parade of shops on the right hand side.

  • Our B & B is set back from the road, immediately after the last shop (Robin Hill Stores)

We regret we are unable to accept credit cards in payment.  We can take cash or cheques.


Also on Airbnb

Whilst Sat Nav can be helpful, it has been known to take guests via the more inaccessible routes to our house.  So sticking to the reliable route here is less stressful!

© 2017  The Old Bank

Old Bank Dorset B&B, Sitting Room