The SpaceRecently described as "the best Airbnb experience I've ever had", ‘Sunflowers’ is a beautiful, modern house (with an undercover hot tub - a highlight of their stay for many of our guests!) where we offer you a home-from-home welcome: somewhere we hope you will feel relaxed and at ease. Please read our reviews and then come and discover for yourself why a recent guest wrote: "A lovely warm welcome from Cleo on our arrival. [The] rooms were immaculate and so comfortable ... as for the use of the hot tub, sheer bliss springs to mind. For an overnight stay we couldn't have hoped for more, apart from wishing we could've stayed longer."
So, what can you expect from a stay with us? Arrive and enjoy complimentary tea and locally made biscuits/cake (or even a glass of wine, depending on the time!), then check out our comprehensive folder of local information and consider how you'll spend your time in Dorset.
Sleep peacefully in the large, comfortable en-suite double bedroom, with high thread count cotton sheets, plenty of pillows, a black out blind and tea/coffee/hot chocolate making facilities with a choice of bottled water and fresh milk. The room also offers a wardrobe with lots of hanging space, bathrobes, coat hangers, a Freeview TV, a DVD player (feel free to borrow one of our DVDs), a hairdryer, an alarm clock, assorted toiletries and a few other little welcoming touches. Refresh yourself in the en-suite shower room, fully supplied with lots of fluffy towels, luxury shower gel and a spacious free standing shower cubicle.
(The bedroom is quite large and there is ample space for you to put up your own travel cot if you are travelling with a baby. As an additional family-friendly security measure, we have a stair gate at the top of the stairs and there is also a night light on the landing. Feel free to borrow one of our child friendly DVDs during your stay).
We also offer a smaller, single bedded room, also with a black out blind, made up with the same high quality bed linens and offering a Freeview TV, a hairdryer and a robe. This bedroom has the sole, private use of a separate bathroom with a power shower attachment over the bath and it is available for use by a member of your group when the double bedroom is also booked. Please select 3 guests when you book to request this option and reserve both rooms.
[If you are travelling as part of a group, please check out our other listing at “Hot tub, warm welcome, stylish B&B, North Dorset” - we have a total of three rooms available in our home and welcome groups who wish to book both the double en-suite rooms and the single room as a party of five guests (or six including an infant in a travel cot).]
We can also host your calm, well-behaved dog, for a small price of £5 per night of your stay (payable locally), as long as they are kept with you at all times and not left alone in any part of our home. Please discuss your canine friend with us when you make your enquiry and enquire rather than using Instant Booking if you wish to come and stay with a dog - thank you.
Downstairs, you will have unrestricted access to our guests' private dining room, where we serve breakfast each morning. This room is also home to a large TV (with Sky+), a DVD player and many books and DVDs; please borrow whatever you’d like to read or watch during your time with us.
Outside, we have a large and very popular (check out the reviews!) undercover hot tub for your use; just bring swimwear and flip-flops and we’ll provide pool towels and fluffy robes. We need 24+ hours’ notice if you want to use the tub, so do please let us know your plans when you book. In summer, you are of course also welcome to relax in our lovely garden.
** Special offer: A complimentary bottle of Prosecco will be provided for all two night (or more) bookings during December 2016 (fridge space and glasses also provided). Just say BUBBLES in a message when you book!**
There is ample off-street parking at the front of the house or we are happy to provide locked storage for your walking poles, bicycles or motorcycles in our garage.
There’s lots to see and do in this beautiful part of the world, so just let us know what you fancy doing and we’ll be happy to advise and suggest itineraries to suit your interests.
A few ideas might include:
Walks in and around the immediate vicinity of the house (we are on the Stour Valley Way and Gillingham is a "Walkers are Welcome" town); trips to local beauty spots such as the ancient hill top Saxon town of Shaftesbury, complete with its famous Gold Hill (of Hovis bread advertisement fame); local National Trust beauty spot Stourhead House and gardens plus its folly, Arthur’s Tower; a visit to Sherborne, its castle and Capability Brown designed garden, Abbey and antique shops; a trip to one of the regular farmers’ markets or perhaps try and visit us during the famous Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival or Wimborne Food Festival if you're a foodie; a drive down to the famous Dorset Jurassic Coast – resorts include Lulworth Cove, Weymouth, Bournemouth, Poole, Studland, Bridport, West Bay (home of TV series 'Broadchurch') and fossil hunting paradise Lyme Regis; a trip to Bruton, Longleat or to Glastonbury, which offers lots more than just the famous festival; a spot of retail therapy at Clark’s Village in Street; a visit to Stonehenge, just up the A303; or a mooch around the lovely ancient city of Salisbury, with its famous cathedral, just two stops away by train.
For literary fans, Gillingham is referenced in Thomas Hardy's novel "Jude the Obscure" as Leddenton and there are many other Hardy spots around his fictional area of "Wessex" to visit; Shaftesbury features in "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" as Shaston, for example. We have a number of Dorset set novels available, including the book and DVD of "Jude the Obscure" plus other works by local authors such as John Fowles.
If you're a cyclist, we are located on National Route 25 of the National Cycle Network. This connects with route 24 at Longleat and runs south through Gillingham to Bournemouth on the coast. Another great ride is from the house to Stourhead, Arthur's Tower and back via Zeals; you'll cross the Wiltshire county line, see some amazing views and cover about 10 miles - but there are some great pubs along the way! Our local cycle shop is very friendly and always welcomes visitors to their 9 am Saturday group ride - we can provide further details if you're interested.
Anyone who enjoys fishing might enjoy a trip to local beauty spots Shearwater or Lodden Lakes, where day memberships are available. Guest AccessYou are welcome to relax in the guest areas of: the guest bedrooms, the guest dining room, the landing library, the garden and the hot tub zone. Access to the garden and hot tub area is via the kitchen. We have a dog and two cats who stay elsewhere in the house. Interaction with GuestsWe're generally around and are always happy to help make your visit a great one. We are well stocked with maps, guide books and local leaflets with ideas of things to see and do.
If you are travelling as part of a group, please check out our other listing at “Hot tub, warm welcome, stylish B&B, North Dorset” - we have a total of three rooms available in our home and welcome groups who wish to book both the double en-suite rooms and the single room as a party of five guests (or six including an infant in a travel cot). The NeighborhoodGillingham is a small town in north Dorset, which lies a few miles from the A303 (so is a perfect place to break your journey to or from Devon and Cornwall) within the lovely Blackmore Vale. A broad stretch of gently rolling countryside, the Vale falls between the Cranborne Chase 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' to the east and the chalk Dorset Downs to the south, with the River Stour flowing along the valley.
Gillingham offers a number of independent shops, as well as supermarkets such as Waitrose and Asda. We are located a short 10 minute walk from the High Street and can provide a list of personally recommended eating and drinking spots in the area. We are great foodies and have discovered some lovely pubs and restaurants which we’re happy to share with you. Please check out our reviews to see which of the places we've recommended have also been enjoyed by previous guests - or simply bring/buy a picnic to have in your private dining room and we'll happily lend you plates, cutlery, napkins and glasses. Getting AroundThe nearest railway station is Gillingham (Dorset) which is on the London Waterloo to Exeter St David’s line. If we are around, we’re happy to pick you up at the station or else it is c. a 12 minute walk to the house or a 5 minute cab ride; there are always taxis available at the station upon arrival.
The same train line will also get you to Sherborne and Salisbury and there are buses available from Gillingham to local towns such as Wincanton, Shaftesbury and Blandford Forum. However, a car is very useful if you wish to go further afield. We have ample parking at the front of the house and a secure, locked garage for your bicycle or motorcycle, as appropriate. Other Things to NoteGillingham can also offer a leisure centre with swimming pool and a recently opened children’s soft play area; there are also a number of beauty salons and hairdressers’ in the town if you’d like a quick manicure or blow-dry/beard trim. We are a short walk from Waitrose, Asda and One Stop and also have takeaways, restaurants and pubs within a short walk if you don't wish to drive.
If you are visiting Gillingham for rugby related reasons, we are a very short drive or taxi ride away from North Dorset Rugby Football Club, so do please consider staying here if you are planning to attend a match or a social event.
We have a very friendly dog (again, check out the reviews!) and love to meet new ones, so if you’d like to come and stay with your own canine friend, please discuss this with us in advance before you book.
We can provide advice and guidance on some of the many beautiful on/off lead walks in the area and suggestions as to dog-friendly eating out options.