The Bath Arms

Longleat Estate, Wiltshire, United Kingdom
Book from GBP Book from £87 per night

The Bath Arms

Longleat Estate, Wiltshire, United Kingdom

A characterful, ivy-clad inn on the Longleat Estate, with impressive food, pretty gardens and very comfy rooms

A characterful, ivy-clad inn on the Longleat Estate, with impressive food, pretty gardens and very comfy rooms

The quaint Wiltshire village of Horningsham forms part of the leafy Longleat Estate, with patchwork hills and forests all around, a small green with a telephone box, a 1500s church, and this handsome pub at the heart.

The Bath Arms has been here since the 17th Century, and it's chocka with olde worlde charm. Enter through a small, flagged hall to find a warren of snugs and lamp-lit salons with crinkly leather sofas, mis-matched chairs, chunky wooden tables and grandfather clocks. Dogs doze by the fire, guests chat over a pint of local ale or an elegant meal, and on sunny days, everyone spills out onto the terrace and flower-filled gardens. Staff are friendly, and service is spot on - this pub is part of the excellent Beckford Group (The Beckford Arms, The Lord Poulett Arms, The Talbot Inn), so you'd expect nothing less.

Up a maze of carpeted stairs are 9 super-comfy bedrooms; a further 7 sit in a separate Stable Block. Expect huge beds with duck down duvets, organic Bramley bath products, and a locally sourced breakfast to set you up for the day. Then head out to Longleat house and its attractive gardens, or the Safari Park, or the lovely market town of Frome, or the artsy enclave of Bruton. Return for a relaxing spa treatment at the cabin in the garden, then hit the pub for drinks and dinner. This is a lovely area for a little escape to classic British countryside.

Highs

  • The food is seriously good: a mix of pub classics and exquisite fine-dining dishes
  • We loved the fact that the bar is full of locals as well as visitors, and the atmosphere is convivial and laid-back
  • The close proximity to Longleat's mansion, gardens, railway and safari park
  • Staff are attentive and good-humoured
  • Great for all; couples, friends, families and dogs are all made very welcome in both the pub and the rooms

Lows

  • It's an old building with thin walls, so be prepared for some worn furnishings and a bit of noise drifting up to rooms above the pub
  • Though full of character, the attic rooms have low ceilings, and their bathrooms have baths rather than showers because you can't stand up in them!
  • You can't actually walk to Longleat house from here as it's up a private road, but it's only a short drive away
  • Be sure not to confuse this for the Bath Arms at Crockerton, also on the Longleat Estate!

Best time to go

This is a year-round retreat. The pub is cosy and warm in winter thanks to fire-lit snugs and hearty fare, while summer months are perfect for enjoying the gardens and pretty terrace. Longleat closes for a winter break in January. Book ahead for school holidays, bank holidays and Christmas.

Our top tips

Bring books, walking boots and bikes: Longleat is cycle utopia. And go for at least 3 days if you can: besides Longleat, you can explore Bath, Frome and Stonehenge from here quite easily.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Romantic
  • Boutique Inn
  • 16 rooms
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car recommended
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

Every room here is unique. The 9 pub rooms have lots of charming old features, while the 7 Stable rooms are newer and better suited to families, those with accessibility needs or dog owners. But the look remains the same throughout: country-cottage décor with pastel walls and padded velvet headboards. Choose between Small, Medium or Large rooms, depending on your needs, budget and group size.

Of the pub rooms, I was taken with those in the attic (but I’m small so headroom isn’t an issue for me!). The sloping walls and beamed ceilings made them feel cosy and cossetting, and the free-standing bathtubs added a dash of luxury. We stayed in Room 1, on the first floor, which was a Large Room at the front of the pub. The bed was supremely comfortable, and the bathroom very indulgent with its marble floor, enormous shower and separate tub.

In converted stables off the courtyard are 7 ground-floor rooms, which face the lawn and gardens. Room 10, a Large, is one of the most sought after, probably due to its big windows which let light flood in. But the smaller rooms are lovely too, choose number 15 (a Medium) or 17 (a Small) if you want peace and quiet. The only downside to the Stable rooms is that people sitting in the garden or on the terrace might see in, so you might want to keep some blinds shut.

Lovely extras include Bramley toiletries in the bathrooms, yummy little brownies left in your room on arrival, and milk deliveries each morning for your cuppa in bed.

Features include:

  • Central heating
  • Cots available
  • Hairdryer
  • Radio
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • WiFi

Eating

You’re in for some seriously good grub here. Menus celebrate the abundance of seasonal Wiltshire produce, including meat and game from the Longleat Estate, fish from the south coast, and homegrown herbs and veggies from the garden. There’s a pleasing mix of fine-dining options and classic pub staples, like fish and chips, burgers and Ploughman’s, so when you return from that bracing walk, or the kids want comfort food, you’ll find what you’re after.

But we fancied a romantic meal a deux, so we plumbed for the posher stuff. My hake melted in the mouth. It was piled with shrimp and samphire and a creamy artichoke puree, and all the flavours complemented each other beautifully. Dessert was a blood orange parfait, topped with melted choc, popcorn and chocolate crumb. Delicious. The bread was homemade, and the wine list was excellent.

We chose to eat in the main dining room, which is an elegant space with duck-egg-blue walls, vintage maps, candlelit tables, and a grand fireplace draped in dried flowers. But you can eat in the more informal rooms too, or out on the terrace, which is a really lovely spot on a summer's evening.

Breakfast is a continental buffet plus an a la carte choice of brunch-style options. Help yourself to cereals, pastries, yoghurt… or a Bloody Mary if you need to soothe a hangover! Hot options include full English, smashed avo on toast, or eggy bread with bacon and maple syrup. It'll set you up well for a day out in the Wiltshire countryside.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Kids' meals
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Vegetarian options
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Follow Capability Brown's Pleasure Walk through woodland gardens to Longleat House, passing a few sculptures on the way
  • You can spend an entire day at Longleat - it's not just a safari park (though getting close to those lions and tigers is a thrill), it's also the grandest example of high Elizabethan architecture in Britain, with 1,996 windows, 99 chimneys and 283 doors!
  • At the cabin in the pub garden you can have massages and facials using locally-made Bramley products
  • In Horningsham itself is the oldest working Free Church in England, the remarkable Congregational Chapel (1566). Inside is untouched late Georgian, with galleries and hat pegs intact
  • Nearby is the market town of Frome. Dip into the shops on cobblestoned St Catherine's Hill, then tuck into a 'pastel de Nata' or a ciabatta at La Strada Café at the top of Conduit Street (the conduit still runs). Frome farmers' market, on the second Saturday of the month, is one of the West Country's best
  • Just south of here is Bruton, where contemporary art space Hauser & Wirth (younger sibling to the Hauser & Wirth galleries in Zurich and New York) draws art admirers from across the country
  • Stourhead has one of the grandest landscaped parks in England, with lakes, a grotto, follies and trees. There's a rather fine mansion too, and a charming pub - all parcelled and packaged by the National Trust
  • Beautiful Bath has shops, museums, an Abbey, restaurants, pubs, cafés, Roman baths and the wonderful Thermae Spa
  • Just outside Bath is Prior Park - lovely landscaped gardens owned by the National Trust, with lakes, grottoes and a Palladian bridge - don’t miss the 18th-century graffiti
  • Visit Glastonbury Tor - clamber to the top of King Arthur’s Isle of Avalon for a 160m-high view of the Somerset Levels; scamper down to buy some New Age crystals and roam the ruined abbey

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Shopping / markets
  • Well being
  • Wildlife

Kids

The Bath Arms is well-suited for those with children. Cots and highchairs are available, and there are kid-friendly options on the menu. Best of all, the 900-acre Longleat Estate with its famous safari park and historic house is on your doorstep.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

Most rooms have space for a baby cot; Medium and Large rooms have space for an extra bed. Large Room 10 and Small Room 11, in the Stables, can interconnect. Medium Room 14, in the Stables, can be set up as a twin. Large Room 7, in the attic, has an extra bed in its bathroom. Small Room 12, Medium Room 14 and Large Room 16 have sofabeds.

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities on site:

  • Sand pit
  • Board games

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Longleat Safari Park, Railway and Hedge Maze
  • Mill on the Brue – a children's activity centre in Bruton
  • Cycling
  • Stonehenge and Avebury
  • Wookey Hole Caves
  • Cheddar Caves and Gorge

Families Should Know:

Some of the rooms are up steep, narrow staircases, so if you're bringing toddlers, best to opt for a Stable room.

Distances:

  • Airport: 1 hour (Bristol)
  • Hospital: 15 mins (Frome)
  • Supermarket: 15 mins (Frome)
Kid Friendly:

Location

The Bath Arms is in the village of Horningsham on the Longleat Estate in Wiltshire. It's an hour's drive from Bristol and within cycling distance of Warminster and Frome stations (8km away).

By Air:
Bristol Airport (55km away) is the nearest and has regular connections with cities in the UK and Europe, with some flights from further afield. Exeter Airport is 130km away; London Heathrow is 154km away.

From the Airport:
It's an hour's drive from Bristol airport, and around 2 hours from Exeter or London Heathrow. You can also take the train to nearby Warminster or Frome (see below). Buses connect Bristol and Exeter airports with the main rail stations in each city; London Heathrow is linked to London Paddington station by the high-speed Heathrow Express rail line.

By Car:
Situated about an hour from junction 17 of the M4 and a similar distance from junctions 21 / 22 of the M5, the Bath Arms is easy to drive to, and given the lack of public transport, you'll probably want a car during your stay. See our car rental recommendations.

By Train:
Warminster and Frome are the nearest stations, both about 8km away, and both with good connections to London Paddington (around 2 hours, a few of them direct) and Bristol. See Seat 61 for more details.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Bristol 55.0 km BRS
  • London Heathrow 154.0 km LHR

Other:

  • Beach 67.0 km
  • Shops 8.0 km
  • Restaurant 4.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 4 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

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Rates for The Bath Arms

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