Journey to–and Around–Avebury 3: Dorwyn Manor B&B

As I’ve noted before, Avebury offers a limited number of guesthouses (it’s a World Heritage Site. Not much room for development to appease tourists). While surrounding towns such as Marlborough* and Swindon offer a greater variety of accommodation, you’ll find some wonderful Bed and Breakfasts in (or very near) the village. TripAdvisor has a helpful listing. However, please know that very few lodgings are actually in the village. If you’re not driving, be sure to check your preferred B&B’s proximity to the village and if it offers transport back and forth. A few guest houses are some distance from the village despite having an Avebury address, and several of them are on quite busy roads.

Apologies for the wonky image. I’m surprised I did not take more than one tbh.

Based on TripAdvisor’s ratings, we reserved a room for one night at Dorwyn Manor. The house is just about half a mile from The Red Lion, but we had to ring them when we arrived because we were unsure of its exact location. A member of staff drove to pick us up.

As we’d just decided to stay a second day at Avebury, we were a bit anxious whether we’d be able to stay a second night (there are only about five rooms, and they are nearly always full up). Thankfully, we were able to add a second night just as we checked in.

Partial view of the B&B’s garden

Our room (named for archeologist Alexander Keiller) was clean, comfortable, and quiet–fairly ideal for our needs. We slept very well indeed.

I must say that the family operating Dorwyn Manor were absolutely lovely. We found them kind, helpful, and eager to talk about Avebury and the surrounding area (including several spooky stories about the Red Lion’s alleged haunting). To be honest, I generally dislike B&Bs as I feel like I’m intruding on someone’s home. Mike and Debbie, however, went out of their way to make us feel welcome and at ease. It’s mostly because of they’re warmth that I’d like to recommend Dorwyn Manor, but I do so for a few other reasons:

Across the garden on a misty eve
  1. Breakfast
    You have your choice of  continental and/or “Full English” (eggs, bacon, sausage, beans, tomato, mushroom, toast, etc). The cooked breakfast was easily the best I had in the UK this past trip. I usually avoid breakfast, but I had it both mornings at this B&B.
  2. Lunch
    The B & B offers a substantial packed lunch if you plan on spending the following day rambling through the countryside. Request your lunch the night before your adventure, and after breakfast you will receive a paper bag with water, a sandwich, fruit, crisps, and a sweet. It’s well worth the additional £ 5.00 (we actually had our packed lunches for dinner the evening after our walk).
  3. Dinner
    While the B&B doesn’t offer dinner, guests receive meal discounts at The Red Lion. Let Mike or Debbie know if you’ll be going into the village for dinner, and they will phone the pub to arrange your discount.
  4. Drinks
    A welcome drink on arrival. Plentiful supplies of water, tea, coffee, and biscuits in your room. Also, there’s an honor bar in the foyer.
  5. Heat and pressure
    The shower had more than enough hot water and pressure to ease aching muscles after a hard day’s trek over hill and through mud.
  6. Rides into town
    Staff at the B & B are happy to drive you to/from the Red Lion (the heart of the village). Because Dorwyn Manor is located on a fairly busy road, you need to walkon the verge for about 1/4 mile (the rest of the way has a pavement– part of itthrough the stones).  If you’re anxious about walking too close to traffic,  this courtesy is a godsend. Addendum: the traffic is not too awfully bad in the morning and in the evening. As long as it’s light out, you’ll be fine.

We truly enjoyed our stay at this Bed and Breakfast and thought it excellent value for money. We’ll definitely return.

*Recommendation for the Castle and Ball Hotel ( @castleandball on Twitter) in Marlborough. Beautiful 15th century building, lovely menu, great staff.

Author: Jacqueline A. Pollard

City Walker. Photo-taker. Lit PhD.

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