The King's Arms | Sawday's

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The King's Arms - Pub in Dorset

Last cache: 14:03:21, Saturday 02 July 2022

30, High Street, Dorchester, DT1 1HF, Dorset
England, United Kingdom

Team at The King's Arms
+44 (0)1747 850580(landline)

A beautifully restored old coaching inn with a vibrant, bustling atmosphere, great food, friendly staff and super-swish bedrooms

This has been a place of succour to the weary traveller for 300 years and it’s thought that much of Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge was written here. There's a bright and jolly buzz: a smoking room with comfortable chairs in pretty fabrics, a gorgeous bar with a green marble top and a restaurant with a partly open kitchen so you can enjoy the performances.

A ciabatta menu at lunchtime is popular but you can also get classic pub grub or posh modern British with a twist. Try crispy wild mushroom and chickpea pakoras, followed by daily market fish. Dorset cheeses, homemade ice creams and plenty of veggie choices hit the spot. There are also three hand-pumped ales, Jurassic Coast cider, colourful cocktails and a very decent wine list.

On summer days there's a courtyard to spill out into with something cool to sip.

Children welcome
Children of all ages welcome in some public rooms (highchairs not necessarily available).
Wireless internet access available in the bar.
Public transport
Within 2 miles of a bus/train station.
Vegetarian meals
Good vegetarian options on the menu.
Licensed premises
Alcohol may be served.
Dogs welcome
Dogs welcome in some public rooms.
Food all day
Food is served all day long.

Local points of interest from Team at The King's Arms:

Local points of interest from
Team at The King's Arms:

  • The King's Arms was Thomas Hardy's local. It features extensively in his novel, The Mayor of Casterbridge, as well as in Far from The Madding Crowd. He wrote here, dined here and recommended it to visiting friends such as Robert Louis Stephenson.
  • The King's Arms has medieval roots with the current building dating from 1720. Built on the main route from London to the South West, it underwent a large-scale rebuilding in the early 19th century when it was owned by the Earl of Shaftesbury.
  • Dorchester, was once a fortified walled Roman Town, Durnovaria. You're at the heart of the town here and its rich history. Explore the Roman ruins and Dorset County Museum, home to more than two million artifacts.
  • Strike out further afield further to the ancient hillfort of Maiden Castle, or Max Gate, the home Thomas Hardy designed for himself and now a national trust property.
  • The Jurassic coast is nearby. Bridport is 16 miles east for a fun twice-weekly market and a buzzing art scene, while Weymouth’s old-fashioned seaside charm is 10 miles south.
  • The brick archways of the restaurant pass are the former entrance to the stables and the stunning headboard in Room 103 is ‘upcycled’ from an Edwardian room divider!
Points of interest

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Lunch £15. Dinner £25.




30, High Street, Dorchester, DT1 1HF, Dorset


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