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The Luttrell Arms, Dunster, Somerset
A former house for abbots, this coaching inn is one of the more eye-catching buildings on Dunster's pretty, historic High Street. It has some intriguing features too, such as a carved wooden wall that was once part of a medieval hall, and a bar with a huge fireplace that used to be the kitchen. The 29 bedrooms also have some period features - although the bathrooms would benefit from a stylish update to create a more spoiling feel. The inn offers decent food and has a nice variety of wooden stalls and nooks where you can eat or nurse a drink. Overall it's a truly atmospheric place to return to after a day spent sightseeing, or tramping through Exmoor National Park.
We enjoy the easy trail through a copse of Douglas Firs five minutes' drive away. One is said to be the tallest tree in England.
Dunster Castle is only a four-minute stroll up the street from the Luttrell Arms.
By car: around 1 hour 20 minutes from Exeter, 3 hours from Birmingham and 4 hours from London. There is parking available nearby.
By train: London Paddington to Taunton takes around 1 hour 40 mins. The hotel is a 35-minute taxi ride from the station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
It's popular with people who come for sightseeing and teahouses, and also more outdoorsy types who want a charming base for exploring Exmoor. The palpable sense of history is wonderful - if you love old pubs then this is one of England's most evocative.
Service & Facilities
The shoulder and back massage in the treatment rooms, using Elemis products, is relaxing and invigorating - a real treat. Dogs are welcome and get given a treat bowl, bed and blanket. There are a variety of walks nearby, around the village, in the National Park and beside the sea.
- Board games & puzzles
- Free Wi-Fi
We love the unusual architectural features, such as the sculpted figures on a white plaster fireplace in one room and the exposed, vaulted ceiling in another. Our favourite room is number 14, which has a four-poster bed plus a stone doorway leading into a tiny room above the hotel's porch, overlooking the High Street.
Standard Rooms, Superior Rooms, Feature Rooms
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom, TV, radio, free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities
Food & Drink
Dinner can be taken in the pub, which is a convenient option for families, and also lovely when you're sitting by the fire after a wintry walk. Our favourite dish is a multi-layered dessert of honeycomb parfait, lavender ice cream and fig, with a crunchy honeycomb bottom.
Psalter's Restaurant: formal dining, classic gastropub food. Open for daily breakfast and dinner. Dinner mains from £14.
Bar & Garden: relaxed, classic gastropub food. Serving lunch and dinner daily. Lunch mains from £14.
Afternoon tea: traditional tea service. Served 3-5pm.