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The important stuff

  • Check-in is from 4–10pm
  • Check-out is before 11am
  • If you are going to be arriving later than 10pm, please let the owners know and keep them informed of your progress if you're running late
  • Dogs are welcome for £25 per stay. There is a big field for them to run around in and fantastic walks from the door. Please be aware that there are chickens (fenced off), a donkey, horses, dogs and a cat on site! The only rule is no dogs on the furniture, and please bring your own bowls, bedding etc.
  • Hopefully, during your stay you'll get to meet the donkey, Scrumpy Jack, but guests are asked not to feed the animals
  • The Old Forge is by a narrow country road, so there is some traffic during the day, but cars are rare at night
  • Sleeping arrangements
  • One double (6ft x 4ft)

Extra space available

Space for 1 pet from £25 per pet per stay

Kids & Pets

Children aged 8 and over and dogs welcome.


  • BBQ in garden
  • Kettle with tea & coffee
  • Crockery & cutlery for two
  • Shared fridge and washing up facilities in tuckshop


  • Private shower and toilet

Heating, lighting & bedding

  • Wood burner with firewood provided. Additional firewood can be purchased for £5 a bag
  • Pillows, duvets, covers and towels all provided
  • Electric lighting and candles
  • Plug sockets available in hut


  • Monopoly, scrabble, cards, books and local maps
  • Wifi is available in the house but not the caravan or the huts
  • Mobile reception is patchy, but there is a payphone in the main B&B


Outdoor & active

There are some stunning walks from right outside The Old Forge. Local OS maps are provided, so after a hearty breakfast enjoy a stroll through the meadows and hills. Make your way up to Fontmell Down from The Old Forge and breathe in the dramatic views of Blackmore Vale, to Sturminster Newton and beyond. Adonis and Chalkhill Blue butterflies favour this south-facing slope for the extra shelter it affords. Drop into Compton Abbas airfield for lunch, the most picturesque airfield to be found in England!

Moors valley country park has walking and cycling trails, an adventure play trail and the Go Ape! treetop adventure area, with epic zip wires and over 1000 metres of tree crossings.

Places to visit

Dorset Heavy Horse Farm is a horse rescue centre with loads of stuff for kids to do.


Fleet Air Arm museum Go on board Concorde and see the impressive collection of aircraft and the occasional Dalek. Check for air shows and special events.

Hayes International Motor Museum houses over 400 amazing cars and bikes, if Tim's own minor version hasn't satisfied your desire for classic vehicles.

Shaftesbury was the basis for Thomas Hardy's 'Shaston' and Gold Hill was made famous by a certain Hovis advert.

Blandford Forum is one of Britain's best preserved Georgian towns, having being largely rebuilt after a fire in 1731 by architects the Bastard brothers, apparently their real names.

Sturminster Newton's restored and fully functional mill is lovely to see in action.

Courses & classes

Spend a happy day tinkering in The Old Forge garage. By arrangement with Tim.

It's relaxing enough just staying in the Gypsy caravan and shepherd's hut and pottering about The Old Forge, but if extra help is needed to unwind, then Yoga and Pilates classes and other treatments are available in Fontmell Magna, just two minutes from The Old Forge.

Get inspired by Lucy's home baking, and sign up for a bread making course at the Panary at Cann Mills, a traditional water mill just half a mile from The Old Forge. Learn the finer dough arts from master baker Paul Merry - from sourdough and pain rustique, to a good old fashioned bloomer.

Food & Drink

Eating & drinking at The Old Forge

scrumpy the donkey
Order a continental breakfast to be delivered to your door for just £5 per person and stay snuggled up in bed as long as you fancy, or wander to the farmhouse for a breakfast that needs to be eaten to be believed: consisting of local sausage and bacon, free range eggs from Lucy's own hens, homemade marmalade, local honey and apple juice from the orchard. Taste of the West award-winning, and it's easy to see why. All ingredients are sourced locally and are either organic or free range. All this is only £10 per person so just let Lucy know after booking if you'd like to indulge.
If you're planning a walk while staying at The Old Forge (and frankly you should), then you might be tempted to arrange for Lucy to make a picnic hamper. Sometimes delivered by Scrumpy Jack, always scrumptious. Equally delicious cream teas are also available. And a visit to the tuck shop is a must for a few old-fashioned treats plus marmalades and jams...
Inside the glampers kitchen you can help yourself to the range of delicious free range sausages and burgers in the freezer - just leave your money in the honesty box and pop them on the barbecue for a very local supper.

Local produce

Blandford and Shaftesbury both have excellent farmer's markets and the Fontmell Magna village deli is full of regional specialties and local organic goodies.

Pubs & restaurants

A short drive takes you to The Fontmell, a pub with a stream, serving excellent food. 
The Talbot, Iwerne Minster (3 miles). A devotion to local and seasonal produce means the menu is ever changing but always good. Between Blandford and Shaftesbury on the A350.
The Cricketers, Shroton (4 miles). A classic English pub right next to the cricket pitch with good food, perfectly kept ales and a warm welcome.
The Compasses, Tisbury (13 miles). More great local and seasonal food from the Wiltshire dining pub of the year 2008 & 2010.
The King John, Tollard Royal (4.5 miles). Guy Ritchie is supposedly a regular and the food is superb including daily fresh fish.

Meet your hosts

Tim and Lucy purchased The Old Forge in 1986 and have gradually renovated and restored the buildings to create a B&B with two self-catering cottages, two shepherd's huts and a Gypsy caravan. It's home to Tim and Lucy as well as their four children Millie, Lottie, Sophie and Jack and assorted animals! Sophie is an aspiring photographer and took all the amazing pictures of The Old Forge on this website.

A little history


The Old Forge dates back to approximately 1700. It's a building full of local history and was formerly used by the local estate wheelwright and carriage builder. Lucy's creative touches are to be found everywhere and the smell of her freshly baked biscuits, marmalades and jams fills the warm kitchen. Tim's real passion is his business restoring and selling classic cars. His workshop is more akin to a working museum and he'll happily show off his 1934 Lagonda, bought for £12-10s in 1963! It's a classic car enthusiast's dream.

Environmental policy

Tim and Lucy's approach to the environment isn't about following a trend, it's what they've always done. But to use a modern phrase, 'Recycle, Reuse and Reduce', is the mantra and it's to be seen everywhere. Nothing gets thrown away and Tim and Lucy have a magical way of renovating and restoring that means the whole place feels loved, homely and timeless. Breakfasts, picnics and cream teas are all made from local and organic produce.



Compton Abbas village is situated just below Fontmell Down which is now part of the chalk down land owned by The NationalTrust. It's an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its wildflowers, grasses, butterflies and Iron Age cross dykes. It was purchased by The National Trust in memory of Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) as a reminder of some of his great works that were set in Dorset and his love of the county. No fertilisers or sprays have been used to encourage the colonisation of chalk-loving flora and in summer the profusion of flowers and butterflies give us a glimpse of what was once a familiar sight in the countryside.

Scrumpy Jack in the Tuck Shop


Tim and Lucy run The Old Forge as a smallholding. As well as their chickens roaming the orchard and yard, guests will also see their Arabian yearling Lily, a donkey called Scrumpy Jack and three generations of Labradoodles - Willow, Pudding and Poppet, in order from Grandma to Granddaughter. For larger groups that can't be accommodated by the Gypsy caravan and shepherd's huts, there are additional B&B rooms available and two self-catering cottages.

For a touch of vintage nostalgia, tiptoe over to the new Tuck Shop and weigh out a quarter of Rhubarb & Custard sweets! There's an honesty shop with Lucy's homemade hedgerow marmalade for sale, a sink, fridge and picnic utensils along with fuel for the barbecue. Just make sure Scrumpy Jack doesn't get there first...

Getting there

The Old Forge, Compton Abbas, Shaftesbury, Dorset, SP7 0NQ

Check in is from 4–10pm. If you are going to be arriving later than 10pm, please let the owners know and keep them informed of your progress if you're running late.

By car

From Shaftesbury, take the A350 signposted from Blandford, go through the village of Cann and Compton Abbas is the next village you come to. The Old Forge is the first property on your left just before the Compton Abbas sign. Turn left and follow the signs for parking.

By train

The nearest train station is Gillingham, public transport pick ups may be available by arrangement.

By balloon

Only if the wind is in the right direction. Back up plan recommended.

Booking Terms

Canopy & Stars low price promise
Book with us in confidence knowing you won’t find that place cheaper elsewhere. All of the prices we display are set and matched by our Owners. (In this world of foreign currency, we do have to say 'subject to exchange rates' for some of our European places.)

What does ‘from price’ mean?
Our ‘from price’ is based on a four night stay in low season and designed to help you to compare different prices across our collection. Some of our Owners vary their nightly rates and check in days throughout the year, so it may differ from the rate quoted below the calendar. It is quite common (although by no means universal) for places to charge a little more in peak season or for shorter stays, to cover changeover costs. Consider booking longer stays during the cooler months if you’re looking for the lowest nightly rates.

Agency Terms & Conditions

Except where otherwise specified, we Sawday’s Canopy & Stars Ltd Company No 09088366 of Merchants House, Wapping Road, Bristol, BS1 4RW act only as an Agent in respect of all bookings we take and/or make on your behalf. Sawday’s Canopy & Stars is part of the Alastair Sawday’s Group of Companies. We accept no liability in relation to any contract you enter into or for any services or arrangements you purchase (“Booking(s)”) or for the acts or omissions of any supplier(s) or other person(s) or party(ies) connected with any Booking. For all Bookings, your contract will be with the supplier of the Booking in question, and in most cases this will be the owner of the property you’ll be staying at (“Owner(s)”). When making your Booking we will arrange for you to enter into a contract with the Owner of the Booking. Your Booking with us is subject to these Agency Terms & Conditions and any specific booking conditions of the relevant Owner(s) you contract with. The Owner’s booking conditions may limit and/or exclude the Owner’s liability to you.

You may decide to make more than one Booking with us at the same time. The price charged in total for more than one Booking will always equal the prices charged separately for each individual Booking. All Bookings are available to be purchased separately at the same price as they are when more than one Booking is made. This means that any multiple Bookings do not constitute a package as defined in the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992.

By making a booking, you agree that:-

  1. you have read these Agency Terms & Conditions and agree to be bound by them;
  2. you consent to our use of your information in accordance with our Privacy Policy;


  1. you are over 18 years of age and where there may be age restrictions in place, you declare that you and all members of your party are of the appropriate age.


The Canopy & Stars online booking system enables Guests to make Bookings 24 hours a day. A Booking is confirmed on receipt of a 25% non-refundable deposit for all Bookings with check in dates of more than 10 weeks away. For all Bookings that have a check in date of less than 10 weeks before check in, payment for the Booking will be required in full and the entire Booking will be non-refundable. The Canopy & Stars telephone booking line is open Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm. When using the online enquiry form, for those Properties without online booking, please allow 24 working hours for us to contact you by telephone to confirm the Booking. If we are unable to reach you by phone we will attempt to contact you by email. We will contact you during Canopy & Stars working hours (Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm). Online or email enquiries will be dealt with in the order they are received, but please be aware that we cannot guarantee reservation of your selected dates until the receipt of suitable payment. Therefore, if possible, we do recommend that you book on the Canopy & Stars website using the online booking system.


1. Booking and payments


1.1 In order to confirm your chosen Booking, you must pay a non-refundable deposit as required by the Owner of the Booking in question (or full payment if booking within 10 weeks of the date of your check-in).


1.2 Your Booking is confirmed and a contract between you and the Owner will exist when we receive payment of the deposit and send you a booking confirmation on the Owner’s behalf. This booking confirmation will normally be sent out within 24 hours in the case of email and seven working days in the case of post, and will contain the details of your Booking and of payments made and due. If you have not received your booking confirmation within the specified time, please notify us as soon as possible by email ( Please check your confirmation carefully and report any incorrect or incomplete information to us immediately. As we act only as booking Agent, we have no responsibility for any errors in any documentation except where an error is made by us.


1.3 Where a deposit has been paid, full balance payment will be due 10 weeks in advance of your check in date and a reminder will be sent to you two weeks prior to this date, where applicable, by email. We automatically take the balance payment using the same card as used to make the deposit payment. It is your reponsibility to advise us if we should use a different card and to contact us by telephone (0117 204 7830) to arrange for alternative payment method. If the balance payment does not successfully go through as there is a problem with your card, such as it expiring, then we will contact you to try and take alternative payment. If we have been unable to take payment after two weeks of the balance due date, then with regret, we will notify the Owner who may cancel your Booking.


1.4 Except where otherwise advised or stated in the booking conditions of the Owner concerned, all monies you pay to us for a Booking will be held on behalf of the Owner(s) concerned.


1.5 Credit Card payments are processed via Alastair Sawday’s Publishing Co. Ltd who provide merchants services facilities to Sawday’s Canopy & Stars Ltd.


2. Cancellation and Amendment by You


2.1 Any cancellation or amendment request must be sent to us by email ( and will be considered and responded to within one working day of receipt. You are also advised to confirm all changes to our Customer Services Department by calling 0117 204 7830. Please ensure that you have received written confirmation of any changes to your Booking prior to travel. Whilst we will always try to help, we cannot guarantee that such requests will be met.


2.2 Amendments and cancellations can only be accepted in accordance with the booking conditions of the Owner of your Arrangements. The Owner may charge the cancellation or amendment charges shown in their booking conditions (which may be as much as 100% of the cost of the Arrangements and will normally increase closer to the date of departure). The Owner may charge cancellation or amendment charges in accordance with its own booking conditions, however for the sake of convenience only, we have outlined the Owner’s charges at clause 2.3 and 2.4 below. Please note that these are the Owner’s own cancellation and amendments charges, not Canopy & Stars’, and therefore the Owner may vary their charges as they wish, without notice to us. The correct charges will be notified to you at the time of your cancellation or amendments.  


2.3 Owner’s General Cancellation Charges:

2.3.1 Cancellation by you at any time will result in your deposit being forfeited, as all deposits are non-refundable.


2.3.2 All monies paid for a holiday (deposit and balance) are non-refundable within 10 weeks before check in date.


2.3.3 Cancellation of any holiday after it has been paid in full and at a date 10 weeks or more in advance of your check in date, will result in forfeiture of your deposit (or an amount equivalent where one was not paid as the holiday was paid in full) and the balance being returned to you. 


2.3.4  Cancellation insurance is available but will be a third party arrangement and not involve Canopy & Stars or the Owner in any way.


2.4 Owner’s General Amendment Charges:

2.4.1 Alterations to your Booking can only be made more than 10 weeks prior to the check in date, after which time alterations will be treated as cancellation. All alterations are subject to availability and may incur a £30 adminstration fee.


2.4.2 Differences in the total amount payable resulting from alterations will be refunded to you in the case of a decrease in price and paid by you in the case of increases in price.


Special note: Generally Owners will charge the above cancellation and amendment charges, however we must stress that these are a guide only and charges may differ from those shown here depending on the Owner. The exact charges will be notified to you by the Owner at the time of cancellation and/or can be found in the Owner’s own booking conditions which are available from the Owner on request.


3. Changes and Cancellations by the Owner

We will inform you as soon as reasonably possible if the Owner needs to make a significant change to your confirmed Arrangements or to cancel them. We will also liaise between you and the Owner in relation to any alternative Booking offered by the Owner but we will have no further liability to you.


4. Complaints

Because the contract for your Booking is between you and the Owner, any queries or concerns should be addressed to them. In the event that you have any complaint about your stay, please notify the Owner as soon as possible. If you don’t follow this procedure there will be less opportunity for the Owner to investigate and resolve your complaint and so make your stay as enjoyable as possible. Delays may also mean that amount of compensation you may be entitled to may be reduced. Whether or not your complaint is dealt with satisfactorily, please also contact us as we appreciate all feedback. It’s important to us and the Owner to know that you’ve enjoyed your stay or if anything could have been improved.


5. Pricing

Canopy & Stars reserve the right to amend advertised prices at any time on behalf of the Owner. We also reserve the right to correct errors in both advertised and confirmed prices.Special note: changes and errors sometimes occur.


6. Information & Accuracy

The information and prices shown on this website are varied from time to time and may change between the time you first view a property and make a Booking. You should check that all the details are as you expect prior to making a Booking. It is always possible that, despite our best efforts, some of the properties (including the features and extras available) may be incorrectly described and/or priced. If we discover this is the case after you have made a Booking, we reserve the right to contact you with details of the correct information and/or pricing and will give you the option to:

(1) proceed with the Booking based on the correct information and/or pricing, which may require the payment of an additional amount by you;


(2) subject to availability, change your booking dates to dates when the pricing can be honoured ad so no additional charge to you. In the event that a lower price can be offered for alternative dates then the difference would be refunded;


(3) cancel the Booking. If we do not receive your instructions within 5 days of contacting you, we reserve the right to cancel your Booking without liability to you.


7. Our Responsibility for your Booking

Your contract is with the Owner and its booking conditions apply. As Agent, we accept no responsibility for the actual provision of the Booking. Our responsibilities are limited to making the Booking in accordance with your instructions and acting properly in accordance with our legal duties as an Agent. We accept no responsibility for any information about the Booking that we pass on to you in good faith. However, in the event that we are found liable to you on any basis whatsoever, our maximum liability to you is limited to twice the cost of your Booking (or the appropriate proportion of this if not everyone on the Booking is affected). We do not exclude or limit any liability for death or personal injury that arises as a result of our negligence or that of any of our employees whilst acting in the course of their employment.


8. Pets

Not all properties accept pets. If you wish to take your pet on holiday, please advise us before booking and we can check whether pets are accepted at the property. You must obtain the prior consent of the Owner before taking any pets to the property. A nightly charge may be made by the Owner for each pet and additional terms may apply.


9. VAT

Many of the Owners of properties in the Canopy & Stars portfolio are not registered for VAT in which case no tax is payable. Where VAT is payable, the tax is included in the advertised holiday rental price.


10. Visa, passport and health requirements.

Unless you tell us otherwise, we assume that all members of your party are British citizens who hold or will hold full British passports valid for the entire duration of the Arrangements you chose to purchase. Information on visa, passport and health requirements, where given and applicable, is so given on this basis. Requirements may change and you are therefore strongly recommended to check the up to date position with the Owner of the Booking, Passport Office, appropriate embassy or consulate or your doctor as applicable in good time before the commencement of your holiday.


11. Insurance

You are strongly recommended to take out personal travel insurance for all members of your party. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance you purchase is adequate and appropriate for your particular needs. Please read your policy details and take them with you on holiday.


12. Special requests

If you have any special requests (for example dietary requirements, cots or room location), please let us know at the time of booking. We will pass on all such requests to the Owner, but unfortunately, we can't guarantee that they will be met and we will have no liability to you if they are not.


13. Group Bookings

Not all Owners accept Bookings for a single sex group (for example, a stag or hen party). Guests wanting to make such a Booking should check with us beforehand to enable us to check whether the Owner is prepared to accept the Booking. We will then advise you accordingly. In event that an Owner does not accept this type of Booking then it is with regret, that the Booking may be cancelled and cancellation fees may apply. It is the Guest’s responsibility to enquire with Canopy & Stars and/or check on our website beforehand to make sure that this type of booking is permitted.


14. Maximum Numbers

Please note that except by prior arrangement confirmed in writing, only the number of persons specified on a booking confirmation may occupy  a property. Most owners reserve the right to refuse admittance or revoke a booking if this condition is not observed and you are unlikely to receive any refund.


15. Your Responsibilities

Please note that you have a contract with the Owner of the property. As such you are under a responsibility to behave in a proper, appropriate and legal manner whilst staying at the property with due respect to the Owner, the Property and other guests and their property. You are responsible for informing the Owner of any losses or damage to the property as soon as possible. Please note that you will be liable to pay the Owner for any losses or damage to the property caused by you or a member of your party (except reasonable wear and tear). Some Owners will also require damage deposits. You must also leave the property by the check-out time specified on your booking. If any guest behaves inappropriately or improperly (of which the Owner will be the final judge on their Property), or illegally, the Owner reserves the right to ask the guest and their party (at their discretion) to leave the Property before the end of the holiday period and/or refuse any future bookings from you.  Any refund for so doing will be at the entire discretion of the Owner. In addition, the Owner reserves the right to sue the guest for any loss, damage or injury caused to the Owner, the Property or to other guests and/or their property. As agent, we will have no liability to you in these circumstances. 


16. Governing Law and Jurisdiction

These terms and conditions have been drafted in accordance with and are governed by English law and the courts of England and Wales have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to any and all disputes arising out of these Agency Terms & Conditions.


17. Discrepancies

In case of a discrepancy between these Agency Terms & Conditions and any other Canopy & Stars literature, these Agency Terms & Conditions shall prevail.


18. Validity clause

In the event that a court finds that a condition in these Agency Terms & Conditions is illegal or void, the illegal or void provision will be severed from the remainder of the Agency Terms & Conditions, which will continue to be valid and have full force and effect.