The Craftsman’s Cottage


Near Shaftesbury, Wiltshire

Divine 3-bedroom cottage with countryside walks from the front door

3 Bedrooms

2 Bathrooms

Child friendly

Dog friendly


Private garden

Walk to a pub

Walk to a shop



Space & setting.

In the Wiltshire village of Semley, recorded human activity dates back more than a millenia, so it’s fitting that its prettiest home has its own tangible sense of yesteryear. Built in the 19th C from Shaftesbury greenstone, its elegant facade hides a fascinating secret: knockout interiors. This is a masterclass in the best of British craftsmanship, from the 17thC carved oak coffer, to the coveted Pinch sofa and Ercol sideboard. The owner drew her inspiration from the Arts and Crafts movement, sourcing contemporary and vintage furnishings from all 4 countries and the result is exquisite. Bedrooms — 2 doubles and a twin — are resplendent in William Morris wallpaper; the deVol kitchen houses ceramics by John Julian.

Though London is 2 hours away, it feels much further. Here, there’s time to curl up in front of woodburning stoves with a classic novel from the shelves, and to slow-roast meals and savour them indoors or out. The Edwardian-style garden overlooks Semley Common (heaven for dogs) and there’s a British pub a wander away. Come for pure relaxation, amidst the most incredible curation of home-grown talent.

Getting here: drive, or train to Tisbury (direct from London Waterloo) and taxi (7 mins)

“We moved to Semley 18 years ago when we found a disused Baptist church by chance. We fell in love with the village, and years later bought Semley Lodge to bring to life a long-held dream that combined a passion for hospitality with a passion for British art, craft and design.” Owner, Amanda

My Kip favourites

She loves
“Having breakfast at the little corner table in the kitchen and looking out at the garden, sheltered by a huge oak tree.”

We love
The soaring vaulted ceilings, and beautiful British fabrics.

You may not love
A 3- or 4-night minimum stay. Patchy mobile reception.

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  • Compton McRae, a fine food emporium of local produce and a climate-controlled cheese room, is a 20-minute stroll.
  • We love a lazy lunch at Pythouse Kitchen Garden or The Beckford Arms (5-10 mins’ drive respectively).
  • You’re 3 miles from from Anglo-Saxon Shaftesbury, with its Hovis-ad Gold Hill and big views over the Blackmore Vale.
  • Potter around world-class art galleries. Messums Wiltshire is housed inside a 12thC tithe barn, or head to Hauser & Wirth in Bruton, Somerset.
  • Talking of Bruton, there’s plenty here for an easy day. Lunch At The Chapel then buy bread from its bakery and cheese from Westcombe Dairy; stock up on presents at lifestyle shop Caro Somerset; visit King Alfred’s Tower; have dinner at Osip (proud recipients of a Michelin star).
  • Stourhead is stunning for a walk. The Henry Hoare II-designed gardens look particularly beautiful in autumn, and there are magical Christmas light displays in December.
  • Take a long walk along the Jurassic Coast, then refuel at The Forrester, a low beamed, cosy pub with excellent food.


  • Detatched cottage in a Wiltshire village
  • Three bedrooms: 2 with kingsized beds, 1 with twin beds
  • Travel cot and highchair to borrow
  • Ensuite shower room for the master bedroom; the other rooms share a family bathroom with tub and separate shower; Bramley bath products
  • Additional annexe with kingsize bed and bathroom available for £195 per night when 7 or 8 guests staying
  • Open-plan living downstairs
  • Fully equipped kitchen with basic ingredients and a welcome hamper
  • Catered meals/hampers available on request
  • Breakfast table and full dining table
  • Sofa area warmed by a woodburner
  • Additional snug with sofas and woodburner
  • Board games, books, Smart TV with Netflix; great WiFi
  • Wellies to borrow
  • Dog friendly – No golden retrievers
  • The owners live nearby if you need them
  • Walk to a pub, village shop and a fine food emporium; drive to restaurants
  • Booking conditions: a 3-night minimum stay, which rises to 4 nights during school holidays except over Christmas when it is a 7-night minimum. Please note, no additional visitors/guests other than those booked without prior arrangement.
  • Remember to pack: slippers

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