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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Gorgeous 2 Bedroom Country Cottage With Lovely Garden Views & Great Location

Bedrooms 2
Half Baths1
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 - 7 nights


About the property

Beautiful, Cosy & Tastefuly Decorated With Perfect Location for Visiting Dorest

This beautiful terrace cottage is owned by a renowned travel writer & contains decorations from all over the world - as well as a myriad of books! There are 2 bedrooms, a cosy lounge with open fire and a large airy kitchen & dining area. French windows lead from the kitchen to the garden which is small, a little wild, but much loved -- there is plenty of room to have lunch outside but you might struggle to organize a five-a-side football tournament. There are beautiful views from the end of the garden southwards towards the Dorset Downs. As well as the kitchen and living room, the downstairs has a small book-lined library, a bedroom with two single beds and a guest loo. Upstairs is a large landing with a divan or day bed that could be used to accommodate a fifth person, or perhaps just for afternoon naps, a double bedroom and a large family bathroom with bath, sink, bidet and shower. The house stands on a quiet road on the edge of an even quieter village. There are plenty of walks from the front door. There is WiFi throughout the house, TV and DVD, a stereo system for CD's and all necessary equipment and facilities, including a gas hob, in a well-stocked kitchen. Weekly guests will find a welcome pack of essentials on arrival to get them started, including a bottle of wine, and the kitchen contains all the usual stuff like tea, coffee, salt, pepper, olive oil, etc etc that guests are welcome to use.

Stanley Stewart
Member since: 2014
Premier Partner

This HomeAway partner has demonstrated and is committed to fast response times, the best rates, and a great guest experience.

Speaks: english, french, italian
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 16, 2018

About Stanley Stewart

I am travel writer and author. I was born in Ireland, grew up in Canada but have lived all my adult life in England. When I am not travelling, I currently divide my time between Rome and the UK.

As well as three travel books, I write regularly for most of the national newspapers in the UK including the Sunday Times, the Daily Telegraph and the Financial Times as well as for National Geographic Traveler in the States. I am a contributing editor at Conde Nast Traveller UK.

Stanley Stewart purchased this house in 2002

Why Stanley Stewart chose Fifehead Magdalen

When I moved out of London, after thirty years there, I fell for Dorset simply before it was so beautiful. I had travelled here before, and I found myself coming back again and again. It is one of the most rural counties in England, and the only one with no motorways. There are also no cities other than Bournemouth down on the coast. It is a landscape of green rolling hills and small quirky villages -- a storybook landscape -- and I love it. I find the beauty of the area inspires me every day, and my cottage is the perfect quiet hideaway from where I could work, and from where I can explore one of the loveliest parts of England.

What makes this house unique

This house is a real home. I live here on the rare occassions when I am in the UK. All the pesonal stuff of course may have been cleared away for rental but the house will have a homely cozy lived-in feeling rather than the rather spartan hollow atmosphere of some rental properties. I love it and I hope you will too. There is lots of wonderful walks from the front door, and our road is part of the National Cycle Way. There are at least a half dozen wonderful gastro pubs with seriously good food close to hand, and it is an area to explore -- with lots to see and do.


Fifehead Magdalen House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 5
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Rural
  • Village
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Fireplace
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen ...
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , tub , shower
    Bathroom 2 - toilet
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 5
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 2 - 2 twin/ single
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 Double Bed
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Music Library
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • Toys
  • Video Library
  • Deck / Patio
  • Lawn / Garden
  • autumn foliage
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • museums
  • playground
  • recreation center
  • restaurants
  • ruins
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • tennis


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(14 traveler reviews)

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Gorgeous 2 Bedroom Country Cottage With Lovely Garden Views & Great Location
average rating of 5.0 based on 14 reviews

Lovely place to stay

  • 5 of 5

What an amazing home to have the privilege of staying in. We felt relaxed as soon as we arrived. The owner, Stanley, gave great instructions on how to find the property and how to access it. When it was time to come home, we were reluctant to leave, not only was the cottage beautiful but the surroundings were great as well. Would love to visit the area again and would definitely come back to Stanley's cottage.

  • Submitted: Jul 26, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Beautiful, interesting cottage in a great and quiet location

  • 5 of 5

An interesting place to stay full of books and unusual items from all over the world. Quite spacious with a secluded back garden and delightful forest walks nearby. A great place to stay to explore Dorset and Somerset.

  • Submitted: Apr 16, 2017
  • Stayed: April 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Charming comfort in rural Dorset

  • 5 of 5

Everything about this cottage was an absolute delight, so much so it's probably best kept as a secret !

  • Submitted: May 31, 2016
  • Stayed: May 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Beautifully comfortable cottage in tranquil surroundings close to local attractions.

  • 5 of 5

We were very impressed from the moment we entered the cottage. The kitchen diner was extremely well equipped and perfect for cooking and chatting. We loved the decor of the cottage and both bedrooms were a good size and very comfortable. Loving the day bed on the upstairs landing for afternoon reading/snoozing! We had a rotten days weather on the Sunday we were there but somehow it didn't seem to matter. We lit the fire and watched a movie.....perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon. Shaftsbury and Sherborne are a short drive away and well worth a visit. We will certainly return to the area and would be delighted to stay at the cottage again.

In summary, a fantastic cottage that I would recommend to anyone!!

PS I should mention the books!! No need to take any reading material with you as there are thousands!!!

  • Submitted: Jan 23, 2016
  • Stayed: January 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Very pleasant stay.

  • 5 of 5

This is an architecturally interesting house with a homelike feel. The back bench along the rear of the property has nice views over the surrounding fields and is a nice place to rest or have a morning cup of coffee. The house has a very usable kitchen, nice eating area, and a comfortable sitting area. Good instructions and information on the local area were left for us by the owner. Although there aren't any stores or eating establishments within walking distance, there are plenty within a short drive. I would recommend this location to friends and relatives.

  • Submitted: Oct 8, 2015
  • Stayed: September 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Beautiful house

  • 5 of 5

The house is truly lovely. It is located in a small, rural village and has a great view over the Blackmore Vale. The house is well kept and beautifully decorated with souvenirs the owner brought home from obviously many travels araund the world. The house is full of the most interesting books. You'll find novels you wanted to read for a long time, books you loved and read some time ago, a lot of poems and a great deal of books about Dorset. We felt very much at home and the rainy days were as lovely as the sunny days, when we roamed the area via footpathes or visited the most beautiful manors and huge houses around. The recommendations in the leaflet, the owner provides, are very good. A wonderful holiday! We were very sad, when we had to leave.

  • Submitted: Sep 1, 2015
  • Stayed: August 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
40 Miles
Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and London
Nearest Barpub
1 Miles
Ship Inn
Nearest Ferry
30 Miles
Nearest Train
4 Miles
Gillingham, Dorset, a mainline to London Waterloo
Nearest Motorway
6 Miles
Nearest Restaurant
1 Miles
Ship Inn, The Udder Farm Shop Cafe
Nearest Beach
35 Miles
Burton Bradstock
Car: necessary

Fifehead Magdalen is a quiet village in a wonderful position in North Dorset close to the Wiltshire and Somerset borders. It is in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (see with great opportunities for walking, and is superb base for exploring the West Country. Fifehead is ten minutes from Shaftesbury and 15 from Sherborne, both charming Dorset towns with funky independent shops, cafes and restaurants. Longleat Safari Park, Salisbury, Bruton, Blandford Forum and the wonderful National Trust gardens at Stourhead are all close at hand while Stonehenge, Cerne Abbas, Bath, Bristol, Glastonbury, Wells, Purbeck, Lyme Regis, the New Forest, and Dorset's Jurassic Coast make easy day excursions. There are shops, gastro pubs, restaurants, and more National Trust properties in the area while Fifehead Wood, a conserved woodland, is right on the edge of the village. There is a wonderful farm shop nearby and plenty of local supermarkets. My own idea of a perfect day is a morning in Sherborne, checking out the glorious Abbey and the shops, then a walk on the ridges above Corton Denham, with stunning views towards Glastonbury Tor and Alfred's Tower, followed by lunch at the Queens Arms, a wonderful gastro pub, and then perhaps trip down to Golden Cap on the sea to hike along the Jurassic Coast with dinner in West Bay or Lyme Regis. Or even better in another great gastro pub like the Stapleton Arms in Buckhorn Weston (5 minutes away) or the Museum Tavern up in Farnham on Cranborne Chase. Or an evening in Bath (50 minutes away) to take in a play at the Theatre Royal.

Other Ideas:

New Forest Cycling: Just an hour away is the New Forest which is great to explore on foot or by bike. There are maps in the house and you can rent bikes at the wonderfully helpful Forest Leisure Cycling in Burley where there are also loads of cafes, pubs & shops.

Flying Experiences at Compton Abbas Airfield From flying in vintage aircraft and driving classic cars to the airfield for champagne lunch... and flying lessons.

Dorset Art Weeks: For two weeks every year (Typically end of May & beginning June) Artists all over Dorset open up their homes and studios to visitors to browse their work, learn about their techniques and inspiration and purchase direct from the artists themselves.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Pet Fee $41.55
Refundable damage deposit $207.73
Cleaning $55.39

A cleaning fee of £40 will be added to any rental fees.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.

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