Extraordinary Places to Stay in Bridport: Review of Outbuildings

Posted on 2nd Jun 2024. In , , ,



We stayed complimentary on a midweek package at Outbuildings, Bridport, in order to produce this review

Outbuildings in Bridport is a rare breed. This luxury farm’otel (as it’s called by its owners) has an unmatched ability to lavish you with incredible food, drink and experiences, and help you feel completely at home in the West Dorset countryside.

Easily a destination in its own right, Outbuildings is setting the standard for a new type of homegrown experiential staycation. We were lucky enough to stay recently – to try out one of its exclusive midweek packages – and left in no doubt that this Bridport jewel knows the true definition of outstanding.


“At this farm’otel, you’re given the best hospitality that Bridport has to offer. All that’s left for you to do is nestle into the beautiful surroundings, whilst the owner-family go out of their way to ensure your time here is remarkable.”



About Outbuildings, Bridport

Outbuildings is portfolio of rustically luxurious rooms and cabins on a 10-acre Dorset family farm just a short drive from the popular market town of Bridport and the coastal harbour of West Bay. Centred around the main farm courtyard are 5 smart, dog-friendly rooms and positioned a few shorts steps from the central farm are 3 gorgeous cabins and huts.

The brainchild of former Bridport hoteliers, Karen and Bill Whitehead, Outbuildings in Bridport opened its doors in 2009. It was born out of the family’s desire to preserve the dairy farm they call home and share the area they love with guests. Outbuildings is still run by Karen and Bill today, along with the rest of their family, Ed, Dom and George.

Alongside the gorgeous rooms, there is a smorgasbord of unforgettable on-site experiences and concierge comforts for you to enjoy, delivered by the team (and sometimes accompanied by the wagging tail of the family’s dog).

At the centre of Outbuildings is the Cart Shed; a social hub that houses Outbuildings’ fabulous bar and restaurant, which is open all day for guests to enjoy. The family’s farmhouse is also on-site and the core Outbuildings’ team is the Whitehead family themselves. Which is why this farm’otel offers you such an authentic and rewarding experience: the people who look after you, genuinely care about you having a wonderful time here.


At Outbuildings, service often comes with a wagging tail


The Rooms

The 5 gorgeous ensuite rooms at Outbuildings are exceptional; each one is decorated in a grown-up rustic style, created personally by the family team who, clearly, have a superb talent for craftsmanship and interior design.

Antique chests of drawers sit alongside upcycled leather sofas (Karen up-cycles and recovers most of the furniture herself); fur throws sleep next to faux-skin rugs, which cover flagstone floors. The walls hang with local prints and striking handmade art; and the windows are draped with thick black-out curtains – handstitched by Karen.

All the Outbuildings’ spaces feel grown-up and sophisticated, as if London was down for the weekend with its Chelsea boots firmly off.

The rooms, The Sty, The Farrows, The Pressing Room, The Cider Room and The Granary, all come with their own big personality and high-end thrills. We’re talking jaw-dropping William Holland baths, ready to light log burners and Apple TVs.

The Pressing Room (from £270pn, dog-friendly) sleeps 2 adults and 1 infant, with a super-king bed, a huge linen sofa and – brace yourself – a stunning William Holland brass bateau bath at the end of the bed.

The Farrows (from £200pn, dog-friendly) looks out over the inner farm and sleeps 2 adults in a double bed. It has ample space for you both and outside, just beyond the solid oak stable door, is a private walled patio where you can watch the easy pace of farm life flow by.

The Sty (from £200pn, dog-friendly) sits at the heart of the farm, next door to The Farrows, and sleeps 2 adults in one king bed. It’s a decadent space with a big smart TV and a wonderful private terrace with fireplace.

The Cider Room (from £270pn, dog-friendly) boasts one of the most unique bathtubs at Outbuildings with its solid bull’s head tap and al fresco vista over the West Dorset countryside. Sleeps 2 adults and 1 infant.

The Granary (from £230pn, no dogs) is a masterful space made up of 2 rooms, ideal for 2 – 6 adults. We love the huge emperor-sized bed in the master bedroom and the show-stopping William Holland square tin bath next to it.


The Cabins & Hut

Set a little further away from the main hub of the Outbuildings’ farm are 3 extra rooms: The Coop, The Pen and The Byre. Each one is as extraordinary as the other, boasting bespoke craftsmanship, architecture and design, and featuring the Outbuildings’ trademark colour palette and rustic-luxe.

The Coop (from £330pn, small dogs only) is a marvellous transformation of a former chicken shed and sits away from the main farm in a nook of its own. It sleeps 2 in a superior king bed that’s set on a mezzanine. The views from the open-air copper William Holland bathtub are divine.

The Pen (from £240pn, no dogs) is a magnificent hand-built shepherd’s hut for 2 with a king-sized bed, copper William Holland bathtub and a floor-to-ceiling glass front which gifts you endless countryside views.

The Byre (from £270pn, dog-friendly) is made up of two massive glass-fronted rectangular spaces (available to book separately) facing out onto an endless sea of rolling Dorset countryside. In each, there’s a super-king bed, an outdoor brass bateau bath and a huge copper and marble shower with views outside.



Stay at Outbuildings midweek, like we did, and you can save as much as £200 on your short break. They offer three unique midweek-only packages: the Midweek Pig Out, the Summer Laze and the Winter Lie-in.



The Setting

With its clutch of chickens, veg patches, fish-filled ponds, and sheep-speckled fields, Outbuildings in Bridport certainly delivers on the rural front.

The farm is a small working affair; not the huge commercial enterprise it once was, so you won’t be woken by herds of cows or the roar of tractors in the morning – and you don’t need to fret about forgetting your wellies or losing a shoe to the mud. The going here is firm underfoot.

It’s tucked away inland so you won’t see the sea from your room, but you can still expect a pretty vista: The Pressing Room, The Cider Room and The Pen face south with views that roll out over the village of Bradpole.

The Sty and The Farrows benefit from private gardens surrounded by a wonderful collection of botanical wonders (all beautifully planted and looked after by Bill, the owner) as well as easy access to the farm’s pretty courtyard. The Byre and The Coop each have their own views that roll out towards the horizon.

Although rural, Outbuildings is handily placed next to the A3066: a main route carrying visitors from the north down towards Bridport. So you’ve easy, quick access to the town by car as well as the coastal hotspots beyond, such as Charmouth and Lyme Regis.


The Bolt-on Extras

Outbuildings in Bridport prides itself on being more than just a place to stay. Which is why, when you stay, you can enjoy a range of fabulous bolt-on experiences – delivered with the same heart, creativity and spirit of generosity that is the signature of the entire Outbuildings’ brand.

There’s the enchanting Hay Barn Cinema – yours for three magical hours, where you snuggle under heated blankets, tucked in-between hay bales, with hot chocolate and sweet treats on hand and a huge 3 metre cinema screen ready to play a film of your choice. From £80 for 2 guests.

In the woods, you’ll find the Outbuildings’ wood-fired hot tub – here, with the Bubbles in the Woods experience you can soak undisturbed for 4 hours winding the ‘crank’ for a champagne tipple when you fancy it (from £50).

There’s also the brilliant Cart Shed Cook Out experience (for £65 for 2) – where you can enjoy your own private BBQ experience in the pretty farm courtyard. As part of this experience, you get your own mini BBQ – which is fired up and ready for when you arrive – along with a delicious selection of food to grill: we enjoy homemade garlic bread, veggie skewers, homemade slaw, salad, potato wedges and brownie and ice-cream to close. Simply turn up, order a drink and start cooking.

On Mon, Weds and Friday, Outbuildings’ run Chef Mark’s Supper Club – a five-star three-course seasonal meal cooked onsite by Mark Kick, a former chef of London’s West Street Ivy Restaurant. All served in an atmosphere of candlelight and cosiness in the Cart Shed restaurant.

And that’s not all. With the wonderful ‘Text for a Tipple’ service, send a simple SMS to the team and you’ll get a ‘tipple’ of your choice delivered to your room or wherever you are on the farm. It’s the same level of concierge service you’d expect at a high-end hotel, effortlessly and originally nailed by the Outbuildings’ crew.


So, why is Outbuildings extraordinary as a place to stay in Bridport?

Because the family who run Outbuildings don’t simply give you a gorgeous place to stay in Dorset. They work flat out as a team, using their individual skills and talents, to ensure your experience of staying on the farm they love is beyond your expectations. As a result, not only are the rooms unequalled – seriously, you won’t find anything else like them in this part of the world – the experiences, the ambience, and the hospitality here is genuine and heartfelt. 

Karen makes the fruit cake that’s waiting for you in your room, as well as the incredible breakfast and lunches that are served in the Cart Shed. Bill keeps the gardens and the surrounding farmland in pristine condition.

Dom and Ed serve you dinner, run tipples to your room and make sure you have enough local information to get the most out of your visit not be left wanting. George’s carpentry skills are evident in the bespoke spaces themselves and the beautiful handmade furniture in many of the rooms. Alongside the family, there’s a small Outbuildings’ team who are equally as approachable, helpful and friendly.

Outbuildings is, quite simply, original and brilliant. It’s been created from the heart up – and it shows; as a place to stay in Bridport, it really takes some beating.


Places to stay in Bridport don't come much more outstanding than Outbuildings. We wouldn't stay anywhere else.


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Claire Robinson Founder of Weekend Candy
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