The Bear

Wareham, Dorset
+44 (0)1929 288150
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A smartly-refurbished old coaching inn sitting by the river and run with an emphasis on fair trade, sustainability and excellent local food


11 rooms


Rooms sleep 2

Children welcome
Pets welcome
Babies welcome

The Experience

Built in 1720 and Grade II star listed, this was a dusty old wreck before the enthusiastic new owners took it on. Find a lovely bar with a wood-burning stove, very warm and cosy; a library with a mix of tables and comfy chairs for a quiet read, a big dining room and a café with a high beamed ceiling and a more contemporary feel. Quirky oil paintings dot richly-coloured walls and the proportions are grand.

Bedrooms, suitably bear-like, are all a good size with handmade mattresses of Dartmoor wool, English linen curtains and delicious local biscuits – some have huge copper baths and all have Bramley soaps. Wake to homemade granola, buttermilk pancakes, bacon and maple syrup, eggs how you like. Menus from chef Chris Button are nicely short, ethical and local with game in season, tapas nights and Dorset ales and wines.

Stroll through one of the few remaining Saxon walled towns for shops and the pretty quayside, bustling with boats.

The Bear - Gallery

We think you'll love

  • Having afternoon tea with home-baked scones by the cosy wood-burner
  • Bringing your dog and walking for miles in such glorious countryside
  • Spending a day at the seaside with a picnic and returning to a tasty supper
The Bear - Gallery

You should know

  • No free parking during the day - the car park is a one-minute walk
  • Afternoon tea not included in the room price
  • Dogs are charged at £15 a night


  • EV charger
  • Swimming pool
  • Hot tub
  • Garden
  • Open fire / woodburner
  • Breakfast included
  • Breakfast available
  • Meals available
  • Vegetarian meals
  • Parking on premises
  • Free parking nearby
  • Accessible by public transport
  • WiFi
  • Television
  • Spa
  • Central heating
  • Limited mobility
  • Wheelchair access
  • Mobile reception
  • Hob
  • Bar
  • Barbecue
  • Licensed premises
  • Paid parking nearby
  • Air conditioning
  • Relaxation areas
  • Washing machine
  • Tennis court
  • No smoking
  • Credit cards
  • Working farm
  • Owner has pets
  • Pets welcome

Family friendly

  • Baby monitor
  • Books and toys
  • Children welcome
  • Babies welcome
  • Stair gates
  • High chair
  • Fire guard
  • Cot available


  • Pub/bar within 3 miles
  • Restaurant within 3 miles
  • Shop within 3 miles


  • Bikes available
  • Food courses
  • Kayaking
  • Other courses
  • Sailing
  • Surfing
  • Wild swimming

& pricing

Booking information

Check in
Check out
Booking restrictions
Min stay: 2 nights on high season weekends. £15 off nightly rates for single occupancy.
No smoking
Smoking not permitted anywhere in the property.
Restaurants within walking distance.


Nightly price
from £110
£40 surcharge per night for extra guest on futon.
4 Family rooms for 2
From £140
7 Doubles
From £110



Excellent stay. Beautiful room, comfy bed. Very clean. Food was delicious and cooked really well (halibut and steak). We walked round the walls and explored the town and then the coast further afield. Would recommend.

Jane, Winchester

A warm and very comfortable family-run place to stay in an interesting part of Dorset with grand walking, and lovely beaches nearby. Return to home cooking, places to sit quietly by a fireside, very cheerful owners and super bedrooms.

Nicola, Sawday's Inspector

Read more reviews


The neighbourhood

This is the gateway to Purbeck and a very pretty town. The Granary has a deck for lovely views with a sundowner. Walk to Corfe Castle from the quay - NT village with a ruined castle. Join the Purbeck Way or the South West Coast Path, hire bikes and ride cross country to Studland, paddle board, kayak, beach comb. There is safe storage at the hotel for wet suits, bikes and boards etc.

Local points of interest from Janet & Chris Strange

  • The Wareham Two Rivers Walks follow footpaths and quiet roads alongside the rivers Frome and Piddle. There are two circular walks which are between 2 miles (3.2km) and 4 miles (6.5km), starting at Wareham Quay.
  • The Tank Museum holds the finest and most historically significant collection of fighting armour in the world. Unrivalled in scope and depth, we care for 300 vehicles from 26 nations. The world’s first tank `Little Willie `is one of the many (6.5 miles).
  • Careys Secret Garden - Hidden among the rolling hills of a nature reserve in Dorset’s Isle of Purbeck is Careys Secret Garden. Left wild (& most definitely untamed) for far too long, Careys Secret Garden is gently coming back to life, in walking distance.
  • Monkey World - Ape Rescue Centre is a 65-acre park in the heart of the Dorset countryside. It's home to over 260 rescued monkeys & apes of 24 different species, 7 miles from The Bear.


Janet & Chris Strange

Janet (who's been in hospitality for many years) and her husband Chris bought the hotel in 2018. They're passionate about good food, animal welfare and supporting local suppliers. Janet is round and about on most days so you'll probably meet her, otherwise one of her friendly staff. They're a real foodie family - their daughter has a café and deli in Swanage called Love Cake.