The Dower House

Winterborne Houghton, Dorset
Bed & Breakfast
+44 (0)1258 881344

A charming, artistic family home in a valley deep in the Dorset Downs. Come here to relax, lap up the peace, join footpaths from the door


2 rooms


Rooms sleep 2

Children welcome
Pets welcome

The Experience

This lovely rambling farmhouse has a generous spirit – happily settle in for few days. Jane and Chris give you hugely comfortable bedrooms with garden flowers, continental breakfasts with homemade jams and compote, warm croissants, granola and fruit, and a sitting room with books and a wood fire.

As a sculptor and painter, Jane is passionate about portraying the movement and essence of animals and wildlife. You’re welcome to look around her studio and you’ll see her sculptures out in the garden and scattered around the house, which is full of paintings done by her, the family or local artists. 

It’s a breeze to explore Dorset from here: 15 minutes to Blandford, Bryanston or Milton Abbey School; 35 minutes to Salisbury, Sherborne, Shaftesbury or the coast. There’s a pool in summer, and the garden has table tennis and croquet. Chris will lend maps for the many beautiful walks and you can bring your horse too – there’s a livery next door. Back home, owls will hoot you to sleep.

The Dower House - Gallery

We think you'll love

  • Wandering around, enjoying all the art, sculptures and beautiful interiors
  • The many peaceful walks from the doorstep and sitting in the shade of the huge copper beech on a summer's day
  • Jane and Chris's natural, warm open-house informality
The Dower House - Gallery

You should know

  • The twin room has a separate private bathroom


  • Swimming pool
  • Hot tub
  • Garden
  • Open fire / woodburner
  • Breakfast included
  • Breakfast available
  • Meals available
  • Vegetarian meals
  • Oven
  • 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
  • Microwave oven
  • No smoking
  • Credit cards
  • Working farm
  • Owner has pets
  • Dishwasher
  • Pets welcome

Family friendly

  • Baby monitor
  • Books and toys
  • Children welcome
  • Babies welcome
  • Stair gates
  • High chair
  • 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
Minimum stay: 2 nights in high season.
Occasional weekends
No smoking
Smoking not permitted anywhere in the property.
This property is part of a working farm or vineyard.
Owner has pets
Animals living on the property


Nightly price
from £110
1 Twin
From £110
1 Double
From £130



We spent a really enjoyable couple of nights with Chris and Jane in their comfortable, gorgeous house and garden, complete with Jane's sculptures which are stunning. The house is full of lovely things, the breakfasts are delicious, and they are warm and helpful hosts. It's great walking country.

Margaret, London

My Mum and I stayed with Jane and Chris recently...and it was so good that my Mum is returning next week with my sister! Such wonderful and friendly hosts, a stunning property, cuddly dogs, and Jane's beautiful sculptures scattered for your perusal. We had such a lovely stay and although it was only for 2 nights (wish it could have been longer!), we felt truly refreshed by the end. Thank you Jane and Chris!

Kate, Cambridge

Jane and Chris were delightful hosts (along with their friendly pets, Teasel, Truffle, and Ottie!) They were welcoming, helpful, and every morning, a healthy and nutritious breakfast was prepared, served with a side of excellent conversation. The house itself is cosy and plush, with a homely lounge and puffy bed pillows (it felt like sleeping on a cloud!). There is also a range of facilities at the disposal of the guests, including a pool, a ping-pong table and board games. We all loved the lush garden and Jane's fabulous sculptures which adorned it. All in all, cannot recommend enough!

Nathalie, London

We couldn’t have chosen a better place to stay for four days. The Dower House is beautiful and spacious and blissfully quiet, but what really makes it special is the warm hospitality of Jane and Chris. To discover that we were living in a contemporary art gallery was a bonus, and they clearly enjoyed discussing their collection as much as we did. This included Jane’s powerful sculptures of animals - . We will certainly return.

Joanna, London

Truly a "hidden gem" of North Dorset. Away from the agricultural fields which occupy much of this region, this is a green landscape complete with mixed woodlands, soaring hills, and an abundance of pastureland. For peace and tranquillity, it is hard to beat. Pure heaven for walkers and wildlife lovers. Chris and Jane's artistic home is warm and welcoming.

Angie, Sawday's inspector

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The neighbourhood

Higher Houghton is a hamlet on a no-through lane, with a small handful of houses including The Dower House. Spot wildlife galore: deer, foxes, masses of birds and hedgehogs in the garden. The nearest village is Winterborne Houghton, a mile away, and there are some good pubs within a 10-minute drive. You're in the Blackmore Vale, a walker's paradise with The Wessex Ridgeway Trail and other paths.

Local points of interest from Jane Shaw

  • There are plenty of country houses nearby, such as Kingston Lacy, Athelhampton House, Lulworth Castle or Shaftesbury Abbey. We are a short drive to Blandford, and Milton Abbas, or just a little longer to Salisbury, Sherborne, Bournemouth and Wareham.
  • On the doorstep are some of the most amazing walks in Dorset as we are in a protected valley, with bridle and footpaths just outside our front door to Bulbarrow or Hambledon Hill, or you could visit an ancient fort at Badbury Rings.
  • If you are a lover of champagne, you can visit Langhams Wine Estate, where you can sample the local wine and have a delicious lunch. Enjoy glorious views sitting outside, or have a cosy lunch in the cafe area with homemade cakes!
  • As an art lover, you maybe tempted to visit Sculpture by the Lakes, where you can see some of the amazing sculptures by Simon Gudgeon and wander through the gardens - perhaps stay for supper at the gourmet restaurant which is open every Friday night.
  • We are 35 minutes from the coast, where you can explore Weymouth, Durdle Door, Lyme Regis, Kimmeridge or the fun market town of Bridport. There are also some lovely restaurants on the coast, such as Hix Restaurant, The Pig or some of Dorset's secrets
  • Within 10 minutes' drive of a number of schools such as Bryanston, Milton Abbey, and Knighton, and about 20 minutes from Hanford, Clayesmore, and Canford, so ideal if you are wanting to visit for an Exeat or your child's performance in a play or concert.


Jane Shaw

Jane is an artist and sculptor who has a studio attached to the house; Chris a business consultant. They've travelled/lived in various parts of the world including the Caribbean, Las Vegas and France. Jane’s deep love of animals and wildlife inspires her work. They and their children love welcoming new people into their home. Truffle and Teasel the dogs, Ottie the cat and Tealy the horse live here too.