Philanthropic gestures don’t come much better than a group of locals financing the renovation of this once-disused village pub. That’s what happened to the Royal Oak, now happily restored to the heart of the community. On a quiet village lane stands this whitewashed building with thatched roof and porch. Inside, neutral walls and a pastel palette are complemented by light oak furniture from a local carpenter and a cornucopia of beams in the dining room. All is airy and bright with floor to ceiling windows on two walls – a great spot for breakfasts of fresh fruit, muesli, or a full English with local sourdough bread. Bedrooms calm and soothe, each designed individually, with heavenly beds, Egyptian cotton linen, carefully toned fabrics and throws, and sparkling bathrooms. Open all day, this is somewhere to whittle away the hours reading the papers, playing board games, supping the local ales, brandy and cider, and tucking into great food with a local provenance. Head out to walk the surrounding countryside, visit stately homes, or explore Stonehenge, Shaftesbury and Hardy’s Wessex.