Deep in Thomas Hardy country, this 18th-century pub is tucked away among pastel-hued flint and stone houses in a valley formed by Sydling Water. With many lovely walks starting from the pub, the staff are accustomed to welcoming muddy-booted families and wet dogs. Relax in the open-plan bar with a pint of Trelawny, a glass of Sandford Orchards Devon Red craft cider, or one of over 20 wines sold by the glass. Next, choose where to eat: the bar, with its open fire; the conservatory with oak, fruitwood and scrubbed wood tables and a deep chesterfield; the restaurant with an exposed well; or the suntrap front terrace. The food is modern British in approach, and menus change daily. Look to the specials list for fresh fish, the pub’s strength; it’s ordered the night before from the quaysides in Weymouth and Bridport. There’s a good vegetarian selection too.