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The Woodlanders | Luxury Self-Catering | Shaftesbury, Wiltshire

The Woodlanders

Shaftesbury, Dorset, UK

Families looking for a wholesome break in the country need look no further than this luxury self-catering cottage in the rolling Wiltshire Hills. Set within flower-filled gardens, the Woodlanders is only a short drive from the picturesque town of Shaftesbury, boasting both privacy and close proximity of amenities. Revel in the peaceful solitude and branch out to explore the plethora of boutiques, tearooms and galleries at your leisure. 


Surrounded by ambrosial woodland filled with bluebells and wild garlic, this 17th century gamekeeper’s cottage on the Dorset-Wiltshire border is a real haven. Refashioned using one-off art pieces and family heirlooms, The Woodlanders is undeniably stylish, beautifully eclectic and sprinkled with sophistication. Here is a place you can whisk mini adventurers and waggy-tailed companions away, far from the madding crowd. From the luxury interiors to the Helen Dooley-designed gardens and uninterrupted countryside views, this luxury self-catering home is the perfect retreat for all.


Each room at the Woodlanders oozes its own personality and style. Combining authentic period features with playful influences, this traditional cottage manages to be both thoroughly inviting and unequivocally stylish. Make use of the abundant space and rotate throughout the day; in the morning, the open-plan kitchen will welcome with coffee and views, whilst in the evening the sofas hail for comforting embrace. When daylight fades, the property’s three bedrooms await. Home to two irresistible super-kings and a twin over two floors, sleep has never been so good.


Comprising a garden house, manicured lawns and a wild grass meadow, the Woodlander’s gardens provide a paradisaical milieu for summer fun. Spread out blankets and lay out a feast, then let children take to the wooden climbing frames to expand their endless youthful energy. In winter, the surrounds magically transform into sugar-frosted scenes; think snowy woodland walks from the front door and hunkering down with a bottle of red warmed on the hearth. For a day out, head off to Shaftesbury Abbey ruins and climb the golden cobbles of Ridley Scott’s famous Hovis Hill. 


The Facts

  • Sleeps6 guests from £2,650 per week
  • Alternative group optionUp to 2 guests
  • Bedrooms and bathroomsOne ground floor double bedroom with super-king size bed, one ground floor twin bedroom, one first-floor master double bedroom with super king-size bed, one ground floor family bathroom with separate shower, one ground floor family bathroom with overhead shower. There is also a separate shower and WC in the garden house.
  • FeaturesHeated garden house with shower facilities
  • PetsTwo well-behaved dogs are welcome
    Each pet is charged at £60 per week or part thereof
  • Arrivals and departuresArrival Day: Friday or MondayArrival Time: 4pmDeparture Time: 10amTimes may vary due to Covid-19 requirements, please refer to your booking.
  • FamilyYes, children are very welcome. One cot and one highchair are available.
  • PracticalitiesThe cottage has driveway parking for up to three cars and is well equipped with a washer-dryer, dishwasher, gas oven, microwave, fridge-freezer and Nespresso coffee machine. There is a separate shower and WC in the garden house. The gardener works here fortnightly; please advise Unique Homestays if you do not wish the gardener to come during your stay.
  • Homestay includesLuxury welcome hamper, Sky TV, Blu-ray DVD player, Apple Airplay, Netflix, WiFi internet, charcoal barbecue, fresh flowers, luxury linen and towels, logs and kindling to get you started...House book - your property and destination guideDiscover more little luxuries
  • Additional extrasA handpicked selection of unique experiences are available at this property.
  • Other informationProperty terms and conditionsFrequently asked questionsCheck mobile signalRecommend to a friend

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Explore Dorset and Wiltshire from The Woodlanders
Explore the rolling countryside on The Woodlanders´ doorstep
Enjoy a luxury self-catering cottage break in Wiltshire near Shaftesbury

Prices & Availability


With its cobbled streets and pretty buildings, this Dorset market town, made famous by that Hovis advert, has plenty of events happening all year round.

View on maps


Getting there

  • On the Map The Woodlanders is located on the Dorset Wiltshire border, close to Salisbury, near Bath and Poole.
  • By Car The journey is approximately two and a half hours from London.
  • By Train Gillingham (Dorset) train station is approximately eight miles from the property.
  • By Air Bournemouth airport is approximately a one hour drive away, Bristol airport is one and a half hours away.

From the owner

“Since we refurbished the Woodlanders in 1999, the house has been featured in several magazines. More importantly though, it has also provided a welcome escape and many happy occasions for our family and friends.”

From the owner

Not much is known about the history of The Woodlanders, though the family before us lived here since the Second World War. We think that it was most likely built sometime in the 17th century, possibly as a gamekeeper's cottage.

Changing shape over the years, the two-storey middle part of the cottage is the original building. It had just one room on the ground floor (where the large fireplace still sits) and one room upstairs, which is now the master bedroom.

Fully refurbished in 1999-2000, the house has seen a significant amount of change, though we tried to be as authentic as possible. It was also during this time that the garden house was added, and the garden itself designed and planted by designer Helen Dooley.

Looking back, we are so pleased with what we’ve achieved. From your morning walk around the 14-acre coppice with the dog to watching the sun set from the upper deck, we hope you fall for this magical place just as much as we have.

Ariel and Paul

Owner recommendations

Live like a local, discovering the best hidden gem restaurants, walks and attractions during your holiday in Shaftesbury with an insider’s perspective.

Hauser & Wirth Gallery
To See

Hauser & Wirth Gallery

Boasting a continuous programme of exhibitions, Hauser & Wirth is a highly acclaimed global gallery for emerging and established contemporary artists, with galleries in Zurich, London, New York, Bruton and Los Angeles.

Sherborne Castle
To Do

Sherborne Castle

Built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594, Sherborne Castle has been the stately home of the Digby family since 1617. Capability Brown created the 50 acre lake in 1753 and gave Sherborne the very latest in landscape gardening.

Country Calling 
To Do

Country Calling 

Lovers of country pursuits have a whole host of activities to look forward to on a break in Wiltshire, from horse riding to spectacular country walks to an unforgettable hot air ballooning experience floating in the sky above.

The Queens Arms, Corton Denham
To Eat

The Queens Arms, Corton Denham

A good country pub with log fires, The Queens Arms is well known for its warm, homemade pork pies stacked on the bar and famous bloody Mary mix. Look forward to barbecues on summer weekends as well as outdoor games for children.

Guest Testimonials

The Woodlanders is very welcoming and well thought out. As a family it suited our needs exceedingly well, especially the large living/kitchen area which lent itself to long evenings together playing board games in front of the fireplace. All in all, a very memorable holiday which we hope to recreate next year!

If I could have dreamed up my perfect cottage, The Woodlanders would be it. It was so well equipped and so much to our taste that I didn´t feel any kind of inconvenience nor did I want to go home at the end!

We have had a very lovely time at the cottage. The house was welcoming,the hamper goodies were delicious and the countryside was beautiful. We had an excellent week. I look forward to another stay in the future.

Barbara, Bijou and I have returned to our home in Battersea after a glorious week at Rose Cottage, The Woodlanders, near Semley. We enjoyed every moment of our stay at this lovely home. We felt most privileged to be able to stay in what was so clearly a much-loved family cottage. We are most grateful. Once again thank you for all your help in making our stay so enjoyable.

A rare place where the reality easily exceeded the photos - really fantastic. Loved the decor throughout. Also the games cupboard was great and the well stocked larder extremely helpful and so much better than other properties we have visited.

We had a fantastic week at the cottage, neither of us had ever been to that part of Wiltshire before and we absolutely loved it. The cottage is brilliant and made for a great holiday, it´s a beautiful home. We really do hope we return particularly once the boys are old enough to really appreciate Longleat - which was a great day out for us this time.

We found Wiltshire absolutely stunning and the cottage was so divine, welcoming and perfect for the kids. We will definitely be recommending to friends and going back ourselves.

We had the most perfect weekend at The Woodlanders. The style and feel of the house and gardens was perfectly aligned with the way we live and entertain, and that´s not always easy to find.

Unique extras

Enhance your stay with a unique experience from one of our preferred suppliers. From professional in-house chefs to luxury at-home spa therapists and wine delivered to the door, see what’s on offer for your bespoke escape.


Below are a selection of features in which Unique Homestays has appeared. If you would like to feature the property in an editorial capacity, please contact the marketing team on +44 (0)1637 882014.

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Disclaimer: These particulars, whilst believed to be accurate, are set as a guideline so should not be relied upon as a statement of fact. The photographs show aspects of the property at the time they were taken and it should not be assumed that the property remains precisely as displayed. If there are points of particular importance that need clarifying before you book, please contact us.

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