This Wiltshire Bed and Breakfast Takes English Hospitality to New Heights
“There’s a problem with the bed,” I told Littleton Lodge House Manager, Terry Linden-Fermor, as he greeted us at breakfast. His concerned response made me feel like a naughty child, so I hurriedly continued, “It was so comfortable, I had a terrible time making myself get out of it.”
My husband and I had spent our first of two nights at the charming bed and breakfast, located in the village of Littleton Panell, Wiltshire. This Southwest English county abounds with historic sites, spectacular rolling countryside, and friendly people. Littleton Lodge was the perfect central point from which to experience all Wiltshire had to offer.
The Big House
Upon entering the 19th-century red brick house, every detail, from the velvet-soft plush seating in the drawing room to the colorful wallpaper in the cheery breakfast room, says, “Welcome.” This bright, homey atmosphere is the creation of owners James Bell and Sean Purslow.
In 1876, James Webb, the village miller, built the house. Owners came and went, then in 2014, James and Sean bought it, and made their dream of owning a bed and breakfast come true.
The new owners wasted no time in doing a complete top-to-bottom renovation, transforming the house into an upscale bed and breakfast for visitors to Wiltshire. The original kitchen garden, along with several other features of the property, remain, but Littleton Lodge is now a bastion of style and comfort for the weary but discerning traveler.
Littleton lodge has four bedrooms, as well as common areas where guests can relax and socialize. Each room has its own look and name – Avebury, Salisbury, Lacock, and Marlborough – but they all have several features in common. Smooth Egyptian cotton sheets, a fluffy quilt, and soft pillows cover a bed so comfortable it challenges any insomniac to stay awake. The ensuite shower room contains fragrant, luxurious Bramley toiletries, handmade in Wiltshire. A substantial continental or full English breakfast is included in the room rate. You’ll also find amenities like a flat-screen Smart TV including Netflix, complimentary wifi, a room safe, and everything you’ll need to make coffee and tea.
The library offers a warming fire, board games, books and a cozy place to while away the time until you’re ready to venture out or call it a day.
In the mood for a nightcap? The drawing room has an ‘Honesty Bar’ where you’ll find quality liquors and local wines, along with salty snacks. Just remember to ‘fess up at checkout.
In the breakfast room, you can enjoy your first meal of the day accompanied by warm sunlight streaming through the window, pleasant music played at just the right volume, and a view over the stunning rose garden.
On the buffet you’ll find cereals, croissants, jams, fruit, and yogurt. The full English breakfast includes eggs, sausage, bacon, and a few other items with which you can tailor your plate to your desired deliciousness. I don’t know exactly what Terry did to the eggs, but they were some of the best I had ever tasted.
As much as possible, the ingredients used at Littleton Lodge are locally grown or made. The sausages come from the butcher, the apple juice from trees on the property, and honey from the a’Becket Winery just around the corner. The eggs are hatched by local free-range chickens. If they were any fresher, they’d cluck.
Terry told us that James and Sean have careers outside Littleton Lodge, so they’re not always onsite. When at home, they live on the top floor of the house (an attic converted into living space), cook the daily breakfast, and enjoy mingling with their guests. As sociable and personable as they are, running a bed and breakfast seems to be a perfect fit. Our one disappointment was we didn’t have the opportunity to meet the brains and creativity behind Littleton Lodge.
In the owners’ absence, Terry was a most gracious host, and made sure our stay was exceptional. And let’s not forget those amazing eggs.
The Little Lodge
When we booked our stay at Littleton Lodge, there was no room at the inn. So we were sent to sleep in the stable, or what used to be a three-stall stable.
The previous owner had converted the stable into a two-room cottage. When James and Sean bought the property, they transformed the dated space into a charming little self-catering hideaway for two with modern conveniences and privacy to spare. And we had the good fortune to be its first guests.
The Little Lodge, as it is called, was tucked away behind a gate, and even had its own private garden.
The bedroom had a large four poster bed, and the same amenities present in the house.
The kitchen/living room was fully equipped. Necessities such as a coffee machine and tea-making paraphernalia were present, along with a toaster, microwave, electric cook top, wall oven, and dishwasher. There was even a washer/dryer unit tucked away in a corner near the bathroom.
The cottage is perfect for honeymooners, or a couple wanting to spend a few days in one place, while exploring Wiltshire. Breakfast is available upon request, and guests staying in Little Lodge can use the common areas in the house.
My husband and I didn’t do any serious cooking, but we were able to enjoy an indoor picnic with the aid of the microwave and the wickedly delicious homemade shortbreads left for us on the counter. However, if we had decided to cook, we would have wanted for nothing in terms of equipment.
If we return to Wiltshire, I would love to spend an entire week in that cozy cottage, enjoying the common areas on the grounds and in the house, and taking our time revisiting some of our favorite Wiltshire sites, while discovering new ones.
If You Go
Along with all the amenities Littleton Lodge has to offer, it is ideally located for those wishing to maximize their time in the area, while staying in one place.
You can visit ancient Stonehenge and its older sister, Avebury Circle, less than 15 miles from Littleton Lodge. Also within easy driving distance is the fort and spectacular views of Old Sarum. The once thriving town has a history dating back nearly 3,000 years.
You’ll definitely want to allow a day or more in Salisbury, home of the cathedral bearing the same name. Salisbury Cathedral lays claim to the tallest spire in the U.K. and one of the four original copies of the Magna Carta. And the cathedral is only one of Salisbury’s must-see wonders.
Visit Bath, and do as the Romans did. The mineral rich baths will both relax and rejuvenate you. Thus energized, explore some of Wiltshire’s many ruins, museums, churches and grand historic houses.
For nature lovers, Wiltshire has magnificent gardens, stunning landscapes and even vineyards. Walk or cycle over hill and plain, while passing through some of the prettiest towns and villages you’ve ever seen.
Foodies will find small shops and markets offering a wealth of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods and other treats. And of course, Wiltshire has no shortage of restaurants and pubs. Especially pubs.
For more information about the abundance of things to see and do in Wiltshire, begin with the Visit Wiltshire website.
For current room rates and other information, contact Littleton Lodge directly.
39 High Street
Littleton Panell, Nr Devizes
Wiltshire, SN10 4ES
Phone: 01380 813 494
Disclaimer: We are most grateful to Visit Wiltshire and Littleton Lodge for their assistance in making our time in this beautiful, historic English county a true delight. However, all opinions are, as always, entirely my own.