Aimee Shaw checks into a family-run B&B in the English countryside


Small, 5-bed pub and B&B inn in Prestleigh, Shepton Mallet, Somerset — West Country of England. The ideal place for a countryside escape.

Room: Super king for two with an ensuite toilet and shower. Fully furnished with a flat-screen TV and tea and coffee-making amenities.


Check-in experience: Great. The place is run by a lovely mother-and-daughter duo who were very welcoming, accommodating and quick to ask our breakfast time preferences for the next day.

The bed: Super-king bed — probably the biggest bed I've ever slept in, although definitely not the comfiest bed in the world.

I was surprised by the "wipe-clean" tarpaulin sheet fitted underneath the main bed sheet — the kind parents put on their children's beds during the potty-training phase, or just in case they have an accident. Not only did it make an annoying sound every time I moved, it also made me wonder why the hell the owners had felt the need to put it there in the first place. Pub. Alcohol. Hopefully not because of past experiences.

Bathroom: Converted bathroom with toilet and shower. Very tiny, we're talking 10x10sq m only.

Toiletries: Free hand soap and a selection of second-hand or "pre-loved" shampoos, conditioners and shower gels previous guests had left behind. We passed on those.

Food and drink: Typical bed and breakfast set-up with daily cooked full English breakfasts. Eggs, toasts, bacon, sausage, beans, tomatoes; the works. Also, pleasantly surprised by the great vegetarian replacements for the bacon and sausages. So yummy! The Prestleigh Inn also serves beautiful, hearty home-cooked dinners and lunches, with great portion sizes.

Views: Countryside scenes and grazing sheep — the green delights of Somerset, and Dorset off in the faint distance. And not to forget the winding country lanes! From our bedroom window you could see the front of the pub and the main road that takes you into the village, populated by about 10,000 people.

Noise: Very little, only the hum of the pub-goers socialising in the bar below in the evenings. Nothing too noticeable.

What's in the neighbourhood? The village of Prestleigh, Shepton Mallet town, with the cities Bath and Bristol in the vicinity if you fancy a day trip. In the area, for tourists, there is Longleat, Wookey Hole Caves, the Cheddar Gorge and Clarks Shopping Village.

Price: $46 per person per night including daily cooked full English breakfast.

Free Wi-Fi? Yes, worked perfectly well.

What's so good about this place? The tranquillity and friendly staff. The Prestleigh Inn offers reasonable prices for both accommodation and food. The business is family-run so the whole experience feels a bit more personal. Great food and has awesome entertainment in the evenings.

Would I return? Absolutely, loved the quaintness and the location. In the heart of the English countryside, but not too far away if you want to explore the hustle and bustle of historic Bath and Bristol.


The Prestleigh Inn can be found in Prestleigh, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England. Phone: +44 1749 830 179.