The Stonebarrow Hill Shop is teeny tiny, tucked away in an unassuming building at the top of the National Trust’s Golden Cap Estate. It’s a pit stop rather than a meal stop, selling drinks and snacks daily from Spring to Autumn. It’s charming, friendly and absolutely the best place for a coffee or ice-cream. It’s just off the A35 east of Charmouth and close to the South West Coast path. There’s plenty of parking on the Golden Cap Estate by the shop, it has a toilets on-site with disabled access and sells a decent cup of coffee, cold drinks, Purbeck Ice-cream, small gifts and Kendal mint cake.
The Ergohacks Verdict
We stumbled into the shop after a morning walk on the Estate for a bathroom break and sugar stop. Cass was having issues with low glucose levels and fed up munching on Glucotabs. The shop is cash only and we spent £20 on two coffees, a can of coke, ice-cream, a soft toy seagull, small nature guidebook and a stack of Kendal mint cake. It was a hot day in April and temperature in twenties combined with a long walk was causing Cass some issues with her diabetes. We found a picnic table in the shade and broke out the mint cake then the ice-cream, sipping on coffee as we watched her cheeks regain their colour.
Many a dog walker stopped in. Clean, fresh bowls had been laid out and the atmosphere was relaxed and welcoming as we were pulled into friendly small talk with multiple dogs coming to say hello, to Cass’ delight. The sugar and sea breeze soon revived her and as we finished our coffee and set off again, I made a mental reminder to mark the shop on my map. We’re always looking for places to stop and our criteria is quite simple – somewhere with parking and a toilet, that sells drinks and sugar in some form and most importantly, offer the chance for an easy walk to stretch our legs before we continue our journey. Stonebarrow hill shop fit these criteria beautifully and we’ll be stopping in again soon – either on our way to Devon, returning from Charmouth beach or Lyme Regis or just as a pit stop in the middle of a breathtakingly beautiful walk around the estate.
It’s a hidden gem. We highly recommend it.
About The National Trust
The National Trust owns Stonebarrow Hill Shop.
“We’re a charity founded in 1895 by three people who saw the importance of our nation’s heritage and open spaces and wanted to preserve them for everyone to enjoy. More than 120 years later, these values are still at the heart of everything we do. We look after special places throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland for ever, for everyone. As a charity we rely for income on membership fees, donations and legacies, and revenue raised from our commercial operations. We have over 4.5 million members and 62,000 volunteers. More than 20 million people visit our pay for entry properties, while an estimated 100 million visit our open air properties.
We protect and open to the public over 350 historic houses, gardens and ancient monuments. But it doesn’t stop there. We also look after forests, woods, fens, beaches, farmland, downs, moorland, islands, archaeological remains, castles, nature reserves, villages – for ever, for everyone.”*
Stonebarrow Hill shop is a small establishment. There is no kitchen and it doesn’t serve meals of any kind. It has a lovely coffee machine, a freezer filled with ice-cream, a fridge stocked with cold drinks and a handful of shelves filled with snacks, small gifts, guidebooks and pocket money price items for children. There are two toilets in an adjacent building that is freely accessible.
Season: Open from 1 April to 31 October.
Access: Level access
Location: Stonebarrow Hill, Golden Cap Estate, Morcombelake, Bridport, Dorset.
Opening: 10:30 April – September, 11:30 October, closed November – March.
Closing: 17:30 April – September, 15:30 October, closed November – March.
* Opening and closing is dependent on availability of volunteers to staff the shop.
Parking: Free on-site parking
Nearby: Golden Cap Estate, Charmouth Beach, Lyme Regis, West Bay
We based our Ergohacks Verdict on our visit during April 2017. This article was first published on 14 May 2017.