skip nav  
 

Square and Compass, Worth Matravers

back to pub details

user reviews of the Square and Compass, Worth Matravers

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

brilliant pub, however, it has become a tourist magnet. Queues to the bar, but still worth it. Service excellent & beer in tip top conition ,Coition? I never knew it was a brothel!! Shocked.

slerpy - 15 Aug 2017 17:58
brilliant pub, however, it has become a tourist magnet. Queues to the bar, but still worth it. Service excellent & beer in tip top conition
Wilson_MacDonald - 15 Aug 2017 11:49
After a 3 year absence, we revisited last night when it was delightfully quiet and we were thus able to enjoy the views and then the indoor spaces in relative peace. 3 beers from Hattie Brown's Brewery in nearby Swanage were on sale (I tried the £3.50 3.8% HBA and the £3.80 4.3% Mustang Sally preferring the latter) as well as Green Jack's Rising Sun. The home-produced ciders were as they were in March 2015 and cost £3.60 a pint. How come I don't remember the "porthole" on the wall in the Gents? Is it new(ish)?
paul_d102 - 5 Jun 2017 21:55
Simply an unspoilt gem. Spectacular views from the garden out the front. Touristy in the summer, but when a pub is this good, its worth it
Wilson_MacDonald - 14 Aug 2016 16:48
Unspoilt gem. Always excellent and Purbeck's essential visit. Lovely pint of Dark Star Espesso . 10/10
baxterfish - 24 Apr 2016 13:27
Popped in for a cider or two the other day. Still one of the best pubs in the UK. Prices keen at £3.50 a pint average, particularly when I pay £4 or more in my hometown for lesser quality ones. The ale turnover is phenomenal, as I nipped in again a couple of days after and they'd all changed. Not bad for a pub that's certainly off the beaten track.
littledrummerboy - 14 Jun 2015 22:22
Since my last visit in 2008, I've proclaimed the Square & Compass as my favourite pub in Britain. That was until I visited the nearby Castle Inn in West Lulworth this weekend. Nevertheless, the Square & Compass is still a superb pub and still warrants a score of 10/10. It has a fantastic location overlooking the rolling hills of the south coast and the English Channel. Parking can be difficult (there is a pay and display just round the corner) and finding a spot to park your backside can also be difficult once inside. There are 2 main rooms connected by a corridor. The main bar had some live music on Sunday afternoon. A small crowd had gathered and seemed to be enjoying the music. We eventually managed to secure one of the 3 tables in the smaller rooms. At the end of the corridor is the Fossil Museum. The corridor itself also houses the bar, whilst there is further seating at the front and in the pub garden at the side, where your fellow drinkers will most likely be chickens. The clientele seem a mixed sort - there are some regulars who come for a quiet drink, others that come here reasonably regularly from a bit further afield and those like me who have travelled a long distance but who are aware of how good the pub is. There's a fair few bohemian types too. Ales on this visit were Palmers Copper Ale, Wessex Moonlite, Yeovil Lynx Wildcat & Hopback Winter Lightning. Ciders & perries were Cider By Rosie, Hecks Port Wind of Glastonbury & Blakeney Red Perry. Westons Old Rosie, Country Perry & Cider Twist Raspberry, West Orchard Farm Dry & Charlie's Sat Down Be Cider, Eve's Idea & Kiss Me Kate (produced on the premises). This pub is still well worth the effort to get to.
blue_scrumpy - 30 Mar 2015 17:06
Palmers Copper and Wessex Moonlite were both £3.30 and the Wessex Warrior and Rudgate American IPA were £3.50 but it was so hot on Friday afternoon that it was cider weather for me. I can't remember which one I had but the only "conventional" one was Stowford Press. No need to queue outside when we were there. Glad I have visited.
paul_d102 - 23 Jun 2014 22:37
Love it. After a long walk along the coast this shines like a beacon. Keep it simple. Bliss.
quarterjack - 18 Feb 2014 23:07
I first came hear over 20 years ago after a friend had told me about a pub 'without a bar' in Dorset. I was so capitivated by it's beautiful location and unspoit interior that I've been back a dozen or so times since, even though I live a hundred or so miles away. The trouble is though, the word has spread, and now this pub is so well known for being an unspoil rural gem, that it can't really live up to it anymore.

It's not the pubs fault, it's still as beautiful as ever and the interior hasn't changed a bit, it's just that to experience the pub at its historic best you need it to be fairly quiet and the chances of that are very slim. Save your visit for mid week in the middle of Winter!
Maltster - 23 Dec 2013 15:16
olde worlde perfection
wrinkley - 29 Sep 2013 18:53
i was recommended this pub by my brother and was in the area so had to visit. Stunning location - amazing views and what a fantastic little pub. Formm a queue to be served via a hatch - great range of beers and ciders. Had a couple of the beers. Had just had lunch so didn't try the pasties but would do another time.

this is a gem of a pub - shame its 120 miles from my home. This along with the Duke of Cumberland in henley, W.Sussex are my favourite pubs.
miked_bandit - 19 Aug 2013 20:18
Was taken to this pub today for a lunchtime pint. I can only echo all the good points that have already been said. Had a great Pint of Coppers Ale and a Homemade Steak Pasty. Sat outside on the unique Stone Tables. The other unique feature is that there is no Bar, just a Hatch, when busy an Orderly queue forms often out the door. Afterwards you can walk it off by going for a walk to the old quarry, it's downhill on the way there but very UPHILL on the way back. A visit is recommended (even if it is out your way) when in the area.
Bitter_Man - 6 Aug 2013 17:08
Bloody brilliant! The place is very popular, and with good reason!
Old building full of character (and low ceilings - ouch), huge selection of ciders (amongst which the landlord's own). Simple food, just meat and vegetable pies, but it doesn't take anything more than that.
Interesting museum at the back. Very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful staff. Simply a world class pub! We were staying in the area, and went back every day (and for longer than we expected). Top ratings!
MarkVP - 17 Jul 2013 12:30
Lovely pub with beautiful views.
Nice cider and food.
A gem in dorset,love it.
rainbowian - 13 May 2013 09:08
This surely rates as one of the best pubs in the British Isles to sit outside of on a summers day enjoying both a pint and the view. Massive selection of ciders and perries to be had, with almost the full Hecks range plus Westons and the landlords own. Four real ales too - Palmers Copper on all the time with three others changing almost daily it seemed. We went for three nights on the trot recently and the music nights were all very good too. Definitely in my top 10.
littledrummerboy - 9 Sep 2012 18:58
A spot-on village pub with a big beer garden. Mixture of walkers and people who'd specifically come out here. A few pints of Copper Ale and a pasty went down a treat. There's also a little museum inside the pub with lots of fossils and other curious relics.

Slightly confusing at the bar which is more like a tap room really, but it's all fine. Staff friendly, if a little impatient but then again it was a busy Saturday afternoon. Definitely worth a visit if you're round this way. 7
Goldings - 3 Aug 2012 13:43
Went twice last week when we stayed at next village. Great for beer and cider. The Copper Ale was the best pint we had all week and the pasties were great too. Sitting outside in glorious sunshine was idyllic. Limited food (pies and pasties only) meant we did not go to dinner there but it is a good old fasnioned pub.
inmyopinion - 28 May 2012 13:39
Fantastic pub with great vibe, eccentric interior (and exterior) design and excellent beer and cider. Enjoyed the very fluffy chickens in the back garden and the museum is well worth a visit too.
martaddick - 5 Apr 2012 19:27
Very busy on Christmas day. No food today but staff coped very well with queue going into garden. Excellent choice of beer and cider all well kept. I think they normally sell pasties so they can claim they serve food and open longer hours. Well known pub with interesting history that is always in the Good Beer Guide and popular with locals and walkers. Happy Christmas!
Robin_from_Swanage - 25 Dec 2011 17:05
back again for oct half term. still bloody great pub. beer ace. pasties lovely and view smashing.
jammyjames - 4 Nov 2011 21:22
i love this pub, spent 2 weeks camping nearby have done for years and its always great to go back to the square, a mixture of diverse people and atmosphere, you can get there and be packed outside or time it right and sit in solitude. still reckon one of best pubs in country. still makes me smile when somebody asks for a menu. then told its written on a paper plate above the bar. pie and pastie. over the two week period an a different beer everytime.
jammyjames - 9 Oct 2011 15:39
My favourite pub on these shores. Beautiful location, unpretentious... decent beer and decent home-pressed cider.

I don't get there enough.
terenced - 20 Sep 2011 08:47
All other reviews spot on. Cannot praise this place enough for staying true to its roots and not getting caught up in the frantic desire to be all things to all people. It sells beer straight from the barrel - always in great condition and generally at least three to try. Vast selection of different local ciders too. Popular with walkers, climbers and local campers during holiday periods. Regular live music too. Sometimes attracts a more bohemian clientele who may or may not have a vested interest in quiche or ethnic peace bicycle maintenance but don't let their large hair or colourful clothes put you off. And yes, there really are chickens roaming the garden and an on site fossil museum to browse while boozing. Ales last night included Copper and Dorset Gold (smashing) and one called Inntrigue (also delicious).
michael_winner - 11 Aug 2011 09:12
Absolutely amazing place. If you're after pub grub it's not the place to go -- the only hot food they do is a miminal selection of pies/pasties. Good on them! Words really can't describe this place. It's a museum.
sew - 31 Jul 2011 07:35
This is a smashing place for a pasty and a pint or two - take that short detour off the SW Coastal Path
deportivo_azul - 2 Jul 2011 22:10
Easily the best pub in the area. Highly recommended for it's lovely location, quirky atmosphere, beer and cider. 10/10
baxterfish - 5 May 2011 19:57
Completely unspoilt drinking pub - no gimmicks, you get exactly what you expect from such a pub. Good beer choice & obviously popular 'cos there were loads of people there.
MagnustheMandrill - 4 May 2011 14:25
I can only agree with the praise. I suppose one comment I can add, is that this pub seems to have that wonderful old feature of having, "intelectuals, craftsmen, thinker drinkers," for its' regulars. Beat that!
swannyman - 9 Apr 2011 09:51
Fantastic, what can one say about The Sloop...? We in the Real Ale Ramblers Club (both of us), walk from our campsite at Corfe Castle, nice easy going walk, well marked footpaths, etc. Makes a nice change to find a boozer that hasn't hijacked half it's space for the purpose of serving meals. You must give it a go!
rioathmusV - 16 Feb 2011 20:02
Simply the best pub and place on the planet.
Fiddle_Titch - 15 Feb 2011 21:15
The John Bonser brief sojourn to Dorset, Devon and Cornwall could only really have one pub as the first port of call - The Square and Compass.

Named after the local activity of quarrying, it's a fine old stone farmhouse style building, high up in the Purbeck Hills, not too far from Swanage and affording excellent sea views.

Arriving by car on a recent Sunday lunchtime ( park in the nearby car park for 1 - honesty box provided ), I felt somewhat out of place in my trainers and brewery logo'd sweat shirt, finding that most of the other customers were walkers in sturdy boots and shorts, displaying knobbly knees and carrying walking sticks, or alternatively were super fit looking cyclists. There were also a few seemingly locals, each with the obligatory large dog in tow. Thankfully, the "Chelsea set", to whom previous postings allude, were not conspicuously noticeable.

The pub consists of 2 basic rooms at either end of a short, low, wood panelled, flagstoned central corridor, down which you pass to reach the hatched bar counter at the end. The room on the left is basic and has fixed bench seating. The room on the right, where live music sometimes features, is slightly larger, is equally basic and contains a few CAMRA certificates ( including one for 30 years in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide ) and also cider and perry awards. It's one of only a handful of pubs to have appeared in each GBG edition - 37 to date ( up to 2010 ).The Square and Compass is also listed in CAMRA's National Inventory of Heritage Pubs.

Further on the left is an interesting museum of local artefacts and fossils, to which admission is free. It's certainly the first pub with an in house museum that I can remember visiting. Mind you, some pubs - and here I'm particularly thinking about the well known Yew Tree - are museums in themselves.

Seating outside at the front, with splendid views of the English Channel, consists of some long wooden benches and a rather higgledy - piggledy collection of tree trunks and stone slabs acting as tables and seats. There's no sun umbrellas, but these weren't needed on my visit.

There's a grassy garden area to the right of the pub, but a notice warning that "the cockerel can be very unfriendly and is best avoided" appeared to have discouraged anyone from using it. There's outside toilets, but in a modernised block.

Food consists of home made pasties and pies, served on flimsy paper plates, whilst stocks last.

I'm going to do my grumpy old man bit now. When large swathes of Dorset's beaches are off limits to dogs in the summer months, I find it incomprehensible, in a pub like this with narrow corridors and not a lot of room at any time, particularly when busy, that a customer is allowed to bring into the pub a dog that is basically not much smaller than a Shetland pony, as was the case on my visit. Thankfully, most other customers were more accommodating and sensibly left their mutts outside.

Beer is served direct from the barrel from the small room at the end of the corridor to customers who queue in the corridor at busy times. Given the lack of space, this can give a degree of intimacy to proceedings. Beers on were Palmers Copper Ale and Dorset Gold at 3.00p and 3.10p respectively. Downtons Chockwork Orange ( 5.8% - notably, also 3.10p ) ran out during my visit, but was a non-starter as I had the car. There's also a good selection of hand pressed ciders available.

This was a very memorable visit and you really should try and get here if you haven't already been.


JohnBonser - 23 Sep 2010 10:30
Probably the best pub for real ciders I've ever visited. The choice was stounding, and the Westons still organic was fantastic. Very odd place in the middle of nowhere but therein lies the charm. I have also never seen so many dogs wandering happily about the place as when I went here. Wonderful.
followedthrough - 29 Aug 2010 15:07
We washed up in a monsoon, at the same time as a load of dripping wet hikers. Loved this pub, which just radiates character. Lots of friendly banter and beermat throwing for a collie called Shambles. Not usually a fan of stillage beers, but all the ones I tried were spot on. Definitely have to go back in better weather.
Albert_Campion - 28 Aug 2010 20:59
Have wanted to go here for years and finally got the chance - oh dear my experience was exactly the same as the reviewer TEL3. This is strange because the other reviews are all so gushing (and I have no reason to disbelieve these appraisals). My 1st ale choice was off and I was made to feel like a liar and the 2nd choice was def green but i was too polite to complain. Maybe it is biased to locals because I did get 'looks' when I (quietly) pointed out the beer was not fit. Lets hope my experience was unusual, but I will not bother returning to be honest.
odbod - 25 Aug 2010 15:25
A most perfect place. To be sure, you need to:

- Take cash
- Have a hearty breakfast
- Walk out from the pub down to the sea and 'caves'

But...for atmosphere, choice of ale and cider, esoteric clientele, local characters and plain beautiful view, this is where to go on a Sunday afternoon.

Long may it survive, untouched by modernity.
jchasty - 2 Aug 2010 22:50
Vastly overated! Good location but the owners make no effort at all (at least on my one visit). The place was packed and seemingly popular but the beer was average; there is virtually no choice of food (and the pasty wasn't very good).
Similar'quirky' pubs like the 'Low House' in Laxfield in Suffolk are the real thing...this place is just lazy!
I've wanted to go here for years...what a disappointment!
TEL3 - 2 Jul 2010 22:48
Visited on a blazing hot Monday lunchtime after a major walk via St Aldhems Head and we were well up for a few pints. The garden was fairly busy, strange that no sun umbrellas are offered at the tables, there was a fair amount of roasting going on. Inside is a haven of peace & quiet. Beautiful panelling and fixtures with a wealth of history, cool and inviting. The beer is direct from the cask and a blackboard full of ciders, cider heaven. Someone had a Pastie near us which seemed pretty decent. I can imagine the chaos on a Bank Holiday weekend in here, but on our visit it was all very civilised and at an easy pace. Lovely place.
imdownthepub - 26 May 2010 09:00
Where have all the chickens gone??
Have they been banished by bureaucracy? Get a grip people, not a bad place to be but full of hoorays in the spring & summer months.
beerbob66 - 3 May 2010 08:32
Without a shadow of doubt, the very best pub in the country for all the miscellaneous reasons given before. The only reason I don't give it a rating of 10 is in the hope that I might even find something better in the future, but I doubt it.
Ciderchap - 11 Apr 2010 12:35
one of THE Great pubs, just don't go in the summer/christmas holidays as it's ambiance is somewhat ruined by the crowds of braying holiday homers and trustafarian hippies. Beer and Ciders excellent, as is the idea of not doing food - only thing available is a pastie or slice of quiche!

Roaring fire and oldeworld charm top off a brilliant experience. (if you go in the week as I said!)
albertofrog - 27 Jan 2010 17:33
In my humble opinion the greatest pub in this fine country... Live music in the evenings, a massive roaring fire and some of the strongest ciders I have ever had the pleasure of tasting not to mention the well kept real ales.
Kevin the manager is a true gentleman from the old school.
Ok so it gets busy in summer but take your time and enjoy the surroundings, it's worth it. I just wish it was my local!
Cholula_26 - 18 Jan 2010 16:31
Been visiting this pub for years, always great beer and cider and is blessed with not having a restaurant or a menu beyond roadkill pasties.Gets overfull during the summer with the weekend cottage set. At least we know where they all are while the locals burn their cottages down! Certainly a far better pub in the winter months. Worth a visit anytime , a place not to be hurried.
steamraiser2 - 29 Dec 2009 13:47
I've been looking forward to visiting this pub for several years.
I have to say I was disappointed.
I think its a victim of it's own success.
Too many customers !
Interesting serving arrangement with the hatch but it did take 10 mins queuing to obtain my pint of Palmers Copper Ale.
Fantastic fire place in the bar and interesting museum.
I will have to return when the pub is quieter.
One great advantage - No mobile phone signal. so no intrusive phone conversations.


BarStallBert - 5 Nov 2009 17:55
I have never had the same beer twice at this place. Take it for what it is. usually good beer. Yuk food and more fool you if you pay 3 for a horrid microwaved pasty - but this is a pub for beer drinkers. Think it is getting a bit "Chelsead"
There were loads of people watching "Hell Drivers" there last night. I kept thinking I must not ask "what's the five pointed star on the wall for" keep off the moors, stick to the roads lads...
fatbob1968 - 20 Oct 2009 19:17
If you enjoy Wetherspoons, Brewers Fayre, Theme type pubs then you won't like the S and Q. Wish it was my local!
Latitude - 3 Oct 2009 23:21
Must admit that this is a refreshing change from most of the God-awful Brewers Fayre-type pubs you find in east Dorset - if you like your real ale its well worth a visit, although as many others have observed it's well off the beaten track so youre better off getting someone else to drive!
Getting served is a tad more archaic if you don't know how the hatch system works, while the food being devoured by people on other tables looked none too savoury to my eyes. But worth it for a different experience.
rarinrob - 1 Sep 2009 14:03
This really is a destination pub, as its effectively at the back of beyond. When I was in last week there was a mix between hikers who had undertaken a cliff walk, and some who had obviously driven there. As others have said, its pretty small inside with the bar essentially a hatch through which the barmaids pass the drinks. The ale is gravity dispensed, which is very unusual these days. DaveE I think you must have been a bit unlucky on my visit last Thursday they had three real ales on (Palmers Copper Ale; HopBack Crop Circle; and Abbey White Friar) plus cider of course. The ales were around the 3 a pint mark. I had the White Friar perhaps a little too sweet, but thats just a matter of taste and Crop Circle, which was an excellent summer ale.

As you go in you are faced with the serving hatch; to the right is a small, but reasonably comfortable looking seating area; and to the right a small museum featuring some local history, with the emphasis on fossils. This is the first time Ive seen a museum in a pub, though one or two have almost been museums in their own right. But this pub really comes into its own when the weather is good, as the view over the cliffs and out to see is quite spectacular. Outside seating consists of a few picnic benches; lumps of wood and stone for tables and more stone and tree trunks for seats. I dont know another pub anything like it. Its definitely worth going out of your way to find - indeed I expect anyone who has visited has made a special effort to get there, as its hardly on the way to anywhere. It thoroughly deserves its place in the top echelon of BITE pubs. Highly recommended.
RexRattus - 18 Aug 2009 19:14
An outstanding pub that has somehow survived the ravishes of greedy pubcos.
My only gripe was that all the beer was Palmers, isn't it a Freehouse? Nice staff, great little fossil museum all easygoing with regulars strumming away on guitar and local stonemasons chipping away out back. Truly lost in time
daveE - 18 Aug 2009 15:40
One of the UK's great survivals, and one I was pleased to be able to visit on a recent holiday. We popped in on a thoroughly depressing rainy British summer afternoon, and the pub was still rammed with an assortment of locals, tourists, beer fans and bikers - clearly a local institution par excellence. The pub retains a "serving hatch" style bar with ales (and I presume ciders as well?) being served from barrels behind the bar. The main bar is off to the right: a pleasingly chaotic jumble of chairs and tables. Ale fans should beware that this appears to be, first and foremost, a cider pub - only a couple of ales when we visited, and we tried the Palmer's Copper Ale which was very pleasant. This isn't exactly what you'd call a comfortable pub, but it is certainly very well worth visiting.
grecian - 14 Aug 2009 12:03
One of the UKs classic pubs. Other comments say it all. 10/10
tommyn11685 - 28 Jul 2009 16:27
My favourite pub in the country- and I've been in FAR too many of them!! Words cannot do justice; just GO THERE.
robric - 25 Jul 2009 00:31
Recent revisit showed that this pub is still great for beer and exceptional for cider and perry. Still the bemused faces staring sadly at their pasties on floppy plates. I agree with the former poster who says that better this than turning it into a dining pub.
pxk99 - 18 Jul 2009 16:12
i was in the area last year iand i will admit it is the most beautiful pubs i've come across in a long time
lordy23 - 15 Jul 2009 08:33
This rural gem is one of the few pubs which has featured in every edition of the Good Beer Guide. It really is a pub for all seasons - beautiful outside with a beer in summer; lovely inside with a real fire in the winter. Its a haven for walkers and is also dog-friendly. The only mobile phone network I could pick up here was French, so phone home before you start on the drink.

The pub (as mentioned previously) looks like a farmhouse from the outside. The interior is bare stone, flagstone floors and real fires. Nothing much has changed here over the years no TV or fruit machines! Two drinking rooms are separated by a narrow corridor which hosts the notorious serving hatch notorious because it can quickly get jammed up when more than a few people want a pint which in the case of this pub means quite often It can be a real wait sometimes but what can be done? If the hatch is demolished everyone will cry shame! so well just have to be patient. Its part of the charm.

I found the funny museum a bit pointless - is it really worth having it? Id wager that the room would be better off for drinking in given the popularity of the place. Perhaps put a relief bar in there for peak times?

Onto the beer there were 3 ales on when I went (Ringwood Best, barnsley Oak Leaf and Rudgate Ruby Mild) served well from stillage. The ales were also complimented by a decent cider selection you could easily do a session in here on a summers day. Prices were slightly above average (between 2.80-.10 for the real stuff).

Food-wise there are pasties to be had, which are OK if a tad expensive for what they are (and that theyre served on flimsy paper plates). However better to have this than proper diners fayre which would block the place up even more than it currently is. Clientele are a mix of locals, walkers, tourists and the curious ale-geeks (me).

All in all the S&C is pretty dammed good but it suffers from its own notoriety at peak times. Despite the faults its got to be worth the trek whatever.
Quinno - 6 Jul 2009 22:10
Undoubtedly very characterful, but I'd think twice about going there on a warm day, as the pub is tiny and gets incredibly busy. When I went on the Sunday of a Bank Holiday weekend, there was a large queue from the bar coming out into the beer garden.

The beer was nice, but nothing special. On a quieter winter day, I'm sure this place would come into it's own, but be ready for off-putting busyness in the summer.
thomashenry - 1 Jul 2009 13:19
Yes it can be crowded but the family running it must be doing something right as it is very busy even on a early June afternoon. Beer is well kept, food I would not bother as the pasties are expensive but it has a great location and the staff are efficent and friendly.
HoppyImbiber - 18 Jun 2009 14:31
It's the atmosphere I love about it. People seem to go there with an expectation and generally get it. I've had winter evenings when all eight people in the pub sat round the fire chatting, heaving band nights and hot summer days outside and thoroughly enjoyed them all. There may be a scrum in the hall sometimes but I've always found it good humoured and chatty, that alone stands the place apart.
gdm - 26 May 2009 12:48
afullpint, yep , an honest review , this pub is badly over rated. The service is a BIG problem. The location is its biggest draw. Thank you for your complete honesty.
slerpy - 3 May 2009 18:52
I am going to be a bit of a party pooper on the Square & Compass. It is a decent pub, but it's all about Location, Location, Location. I love going there and sitting outside with a pint of reasonable (but not great) ale, but it's expensive and trying to get a drink can sometimes be a challenge - why do people have to clog up the area around the serving hatch? It was a nice day yesterday, so there was no need for the massive scrum along the hallway! I usually get there two or three times during the summer but only to show visitors the stunning location. 6 out of 10 from me.
afullpint - 3 May 2009 18:11
The best pub in this country.
lateralthinking1 - 3 May 2009 13:37
I love this pub. Only been to the area as a tourist and I can imagine if you are local, you might be fed up with strangers in 'your' pub, however it's always been friendly enough....anyway, it's in the perfect location for a post Jurassic coastline walk pint (lovely gravity fed variety straight from the barrel) and pasty (home made and hot). Plus the interior is fascinating with real character and includes an interesting little museum. A total gem.
dearl - 1 May 2009 13:25
Great pub, top notch Palmers copper ale and a cracking real pasty. What more could you ask for? Oh a view to die for on a glorious easter monday. Its a well known place both locally and nationaly , so dont bitch about the negatives(busy, grockules etc) just enjoy.
ian241 - 14 Apr 2009 20:55
Legendary Pub, one of Tenacious 10 in every CAMRA Good Beer Guide since 1st Edn 1974. Run since 1907 by Newman family who published an excellent book on its history. 3 real ales on gravity dispense served from hatch in hall + 2 drinking rooms. Pasties are only food. Has own Museum. Idyllic seating in front has splendid view out to sea. Built circ 1750. Joseph Cox took 1st License in 1792 as The Sloop, name changed in 1833 & little else since! Strongs to 1969, bought from Whitbread 1994. Not quite the pub it was in Ray Newmans days (1973-93) but still up there in my list of PTVBYD. Review 20/03/09 by SADCATS on Tour! SCORE-.10
Saxon_Scooper - 30 Mar 2009 23:00
The service is DOG slow in summer you have NO CHANCE of a second pint ALWAYS moving on to the next pub is the only option. More time warp than serious boozer.Choccy box tack!
slerpy - 24 Mar 2009 11:39
A website!

What ever next? Flushing toilets , electricity, drainage. Well there goes the neighbourhood!
Norealaleinorpington - 12 Mar 2009 14:08
...which Freemasonry borrowed from the traditional architect's tools... (sigh)
fishski - 26 Feb 2009 22:45
The Square and Compass (name refers to the stone quarries nearby)

Yeah, Right!
Surely, everybody knows the the term Square & Compass relates to the Freemasons?
Perhaps not!
The_Final_Arbiter - 26 Feb 2009 18:08
Locations great, Dorset is certainly beautiful, if you put this pub in a less stunning location cant help but think itd be a little less popular. There really isnt a lot to the inside apart from what may be the smallest bar in the world, outside theyve really made an effort and lets face it its the views and location that draw people to the place. The ciders homemade but average and youre going to have a wrestle on your hands if you try and get to the bar on a summers weekend. Distinct and wonderfully located a good but by no means great pub. I cant help but notice that most people that love it live a long, long way away from Worth Matravers.
biggingerdude - 18 Jan 2009 21:41
This is a diamond. A jewel in Dorset's crown. I find myself dichotomized; between wanting to keep it a secret, and doing the pub and its owners fair service. Honesty must win out, and this is a pub well worth honesty and a visit. My only regret is that the 250 mile walk, from my house in Sheffield, is probably a little too far for lasties.
Sheffield - 12 Jan 2009 12:22
I haven't been here for a couple of years, but it has a place in my heart as the best pub in Britain. Excellent location overlooking the sea, great selection of real ales and ciders. Everything a great English pub should be. It's a pity it takes me so long to get here. If only it was my local.
blue_scrumpy - 2 Dec 2008 21:24
My parents used to take me to this thriving oldy worldy pup and we all loved its family atmosphere and as I grew up I know enjoy the selection of beers and ciders along with the buzz you feel the second you walk through the door and the real log fire makes this a popular stop for locals as well as tourists like my self.
Its almost ingenious how this place is a step into the past with such events as story telling and yet is not just a joint for old ooh err gents but is actualy a magnet for youngsters to.
I have nothing but praise for this charming well loved litle gem of Dorset iand agree with our friend who asks what does a pub have to do to get 9 or 10 out of 10
SusanKitcatt - 1 Dec 2008 22:32
The Square and Compass is the best pub in England! The atmopshere, the people, the countryside and the cider beckon you further into a stone masons inn which has it's own petite museum and a room with the heartwarming log fire. In winter you can indulge in this rich wooded room snuggling up with the embracing fire, or, in summer entertain yourself outside with the delicate sunset and the magical views.
The square and Compass is in a prime location for walks, tea shops and the local villiage. After a walk down to the shore, luxuriate in a cider and a homemade pasty. The pub, the food and the drinks are to die for but without the atmosphere and the affectionate people who work there, this pub would not be the same. The Square and Compass is one of its kind. It is not just a pub, its a place where friends and pleasure is it's middle name. I recommend this pub for you all who visit Dorset.
Laurel Hart (15)
Laurelhart - 24 Oct 2008 18:07
3 October 2008 - The Square and Compass, Dorest is crowned Cider Pub of The Year
Paris_Hilton - 5 Oct 2008 18:22
Used to be my 'local' when I lived 14 mile away,
now I live 220 mile away, everytime I go west always call in, superb pub, specially when the sun's out but seeing all the reviews wonder what a pub has to do to get 9 or 10 !!
thewiderview - 27 Sep 2008 08:52
Just go there. You won't be sorry.
orinoco007 - 16 Sep 2008 22:36
The very best pub in the world!!
I've been checking its still up to scratch for the last 34 years. All 3 of my kids have visited before they were 2 weeks old. I feel its important to give them as good a start in life as possible!!
Last visited for the cider festival in June, which was a weekend to behold!! Back next weekend1
10/10
kernowsaint - 6 Sep 2008 17:46
Stumbled on this great pub while on a very short bike ride, only meant to stay for one but after tasting "Sat Down B Cider" stayed for 4. Great pasties , great view , great time.
candp - 25 Aug 2008 20:41
You just don't see many pubs like this any more. I loved it. It makes you feel like an American tourist oohing and ahhing at how old everything is. The beer was good too. Would love to go back in the sunshine as everything was shrouded in rain and mist. A good reason to go back and sample some more beers.
chick - 11 Aug 2008 15:16
A very good setting, lots of cider. A very poor staff attitude, very expensive and low quality pasties that run out early.I am mightily pleased not to have to have this as a local.So over rated as to be farcical. For a REALLY GREAT pub try The Boot in Weymouth or The Royal Oak Charmouth , both of which are classic pubs givivg great value and attentive service.
slerpy - 4 Aug 2008 16:29
Poor Stonch, but what did you think of it slerpy? Any personal view? Several people said, visiting this pub was a must. I nearly didn't go because of the foul weather but was glad I did. Flagstone floors, dark stone and so atmospheric. The beer was decent too. Well worth the trip.
ofrex - 31 Jul 2008 15:14
Best pub in the UK.....great beers and cider. The veiw is breath taking. Strange mix of locals, grockles, hikers and hippies. Lovely inside too. Food is basic (i.e pasties) but who cares. Perfect for an evening drink or to quench your thirst after a hard walk.
ecudc - 4 Jun 2008 13:30
Visited 24 May 08. Well off the beaten track but worth it. We had visited in Nov 07, and sat outside and watched the various wildlife go trotting past. This second visit in warmer times, meant that the wildlife was confined to many walkers.

The real ale was in excellent condition, and is served from an old fashioned serving hatch rather than a conventional bar. I believe that the pub has been in the same family for over 100 years, and if this is true, I hope they hold on to it for another 100, as this pub is in a time warp of its own. Lovely.
cackgsy - 3 Jun 2008 14:56
Lunchtime on a Saturday saw my visit out of curiosity more than anything else. 4.80 return for the 15 minute bus journey from Swanage(KERCHINGGGGG!!!!) that gave 1 and a half hours drinking.

Wasn't busy but the bar queue was a bit chaotic. Barwoman was overzealously shouting at people as to were they being served. I'd hate to be here in the height of the season. Ale was tip top though-Ringwood Best,Hopback Crop Circle,Iceni and 1 other that escapes me. Hecks Kingston Black couldn't be left undrunk. Saw Yeovil brewery ale in the "cellar" room awaiting its turn to be unleashed. The pastie me mate had looked good and trade in this department seemed efficient enough. Heinz ketchup and HP sauce was a good touch(far better than the usual bitter pub branded shite!)

Place was full of 50 somethings with those pokey walking sticks wearing beige cotton shorts,cotton polo shirts and bum bags(is this the regulation dress for people walking round the country??),men with rancid varicose veins and women with nipples prtoruding from saggy tits.

Visited the "museum" but found it didn't really fit in with the pub,I'd prefer to see the room as somewhere to sup ale. But that's only my opinion. Can see where all the ratings come from though,the clientelle are those who are all computer literate.

Not my cup of tea,but great beer and cider.
an_ecunemical_matter - 12 May 2008 22:36
We had a great pint and cornish pastie there yesterday. Don't let the queue for the bar put you off, it is only one person wide@

louisedubya - 12 May 2008 18:42
I just love it!
Great beer & massive Cider selection. As old & original pub you will ever see. Excellent place to put up yer toes after a yomp along the coastal path or a session rock climbing.
Fun loving & attentive landlords & staff.
royalmarine1 - 6 May 2008 15:43
a truly great little pub.like other reviewers say its like stepping back in time. very unspoilt and well worth a visit.everytime we go we meet somebody nice to talk to and there are always some great characters enjoying a brew.highly recommended but dont tell too many people.
jammyjames - 24 Apr 2008 19:43
This is one special pub. Nothing else is quite like it! The beer & cider is superb. The pub is charming, and the attached museum excellent!
Very nice pasties that fit in with the rustic appeal of this place.
10/10
nomadic_boozer - 14 Apr 2008 13:01
Didn't try the food, but the cider was very good. A nice selection of real ale and loads of ciders.
The location is brilliant, with superb views and friendly chickens!
Pasties smelt lovely! Very friendly locals too.
Phmoo - 11 Apr 2008 21:19
I'm not sure it's possible to describe the magnificence of this pub - you just have to visit and be drawn into its charms. Very rustic, open fires, beer from the keg, pasties are the only food and there is a little museum attached. It looks like nothing has changed for hundreds of years and I hope it never does.
Jess_W - 31 Mar 2008 23:33
A real gem of a pub, full of character and an excellent range of ales on offer served from the cask. Interesting museum of local fossils incorporated in the pub. Great value pasties as well.
Floyd - 10 Mar 2008 16:17
Unlike the previous reviewer I can't say this is my all time favourite pub, but it's damn close. It's near perfect at what it is, an alehouse, remote, old, unchanginging if not unchanged, welcoming. I was there, this Thursday lunchtime, it was as if I'd stepped into a timewarp. Three cask beers and a 'real' lager (Duchy Original), all served straight from the barrel.
My rating 9. It might have been 10 but it's appeal is probably limited, and perfection, they say, is out of the reach of man.
Runningdog - 7 Mar 2008 00:36
My favourite pub in the world - perfect, what more can I say? Just wish it was a bit nearer.

Well worth traveling to for the Beer, Pumpkin and Scarecrow festival in November.
man_versus_horse - 6 Mar 2008 23:56
I love Slerpy's reviews. He's clearly living in the dark ages. I reckon the staff are rude to him because he's never left a tip in his life.

Personally, love the place and will be heading back as soon as possible.
jono - 5 Feb 2008 14:40
I have known this pub for years and it's rep is huge, i concider this place to be my spiritual local and would move next door if i could afford it.
twopintsoflarger - 24 Jan 2008 18:06
I have set myself the challenge of spending the rest of my days in pursuit of a pub that surpasses the Square and Compass. I fully expect to fail in my quest but it is a noble and fulfilling cause. If for some bizarre reason you are in any doubt as to the absolute supremacy of this wonderful pub, after reading these reviews, go visit for yourself.
Trethias - 24 Jan 2008 10:47
Lovely pub with lovlier views. An added bonus is that I couldn't use my phone as it had found a French service provider.
randall21 - 23 Jan 2008 13:53
The best pub in England? Obviously feelings about it are uninfluenced by the fact that almost everyone who visits is nice and relaxed, on holiday and is in there after just completing a very nice walk.
cardamom - 21 Jan 2008 11:14
I AM WRITING IN CAPS BECAUSE I AM VERY CHILDISH! JUST TO ANNNOY THAT OLD GIT SLURPY WHO HAS PROBABLY BEEN BARRED FOR DRINKING ALL THE ZIDER.
I RECKON THIS IS A REALLY LOVELY OLD PUB AND WOULD LIKE TO KNOW THE DATES OF SQUARE DAY, PUMPKIN DAY AND ANY OTHER DAY THAT SOMETHING IS HAPPENING HERE. IF YOU KNOW PLEASE EMAIL ME AT poppysummerlands@aol.com

POPPYSUMMERLANDS - 19 Jan 2008 17:16
Usually a good selection of beers,although you often find that one you like has disappeared a week later.Usually a good atmosphere,but it's too often overrun with posho's and 2nd homeowners and it's as good a place as any to discover how staggeringly arrogant and rude National Trust members can be.Fires in winter,great views on fine days,friendly staff and homemade pasties.Very busy in summer and weekends,which means you usually have to queue behind someone who's ordering for a party of eight,but the service is fast and friendly.Best avoided on pumpkin festival weekend when you can queue for 40 minutes just to get a drink. Great place to stop if you're on a walk.
jdb1 - 18 Jan 2008 20:38
If you've never been you really have to try this. Got to agree with Richardandtong. Been going here off and on for years because it never fails to pacify my troubled mind. Not sure what axe slerpy has to grind (in fairness can't please all the people all the time) but it's immensely hard to fault this place for it's charm, character, setting, staff, beer, cider, pasties, music events, feeling of antiquity, etc. etc. It does not take itself to seriously and that's what contributes to it's lovely atmosphere.

It's clearly the heart of it's community for very good reason, it feels like home and I only manage to get there about 6 times a year because I live a distance away.

It could easily be used as an example for a lot of the chav palaces in Bournemouth for what a pub should aspire to. A hearty 10/10.
jamie_fixit - 4 Jan 2008 17:58
The best pub I have found in this lifetime. It overdoses on character and the setting is truely outstanding. No carpet, no meals, no jukebox, no chavs. Flagstones, history, real fires, excellent rotation of real ales, large choice of ciders, live music and festivals ranging from stone carving to pumpkin growing. Forget your mobile phone though you may connect with the France! There is also a fantastic mini museum featuring locally found fossils and items from shipwrecks as well as items from Roman and Iron age. The pub has been in the same family for over 100 years and is well managed by Kevin. I now live over 100 miles away but still go! Live music a plenty, this pub needs its own website! Legendary!
RichardandTong - 26 Dec 2007 14:43
It is babyish to USE CAPITAL LETTERING !!!! The service here is dreadful, the prices are the most expensive on earth, a long way of the beaten track , a waste of time, money and effort.
slerpy - 17 Dec 2007 12:33
First went to this pub around 40 years ago, and it has changed little since, other than to move on to the next generation of the Newman family. Highly recommended whilst you are there is a game of Shove Ha'penny. There is usually a standard board for the use of visitors, and a lovingly polished competition board for the local experts.
timontrak - 16 Dec 2007 22:19
I LOVE THIS PUB
IT HAS A GOOD SELECTION OF REAL ALES AND CIDERS AND HAS A COOL GARDEN WITH SEATING MADE OUT OF STONE CARVINGS
REALLY NICE WALKS AROUND HERE TOO
DOES ANYONE KNOW WHEN SQUARE DAY IS:
THANKS POPPY
POPPYSUMMERLANDS - 15 Dec 2007 16:12
ec1 you are most correct.
terenced - 13 Dec 2007 15:36
ec1 you are most correct.
terenced - 13 Dec 2007 15:35
ec1 you are most correct.
terenced - 13 Dec 2007 15:34
Best pub in England.
Fact.
ec1 - 11 Dec 2007 15:13
I discovered this pub many moons ago by sheer chance. I try to get here as often as I can (not often enough, however!). The place has a character and charm all of its own and the location is wonderful. The beer is always good and the pasties superb straight out of the oven. The Newman family have a great marketing scheme here at The Square and Compass that must be the envy of many other pubs. Do nothing much to the place for about 70 years and time creates something unique and people will continue to flock to see it and enjoy it. Brilliant! This is a 'must see and experience before you die' place and may it continue in its present form for generations to come. As the traditional English pub continues to vanish at an alarming rate, The Square and Compass should be preserved as a national treasure for future generations to see what sadly has been squandered and lost elsewhere.
brachwodd - 21 Nov 2007 20:43
Great Saturday evening. With the exception of Ringwood Best, the beers were all over 6 percent so I drank the beautifully clear Farmers Medium Cider. Good band on but where were the audience? Three of us from the Midlands, a Scot and no locals, there were actually more band members. A few more turned up for the second half but this was curtailed to about forty minutes due to the lateness of the hour. Shame.
GazzaTheBeerMan - 16 Oct 2007 15:09
I have been going to the Square and Compass for over 14 years and to me it is the greatest place on earth to meet such lovely people, sit in the sun shine (if it is out)where dogs and chicken's share our tranquillity which is ever increased by the amount of Charlie Newmans real ale or cider you can consume in 7 hours, followed by a walk lit only by the stars (if they are out)to illuminate the dark night sky over Priest's way through the spooky stone quarries and dark fields back Swanage for bed time. All year round something different happens at Charlies pub from Square fare to the pumpkin contests.
Quayside - 9 Oct 2007 19:20
Although a car is almost essential to get to this pub, there is an alternative. Get the 144 bus from Swanage; the trip takes just over 15 minutes. There are of course only a very small number of trips per day so it would have to be the 12.25 ex-Swanage, returning on the last bus at 14.18! But at least that would give you about an hour and a half to sample the ales and the pasties. Enjoy.
BillyD - 5 Oct 2007 08:40
Sat outside in the garden on stone benches looking at the fantastic view. Lovely pint and some wonderful olives stuffed with sun dried tomatoes. Can't beat it. Will definitely be back to sample the home made pasties which looked good. Wish I could have sampled a few more pints but I couldn't persuade my wife to drive. Honestly couldn't find a single fault so 10/10.
bigcolchelseafan - 10 Sep 2007 17:59
The Square and Compass (name refers to the stone quarries nearby) has hardly changed in my 30-odd years of going there, and is to be treasured. Sit outside on a bench on a later summer lunchtime with a beer and a pasty, Heaven!
Will_Fly - 7 Sep 2007 13:53
Love the place - somewhat quirky in layout, but you cant fault the beers and the pasties are great too.

Would like to have stayed longer and sample more of the ales but had the car and its slap bang in the middle of nowhere
Nurke - 30 Aug 2007 13:08
Pub comproses 2 rooms and a museum plus a bar in the corridor. One room is small and cosy with about 3 tables in it whilst the other is darker but more open. The museum contains fossils. All 3 are empty as the only people inside are in the corridor in the queue to get served on a rare fine day this summer.
Ales excellent and pasties are the only food available.
The garden though was packed with drinkers, kids, dogs, stone tables and numerous sculptures.
Recommended
lout_from_the_lane - 28 Aug 2007 15:19
still far to DEAR !!!!
slerpy - 20 Aug 2007 17:44
Still the best pub I have found, good everything
beer_hunter - 11 Aug 2007 19:25
Very, very good. Great ale and pasties. Superb interior.
Best to visit on a cold drizzly November lunchtime after a long walk around the headland. Then you'll really appreciate the history and atmosphere of the place.
Don't expect to park anywhere near on a summer's day if you get there after 10.30am tho.

alehouses - 24 Jul 2007 15:36
Remains the best pub in England.

Brimming with charm and character and great beer.
terenced - 20 Jul 2007 10:36
The best pub in England. Beer, cider and perry straight from the barrel - the only way they should be served. Pub is in the middle of great countryside.
Boyne - 13 Jul 2007 12:38
Great pub, and in a lovely location - great beer garden out the front which looks like a stone circle that has been trashed by the locals! Nice beers too, always go here for a pastie and a pint when i'm in the area.
PeoplesPalace - 5 Jul 2007 20:15
Park up, walk the coast path, stagger back up the valley then relax with an excellent pint or two in this superb pub. Magic!
terfysgwr - 29 Jun 2007 13:49
As good, possibly even better, than I remember it.
Choice of 5 bitters, many ciders and a perry. Pasties as good as any you'll get. Art collection to rival many small galleries.
Just don't expect to get a seat.
Only drawback - its about 2h from my house....
jonno_ - 18 Jun 2007 16:47
No, you definitely can't see the lights of France by night (that's cos they are 80 miles away) but everything else everyone has said is spot on. One of England's finest pubs. No music (save the live sort), no telly, no nasty food. Yes it's uncomfortable and a pain to get served through that tiny hatch, yes it's always crowded, but that's because its good.
twiglet100 - 2 Jun 2007 09:23
Quite simply an excellent pub on a sunny day - however when the mist comes in ...... Been here 4 times now and beers are always too notch, great on a winters day and in summer - although can get very busy with walkers. Great history too. Mrs Harlap liked the craft shop over the road too.
Harlap - 24 May 2007 13:16
Quite simply a charm!
LOrdRobster - 22 May 2007 12:01
An outstanding exemplar of a rural, maritime English pub. Wonderful old building in a dramatic Isle of Purbeck setting - thank goodness neither have been ruined by invidious development. The beer and cider are absolutely top notch and the apple cake is worth the journey alone. One of the few pubs worthy of 10/10 without having to even consider it.
CJG - 23 Mar 2007 19:00
"...have even seen the lights of France at night". (Fossil, 2 Jan)
Wow! Must have been serving especially strong cider that day!
mildmanneredchap - 28 Feb 2007 17:34
Had a chance to go back to the S&Q last weekend, and took it with glee! Full, on a wet and windy Saturday in February, but managed to squeeze four onto a table of locals out for a walk. Pasties smaller than I remember (perhaps I was just more hungry!) - but the beer, the open fire and the atmosphere every bit as good. To make things easy for the staff, everything is sold in units of 2.50, so 10 will get you two pasties and two pints - just what was needed before a stiff clifftop walk! I only hope and pray they manage to withstand the trend for modernisation - this pub should be listed as a grade 1 building to preserve it!
kneipejaeger - 28 Feb 2007 08:17
This is a pub that we first got to know on a wet and windy March evening when we were camping locally over 35 years ago! Even now, we go back there when we are in the area. It is quite simply magnificent. The beer is served from a jug which the landlord fills directly from the barrel, and has always been an absolute joy to drink. The pasties are enormous, and, provided you are prepared to be flexible about how they are served, they make a magnificent meal. There is only one problem - as more people have got to know about it, so the space inside seems to have got smaller, and I'm very much afraid it is on the Chelsea tractor brigade's list, so use the car park about 100 yards up the road! Wonderful in summer for the views, but even better in the depths of Winter when you sit inside warming - or raosting - by the fire, often alone or with one one or two villagers. A rare treat, unspoilt(so far) by trying to be modern! if you like chain or theme pubs, stay away, but if you want something different, including a most eclectic little museum, it is certainly worth the detour, and actually, it really is not that expensive - I've known places where you pay a lot more for an awful lot less atmosphere and enjoyment!
kneipejaeger - 9 Feb 2007 16:26
have known this pub for over 40 years. it is still special (even when Kevin wants everyone to go home). Charlie puts on amazing music by musicians from all over the world. my favorite time to visit is out of season when there are more dogs than people, the fire is a bed of glowing logs and its blowing a gale of driving rain outside from off the sea. Views are great and have even seen the lights of France at night. The museum is a local treasure and Charlie adds to it regularly. The sausage pie and pasties hold the belly beasts at bay, especially when washed down with a bottle of Henry. Just assume that during the summer months you won't have the place to yourself, there could be a queue (especially at Square Fair or the Pumpkin Fair). just come out of season, don't expect egon ronay and be grateful the monopolistic breweries haven't got their hands on this pub.
fossil - 2 Jan 2007 22:13
This pub has an excellent range of beers perfectly served which you can drink in a warm authentic interior.I have visited this pub on an occasional basis for 10 years plus and although the beer is as great as ever the atmosphere has changed. It seems now to be more frequented by holiday homers and other visitors than locals which has impacted on the atmosphere. Groups of people who seem quite unsure as to why they are there. Bundling out of Porsche Cayennes to eat pasties off a paper plate.Much better in the summer when you can sit outside. If you want a warm welcome on arrival I suggest that you go elsewhere as I have never been offered that here. The pasties were greasy and served on a paper plate for 2.50 a pop. Stick to the beer.
pxk99 - 30 Dec 2006 19:51
Whilst serving in the R.A.F. during and after the war at Renscombe the Square and Compass well satisfied our thirst needs .
ARKERS - 15 Nov 2006 20:54
I wsa first impressed by this pub about 30 years ago, when carrying my pint from the hatch down the stone-flagged passage to the front door, my eye was caught by a framed sketch on the wall, original, signed Augustus John. It's that kind of place.

Outside, I drank my pint, one of the best I'd tasted,, and gazed over the English channel with warm sunlight and a cool breeze vying for dominance. What a setting...

This is a special pub, but it knows it.
zjp - 24 Sep 2006 13:40
I don,t know the price of the cider but the beer is bloody dear as a retired person, i would like to look like colin farrell, but i need to drink elsewhere too DEAR by HALF.
slerpy - 15 Sep 2006 18:11
Anyone that can find fault with a pub that has a cider menu, only sells pasties and has its own museum with a stuffed alligator really is better of down at All Bar one sipping cocktails with assistant financial advisors, eating Nachos and trying to work out if you too could pull of the long hair and moustache combination as sported by Colin Farrell in Miami Vice with out looking even more like an idiot as you already do with a mullet (Its not ironic its just bxxxxxxs).

Best Pub in England.

PS Don't make the mistake we did and down a pint of Weston's in 5 minutes...you will die
KingRaama - 12 Sep 2006 15:27
Fantastic old-fashioned pub with a brilkliant selection of beers andf 'real' ciders at low prices. Great pasties, great garden/views/location. Well worth a regular visit!
delboycarter - 12 Sep 2006 09:53
The service in this pub is so poor one wonders how it can stay open, the staff try to take the piss out of every customer! AVOID. The prices are higher than Central London. The next time I am in the area I think it will probably be closed , which seems to be their objective.
slerpy - 7 Sep 2006 14:01
Recently dropped by of a weekday lunchtime and was un-nerved by the two schoolgirls behind the bar who seemed more interested in 'Girlie chat' than pulling pints and serving up pasties. Having said that the pubs atmos is still a legend, just get some interested staff in.
DickStilton - 1 Sep 2006 00:05
This is one of my top ten pubs in the land. A perfect pub with fine beer.
Alph_river - 29 Aug 2006 00:20
This is a very pleasant pub. Stopped off after a walk and enjoyed a refreshing pint views out to sea. A pub with character (and a museum).
blamm - 24 Aug 2006 15:43
Great place for campers to park up at the end of the village as 3 pint of Dry Farmers Tipple and you are on driving
We are hoping to get to the pumpkin festival that the pub runs this year :-)
The_Cider_Pub - 17 Aug 2006 17:40
still the best pub,
beer_hunter - 14 Aug 2006 14:47
Just had my holiday and visited what I thought was the best pub in the UK. Now it is none smoking pub so it must be classed as the best pub in the world.


anonymous - 11 Aug 2006 14:36
Charlie runs this pub as his Dad did and its a credit to him. Generally the clients are a nice bunch, but with all local villages in the area, too many holiday homes are ripping the characters out of the bars. Anyway, great cask beer and you must try the Perry cider. Great pasties which taste home made, but I was a bit worse for wear. The views a stunning but remember to wrap up warm on those cool evenings as the wind bites. As a previous poster mentioned, as far as the telephone companies are concerned, you will have travelled to France, so ring wife before leaving blighty. Totally rustic pub, chickens and dogs too boot, even the odd (and I mean odd) live musician.
Barkingspider - 1 Jun 2006 16:18
Agree with all of the above, but watch out! Whenever I go there (once a year religiously wether I need to or not!) my mobile decides I am in France! Mind you had the last laugh as the boss decided to call once and his bill was huge (as it cost the firm money to ring me and the mobile (also a work one!) money to receive the call.

Pasties are too nice. Always have to have two, (to soak up the beer!)
Norealaleinorpington - 22 May 2006 12:52
The best pub in England.
Finest location.... great beer.
But don't tell anyone.

Only trouble is you need a car to get there. I'll need to persuade Mrs TerenceD to drive me there... that'll be an uphill struggle.


terenced - 22 May 2006 12:23
Fantastic pub. Real ale, real atmosphere, real people and real views.
Great museum.
blueangel - 6 May 2006 22:58
The fact that the person in the queue in front of me asked if the bar accepted US Dollars might hint that the secret is out. She was gutted that they only took Yen...

The garden is wonderful, with Purbeck stone for tables and seats. Just as well, as inside is tiny and about the size of the many Chelsea Tractor 4x4s parked outside.
cardamom - 5 May 2006 00:33
best pub in dorset by far. great setting. brilliant views. lovely pasties. great beers and ciders. beer served from chilled barrels - not pulled but poured. tastes wonderful. could call it my local although i live 20 miles away. try it out.
kryzstofv - 20 Apr 2006 22:08
lets keep it a secret, just for ourselves!!!!
anonymous - 10 Apr 2006 21:03
Yes, You have just found one of Britains greatest pubs plus a lovely free museum. I live in London it is worth walking to a true and rare gem.
slerpy - 26 Mar 2006 18:47
Off all the thousands of pubs I have visited over the last four decades this has to be my number one favoutite,it is like a step back in time, the beer the atmosphere the views the pasties and not forgetting the museum.Please, whatever else you do in your life, pay this wonderful pub a visit.I promise you will not be disappointed
alanshaw - 20 Mar 2006 13:27
Probably the best pub in Dorset!
A GREAT walker's pub, after a jaunt around St. Aldhelm's Head, there is nothing better than a swift pint or three, with a slice of pie or pasty.
A mate of mine walked here for a pint on his 40th birthday, he got his wife to drop him at Lands End first though!
JJG - 26 Feb 2006 18:35
A real 'character' pub. Very limited range of food (only pasties really), but a very interesting visit. Always full in the summer, closing time is rather flexible too.

The only thing from the 21st. century obout this one - is the prices!
satisfied - 31 Jan 2006 17:56
fantastic place, you must go, dogs and geese running around, roaring log fires, best scenery in the world, friendly people what a gem, completely unspoilt.
anonymous - 30 Jan 2006 14:31
I know people who travel from London just to spend a lunchtime here without visiting any other pub in the area. Once visited never forgotten and you will be back time and time again.
DickStilton - 18 Dec 2005 00:27
Bohemian boozer once frequented by Augustus John and featuring (I think) a sketch or two of his....now a favourite haunt of local artists and walkers...well kept beer and cider...full of dogs scouting for pasties which is the only food available in the pub...a refreshing feature which may account for the Square keeping its unspoilt personality. If you don't like pasties, get a sandwich and/or cake from the crafts centre across the road and eat it in the pub. They don't mind.
BatterseaBloke - 28 Sep 2005 20:47
fantastic pub to visit, well worth the drive, breath taking scenery, friendly staff, well worth a visit.
Jane60 - 9 Sep 2005 13:55
A near perfect pub, one of the best. All the comments are bang-on, I enjoyed the Doreset Gold and Firsty Ferret ales, the girlf tucked into someo f the many and varied ciders.

I can only add that the tables in the garden are stone from the local quarry so you feel like a king whilst quaffing and there's a museum at one end of the pub full of strange local gubbins and stuffed animals.

Fantastic.
MrScott - 4 Jul 2005 12:52
The cider here is wonderful and it's a perfect watering hole after a tough day chilling out on the dorset coast.

They run stone sculpture workshops here too and one a good day you can almost see France. In deed, oddly enough the only mobile phone network I could pick up here was french!

The Dogs are friendly and theres a nice walk to the coast nearby where I often go swimming in the sea off the rocks. Watch out for the occasionally strong current though.

Top Pub. I love queuing up for the serving hatch and sinking those pints of scrumpy (especially the organic stuff)
muckyjoe - 30 Jun 2005 18:43
Dorset boozer are they should be.
Quite probably unchanged (inc. clientelle) since about the 15th century
jonno_ - 8 Jun 2005 10:09
amazing place wow. Love the attached dinosaur museum and the crazy sculptured furniture. winning!!!
dgilli1 - 2 Jun 2005 12:41
Worth driving all day to visit. Remarkable.
davidb - 14 Apr 2005 12:37
If you only ever make it to one more pub in your life, make it this one! For those who like their real ale, real cider, mulled cider (yes, really!), dogs and stepping into a timewarp, this is the place! The pub looks like a farmhouse from the outside, has two separate rooms with flagstone floors, one with a roaring fire and the other with an ancient heater. No bar, just a serving hatch with an orderly queue of drinkers! It must have remained unchanged inside for a couple of centuries. Quite simply the most relaxing pub I have ever been to. It is remote but well worth whatever you have to do to get there!
Get_me_some_Old_Tom - 13 Apr 2005 14:20
What a Pub. all you could want.
anonymous - 13 Jan 2005 16:32
Fantastic pub. staff friendly, drinks great (Farmers Tipple quite lethal if you are taking a walk, 3 pints made it very amusing). Best pub in Dorset :)
anonymous - 12 Jan 2005 11:02
Quite simply the best pub in the whole wide world!!
I have been going there for 30 years now, more frequently when I used to live in Southampton, but now i'm in Cornwall I still manage a couple of visits a year. Plenty of good camping nearby!
kernowsaint - 2 Jan 2005 20:36
This is one of the best Pubs I have been in. The beer has always been good and the cider is ok. Some of the best views with a excellent pint. Even the wife likes it here.

I'll be back
RobinGee - 1 Jan 2005 15:55
Excellant reason for taking a holiday in Dorset. (Scenery not bad either)
Mr.Mond - 12 Dec 2004 16:27
If a person fails to appreciate this pub, they do not deserve to visit it. I know of only two other special establishments - The Vine in Pamphill, and the Cuckoo Inn at Hamptworth. Isn't it sad that most of these genuine old places are now memories?
Peter Froude - pfroude@cwctv.net - 31 Oct 2004 18:27
Winter evenings in frontof the fire, summer spent stone carving, just two of the many pleasures of which I have wonderful memories.
Barry Filbert - 24 May 2004 12:24
Great beer,great atmosphere,excellant mine'host pity about the scour landlady
anonymous - 30 Apr 2004 13:07
The Square and Compass, a meer stagger from Acton Field or Toms field..just bring a torch
Oliver Pint - 15 Apr 2004 22:19
it is a wonderful pub. i have been away from Dorst a year now, the first thing i will do on my return will be to go to the square and compass and have a pint of cider.
anonymous - 8 Apr 2004 05:48
I visit the Square every other weekend when I visit Worth, it is one of the things that I look forward to most, especially in the winter when the fire is roaring the mulled scrumpy id flowing and the great selection of bands are playing! Can't wait for the weekend, and the Square fair this summer!
Michelle Alger - 7 Apr 2004 12:41
THis is possibly the best pub I've ever been to - it has a piano, a real fire, serves several locally brewed ciders and has a fossil musuem!
Jonny Sunshine - 4 Apr 2004 13:31
Combined with a good band it does not get much better. On a cold winters evening grab the fire and on a warm summers evening enjoy the company and view. Museums great too.
Clint - 11 Mar 2004 17:08
Bestest, most soleful pub in the world. Ever.
Rex - 8 Mar 2004 14:11
This is one of the nicest pubs I have ever visited. Real ale from the cask a roaring log fire and a very friendly family run pub. Next time I am in the area I must visit again.
Womble - 19 Feb 2004 19:27
My favourite pub of all time, many fond memories drinking here. Long live the S&C.
Rico - 15 Jan 2004 18:18
can be like a dream you never want to wake up from, can be completely dead, but its what it is and long may it remain so. A reminder of whats crap about modernisation and comercialism
Shannon - 15 Dec 2003 11:55
although not close to Corfe Mullen, it is an excellent pub!
Harry - 5 Dec 2003 10:47
The Square and Compass, is one of those rare pubs that people make a special journey to. It is really for the purist, as it is a 300 year old building, which has been tenanted by the same Dorset family for 90 years. There has been no changes at all - and to visit the Square and Compass is to make a trip back to the past. The atmosphere is warm and friendly. It is close to Corfe Mullen and Swanage - and near to the coast.
Peter Froude - Pfroude@cwctv.net - 1 Dec 2003 20:17

got anything to say about this pub?

Please read our reviews policy before posting.
Only registered users can post reviews. Please log in. If you don't have an account yet, register here.