Welcome to The Dorset a 300 year old pub in the historic town of Lewes

The Dorset is one of Harvey & Son’s oldest pubs, built in 1670 on the site of an illegal workhouse, and is about 100 steps from the famous Bridge Wharf brewery. Parts of the original building still form part of the pub today. Our sign earned the pub a nickname; The Cats, and shows the coat of arms of the Sackville’s - the Earls of Dorset - who kept 2 snow leopards as household pets and claimed ownership of the area between 1588–1842. For the last 160 years the pub as been the headquarters of the legendary Cliffe Bonfire Society. Now in our third century, current landlord & co-owner Paul Bennett and his team, look forward to welcoming you to eat, drink, sleep and relax.

Accommodation in the heart of the town

We're located under the famous 'Cliffe' at the lower end of Lewes town centre, close to the South Downs Way and just a stones throw from Brighton. With lots of room it's a great family pub, walkers are welcome and if you're a cyclist we've always got somewhere to store your bike. We have 6 ensuite bedrooms, all are comfortable and good value, with free WiFi, a TV and a late night security card entrance. Book your room today.

Food, glorious food

Head Chef & co-owner Rob Palmer and his team create delicious seasonal dishes using local suppliers. We're now serving our Winter menu and it has something for everyone. Sandwiches, sharing plates, pub classics, great veggie options and our al a carte menu. On Sundays we write a new menu each week, combining traditional roasts, contemporary classics and home-made desserts. Our 'Sunday Best' is served between 12pm and 6pm. Or until they run out !

The history of bonfire in Lewes

The Lewes Bonfire Night is the biggest Fifth of November Event in the world, and is known as either the Lewes Bonfire Night Celebrations, Lewes Bonfire Night or just simply the Fifth. It commemorates the fall of Guy Fawkes, the failure of the Gunpowder Plot, and remembers the Seventeen Martyrs that were burnt near the Lewes War Memorial between 1555-1557. Currently there are 7 bonfire societies based in Lewes, although there have been as many as 25 in the past, while many of the smaller towns and villages in East Sussex also have their own society. On the night of the 5th they lead their processions through the town, each with their own traditions, costumes, bonfire, fireworks, tableaux, effigies and set pieces to their own fire sites. For more info and history visit The history of Lewes Bonfire.