Visit Sturminster Newton a peaceful and rural Dorset idyll

Looking for a peaceful, rural Dorset idyll that still offers plenty to see and do?  How about exploring Sturminster Newton and the beautiful Blackmore Vale.

Whether you’re in rural Dorset for a short break, weekend or longer holiday, there is plenty to keep you busy here whatever the weather.  Ramble along miles of footpaths in stunning countryside or simply enjoy the atmosphere of a local event.  Sturminster Newton and the surrounding Blackmore Vale has all of this to offer and more.

Discover Sturminster Newton

Explore this pretty market town in the hub of the Blackmore Vale with its picturesque water mill on the River Stour. Once home to Thomas Hardy and Dorset dialect poet William Barnes, Sturminster Newton is a little rural gem. 

The River Stour flows around Sturminster Newton and is the longest river in Dorset. If it’s walking you’re looking for, the Stour Valley Way runs for about 64 miles, almost the entire length of the river.  It’s an Anglers’ paradise too. The river holds a great variety of species and offers excellent sport throughout the river season.

Museums, Mills and Markets

At Sturminster Newton Museum you can find out more about the rich traditions of the Blackmore Vale in this pretty thatched building. Discover exhibits on the history of the town, its cattle market, railway, milk factory and local poets. 

Sturminster Newton Mill is a 16th Century Mill and one of a series of fully working ancient flour mills on the River Stour.  Explore by yourself or enjoy an informal guided tour of three floors of working machinery powered by a 1904 water turbine to understand how flour was ground.

If you want to experience the true taste of Dorset, visit a local Farmers Market.  Sturminster Newton’s is on the 4th Saturday of the month.

Festivals, Fun and Entertainment

You can’t explore the Blackmore Vale without a visit to Sturminster Newton’s annual, 2 day Cheese Festival in September.  This event celebrates the vast array of local cheeses and other local foods with more than 60 food stalls.  There’s also local craft stalls and demonstrations of local traditions, live music, real ale and real cider tents, children’s entertainment and cookery demonstrations.  Taste your way around the Festival to discover your favourite delicacy from Dorset.  Watch your children enjoy the traditional fairground rides and shows, sit in the sunshine listen to the music and enjoy some truly delicious local food.  There’s no better way to spend the day.

Discover the Beautiful North Dorset Countryside

Keen walkers can explore the unspoilt, pastoral expanse of the Vale using the new White Hart Link walking route, a 50 mile circular walking route linking the five towns of North Dorset using footpaths and quiet lanes. The section from Sturminster Newton to Stalbridge is a pleasant walk over farmland, crossing the River Stour and then following the higher ground to the west of the river with good views. Walkers and cyclists can explore the North Dorset Trailway a 14 mile route, which can be enjoyed in smaller sections from Sturminster Newton, along an old railway track with lots of picturesque stops along the way including Fiddleford Manor, a medieval house built for the Sheriff of Dorset and now in the care of English Heritage. 

For further information visit the Sturminster Newton website -

We handrawn heart The North Dorset Trailway

North Dorset Trailway

North Dorset Trailway is a 14 mile walking and cycling route from Sturminster Newton to Spetisbury.

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