I’m Dylan, a miniature schnauzer, and I moved to beautiful rural Dorset from West Sussex when I was 9 weeks old. I’m told I’m probably the most handsome dog in Dorset and who am I to argue?

Despite my middle-aged colouring, I just celebrated my first birthday this month. I love getting out and about in Dorset; anything that involves walking, sniffing, running, meeting people or other dogs get a paws up from me.

October has been one of my favourite months so far, partly because it’s my birthday month and I had a party with my siblings to celebrate, but also because I love the cooler, sunny days. I go out walking every day, but some walks are more special than others and these were this month’s highlights…

Sherborne Castle

One of my favourite places to walk! It’s very close to where my owners and I live, so we have a season ticket and go several times a week. Sometimes there are lots of people and dogs to meet, other times it feels like I have the place to myself and once I got mixed up in a wedding, but that’s another story…

Even though I’m a regular visitor, I can barely contain my excitement as we drive through the gates waving our pass at the nice lady in the ticket hut. By the time we park the car in front of the Castle, I am usually squealing with anticipation and everyone around is looking at me.

Dylan infront of the magnificient Sherborne Castle

Our usual route follows the footpath around the west side of the lake, through the maple glade and on to Raleigh’s Seat, then past the stone dog to the Cascade.

Strolling around Sherborne Castle's grounds alongside the lake

Just a bit further round we stop and admire the view back to the Castle across the lake. There’s a perfectly positioned ‘posing platform’, ideal for a ‘sit and stay’ photo opportunity! Well, I’ll do almost anything for a treat…

Dylan posing infront of the lake and the stunning castle in the background

After continuing on the footpath and peeking through the railings to the Old Castle, we head back to our favourite bench for a rest. There’s a great view across the lake to the Castle from here, though I am usually too busy sniffing and foraging to notice. I just know that if I sit still at least for a little while to let others admire the view I get another treat!

Admiring the view across the lake to Sherborne Castle and the grounds

Heading back round the lake towards the Orangery, Boathouse and Tea Room, we give the ducks and other water fowl a wide berth, though given half a chance I’d love to chase them and see them splash into the water.

Heading to through the garden to the Tea Room at Sherborne Castle

Finally we walk around the East lawn back to the front of the Castle and the car. Lovely. Now time for a snooze…

Minterne Gardens

This month I’ve also been to Minterne Himalayan Gardens, between Sherborne and Dorchester. I hadn’t been there before, but I hope I’ll go again soon! The car park was right opposite the entrance, so we were in the gardens in no time and walked past the beautiful house to the start of the trail. 

Admiring the grand Minterne House

We walked through the woodland garden, stopping for some ‘quiet contemplation’ in the new Himalayan Hut. There was a lovely view across the parkland, where I could spy some sheep!

enjoying the himalayan hut in the woodland Garden at Minterne Gardens

Then there were streams and waterfalls, but I kept my distance as I’m not a big fan of water in general, though there were some new scents at the edge to keep me entertained.

Exploring the streams and waterfalls

As we continued on our way, pheasants popped out from under the bushes and ran across the path right in front of me. Fortunately I was on the lead – I’m fairly well behaved, but a little chase may have been hard to resist!

Finally, we emerged from the trail into the beautiful parkland and stopped to admire the view.

Enjoying the view of the parkland

I wanted to go on to the terrace for some light refreshment, but we didn’t stop on this occasion and I was so thirsty by the time I got home! Next time…

Check out our dog friendly pages for lots more information about visiting Dorset with your dog.


Minterne Gardens
Minterne Gardens

Minterne Gardens are now open (usual hours from 10am to 6pm). Please observe the notices in place during the Coronavirus situation: respect 2 metre social distancing, there is a One-Way system around the Garden. Toilets will be open for emergencies only. Minterne is famed for its seasonal profusion of Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Japanese cherries and Magnolias are set in a peaceful wooded valley and have been described by Simon Jenkins as ‘corner of paradise.’ As seen on BBC Gardeners' World.

Sherborne Castle and Gardens
Historic House/Palace
Autumn colours at Sherborne Castle and Gardens, Dorset

The Castle Gardens are open every day from 10am – 5pm, last admission 4pm. The Tea Room and Gift Shop are open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am – 4pm. Unfortunately the Castle will not be open during 2020. Built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594 & home of the Digby family since 1617. View Magnificent Staterooms, Nationally Important Collections of Art, Furniture & Porcelain, Raleigh’s Kitchen & a Museum. Explore 42 acres of English Landscape Gardens designed by ‘Capability Brown’ and discover a 50 acre lake, herbaceous borders, magnificent specimen trees and sweeping vistas.

The Acorn Inn
The Acorn Inn

Welcome to this quality 16th Century coaching inn that Thomas Hardy called 'The Sow & Acorn' in 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles'. Set in the picturesque West Dorset village of Evershot, this lovely old stone-built Inn boasts worthy history.



  1. Poppy
    Hi Dylan , can you recommend a good doggy beach for me please ?

    Poppy x

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