I must admit I haven’t lived in Dorset all that very long – I said goodbye to London and moved here last summer on a promise of lengthy beaches, dramatic coastline and towns where no one is in a rush. I found everything that was promised and so much more – rolling countryside, chocolate box cottages in the cutest of villages and lovely people living in them. I spent a great length of time exploring and discovering as it is my passion. Then at one point recently I started to think that I’ve been all around the county and there aren't many more places left that I haven’t witnessed already with my own eyes. Turns out I haven’t been to Sherborne.

Sherborne town - Visit Dorset

A self-proclaimed ‘prettiest town in Dorset’, Sherborne lies on the edge of Blackmore Vale, some 6 miles east of Yeovil, Somerset. Local people tell me there is still dispute to this day as to which county this town should belong to. It is easy to see why – I’m sure every county in the country would want a slice of cake as mouth-watering as Sherborne is. Can you compare a town to a cake? You see I love cake very much and I also love quaint and quirky market towns, and that’s exactly what Sherborne is.

St John's Almshouse, Sherborne - Visit Dorset

Sherborne dates back to Saxon times and most of the town is built from locally quarried stone which is honey brown colour with creamy parts and a fine texture. This is a reason behind the town’s unique, eye pleasing looks. At the forefront of its stunning architecture stands Sherborne Abbey – a truly fascinating and complex example of medieval architectonics. Founded in 705AD it has been a Saxon cathedral, Benedictine Abbey and is now a parish church open to visitors with free admission (donations welcome). With its unique, ornate vaulted ceiling Sherborne Abbey is one of England’s great churches and deserves a place on everyone’s ‘must-see’ list.

Sherborne Abbey - Visit Dorset

A short stroll away from the delightful town centre with its plethora of independent shops and cafes, loom the two castles of Sherborne. I mean, how many towns in the country can boast not one, but two castles? Especially ones that literally share a boundary? The Old Castle, built in 12th century by Bishop of Salisbury is now in ruin, thanks to two sieges during the Civil War. A good portion of it however survived to modern day and is now owned and cared for by English Heritage.

Sherborne Old Castle - Visit Dorset

The­­ famous explorer Sir Walter Raleigh fell in love with the castle and having acquired its lands from the Queen, built a summer lodge for nobility on nearby grounds. This passed into the hands of Digby family in 1617 and was converted to what is now known as the New Castle – a fine example of Tudor architecture with extensive gardens and a lake designed by Capability Brown. October is a great time of the year to visit both castles – you will find peace and quiet among the ruins of the Old Castle, and tranquil gardens bursting with colours of autumn in the New Castle. But one must hurry as both Castles close for winter season on the 30th October.

Sherborne New Castle - Visit Dorset

Another great reason to visit Sherborne in October is its upcoming Literary festival – a well-established, three day event taking place 23rd - 25th October which brings nationally and internationally renowned authors for talks, presentations and much more. It’s a must-visit event for the lovers of good books and creative expression.

Pretty streets in Sherborne - Visit Dorset

Places to stay and eat? There are only few places in Dorset that offer accommodation as fine and warm as the Eastbury hotel. Set in the heart of town and within walking distance of all major places and attractions, the Eastbury in Sherborne is a country hotel that is all about comfort, cosiness and taste. The multi award winning Seasons restaurant offers a superb dining experience complemented by lovely views of the hotel’s pretty walled garden.

The snug bar at The Eastbury Hotel - Visit Dorset

Truth is, there is so much to see and do in Sherborne, beyond all that is written in this blog – you can’t experience it all in one day without missing some of the favourite bits. That’s what makes it a perfect place for a weekend getaway – just think about lovely discovery walks in a quaint and historic town, followed by exquisite dining at the local country hotel, glass of wine in candlelight…

I guess we’ll leave it at that. Sherborne is waiting for you.

All words and images © Richie's Incredible Britain - follow his adventures on Instagram and Facebook 


Market Town
Sherborne Abbey

Located to the north of West Dorset, this historic Ham Stone town nestles in green valleys and wooded hills and is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful towns in England.

Sherborne Walks
Walking Tour
Sherborne Walks - guided tours in Dorset

Sherborne Walks have re-started their guided walking tours for visitors with pre-booking and a maximum of 5 places available per tour. Cindy Chant will lead our historic town tour every Friday morning, starting 10.30 a.m. Meet outside the Tourist Information Office. £10 per person. To book a place on a tour and view our new Covid safety procedures go to the Our Programme webpage at: www.sherbornewalks.co.uk or telephone Paul on 07989 453966 to discuss any other request. Bookings must be confirmed before 6pm the day before the tour. (Please note: Many sites we visit are currently not accessible, so visits are limited to commentary from outside).

The Eastbury Hotel & Spa
The Eastbury Hotel & Spa

A beautiful, 26 bedroom country house hotel with lovely gardens and a 2 AA Rosette Restaurant set in the heart of the lively historic town of Sherborne, Dorset.

Seasons Restaurant at The Eastbury Hotel & Spa
Seasons Restaurant at The Eastbury Hotel & Spa

Seasons Restaurant at The Eastbury Hotel is a multi award winning 2 AA Rosette restaurant located in the centre of the beautiful, quaint and historic town of Sherborne in Dorset.

Sherborne Castle and Gardens
Historic House/Palace
Sherborne Castle, Dorset

Built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594 and the stately home of the Digby family since 1617. Walk in the footsteps of SIR WALTER RALEIGH in the home he built more than 400 years ago. Take a leisurely stroll around 42 acres of our beautiful ENGLISH LANDSCAPE GARDENS. Experience the peace and tranquillity: marvel at the spectacular views. Take lunch in our award winning Tea Room and then browse our Gift Shop for a souvenir of your visit.

Sherborne Old Castle
Sherborne Old Castle - Aerial view

Sherborne Old Castle has now re-opened. Visitors today can delight in the great gatehouse, stroll in the castle grounds and enjoy a picnic where Sir Walter Raleigh once entertained when the castle acted as his country home.

Sherborne Abbey
Sherborne Abbey

Historic Abbey Church dating from Saxon times. Wealth of 15thC fan vaulting built of Ham stone.

Sherborne Literary Festival
Sherborne Literary Festival

Sherborne's Literary Festival will be back in 2021. Sherborne's literary festival with authors of national standing, proven authors who have established followings and cutting edge writers who are at the forefront of creative thinking.

Autumn Colours at Sherborne Castle
School Holiday
The Anenome Walk in Autumn at Sherborne Castle and Gardens, Dorset

Enjoy the spectacular display of autumn colours in the beautiful lakeside gardens. Tea Room and Gift Shop open. Reduced price entry to gardens & grounds. Free entry for children under 16 years old.



  1. Kath Brewer
    I love these blog posts - so interesting and I always learn something about Dorset which is my favourite place.

    Wonderful photos too.

    Keep up the good work and I hope you continue to do these.

  2. curlyclark
    Fab pictures and write up, l visited Dorset for the first time in spring and fell in love with the place.
  3. Caz
    I’ve been to Dorset many times, but never to Sherborne...you’ve definitely tempted me to visit
  4. Elizabeth
    This piece was fantastic... It paints such an evocative picture of this prettiest town and has the stunning photos to match! Definitely added to my list! Thanks to the author!
  5. Tina
    A very interesting and well written blog. Together with the great photos it surely makes me want to return to Dorset for a visit, this time taking my camera with me!
  6. Hils
    A really well written and informative guide with great photos, plenty of facts and ideas encouraging visitors to explore for themselves. I will certainly be putting Sherborne on my list of places to visit!
  7. Sue @netherleigh.
    Great write up and yes I believe it is the prettiest village in Dorset. I too fell in love with all that Sherborne offers and loved learning all about the history of Sir Walter Raleigh and his castles.
  8. Susanna_sue2
    Wonderful factual report. Visited Dorset many time but not to Sherborne
    Beautiful collection of photos to tempt me to go! Def on my list to visit now x
  9. Linda._.ann_
    Just love this blog, has made me really want to visit Sherborne. Excellent description and fantastic photos, what a gorgeous spot, it’s now on my to visit list!
  10. Ian Brown
    Excellent article Richie, full of useful information and historical data. The pictures are fantastic and as normal you have left me decalring my intent to visit. Nice one !! Ian B
  11. Charlotte
    An interesting read! Not a place I have heard of before. A very well written and informative blog.
  12. Carlos
    Great blog Richie , never knew this was such an interesting place. Very informative and beautiful images.
    Great blog!
  13. Su
    A lovely blog Richie, well written with some fascinating facts plus the added bonus of some beautiful photos ... I’ve never visited Dorset but it is on my list of places to explore next year and now that I’ve read and seen a little of what Sherborne has to offer, I’ll be visiting here too !
  14. Tamsin
    to visit
  15. Starfish
    So many beautiful pictures, I can't wait to visit,
    bring my camera and take my own pictures!
  16. Murphybear
    We moved to Sherborne 2 years ago. We still haven’t visited the Abbey or the castles.

    There’s a lovely street fair just before Christmas, full of beautiful thungs at reasonable prices.

    The Main Street, Cheap St has lovely shops including an artisan baker whose food is fabulous, they have a cafe as well. Most of the buildings in Cheap St are grade 2 listed, that will give you an idea of what it’s like.

    The locals are friendly too!

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