Sherborne is a delightfully picturesque place to visit all year round, however Autumn is the season where it really comes into its own.
The honey-hued buildings glow golden in the low, warm sunshine, the natural landscape is at its most spectacular, the cafes are full of the tastes of pumpkin spice and roasted hazelnut and the town is brimming with colourful events like the Pack Monday Fair and the Sherborne International Film Festival.
Read on to discover what awaits you…
The arrival of Autumn sees the Sherborne countryside transform into a magnificent display of oranges, reds, yellows and golds and one of the best places to take it in is at Sir Walter Raleigh’s country retreat, Sherborne Castle.
Wrap up warm and meander round the serpentine garden and lakeside pathways as you marvel at the rich colours reflected in the water. Little ones will enjoy the family friendly pumpkin trail during half term, solving the clues along the way. Dressing up is encouraged!
You can experience the Castle’s popular Autumn Colours Weekend this year on the 21 & 22 October.
A tapestry of history
Sherborne holds over 1300 years of history and there is plenty to discover on an Autumn visit here with the cooler temperatures just right for a day’s exploring.
From the majestic abbey and old castle ruins to the medieval almshouse and historic museum, the past is very much on display in Sherborne and you’ll take in lots on our self guided town trail.
If you’d like to try something a little different, why not explore Sherborne Town & Abbey on a detective mystery themed Treasure Trail. As you follow the Trail route, can you solve the sneaky clues set on existing buildings, permanent features and monuments to eliminate the suspects to discover whodunit?
Pack Monday Fair
The nights may be drawing in but the months of October and November are nothing but dull on the Sherborne events calendar.
One of the town’s highlights has to be the Pack Monday Fair, Sherborne's traditional knees up which is back on Monday 16th October.
The fun kicks off of Sunday night with the traditional 'Teddy Roes Band' parade to herald the start of the fair. Bring your pots, pans, wooden spoons and dustbin lids, the noisier the better!
The day itself is 'packed' with excitement including the popular flea market and street fair which will see Cheap Street, Half Moon Street and Digby Road full of stalls selling a bewildering variety of commodities including clothes, jewellery, food and household goods. There's also a nostalgic fairground at the Terrace Playing Fields, live music, food and children's workshops all day in Pageant Gardens and tours and performances at Sherborne Abbey. Not to be missed!
The arts are highly revered in Sherborne by both its visitors and residents and the town has a thriving cultural scene. There is a delightful array of literary, musical and historical events happening over the coming months which will be listed on our events pages.
Sherborne International Film Festival
One of the most anticipated events of the season is the Sherborne International Film Festival, which showcases a diverse range of films from around the world.
The atmospheric venues, including the historic Sherborne Abbey, provide the perfect backdrop for cinematic experiences that immerse you in stories from every corner of the globe.
Autumn brings with it a bounty of seasonal flavours, and Sherborne's culinary scene fully embraces this. Local markets and farm shops burst with freshly harvested apples, pears, pumpkins, and other autumn produce. These ingredients find their way into delicious pies, tarts, and hearty soups that warm the heart and nourish the soul.
Sherborne's quaint tearooms such as The Pear Tree Deli and Oliver's Coffee House and traditional pubs like The Cross Keys are the perfect places to savour these seasonal delights. Picture yourself sitting by a crackling fireplace with a steaming cup of mulled cider in hand, or indulging in a slice of warm apple pie topped with a dollop of clotted cream. These culinary experiences are not just about taste but also about the comforting, cosy ambiance that defines autumn in Sherborne.
At your service
If you’d love to experience an Autumn break in Sherborne, you’ll need a cosy place to snuggle down for the night.
Sherborne has a delightful selection of accommodation to choose from. With far reaching views over the Dorset countryside, the rustic shepherd's huts At Goathill Farm will be your home from home if you decide to stay for a long weekend.
If you’re after a hotel in the heart of the town, The Eastbury will not disappoint. Always highly reviewed by top travel publications, you can guarantee you’ll be very well looked after here.
During September and October, if you book the Eastbury Cottage for a relaxing family stay, the hotel will include a 30 minutes spa treatment for the adults!
If you’re looking for something gentler on the budget but not compromising on quality, The Grange at Oborne offers a quiet and relaxing retreat on the outskirts of Sherborne.
In Sherborne, autumn is a season of magic, where nature's transformation, outdoor adventures, culinary delights, and cultural celebrations come together to create an unforgettable experience.