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Things to do inSherborne

Visitor information for Sherborne in Dorset

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The beautiful Dorset market town of Sherborne was named ‘scir burne’ by the Saxons, meaning ‘place of the clear stream’. The town has an abundance of fine medieval and Georgian buildings built of the honey-coloured Hamstone, quarried at Ham Hill, Somerset.  

The centrepiece of the town is its Abbey. The glorious fan vaulted ceiling and stained glass windows by the renowned artists Lawrence Whistler and John Hayward are a sight not to be missed. Regular guided tours are held on Tuesday mornings at 10.30am and Fridays at 2.30pm from April until September. 

Sherborne’s Old Castle, which is now in ruins, is a charming stop for a few hours.  Built in the 12th century and a favourite of Sir Walter Raleigh, the Castle has battled through two sieges yet still has its North Range and Great Tower still intact. 

The ‘new’ Sherborne Castle stands a short distance from the town centre and has been the home of the Digby family since 1617. Visitors from all over the world have been attracted to its outstanding collections of art and furniture and to admire Capability Brown's landscaped gardens with their sweeping lawns, magnificent specimen trees and herbaceous borders. Visitors tour the interior of the castle at their own pace and there are stewards on hand to answer any questions.

In the town centre there are many independent businesses selling a vast array of items, from handcrafted goods to elegant fashions. Wander round Sherborne’s streets and see what you can find. 

Weekly street markets are held on Thursdays and Saturdays where you’ll find stalls selling everything from fabric to fish and baked goods to books. The Farmers’ Market takes place every third Friday of the month and sells some of the best local produce.  

Sherborne Museum is centrally located in the heart of this beautiful Dorset town and occupies what was formerly the Almonry belonging to the Abbey, now a Grade II listed building. 

Sport lovers can take their pick from Sherborne Sports Centre with its pool, outdoor tennis courts and fitness suites; or the Oxley Sports Centre which boasts a 25-metre swimming pool, a climbing and bouldering wall and 2 squash courts among its facilities. 

Staff at the Tourist Information Centre, situated in Digby Road, close to the Abbey, will be happy to help with more information on all that Sherborne has to offer.

Things to do in Sherborne

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