Ask someone just why it was they moved to Dorset and there’s a big chance they’ll tell you it was because they fell in love with the enchanting market town of Sherborne (not to be confused with Sherbourne, a small village in the West Midlands, although it does share some of the leafy charms of its homonymous West Country counterpart). If you’re feeling a pull towards this neck of the woods and perhaps tiring of the capital, then here’s a Master Remover guide to the attractions and advantages of Sherborne, a wonderful place either for bringing up families or enjoying a rich, fulfilled single life.
It’s on the water
Some of us just have to be close to water or we feel disconnected. The River Yeo runs through Sherborne (in some stretches, it’s known as the River Ivel), which is a fork off the River Parrett. If you can’t bear for the summer to pass without some wild swimming, and you no longer have options like The Serpentine or Hampstead Ponds, then you’ll find plenty of swimming spots on the Yeo, as well as banks that are perfect for sunbathing. Bring some fresh lemonade in the cooler, and you have the perfect afternoon at your disposal.
Market town and villages are prone to two opposing risks. Either they become too chi-chi for words, full of manicured boutiques and excessively titivated streets, or they fall prey to an excess of high street chains. Sherborne, not unlike Bridport, has managed to stay roughly in the middle. It feels authentic and unspoilt and it couldn’t be more different than the rather sterile, antiseptic environs of Poundbury. [HYPERLINK: ]
It’s got great rail links
Sherborne Railway station is on the Waterloo to Exeter line and services operate hourly. And compared to other parts of Dorset, you’re close to the capital which can be immensely reassuring if that’s where you’ve moved from. It’s a two-hour journey whereas other parts of Dorset take nearer to three. [HYPERLINK: ]
There’s a Waitrose
It’s a cliché, but, as with so many clichés, there’s an important truth within. If an area has a Waitrose, it tells you something about it. People like living there. It’s reasonably safe and established, not to mention family-friendly. You can get all the ingredient you need for recipes. It’s less dismal to walk around than some of the strip-lit supermarkets that always leave you feeling slightly depressed. [HYPERLINK: ]
It’s a market town
Market towns are delightful, great for meeting people, making friends and feeling the spirit of community. In Sherborne, market days are Thursday and Saturday, and there’s a farmers’ market on the third Friday of each month, a vintage market on the last Saturday of each month and a book fair on the third Saturday of every month. [HYPERLINK: ]SHERB
There’s a good hospital
No one wants to get ill but it’s inevitable. Sherborne’s hospital, The Yeatman, has a good reputation. If you think there’s any likelihood of you living out your days here, then that’s reassuring. Ditto if you have elderly relations here. [HYPERLINK: ]SHER
There’s the Sherborne Abbey Festival
If, like many new residents, you find yourself absolute transported by the beauty of Sherborne Abbey, then the annual festival, a community-binding programme of events recognised for its quality in 2017 by the Dorset Tourism Awards, who gave it their Gold award, will be perfect for you. The events in May include numerous appearances by the Abbey Choir, the Sherborne Young Singers, the Sherborne School Chamber Orchestra and many more local talents. The abbey itself, a Grade I listed building, dates back as far as the Saxon period. [HYPERLINK: ]
There’s the Sherborne Literary Festival
Any place that’s seriously on the map has its own literary festival, and Sherborne is no different. Although its 2018 programme has yet to be unveiled, it’ll take place in October, helmed by the Sherborne Literary Society [HYPERLINK: ]
There are wonderful properties
Whether you’re looking for new-builds, or anything from Elizabethan to Georgian, you can find it here. There are heart-meltingly attractive streets, near parks and other sources of greenery.
Auctions, antiques, a proper independent bookshop, an excellent garden centre – Sherborne has a bustling, old-fashioned character to its shopping. [HYPERLINK: ]
There’s Sherborne Castle
If all the above isn’t enough (and really, it’s only a small fraction of what Sherborne has in store for you), then don’t forget Sherborne Castle, a 16th Century Tudor mansion, with sumptuous, luxuriant gardens open to the public for most of the year. Concerts, firework shows and more are hosted here, too, in a programme of events. [HYPERLINK: ]