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Sherborne


Sherborne Abbey, Dorset Sherborne Abbey is the embodiment of aristocratic pedigree © David Evison, Shutterstock

Sherborne is attractive, and knows it. If Sherborne were a woman, she would be an incredibly pretty, popular socialite who relishes the envy she generates in everyone else.

This ancient town marking the boundary of the Blackmore Vale has much to offer the visitor, including two castles, a splendid abbey and a charming town centre. Allow at least one full day to explore. Sherborne is attractive, and knows it. If Sherborne were a woman, she would be an incredibly pretty, popular socialite who relishes the envy she generates in everyone else. Sherborne has an impressive aristocratic pedigree spanning hundreds of years and exudes a refined sense of style. In most towns and villages in the Blackmore Vale you will see a farmer fresh from his tractor (which may be parked around the corner) or a woman in well-worn jodhpurs and wellies popping into the bank or the grocer, but this doesn't seem to happen here. I get the impression that Sherborne would frown upon such activity because it is the sort of place where you get dressed up and slap on some make-up to go shopping.

Sherborne’s aristocratic pedigree is embodied in its finest buildings, Sherborne Abbey, Sherborne Old Castle and Sherborne Castle (built by Sir Walter Raleigh), which are all open to the public. A stroll around the town centre with its medieval buildings is enough to gain an appreciation for the town’s history; it dates back to the Saxons, who named the town ‘scir burne’, meaning the place of the clear stream, and made it the capital of Wessex. Today it is a vibrant market town and a centre of learning, thanks to its three private schools: Sherborne Boys, Sherborne Girls and Leweston.

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