‘Magical’ town with two castles named best place to live in the South West

Sherborne Abbey, The Abbey Church of St. Mary the Virgin (Picture: Shutterstock / murbansky)

While many of the more affordable places to live will see you moving up north, there’s a quaint town in Dorset that has been getting a lot of attention recently.

Named by The Sunday Times as the best place to live in the Southwest, Sherborne has been dubbed a magical haunt by very happy visitors.

What’s better, is house prices there declined by 1% last year according to Rightmove.

Properties in Sherborne had an overall average price of £348,491 over the last year.

The most commonly bought properties here are terraced properties, selling for an average price of £315,936. Semi-detached properties sell for an average of £344,462, while detached properties get quite a bit pricier at £518,817.

But other than house prices which aren’t yet astronomical, the market town also offers not one but two castles and one of Britain’s oldest schools.

Sherborne School is an internationally known school in Dorset (Picture:

If you’re lucky enough to have this type of cash to burn, a term of Sherborne School, if your child is boarding there, is around £15,000.

Is Sherborne a good place to live?

While Dorset council may be biased, Sherborne does look like ‘one of the most beautiful towns in England’.

It’s choc full of heritage and history, with the architecture throughout the area looking stunning.

Sherborne Castle, built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594, sits on 42 acres of carefully curated English gardens designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.

You’re spoilt in the town with Sherborne Old Castle too. The 12th century ruin that was destroyed during the Civil War and is located in beautiful grounds right next to Sherborne Castle and Gardens.

The grounds are a haven for wildlife and birds and they make for the perfect spot for a picnic on a sunny day.  

The view across the lake to the new castle of sherborne (Picture: Shutterstock / abcbritain)

Did we mention there’s Sherborne Abbey as well? The church can be dated back to the 15th century and has the heaviest peal of 8 bells in the world.

If you’re one for shopping and you’re sick of ordering things online, don’t fear. Sherborne has an abundance of markets.

Cheap Street’s Pannier Market on Thursdays and Saturdays has a great array of food and drink, plants, vintage and second-hand items. 

The Dorset Farmers’ Market rolls into town on the third Friday of the month and on the third Sunday of the month is The Sherborne Market.

For book worms, the Book Fair is on the third Saturday of February, May, August and November at the Memorial Church Hall on Digby Road (opposite the Abbey).

Cheap street in the town centre of Sherborne where many of the markets are held (Picture: Shutterstock / Nigel Jarvis)

Things to do in Sherborne

If you lead a more active lifestyle there are plenty of stunning walking routes like Sherborne Town Trail, Monarch’s Way and the Macmillan Way to explore.

Cycling enthusiasts should try the National Cycle Network Route 26 or pedal along the Yeovil Country Park route surrounded by trees and streams.

Maybe you or your partner has got the golfing bug? Try Herborne Golf Course. It’s got a gorgeous 18-holes and a great clubhouse.

For a more informative day out, there’s Haynes Motor Museum with classic cars and an interactive area for kids with a mini road system, or there’s the Fleet Airm Arm Museum where you can step onboard the first British Concorde.

The annual Sherborne Abbey Festival is great for music lovers with genres like opera, jazz and classical music. It’s held in the spring and there’s a smaller version of it in the autumn.

Dorset Art Week takes place in May and plenty of galleries and studios open up to the public with exhibitions.

Sherborne on a sunny day with residents relaxing outside the pub (Picture: Shutterstock /

Where is Sherborne?

Sherborne is situated on the Dorset and Somerset border.

You can get to the Wessex area of Dorset and you can travel to Wiltshire too.

If you’re driving from London it will take you about three hours to reach the town but if you’re travelling by train you can do it in two hours and 12 minutes – with tickets costing as little as £14.

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