Sherborne town offers a packed events programme, an impressive array of independent shops, superb schools, two castles, an abbey and an illustrious history so you will never be short of things to do. There are also many places to see in Sherborne. Here we have chosen our top 7 best things to do and places to see in Sherborne.
Any trip to Sherborne must involve a visit to its magnificent abbey. The building is renowned for its fan-vaulted ceiling, one of the best examples of its kind in the country. Two Saxon kings, King Ethelbald of Wessex and his brother King Ethelbert of Wessex, are buried here in what some consider to be the Cathedral of Dorset.
Sherborne Abbey Festival
The Sherborne Abbey Festival features local musicians, schools and internationally established performers. The 2017 programme includes violinist Nicola Benedetti who has captivated audiences and critics alike with her musicality; John Bryden an International Concert Pianist; Gabrielle Ducomble, a London-based French Jazz Singer with an astonishingly beautiful voice and Emerald O’Hanrahan, who voices Emma Grundy in The Archers, who will talk about her title role in Jane Austen at Home.
Art and Antiques
There are several places in town where you can browse art and antiques. Bid at auctioneers Charterhouse, put in an antique search request at Henry Willis or enjoy gluten-free cake at the Acreman Street Antique centre. At the other end of the age-scale, the Jerram Gallery exhibits Contemporary British pictures and sculpture. The gallery holds six exhibitions throughout the year featuring both established painters and sculptors along with emerging young artists from across the UK.
Sherborne is world famous for its schools. Sherborne School was founded by St Aldhelm and according to legend, Alfred the Great was one of the school’s early pupils. ‘Old Shirburnians’ include Hugh Bonneville, Jon Pertwee and Jeremy Irons. The school’s musicians hold regular music recitals at the school, in venues across the town and at the Sherborne Abbey Festival.
Explore by foot
There is a fascinating and picturesque walk around the Sherborne area that follows a route just over 6 miles. This takes in country lanes, gentle hills and pretty villages, reveals the places of Sir Walter Raleigh residences, including Sherborne Old Castle, a gift from Queen Elizabeth I, before he built his own manor house in the castle grounds in 1594. The house was extended in the seventeenth century and is now known as Sherborne New Castle.
Sherborne Castle Country Fair
A well established and popular family event that has a vast range of country activities, stands and one of the best Rare Breed Shows in the country. The Fair is held every May Bank Holiday, which in 2017 is Monday 29 May.
From spade to fork
Sherborne Farmers’ Market takes place on Cheap Street on the third Friday morning of the month. You can expect stalls stocked with local produce, freshly baked bread, meat, fruit and vegetables as well as handmade jewellery and other goods. Sherborne Weekly Market is held in the same location every Thursday and Saturday mornings.
Food, glorious food
Sherborne is foodie heaven. Oxford’s Bakery is the only steam-powered bakery in the world. Excellent local cafés include Oliver’s Coffee House for delicious cherry and almond cake. The Bakery Café serves the best bacon baps in town. The Green Restaurant offers a great value Menu du Jour. The multi award-winning Eastbury Hotel, a boutique style hotel in Long Street, offers fine dining and their now legendary Evening Tasting Menu. There are also many bars with great atmosphere, craft beers and good entertainment.