Area Guide to Dorset
We cover the whole of Dorset, and south Somerset around Wincanton, Yeovil and Crewkerne. This is an area for lovers of genuinely unspoilt countryside and rural communities, ancient coastline and perfect villages.
In this unspoilt rural area, country property is our core market, ranging from quaint cottages and farmhouses to country houses and landed estates. Really substantial estates are rare, but there is a superb range of smaller country houses and picture-postcard cottages. Look in such perfect villages as Cerne Abbas, Corfe Castle, Tarrabt Monkton, More Crichel, Iwerne Minster, Evershot and Sydling St Nicholas.
The coastal towns and villages such as Lyme Regis and Bridport provide plenty of choice for smaller houses that are ideal for weekend boltholes. For larger towns, try Weymouth, which combines Georgian elegance with seaside jollity and hosted the sailing events at the 2012 Olympics; and Dorchester, where there is a good choice of Victorian villas and contemporary property, including the Duchy of Cornwall’s Poundbury development and the major new Brewery Square.
Sherborne is perhaps the county’s most perfect town, boasting a good choice of period and newer properties. Other picturesque small towns include Wareham, Beaminster, Shaftesbury and Blandford.
The local scene
Dorset is all about countryside and quiet rural living in a delightful variety of settings: the World Heritage ‘Jurassic Coast’, the chalk uplands of central Dorset, the mysterious landscape of the Isle of Purbeck and the gentle pastures of the Blackmore Vale. The fact that the county has no motorways at all helps to maintain its peace and unspoilt charm. But there is vibrancy, too: cosmopolitan Bournemouth is a lively centre for shopping and entertainment, and there is a sophisticated food scene focusing on Bridport and Weymouth.
Direct rail services to London Waterloo run from Sherborne and Dorchester.
The A35 is the major route across the south of Dorset. From Wimborne, the A31 provides fast connections to the M27 and M3 towards London.
There are ferry services from Poole and Weymouth to St malo and the Channel Islands.
Schools in Dorset
Sherborne School is one of the great public schools of England. Dorset’s other major independent schools include Sherborne Girls’, Leweston, Hanford, Bryanston, Milton Abbey, Canford and Clayesmore.