Things to do in Sherborne
Dorset is home to stunning countryside, architecture, and attractions, as well as boasting the captivating Jurassic Coast.
The town of Sherborne is overflowing with interesting buildings, gardens, and trails to enjoy as a whole family. What’s even better? Sherborne is just an hour’s drive from our Rockley Park Holiday Park and 45 minutes from Littlesea, Weymouth Bay and Seaview holiday parks. So pack a lunch, pop on some comfy shoes, and start exploring things to do in Sherborne.
1. Sherborne Abbey
Address: Abbey Cl, Sherborne DT9 3LQ
You don't have to be a person of the cloth to fully appreciate just how magnificent Sherborne Abbey is. Famous for its vaulted ceiling and famous Saxon kings, the Abbey has been an integral part of the Sherborne landscape since the 1300s.
As a family, walk around the abbey to explore its stunning architecture, statues, and peal of eight bells. You'll be pleased to know it's wheelchair accessible and open every day of the year without booking.
You can even have your very own tour guide at no extra cost, and visit the gift shop when you're done. How's that for a history lesson?
2. Sherborne Museum
Address: Abbey Gatehouse, Church Ln, Sherborne DT9 3BP
Nestled in the heart of Sherborne town in a grade II-listed building, you'll find Sherborne Museum. It's free to enter!
Celebrating the history of Dorset, get up close to fascinating fossils and relics, significant pieces of art, and exhibits showcasing old agriculture in the Dorset area. Find ever-changing displays in the Gardner room, many of which are created by local schools.
Fancy something more structured to keep your young ones busy? The museum runs events and workshops to entertain the whole family.
When you've finished studying the collections, pop to the gift shop to grab yourself a souvenir of your day.
3. Pageant Gardens
Address: Station Rd, Sherborne DT9 3NQ
People have enjoyed the Pageant Gardens since 1906 when it opened to the public. When you visit, you'll see why — stunning landscape gardens with flowers, plants, and water features await! Spend a leisurely afternoon with the family strolling around the grounds. It's free entry and only a short distance from the train station. If you're coming by car, there's plenty of parking nearby.
The paths are wide for easy navigation for pushchairs, wheelchairs, and mobility scooters. Plus, there's a bandstand—you might catch some local live entertainment if you're lucky!
4. Sherborne Steam and Waterwheel Centre
Address: 16 Oborne Rd, Sherborne DT9 3RZ
Visit the famous Steam and Waterwheel Centre to continue the historical theme when you’re after things to do in Sherborne. Did you know that until 1959, Sherborne's Victorian waterwheel supplied the town's residents with its water? The fascinating history behind this wheel's restoration, and the steam engines that helped drive it, are all found inside the centre.
Take the kids and get right up close to old-fashioned stationary engines and plenty of other exhibits. See the steam engines come alive and watch the giant waterwheel in action on open days! Study the old Sherborne maps to discover more about how the town looked 150 years ago.
There are some parking spots nearby and plenty of places to picnic, so bring food and make a day of it.
5. Sherborne Old Castle
Address: Castleton Rd, Sherborne DT9 3SA
It's no surprise that Sherborne's home to another grand piece of architectural history. Although crumbling, Sherborne Old Castle is still a formidable sight. Explore the ruins of the old home of Sir Walter Raleigh, where you can still clearly see remnants of each room. Today, you can still make out the well, gatehouse, and kitchen areas. There's even a moat!
English Heritage members get in free or you just need to pay a small fee to access the ruin, with family tickets available at a discount. It's best to book in advance, but by all means, bring your dog as well; no ticket is required for your pup, of course!
6. Sherborne Town Trail
Sherborne's got a rich history and plenty of places of interest. If you fancy stretching your legs and don't want to miss the best spots in Sherborne, take the Sherborne Town Trail!
It starts at the Almshouse of St John and is roughly 1.5 miles long. Take it at your own pace. On your journey, you'll visit the Abbey, an 18th-century sundial, merchant buildings, a market area, and the Paddock Gardens. Thankfully, it's easy to navigate with signposting along the route.
Hungry or thirsty? Either pack your own lunch or visit one of the many family-friendly eateries along the way.
7. The Toy Barn and Blackmarsh Farm
Address: Blackmarsh Farm, Dodd's Cross, Sherborne DT9 4JX
If you’re after thrilling things to do in Sherborne that keep the kids entertained, the Toy Barn's got you covered. Owned by the Hunt family for over 100 years, they've transformed old barns and grounds into outdoor play areas that you can come and enjoy all week long. There are wooden play areas, sunken trampolines, and even pedal go-karting!
Once a year, it's home to the Maize Maze, a massive maze with mini-puzzles to solve as you navigate your path. You'll need a ticket to gain entry to the farm but it's well worth it. There's parking available and although you'll have to leave picnics at home, the farm shop provides a hot cuppa and homemade snacks to keep you going.