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best places to live Dorchester Poundbury, Dorset

Top places to live in Dorset Dorchester

The historic county town of Dorset, Dorchester is great for families with very good schools, close proximity to the Jurassic coast as well glorious countryside. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.

Monart Spa, Queen Mother Square, Poundbury, Dorchester

WHY?

The historic county town of Dorset, Dorchester is great for families with very good schools, close proximity to the Jurassic coast as well glorious countryside. Poundbury, the Prince of Wales’ retro urban extension – neo-classical meets Georgian town houses meets flint-clad cottages and more – lies on the edge of town.

EAT

Lots of cafes. Michelin-recommended, inventive modern grub in the small (only 5 tables) but perfectly formed Sienna on the high street and super local nosh out in Lower Bockhampton at the thatched Yalbury Cottage. The New Inn at Cerne Abbas. Award-winning Brace of Pheasants in Plush.

SHOP

Lots of indies and chains around town, including Waitrose. Hobbs, Joules, Belle Modelle interiors, Morrish & Banham wines in Brewery Square. Assortment of indies up in Poundbury including the Brace of Butchers, Magpie homewares and gifts, Dorset Wine Co and Little Waitrose.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

Lots. Two cinemas: the brilliant Art Deco Plaza and an Odeon. Dorchester Arts at the Corn Exchange. Ten museums, including a collection of unwrapped 3,000 year old mummies. Biennial literary fest. The neolithic Maumbury Rings, the Cerne Giant and the Jurassic coast. Thomas Hardy and TE Lawrence’s cottages. The super luxe Monart Day Spa up in Poundbury.

AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE

£305,667 in 2019. Flats £207,554, terraced £322,517 and semis £357,466. Estate agents include Meyers and Parkers

HOT PROPERTY

SCHOOLS

Very good. Several state primaries close by are ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’. Seniors: the Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester and Colyton Grammar in Colyford (6 miles) are both ‘outstanding’. Independents within easy reach include Sherborne School, Sunninghill Prep, Leweston and Exeter School.

BEST KEPT SECRET

A network of tunnels underneath the town are believed to have been used by the infamous ‘hanging judge’ Judge Jeffreys during the Bloody Assizes of September 1685.

COMMUTE

Dorchester West to London Paddington in 2 hours 32 mins; Dorchester South to London Waterloo in around 3 hours.

View the full Top 200 Best Places to Live

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