Top places to live in Dorset Wimborne
A bustling town with pretty streets and courtyards, period buildings, independent shops and whopping weekend markets. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.
An historic market town on the banks of the rivers Stour and Allen, Wimborne (or Wimborne Minster to give its full name) has pretty streets and courtyards lined with ye olde worlde buildings, indies aplenty and masses of excellent schools.
Go for coffee, cakes, and lunches at Le Petit Prince Patisserie. Eat breakfasts, sourdough toasties, quiche and salads at The Squash Court Cafe at Dean’s Court. Renouf’s Cheese & Wine Bar serves up… guess what? There’s fab Modern British at The Wimborne Pig. Work your way around the town’s many historic pubs (there are 12 in the centre alone).
Shops are set around the partially pedestrianised main square and streets behind, with some chains (White Stuff, Fat Face) and plenty of indies. Shops include a butchers, fishmongers, green grocers, The East Street Deli, Gulliver’s Bookshop and sister shop Square Records, Dean’s Court Home Store (a mini emporium with eclectic, old and new home wares, clothing and lifestyle goodies), refill wholefoods/health shop Spill the Beans and Tails from the Woods for trad toys. You’re well served with supermarkets, including Waitrose. Wimborne’s known for its large open air/covered markets every weekend: farmers’, flea, antiques and general. Your nearest farm shop? The Pamphill Dairy.
You can’t miss Wimborne Minster, with its chained library, on Minster Green. There’s another Wimborne – in miniature. Find out more about the area at the Museum of East Dorset. Take in a flick or show at the 1930s Tivoli Theatre. The magnificent Italianate mansion, National Trust Kingston Lacy, with its spectacular artworks and 8,500 acres of formal gardens and estate (including Iron Age Hillfort Badbury Rings) is worth repeated visits throughout the year. The coast is only half an hour away.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE
There are lots of gorgeous period properties in the centre of town and spreading outwards. The average house price last year was £373,217. Detached properties sold for an average of £439,992, semis £367,100 and apartments £206,237.
It’s darned good for schools, with a large number of Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ primaries including Colehill First School, Hayeswood First, Merley First, Allenbourn Middle School, St Catherine’s Catholic and many more. Secondary Queen Elizabeth’s is ‘Good’. Nearby independents include Dumpton School, Canford School, Yarrells Prep & Nursery and Castle Court Prep.
BEST KEPT SECRET
Wimborne is said to have the biggest fireworks display in Dorset.
With no station in town you’ll need to drive 30 mins to Bournemouth to get to London Paddington or Waterloo in just under 2 hours – or take the slightly shorter drive to Poole for Waterloo in just over.
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