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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.


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.


This 4-bed, Grade II Listed Georgian town house half a mile to Wimborne’s main square, seems a snip at £400,000.


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.


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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Westbourne, Bournemouth

Probably Bournemouth's hippest, most cosmopolitan area stuffed with places to eat, drink and shop – and just 15mins walk to the beach.


Lying between two rivers, the sea and the New Forest, the harbourside town boasts an idyllic location - and much more.


A bustling town with pretty streets and courtyards, period buildings, independent shops and whopping weekend markets.

Lyme Regis

Georgian streets, independent shops and eateries, an ancient harbour (and even more ancient fossils) on offer at this pretty seaside town on the Jurassic Coast.

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Sometimes known as London-by-the-sea, the town has a vibrant community, rich cultural scene, indie shopping and eateries.

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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.

best places to live Shaftesbury Dorset


Sleepy hilltop town nestled within the Blackmore Vale in North Dorset, with indie shops, cafes and restaurants and one of the UK's most iconic views at Gold Hill.

best places to live Sherborne Dorset


The picture postcard market town in north west Dorset has gorgeous medieval and Georgian properties, an eclectic array of independent shops, cafes and restaurants, excellent schools, a magnificent abbey and not one but two castles.

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