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Wimborne Minster – A True Dorset Gem!

What isn’t there to love about Wimborne, a vibrant, historic market town bursting with character? Choose from an array of drinking & dining experiences, with entertainments ranging from a gloriously restored art deco cinema and theatre, a model village, a heritage museum and, of course, the remarkable 1300 year-old Minster itself, around which the town has grown. Located on the banks of the picturesque rivers Stour and Allen, with outdoor pursuits right on its doorstep, Wimborne has something for everyone.

*Please be advised – Wimborne is popular! Booking for all drinking and dining venues, attractions and activity hire is recommended – please use the links. *

Walking

Too many options to include them all, but a small selection:

Badbury Rings and The Oaks, Kingston Lacy – enjoy excellent views across the Dorset countryside and explore the fascinating Iron Age hill fort, rich in history, flora and fauna.

Pamphill and Cowgrove, Kingston Lacy – take a gentle stroll through the beautiful unspoilt villages of Pamphill and Cowgrove and admire the views across the Stour Valley.

Shapwick and Droves, Kingston Lacy – a fairly flat walk from the old village of Shapwick along old tracks and droves, including the Kingston Lacy Beech Avenue.

Cycling

A diverse selection of cycling routes to choose from; here are just a few:

– Spring cycling tour along the River Winterbourne: 21.8 miles – this route is an opportunity to take in Wimborne Minster, the idyllic villages of Pamphill and the Tarrants, with far reaching views across the Dorset farming countryside.

– Take a detour to St Mary the Virgin: 31.8 miles – this cycling tour takes you down some of the prettiest roads in the Wimborne area. A fully paved route.

– For the more adventurous: River Winterbourne: 58.1 miles – a route with something extra. At the halfway mark, take a breather at the exquisite English Heritage Larmer Tree Gardens before hopping on the road again.

Tennis

Wimborne Tennis Club, set in the open space grounds of Redcotts Park, is only a two minute stroll from Wimborne town centre. Run by ex-professional Phil Loose, the club offers a warm welcome to anyone wishing to play tennis for fun, socially or competitively and accommodates lessons for beginners right the way through to performance level. If you wish to book a court, equipment, lessons or participate in the groups on offer, no membership is required. So come on down and meet the team!

Rowing/Kayaking

The River Allen is one of England’s most unspoilt chalk streams, meandering through a handful of historic estates in the fine Dorset countryside around Wimborne. A thirteen mile long tributary of the Stour, it is ideal for rowing, kayaking and paddleboarding.

Dream Boats – from April through to September, Dreamboats of Wimborne offer boat, kayak and canoe hire by the hour, a hassle-free way to discover the beautiful surroundings and wildlife of the River Stour in the summer sunshine.  

Kingston Lacy

National Trust’s Kingston Lacy is an elegant country mansion set in attractive formal gardens and extensive parkland. Once a lavish family home, it now houses the largest private collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts in the UK. Learn about it’s fascinating history whilst wandering around the Spanish Room, re-imagined as a Venetian palace in the heart of rural Dorset and host to art works by Rubens, Van Dyck, Titian and Brueghel. Round off your day with a stroll around the Japanese Garden, complete with authentic teahouse or take a sheltered walk through the peaceful woodland. Spot their resident herd of Devon cattle and don’t forget to pop into the restaurant to sample the delicious homemade cakes and scones!

Attractions

Step back in time at the Tivoli Theatre and Cinema. In the heart of the community, the unique Tivoli was built in 1936 as a theatre and cinema and has kept many of its original Art Deco features.  Run by passionate volunteers, it hosts a wide variety of theatre productions, bands, comedy shows and films. The films are shown approximately six weeks after first release.

The Priest’s House Museum & Garden is a local museum situated across from the Minster. Discover stunning Roman wall paintings, the fascinating childhood gallery and a unique Victorian Valentine card collection as the museum tells the story of East Dorset. It also has a delightful tearoom; formerly a 1920s boathouse on the banks of the River Allen.

Wimborne Tourist Information Centre provides a warm welcome and their informed staff are dedicated to helping you find what you’re looking for.

Wimborne Model Town and Gardens – built well over 50 years ago, the magnificent 1/10th scale models continue to surprise and amaze visitors from all over the world with their superb quality and realism, and will delight children and adults alike.

Drinking and Dining Houses

Wimborne hosts a plethora of fantastic places to savour quality food and drink in warm and welcoming environments. Below are a few favourites:

The Thirsty Bird is a relaxed and beautifully designed café serving specialty coffee, delicious cheeses and charcuterie alongside a thoughtful wine and cocktail menu. The Thirsty Bird team serve high quality produce in a friendly, boutique atmosphere.

The Butchers Dog. Choose from fourteen different craft beers on tap, over fifty different bottles in their bottleshop, a selection of organic wine and fine spirits and butchers bar snacks to nibble on.

The Wimborne Pig. In a warm, inviting, trendy setting, The Tickled Pig use only locally sourced products, grown and reared by themselves or other Dorset suppliers who share their values. The Tickled Pig ensures every dish has been carefully designed around the best of the season and showcases the amazing produce that this beautiful region has to offer.  

The Minster Arms pub-restaurant presents elegant, rustic, honest meals to tickle your tastebuds, from classic, nostalgic flavours to new, inspired dishes. Using British produce, prepared on site every day, and paired with ingredients so good they really speak for themselves. Live music every Thursday night from 8pm!

Renoufs Cheese and Wine Restaurant offers a variety of local and international cheeses and wines. They also offer charcuterie boards and wine flights?not sure what this is.

Le Petit Prince – a cute French café serving fresh breads, pâtisseries and savouries which are all baked in-house, using local natural ingredients. Truly delectable!  

The Squash Court café – a mixture of vintage and modern design provides a quirky backdrop for simple, healthy and delicious food, all homemade and mostly created with produce grown in their own kitchen garden, just a wheelbarrows push down the drive.  Free parking, too!

Cloisters – Cloisters coffee lounge in the town centre is a warmly inviting café providing a relaxed atmosphere in which to enjoy breakfasts, lunches, cream teas or their famous buttered tea cake! Offering a vast selection of smooth coffees, all food is prepared and cooked in their own kitchen.

No 9 on the Green – a friendly team welcomes you to a cosy and charming licensed café, with great views opposite the Wimborne Minster. Their specialty is homemade scones and Dorset clotted cream, perfect for afternoon teas!

The Scented Botanist at Keyneston Mill – a contemporary bistro striving to bring you great quality food in a beautiful, relaxed environment; masterfully creating menus which are adventurous, inspiring and wonderfully fragrant!

Accessibility  

Wimborne town centre is flat and thus easily accessible for buggies and wheelchairs.

There are 11 car parks situated around Wimborne.

Check it out – you won’t be disappointed!

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