Sherborne Castle and the Unexpected County Fair

All we were looking for was a quick place to stop for lunch, stretch our legs and get some fresh air that didn’t involve a motorway service station (or in the case of the A303, a Little Chef (*cringe*) at the roadside). Sherborne Castle, with its old castle ruins, ‘new’ castle house, gardens and, most crucially, a tea shop serving light lunches, was a tempting sight. We knew something was up when we noticed about 500 other cars seemed to have the same plan.

The cheap lunch quickly descended into quite an expensive hour and a half stop off at the county fair. Yes, we could have turned around, but once parked by an attendant, we thought we had to give it a go. Fluffy sheep? Check! Dogs? Check! Tasty food? Check! That counts as a successful day out to me!

I don’t think I’ve ever come across such a ye olde worlde English experience like hunting dogs being herded around, kids showing their sheep, horse and cart parading and old people looking confused eating nachos. This place had it all. And Weasel had a fab time pointing out every single dog by shouting ‘god!’. It turns out every person who lives in Dorset (I presume they were all there from the crowds) owns a dog, so there was a lot of pointing.

Practicalities:

Changing: We just changed her at the car, so not actually sure there were any. Good port-a-cabins for normal people though.

Food: We first went to the area with pie and nacho stands. As tasty as the mega-nachos were, we probably should have held out and gone round the lovely local food tent first. Oops. Seating is as elusive as the Higgs Boson, so take a picnic blanket.

Parking: Free!

Cost: A little more than we would have hoped. The memory has eluded me, but I believe it was about £10 each (Weasel free obviously).

Verdict: Go, but make it a proper day out instead of just a short stop to get your money’s worth. If you go on a non-fair day, the gardens are cheap and there’s lovely castle ruins to picnic next to.

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