Local Area

What to Do and See

From Monkeys to Museums

Visit Delightful Dorset

Cow Shed Cottages are perfectly placed in North Dorset to visit some diverse world-famous attractions, within day-trip distance.

Here are our recommendations for enjoying the best of our part of the south west:

Jurassic Coast

Head for the Dorset coast to explore the dramatic coastline that makes up England’s first natural UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a wander along part of the South West Coast Path and visit the pretty seaside town of Lyme Regis. Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for prehistoric fossils.

Longleat Safari Park

If you’re looking for adventure how about a drive through the wilds of Longleat to get up close to tigers, lions, cheetah, white rhino and many more fascinating animals.

(Book tickets in advance online).

Stourhead House & Gardens

Discover the magnificent National Trust property with its historic Palladian house at Stourhead. Explore the fantastic landscaped gardens, set around a tranquil lake with classical temples, grottoes and rare plants and trees.

Haynes International Motor Museum

See the UK’s largest collection of cars and bikes, dating from 1885 to the present day, displayed in 17 exhibition areas at Sparkford, Somerset. It’s a fascinating journey through motoring history, whether you’re a petrol-head or not!

Sherborne Castle

Just a little down the road from our cottages you’ll find the stunning home of the Wingfield Digby family, originally built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594. It’s open to the public with its outstanding collections of art and furniture, along with the beautiful gardens landscaped by the renowned Capability Brown.


The oldest and best known prehistoric monument in Europe, this site needs no introduction! If you haven’t experienced the magic of Stonehenge before, take time out during your visit to Cow Shed Cottages to do so!

Monkey World

This award-winning ape rescue centre has been working to stop the smuggling of primates from the wild since 1987. Visit some of the survivors of this illegal trade, and other rescue apes that are being rehabilitated in this remarkable sanctuary.

The Tank Museum

There’s always something special on the go at this fascinating museum at nearby Bovington, which features excellent exhibitions, arena tank action events, behind-the-scenes experiences and much more besides its core collection of awesome armoured vehicles.

Eating And Drinking

Local Pubs, Shops & Restaurants

Cow Shed Cottages are fully equipped for cooking up gourmet meals, but if you prefer to take a break from the kitchen during your stay with us, there are some excellent options for dining out, picking up take-aways or shopping for fresh, local produce in the surrounding area.

Here are some of our suggestions for local meals out (or in):

Local Amenities

Supermarkets and Take-Aways are plentiful in the nearby towns of Gillingham, Shaftesbury and Sturminster Newton, all within five miles of our cottages.

The Crown Inn, Marnhull

Just two miles away you can enjoy Happy Hour at this charming old pub which serves award-winning Dorset-brewed Hall & Woodhouse Badger Ales amongst its extensive offerings.

The food is superb, ranging from hearty pub classics and traditional grills to signature dishes, pizzas and pies, mostly home-made with local produce. You can order takeaways for collection too – see the menu on their website.

Udder Farm Shop, East Stour

On the A30 near East Stour, just two miles from Cow Shed Cottages, is the irresistible family-run farm shop, restaurant, bar and coffee shop of Udder Farm with views of the Blackmore Vale.

The breakfasts are legendary, the afternoon teas memorable, and the dinners delectable.

You can also stock up on local produce (perfect for picnics) in the farm shop.

The Ship Inn, West Stour

A proper country pub just a hop and a skip from Cow Shed Cottages, the bar serves up a varied and interesting selection of real ales, beers, traditional ciders and wines, and good quality food.

The menu changes with the seasons. Enjoy lunch or dinner every weekday – mainly traditional British dishes with a mix of modern favourites.

Note: Although some of these restaurants are close to our cottage accommodation, we recommend that you drive to them rather than walk, because the narrow country lanes in the area can be dangerous for pedestrians.

Disclaimer: Please note that the suggestions are given as an indication of what is available and are subject to change.

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