The landscape of the Cranborne Chase is both dramatic and incredibly varied as well as being steeped in history.
Forming part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Cranborne Chase is a much sought after area of undulating downland countryside rich in prehistoric sites that occupies the Northwest corner of Dorset and part of South Wiltshire and West Hampshire. The word ‘chase’ is derived from a royal hunting ground hence the King John Inn at Tollard Royal.
In 2019 the Cranborne Chase AONB was designated an International Dark Sky Reserve – the first in the UK.This is a relatively sparsley populated area of large agricultural estates, farms and ancient woodland known for its tranquil beauty interspersed with pretty villages and hamlets making it ideal for anyone wanting to get away from it all!
The village of Cranborne is home to the heir of the Marquess of Salisbury whilst Wimborne St Giles is the country seat of the Earl of Shaftesbury. Popular villages include Ashmore, Tollard Royal, Farnham, Sixpenny Handley, the Tarrants, the Gussages, the Crichels and the Western Downland villages of Martin, Rockbourne, Damerham and Whitsbury.
Great local pubs include:
- The King John – Tollard Royal
- The Museum – Farnham
- The Fleurs de Lys Inn – Cranborne
- The Monkton Arms – Tarrant Monkton
- The Drovers – Gussage All Saints
- The Rose & Thistle – Rockbourne
- The Compasses – Damerham
- The Carthwheel – Whitsbury
Primary – Sixpenny Handley, Cranborne, Pimperne & Western Downland.
Secondary – Shaftesbury, Blandford, Wimborne & Burgate.
Private – Sandroyd, Port Regis, Hanford, Clayesmore & Bryanston.