Five things to know about the historic town in Dorset


The flax and sailcloth industry brought prosperity to this community tucked away in the Marshwood Vale, but by the end of the 19th century the mills were silent. Those that hadn’t emigrated, often worked on small family-owned dairy farms. Whilst in town one generation succeeded the next as shopkeeper or craftsman, Beaminster’s hilly geography prevented the arrival of the railway.

Local Shops

Beaminster is renowned for its excellent independent shops such as Nick Tett Butchers, Fruit N Two Veg, The Village Bakery, Larcombes of Beaminster hardware, Cilla and Camilla department store, Brassica Mercantile, Little Groves plant nursery and the award-winning Little Toller bookshop. Cafes include The Trading Post, and Tangerine; dine at Brassica, or dine and stay at The Ollerod.


Opened in April 2021, the Beaminster Skatepark, created by Maverick Skateparks on the Memorial Playing Fields, has given the youth of the town a great place to practice their skills, including rising skateboarding star and local boy Huck Booth. It features a mini ramp and three bowls which allows skaters of all abilities to hone their technique.

Rural Past

The social history of rural West Dorset, including flax making, and local Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman finds feature at Beaminster Museum on Whitcombe Road. Their impressive fossil collection is from nearby Horn Park Quarry. Visits to this protected site can be arranged through the Museum to see fossils laid down 174-168 million years ago. Reopens at Easter.


The award-winning Mapperton Gardens, surrounding the Jacobean manor house which is home to the Earl and Countess of Sandwich, was a film location for Rebecca, Emma and Restoration (open from

February). Mapperton Wildlands ‘Dorset's most spectacular rewilding project’ is restoring 800 acres of the estate to species-rich wood pasture. Join their guided Wildlands Tours from April onwards.