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Estate Agents in Dorset

Greenslade Taylor Hunt has two estate agent and chartered surveyor offices in Dorset.  These are located in Sherborne and Dorchester.   We thought that the following information about Dorset might be useful if you are considering purchasing a property in Dorset.

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Dorset is a delightful county, with a variety of contrasting landscapes, consisting of coastlines with high cliffs, rolling chalk hills, wild heathland and fertile valleys. The county covers an area of approximately 1,024 square miles, has a population of over 390,000 and is situated on the south coast of England, between Devon in the west and Hampshire in the east. While agriculture is the major land use, it accounts for only about three per cent of the county's employment. A variety of manufacturing industries are located in Dorset, some old-established, such as rope and net making (now among the world's leading supplier of netting for aircraft cargo holds and military camouflage), others in tune with the modern world and at the cutting edge of electronics developments, and tourism, which employs over 25,000 people. The county town is Dorchester, and other main towns include Bournemouth, Poole, Bridport, Sherborne, Gillingham, Shaftesbury , Sturminster Newton and Poundbury - the experimental new town commissioned and co-designed by Prince Charles. The county will be hosting the only Olympic event at the 2012 Summer Olympics held outside London - sailing - at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy in Portland Harbour. The seas around Weymouth and Portland rank amongst the best in Northern Europe for sailing.

Dorset History

Dorset is rich in history, and visitors often find fossils along the Jurassic western coastline. This is not the only historical pride of Dorset, it is littered with stone circles, earth barrows and ancient hillforts (Maiden Castle near Dorchester is the finest and larges Iron Age hillfort in Europe). There is an excavated Roman house at Dorchester and the remains of a Saxon Abbey at Shaftesbury, founded by one of the most famous kings of all - Alfred the Great. And there is also the famous naked Giant, a huge, ancient figure hewn into the chalk hill of Cerne Abbas, looming over the village, wielding a club. Moving forward in time, Thomas Hardy, who was born in 1840, made Dorset his own, reviving ancient Wessex in a series of powerful contemporary novels, including Under the Greenwood Tree and Far from the Madding Crowd.

Living in Dorset

Parts of Dorset are often regarded as a popular area with people who are buying either a second home, and with retirees. People searching for property for sale in Dorset will find that the region has low unemployment rates, a mild climate, is one of the healthiest places to live in the UK, and is accessible, being no more than two and a half hours from the Capital. Many of the estate agents in Dorset report that families searching for houses for sale in Dorset are attracted by the excellent schools, unspoilt beaches and cliffs and low crime rate. Whether it is the undulating hills of the Cranbourne Chase, the flat equestrian and farming areas of the Blackmore Vale, or the many villages close to the coastline, this region has something to offer most people who are searching for Dorset property. The most expensive properties are in Bournemouth and Poole, particularly on the Sandbanks Peninsula in Poole Harbour. There are a number of traditional types of properties for sale in Dorset, which include manor houses, old rectories and farmhouses. The Elizabethan manor houses for which the county is famous are rare, and much sought after.

There is a lot to do in Dorset, which boasts several new leisure centres, and two dry-ski slopes. Other sporting activities include sailing, diving and wind-surfing, golf, cricket, soccer, tennis, bowls, rugby and fishing. More informal leisure pursuits which take advantage of the beautiful countryside are walking, horse-riding and rambling. The main towns of Bournemouth and Poole are a hive of night-time activity. Poole Arts Centre is home to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Nearby Tower Park is the largest leisure complex in Europe, with facilities ranging from a swimming pool and ice-rink, to an eight screen cinema and ten pin bowling. This one centre also has a night-club, restaurants and bars. Theatres include the Pavilion and Pier in Bournemouth, the Pavilion in Weymouth, the Regent Centre in Christchurch and the Tivoli in Wimborne.

The market town of Dorchester has much to offer its residents. In the main shopping area of South Street a mix of local businesses, individual shops and street stalls complement the national chain stores and supermarkets, including Next, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose. The Borough Gardens at the top of town are a surprising oasis. Here you can picnic, take toddlers paddling, enjoy a game of tennis or try your skills at putting or bowls. And, within a few minutes walk of anywhere in the town, you'll find quiet river walks and pretty meadows.

The Dorset County Museum, Dinosaur Museum, Dorset Teddy Bear Museum, and the Tutankhamun Exhibition are all close by, and at the top of the town the impressive 'Keep' houses the Military Museum of Devon & Dorset. Thomas Hardy enthusiasts can visit his birthplace at nearby Stinsford, or the house he designed for himself - Max Gate - where he ended his days. The types of property for sale in Dorchester are diverse, and include brand new developments of apartments for retirement living, new build cottages, detached bungalows, Victorian cottages and period properties. People searching for houses for sale in Dorchester should expect to pay in excess of £295k for a centrally located modern four bedroom town house.

Travel and Transport Links in Dorset

People who are looking to buy property in Dorset will discover that transport links vary, depending on which of the three separate areas of the county you are travelling from - interestingly it is the only county in the south of England not to have a motorway. Transport in North Dorset is good, Shaftesbury is approximately two hours from London via the M3 and A303, and the line operated by South West trains through Salisbury is accessible via Waterloo. The area around Bournemouth is well served by rail and road, with fast trains via Southampton and the M3 and M27 motorways. West Dorset is approximately three hours by road from London by road or rail. By air, the nearest regional airports are Bournemouth International, Exeter and Southampton.

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