A HIDDEN gem on the edge of Cranborne Chase and overlooking the Nadder valley, Tisbury is the perfect place to spend a morning or afternoon wandering upand down a High Street which offers an appealing mix of the essential and the unusual, the traditional and the contemporary.
This is a town that is constantly evolving and is bucking the trend of the dead or dying main street.
Some shopkeepers have been here for 30 years or more - the longest length of service is 37 years at the shoe shop - while two new shops are about to open.
There is always something interesting to be found, whether you are looking for gifts, antiques, clothes or brilliant interior design ideas.
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And when you've shopped and you're ready to drop, there are some great local pubs and places to eat.
One of Tisbury's attractions for the visitor is its location on a main railway line, so why not leave the car at home, let the train take the strain, and begin your wander through Tisbury with a gentle stroll over the bridge and up the High Street.
For the visitor who arrives by train or by car from the A35 Shaftesbury or Salisbury direction, the tour starts at the bottom of the town ...
Beatons combines the attractions of an elegant tea room and quirky bookshop in the heart of Tisbury. Inspired by the art and photography of Cecil Beaton, who lived for many years on the nearby Ashcombe estate, it offers a comfortable space, with an interesting selection of books plus delicious light lunches, salads and homemade cakes and scones in the finest tradition of afternoon tea! There is a range of more than 20 specially selected loose leaf teas from the finest tea estates around the world and a selection of regional coffees. Whether you are meeting friends, looking to relax and unwind, browse the books, or have a treat this is the perfect spot to enjoy Tisbury in all its glory!
Just across the road is Casco, an intriguing antique shop, with rugs, prints, oil and watercolour paintings, as well as hundreds of old books featuring the countryside, natural history and architectural interest among others. At the moment furniture includes an Edwardian leather settee and matching chair but there is always something interesting; dressers, cupboards, tables. For owner Malcolm Scholes there is a story behind every item in his eclectic treasures.
Recognised internationally for their bespoke four poster beds, Beaudesert is an interiors company with a difference. As well as fabrics from all the major houses (Colfax, Designers Guild, Ian Mankin, Jane Churchill etc) they also hand-print their own designs, including toiles, classic florals and the super-chic Cecil Beaton Fabric Collection. Advice and home visits are available and Beaudesert also offers superior quality upholstery and curtain making services to the highest standards at competitive prices.
Ted Martin Flowers first opened its doors almost 10 years ago and has a reputation for top quality flowers and service. Winners of the Telegraph best small shops in Britain award, they have a rustic chic style of understated elegance and flair, perfect for period homes. Ted offers a full range of floral services for weddings, christenings, funerals and parties as well as gift bouquets and plants for all occasions. Phone or online orders are welcome and can be sent locally and nationally.
Tisbury Post Office, over-looking the Square and at the centre of vibrant village life, is much appreciated by the whole community. As well as the busy Post Office, customers love the varied selection of stylish greeting cards and stationery. The Post Office, owned by Jonathan and Janet Amos, is actually for sale. "In the last six years, we have built this into an excellent family business," says Jon. If you would like to hear more about the lifestyle of running a country post office, contact Jon on 01747 870200.
De-Liz Deli is situated right in the heart of the village, it has built up a solid reputation for selling delicious food on a daily basis. It offers any budding chef a larder of seasonal and essential ingredients. Gorgeous freshly baked breads and pastries are available daily. De-Liz is open seven days a week from 8.30am.
Kate Good has been making her exclusive stoneware in the Tisbury area for the last 30 years. She is happy to welcome all visitors to her showroom/shop and studio in the High Street and to discuss commissions for commemorative items. There is also a range of beautiful embroidered silk Thai jackets, bags and scarves as well as Tisbury coral jewellery.
Casawara is one of Tisbury's more unusual shops, offering a range of goods you won't find in the average chain store. Cards, books, puzzles and games; toys for all ages including the popular range of 50p pocket money toys, a real favourite with local children! Casawara favourites include Lunn's cotton nightdresses and Carrie Elspeth designer jewellery, perfect for that special gift or even a treat for yourself.
Marie's Gift Shop is always packed full of gorgeous items but space will no longer be an issue for owner Marie who will shortly be expanding to larger premises in the High Street. With a clever eye for buying Marie is very excited about her expansion plans as she will now be able to offer an increased selection of lovely gifts for all ages as well as some exciting new lines.
SJH Carpets and Flooring tries to make sure that the latest trends and products are not only available but can be supplied and fitted with the skills and knowledge that discerning customers demand and increasingly that manufacturers require retailers to demonstrate to ensure their product performs and looks how they wish. For inspiration or advice, call this Tisbury business, or pop in to ask.
All Seasons Fruit and Vegetables is a newcomer in Tisbury High Street, from mid-April. The new greengrocer will be selling good quality but affordable fruit, vegetables and pet food. Following in his father Kevin's footsteps (25 years in the trade!) proprietor Marley Burnett is keen to become a mainstay for local shoppers and also hopes to serve pubs, hotels and restaurants in Tisbury and the surrounding areas. Marley would like to use as many local growers as possible and is looking forward to welcoming customers into his first shop.
The Benett at the top of the High Street was recently reopened by local hero Alasdair Large of Keystone Brewery, based just outside Tisbury. The Victorian bar has been restored and renovated to create a sunny, welcoming space. An Italian coffee machine complements the range of three cask beers from Keystone and other local brewers. Regular music nights and friendly staff all help to make sure this is a place to enjoy. Simple and locally sourced food will be available soon.
Go on - have a wander round Tisbury. You'll be surprised!