Besides exploring the hillfort and environs mentioned above, having a look around the ‘new’ Poundbury is entertainment in itself. This is a serious project and businesses; offices, shops, and all manner of bustling activities are evident in the town which has seen eager adoption and residency take-up. One could reasonably say that the mix of architectural styles is a little bewildering and fairytale-like, but that’s part of the charm.
Perhaps the town reflects the personality of Prince Charles in such a way that is not evident elsewhere. Maybe it’s his ‘dream Hollywood set’. Whatever; there’s plenty for all here – critics and devotees alike.
You may like to have a wander around the garden centre; replete with café and restaurant or peruse the shelves of the ‘Little’ Waitrose supermarket. Of course, there are other cafés, pubs, and restaurants just like in any other town except for the architectural designs of course. Even the fire station and its practice tower are quite quaint!
There is a large public square which is named Queen Mother Square, after HRH Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. This part of the town is rather grand and beautiful with quite spectacular and regal buildings, reminiscent of Buckingham Palace. Strathmore House, Royal Pavilion and The Duchess of Cornwall Inn all feature here.
The Duchess of Cornwall Inn was officially opened by the Duchess of Cornwall in October 2016, on the same day as a special visit by HRH The Queen. The public house is a joint development between the Duchy of Cornwall and Dorset brewery company Hall & Woodhouse.
Hall & Woodhouse worked closely with the Duchy of Cornwall’s architects, Quinlan & Francis Terry, to ensure that The Duchess of Cornwall will be a fitting adornment to Queen Mother Square. Annabel Elliot, celebrated interior design, and sister to the Duchess of Cornwall consulted on the hotel room designs.
The inn features 20 bedrooms as well as restaurant facilities and traditional public house offerings. Hall & Woodhouse, based in Blandford, has a network of more than 200 public houses throughout the south of England.
A visit to the House of Dorchester chocolate factory/shop is essential for anybody with a sweet tooth and the chocolate is indeed delicious.
As is the set policy for vehicles in Poundbury, parking is free in the square and all areas of the town. There are few if any road markings.
Dorset and the Jurassic Coast are close if you want to wander further afield with your fossil pick!