On the outskirts of the county town of Dorchester, Poundbury was designed, from inception, to be different. In accordance with Prince Charles’ aspiration to provide a higher quality of life, building began in 1993 and prioritises people over cars. Key to Poundbury’s planning process is the rejection of assigning particular areas with a specific purpose, resulting in eclectic housing interspersed with shops, cafes and other businesses, encouraging residents to walk, explore, and engage with the community. Leafy, open squares appear at almost every turn.
Poundbury boasts over 180 businesses, almost all of which are small and independent, accentuating Poundbury’s unique character and bustling art and social scene. A broad range of art courses are available at Dorset Centre for the Creative Arts, while Queen Mother Square, a focal point of the area, hosts a variety of markets and events throughout the year. Just outside Poundbury, Dorset’s rich and palpable history can be explored at the Middle Bronze Age Poundbury Hill Fort and the world-famous Iron Age hill fort of Maiden Castle.