On open days the 17th century Sturminster Newton Water Mill (originally Newstone Castele Mill and recorded in the Domesday Book) is demonstrated working. and there are lovely countryside walks along the riverbank and across the mediaeval six arched stone bridge across the River Stour into the town - walk back via the meadows, so bring a picnic!
Sturminster Newton bridge features in the poem On Sturminster Bridge by Thomas Hardy - its waters offer high quality fishing and run all the way to past Bournemouth where it joins the River Avon at Christchurch to flow into the sea. Locally there are three mill pools, slow, deep stretches and more shallow fast runs. The town has a Museum which recalls all the local history, arts, crafts and industries.
There is a wide range of architecturally interesting buildings in the town - Stur as local people know it, and surviving bridges and track bed from the old Somerset & Dorset Railway which ran to Bournemouth add to the interest.
Sturminster Newton is conveniently located for visiting the annual Great Dorset Steam Fair - one of the biggest steam fairs there is, drawing international attention with thousands of exhibits, stalls, attractions and a big fun fair too, held at Tarrant Hinton in early September.
Not far from Sturminster Newton: Dorchester.