Get on the Road and Explore the Dorset Towns and Villages
It’s easy to find a quaint town or hamlet in Dorset. There is little question that it is one of England’s most beautiful counties. Dorset is as varied and gorgeous as they come, with everything from quaint villages to thatched roofs. Well-known movie sites to breathtaking beaches and picture-perfect beach towns.
You will be spoiled for choice if you are planning a vacation to this beautiful part of southern England. Whether you want to stay in one location or travel around the country. We’ve created this list of the most photogenic areas in Dorset to alleviate some of the burdens of choice.
Historic Shaftesbury, Dorset’s prettiest Saxon town, sits on one of the county’s highest peaks. The town is around 30 miles inland from the coast. It shares a border with Wiltshire and the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Making it a fantastic destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
In the iconic 1973 Hovis commercial, “Boy on the Bike,” the steep cobblestone roadway of Gold Hill in Shaftesbury. It became instantly recognizable. Put forth all your might as you make your way through the thatched and stone houses to the summit. Where you may explore the Gold Hill Museum. Don’t forget to check out the stunning Shaftesbury Abbey while you’re in the area.
The little town of Corfe Castle takes its name from the imposing castle that has stood on the same site since the 11th century. Located in the middle of the Purbeck Peninsula between Weymouth and Bournemouth. This lovely grey-stone town is most famous for its historic castle remains.
Visit the Corfe Castle Model Village while you’re not out seeing real-life historical sites. Get a feel for what life was like in the area back in 1646. The fantastic Dorset Adventure Park, perfect for a family vacation, can be found just outside the hamlet.
Lyme Regis, in West Dorset, is a picturesque coastal town that is close to the world-famous Jurassic Coast. It is easy to understand why this is such a popular tourist destination. Its bunting-adorned streets, expansive golden beach, tranquil blue water, and, of course, its world-famous Cobb. The town’s beach is indeed stunning, but it’s not the only attraction here.
Lyme Regis is well-known for its excellent preservation of ancient fossils. The museum there offers guided excursions where you may go out and find your own. Locations catering to art lovers may be found by searching for Jane Austin walking tours or Broadchurch tours. In addition, a vacation to Lyme Regis isn’t complete without checking out the town’s iconic Marine Aquarium.
This central Dorset treasure, Milton Abbas, may not be the largest settlement, but it will make you feel like you’ve strolled into a film set. Its thatched white homes have vast front lawns and are only distinguishable by their brightly painted front doors and unique names.
The Milton Abbas Street Fair, which dates back to the 18th century, is held annually in the region in July. Twice every two years, on the final Saturday of the month. Whole town dresses in historical clothing and hosts hundreds of arts, crafts, and food vendors.
Weymouth, a charming seaside town, provides all you need for a classic British summer vacation. In front of the colorful homes and beach huts that line the beach. You’ll find a thriving beach community. Something to share on Instagram!
This could be the perfect spot for a memorable vacation with the whole family. If you’re bored with making castles out of the sand. You can always go gawk at the masterpieces created by professionals at Sand world Sculpture Park. Visit the historic and award-winning Nothe Fort. Drive over the causeway to Portland Island, and spend some time in the town’s lively harbor.
The stunning scenery in and around Burton Bradstock is reason enough to visit this charming seaside town. Despite its modest size, the hamlet is stunning because of its preserved historic district and its charming thatched houses. If you’re willing to go a little farther, you’ll be able to enjoy some of Dorset’s most breathtaking landscapes.
A trip to Hive Beach, known for its striking sandstone cliffs. A highlight of any coastal hike so is sure to bring your camera. If you keep going, you’ll reach West Bay. It served as the setting for the BBC’s Broadchurch. Come back to the Hive Beach Café at the end of the day for some delicious, locally caught fish.
Even if you’ve heard of the little town of Cerne Abbas. You may not realize what it’s renowned for until you see the picture of the naked man etched into the chalk cliffs above the settlement. The old and recognizable Cerne Abbas Giant. Which is only a short walk from the settlement, and rises to a towering 180 feet.
Cerne Abbas is interesting not only because of the giant on the hill but for many other reasons as well. The Benedictine Cerne Abbey is a must-see and the abundance of fantastic pubs offering freshly brewed beers. Ciders, wines, and spirits made at the neighboring Cerne Abbas Brewery are icing on the cake.
Upwey is a picturesque hamlet on the outskirts of Weymouth. It provides a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city center. Even though it is technically a suburb of Weymouth, this community fights hard to keep its rural feel.
This previously bustling tourist destination in Dorset is now quiet. Picturesque towns where the only sounds you’ll hear are those of birds and running water. In recent years, the moss-covered Wishing Well is surrounded by beautiful water gardens and has a tearoom. It serves traditional afternoon high tea, and has become the most famous landmark in the area.
Sherborne is a delightful market town with a wealth of history and many interesting old buildings to see. Sherborne Abbey and Sherborne School may seem familiar to avid moviegoers who have seen films. Like Far From the Madding Crowd and 2014 hit The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
Sherborne is a charming town to explore. Nestled on the banks of the River Yeo and teeming with unique art spaces, bookstores, and restaurants. The aforementioned abbey, as well as Sherborne Castle and Gardens. Are not to be missed. If you plan on visiting, it’s a good idea to research the town’s upcoming events and festivals.
If you want to fully experience the culture of your new home. Go no further than Dorchester, the county town of Dorset. It’s a perfect site to set up camp if you intend on venturing out into the rest of the country. Since it’s home to several must-see landmarks and museums.
The Dorset County Museum is an excellent resource for learning about the region. While Sculpture by the Lakes is a great place to let your imagination run wild. The homes of Thomas Hardy, Max Gate, and Hardy’s Cottage are popular tourist attractions for readers.
Evershot, in Dorset, is a picture-perfect village surrounded by gently rolling fields. There are just a handful of streets in this little community that hugs the banks of the Frome River. The whole town has the feel of the 19th century. There is even a coaching inn that was mentioned by Thomas Hardy in his famous work, Tess of the d’Urbervilles. A typical day in Evershot consists of a stroll around the countryside and a tour of one of the many grand rural manors. Enjoy a traditional English afternoon tea with Dorset cream tea at Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & Restaurant.
The Cerne Giant, a club-wielding figure carved into a chalk hillside in nearby Cerne Abbas, is well worth a look. Visit the Dinosaur Museum, located just outside of town. Find out more about the megafaunal fossils unearthed in the region.