Places to visit in Dorset

Bring the family for a day out and step behind the scenes of a Hollywood movie or bestselling novel in stunning Dorset. You can find your own Jurassic Park on beaches sprinkled with fossils and smuggler's caves or trace Thomas Hardy novels on open heaths and vales. The southwest county's dramatic coastline is an outdoor sculpture gallery with arches, stacks and coves carved by Mother Nature herself, a must-see attraction in Dorset. Casual amblers and serious ramblers alike can trek ridgeways between Bronze Age burial mounds and castle ruins. With so many incredible places to visit in Dorset you’ll leave knowing exactly why this county is incredibly popular for vacations and staycations alike.

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Pier to Pier in Bournemouth

Got a spare hour or two in Bournemouth? Then take a stroll between the two piers.

Location: Bournemouth, Dorset

 

Learn how to find fossils with a guided fossil walk

Take the family on a fossil hunting walk along Charmouth Beach and uncover prehistoric history while walking along a dramatic stretch of coastline.

Location: Charmouth, Dorset

 

See the gardens in bloom in Bournemouth

Head down to Bournemouth to see the extensive collection of gardens and enjoy the wide range of facilities on offer.

Location: Bournemouth, Dorset

 

Kingston Lacy: an Italian palace in Dorset

Home to a rather fabulous collection that includes pieces by Rubens, Van Duyck, Titian.

Location: Poole, Dorset

 

Make friends at Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre

Home to over 250 rescued and endangered primates, this sanctuary lets you get up close and personal with all kinds of monkeys, gorillas and apes.

Location: Wareham, Dorset

 

Explore Lyme Regis

Wander round narrow streets and along the South West Coastal Path.

Location: Lyme Regis, Dorset

 

Find romance in the depths of Thomas Hardy Country

Enjoy woodland walks and cosy inns, and immerse yourself in the romantic landscape that this renowned writer called home.

Location: Dorset

 

Have yourself a Famous Five adventure

Follow in the footsteps of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five with some castle capers and a seaside adventure by steam railway.

Location: Corfe Castle, Dorset

 

Majestic views at a Corfe Castle picnic

Enjoy breathtaking views at the majestic ruins of Corfe Castle in the perfect idyllic picnic spot.

Location: Corfe, Dorset

 

Take to the slopes in Dorset

The Snowtrax alpine activity centre will transport you to the mountains for the day.

Location: Christchurch, Dorset

 

Enjoy high-wire and two-wheeled adventure in the Moors Valley

Enjoy adrenaline-fuelled activities for all the family in Moors Valley Country Park in the lovely Dorset countryside.

Location: Ashley Heath, Dorset

 

Take a walk through history in Cranborne

Explore the landscape of Cranborne Chase which inspired the father of modern archaeology, William Fox Pitt.

Location: Cranborne, Dorset

 

Explore the West Bay coastline as seen on TV’s Broadchurch

Soak up the picture-perfect setting used in the TV series Broadchurch as you explore West Bay on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast.

Location: West Bay, Dorset

 

Enjoy a luxurious camping trip at Crafty Camping

Luxury glamping in a beautiful forest setting alongside Guy Mallinson’s Woodland Workshop, featured in the BBC Mastercrafts series.

Location: Holditch, Dorset

 

A botanical treasure trove on the Jurassic Coast

Sniff your way around the award-winning Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, a coastal haven filled with rare and exotic plants from all over the world.

Location: Abbotsbury, Dorset

 

Indulge in a boutique break

The 16th-century Bull Hotel was a former coaching inn that has been lovingly restored to a stylish hotel.

Location: Bridport, Dorset

 

Satisfy your inner Willy Wonka at The Chocolate Hotel

Calling all chocoholics: the UK’s only chocolate-themed hotel has 15 rooms, dedicated to all that is tasty and tantalising.

Location: Bournemouth, Dorset

 

Watch Indie A-listers at the End of the Road Festival

The intimate surroundings of the End of the Road Festival give you the chance to get up close and personal with the bands and their music.

Location: Larmer Tree Gardens, North Dorset

 

Enjoy a romantic break surrounded by echoes of royal love

Opulent comfort and English grandeur, in a house that once bore royalty.

Location: Bournemouth, Dorset

 

Give your taste buds a treat at the Furleigh Estate vineyard

Explore the peace and tranquillity of the Furleigh Estate vineyard, before getting down to the real business of testing out the wines for yourself.

Location: Bridport, Dorset

 

August events: Grab a beach spot for the Bournemouth Air Festival

The world's biggest airshow brings together the thrill of gravity-defying plane displays and an abundance of family entertainment on the ground - all for free!

Location: Bournemouth, Dorset

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