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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Cook with celebrity chefs in Dorset

Share in Lesley Waters' and Mark Hix's kitchen secrets.

Location: Dorset

 

December events: Explore the Bournemouth Christmas Tree Wonderland

Full of atmosphere and tradition, the Christmas Tree Wonderland is an epic trail through historic gardens and seafront walkways draped in lights.

Location: Bournemouth, Dorset

 

Pier to Pier in Bournemouth

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

Location: Bournemouth, 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

 

Eat your way across Dorset during Dorset's Food Fortnight

A two-week long celebration of all things mouth-wateringly, sensually, irresistibly Dorset.

Location: 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

 

Stay in a magical forest lodge in Dorset

Enjoy a romantic winter break in a luxury woodland lodge.

Location: Near Corfe Castle, Dorset

 

Explore an island of discovery

Explore Portland’s rugged landscape and breathtaking views and discover its history, heritage and natural assets.

Location: Portland, Dorset

 

Camp at Corfe Castle

Explore this 1,000-year-old fortress above an eponymous Dorset village that's filled with wonky old cottages.

Location: Corfe, 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

 

Travel back through the centuries on a coastal break in Dorset

Explore Dorset’s eclectic range of castles, country houses and forts and journey back in time on a steam train.

Location: 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

 

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

 

December events: Meet Santa on a steam train

Take a trip on Swanage Railway in the run up to Christmas and get the chance to meet Santa. It's fun for all the family and each child gets their own present!

Location: Swanage, 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 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

 

Admire sculptures under blue skies in Dorchester

Get up close to beautiful works of art while exploring the glorious Dorset countryside at Sculpture by the Lakes.

Location: Dorchester, 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

 

All the fun of the fair with Dorset’s summer festivals

Dorset entertains the whole family all summer long hosting an array of amazing events and festivals that are unique, nostalgic or just plain fun!

Location: Dorset

 

October events: Be wowed by Abbotsbury's Enchanted Illuminations

Discover an illuminated wonderland and Halloween display between 19 October and 3 November, at one of Dorset’s finest annual events.

Location: Abbotsbury, Dorset

 

Make waves on a water sports holiday in Bournemouth

Bournemouth has a vast array of water sports on offer throughout the year for both the novice and professional.

Location: Bournemouth, Dorset

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