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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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

Pier to Pier in Bournemouth

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

Location: Bournemouth, Dorset

Stay in a magical forest lodge in Dorset

Enjoy a romantic winter break in a luxury woodland lodge.

Location: Near Corfe Castle, 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

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

Peel away the layers of Dorset’s Jurassic Coast

Trace a history that goes back millions of years as you meander Dorset’s famous Jurassic Coast, England’s first UNESCO Natural World Heritage site.

Location: Dorset

Enjoy family fun and meals by the fire at Norburton Hall

Celebrate a special occasion, or just enjoy having the whole family round for dinner on this Dorset estate.

Location: Burton Bradstock, Dorset

Uncover Wareham’s southern charm and civil war past

Wareham is packed with old red-brick houses and wonky, half-timber cottages that'll have your trigger finger reaching for the camera button.

Location: Wareham, Dorset

Visit a movie star house

Discover Bathsheba's 'Everdene Farm' from Far From the Madding Crowd in Dorset.

Location: Beaminster, Dorset

Fly along the world’s first pier-to-shore zip wire

Climb the Zip tower at the end of Bournemouth Pier and above the sea and zip-surf over the waves to the shore. Race friends and family to the beach!

Location: Bournemouth, 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

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

Experience a spiritual side to Bournemouth's history

Visit St. Peter's Church for the stunning architecture, the famous final resting places or simply the atmosphere.

Location: Bournemouth, 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

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

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

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

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

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

Dive into the deep blue sea at Oceanarium

Bournemouth's Oceanarium is a great indoor attraction that allows you to discover the secrets of the deep.

Location: Bournemouth, Dorset

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