What is Dorset known for? Top 30 places to visit in Dorset!

What to do in Dorset? Top Dorset attractions: from Durdle Door to Lulworth Cove and Shaftesbury Gold Hill to Dorset beaches – there are many nice places to visit in Dorset.

Dorset is a county in the south-west of England. It has a coastline on the English Channel with a number of seaside resorts and towns. It is known for its rural landscape and coastlines, as well as for its rich history. Dorset’s rolling hills are dotted with castles and stately homes, and there are several National Trust properties across the county.

Dorset’s coastline features some of the best beaches near London, including Bournemouth’s South Sands beach and Poole Harbour’s Brownsea Island. The Isle of Portland is also home to a famous lighthouse, while Chesil Beach is famous for being one of the most unique please to see in the UK.

What is Dorset known for?

Dorset is known for its beautiful coast, which attracts many tourists. It has also been the location for several films and television series.

Dorset’s famous landmarks include the Jurassic Coastline and the Isle of Portland, which is connected to the mainland by a bridge. The county also includes many picturesque towns, such as Lyme Regis and Weymouth. In fact, Weymouth beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.

It’s also known for its dairy farms, which produce the most cheese in England.

What is Dorset known for
Visiting Dorset

Where is Dorset located?

Dorset is a county located in the south of England, in the United Kingdom. It is bordered by Devon to the west, Somerset to the north, Hampshire to the east, and the English Channel to the south.

Dorset is situated on the south coast of England, and it’s known for its picturesque countryside, charming villages, and historic towns. The county town of Dorset is Dorchester and the largest town is Bournemouth. The county is home to many popular tourist destinations, including the Jurassic Coast.

What is the nicest part of Dorset?

The best part of Dorset is the coastline, it has some of the most beautiful beaches in England and many stunning places for hiking.

From sandy beaches and rocky shores to small towns and top UK landmarks – there are many nice areas in Dorset you need to explore! Walk along the cliff top at Lulworth Cove, spend a day at Doorde Door or visit the countryside around Lyme Regis – we can easily say that all of them can be called the nicest parts of Dorset.

What is the main town of Dorset?

It has two major towns, Dorchester and Weymouth, both of which are worth visiting.

Dorchester has been there for over 2000 years and was an important town in Roman times. It is famous for its Saxon gold coin hoard, which was found in the 19th century.

Weymouth is more modern, having been founded by Thomas Pitt in 1759. It has a good harbour and became a popular tourist resort in the Georgian period.

Dorset England is a beautiful part of the country. There are many places to visit in Dorset – this is our list of must-see attractions in Dorset.

Best places to visit in Dorset

1. Dorset AONB

What to do in Dorset? Dorset AONB is a large area of outstanding natural beauty in southwest England. It covers most of the county, as well as parts of neighbouring counties.

The area is famous for its chalk hills, including the White Horse at Littlebredy and Cerne Abbas Giant. There are also many beautiful beaches, such as Lulworth Cove and more than 100 villages and small towns such as Lyme Regis and Dorchester.

What to do in Dorset - Dorset AONB
Dorset places to visit – Dorset AONB

2. Jurassic Coast (Dorset)

Top 10 places to visit in Dorset? The Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage Site on the Dorset and East Devon coast of southern England. It was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001 for its geological and biological importance.

The site covers 185 miles (298 km) of coastline, and extends from Exmouth in the west to Old Harry Rocks near Swanage in the east. It has varied topography, including cliffs, large shingle beaches and boulder-strewn beaches with geologically significant strata exposed in places.

Top 10 places to visit in Dorset - Jurassic Coast
What is Dorset famous for – Jurassic Coast

3. Durdle Door

Stunning tourist attractions Dorset? Durdle Door is a natural limestone arch and beach located near Lulworth, Dorset, England.

It is situated on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, a 186 mile stretch of land from Exmouth in Devon to Studland in Dorset, which is noted for its geology and biodiversity.

The area around Durdle Door is rich in fossils, including ammonites and belemnites so it’s a very popular place amongst walk-lovers.

Stunning tourist attractions Dorset - Durdle Door
Dorset tourist attractions – Durdle Door

4. Bournemouth

What to do in Dorset England? Bournemouth is a large coastal resort town on the south coast of England directly to the east of the Jurassic Coast.

Bournemouth’s location on the south coast of England makes it a popular destination for tourists seeking sunshine during winter and golf and beach holidays during summer. The town has a history as a spa resort dating back to Victorian times. In recent years, Bournemouth has been voted one of Britain’s best-loved towns and named among Europe’s most desirable places to live.

What to do in Dorset England - Bournemouth
Where to visit in Dorset – Bournemouth

5. Lulworth Cove

Any nice places to visit in Dorset? Lulworth Cove is located on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England. It is a small cove near the village of West Lulworth. The cove faces south and has a beach of shingles and sand. The rock formations are made up of limestone and chalk.

Lulworth Cove is popular with surfers due to its tidal range (the biggest on the south coast), but there are few facilities for them apart from changing rooms and showers. There are two pubs in the village – The Lighthouse Inn and The Shipwright’s Arms – both with beer gardens overlooking the cove.

Nice places to visit in Dorset - Lulworth Cove
Top 10 things to do in Dorset – Lulworth Cove

6. Shaftesbury Gold Hill

Beautiful places in Dorset? The historic town of Shaftesbury has a wealth of attractions, not least the famous Gold Hill. Shaftesbury is an ancient market town in the county of Dorset, England. It lies on the River Frome, near the border with Wiltshire, about 8 miles north of Salisbury.

The town has been used as a filming location for several films including The Madness Of King George (1994) and The Railway Children (1970).

Beautiful places in Dorset - Shaftesbury
Popular locations in Dorset – Shaftesbury

7. Lyme Regis

What to visit in Dorset? Lyme Regis is a coastal town in South West England. It lies at the mouth of the River Lim, an estuary that flows into Lyme Bay, and is renowned for its fossil heritage.

The local travel links have helped the town become a tourist destination with visitors attracted to its coastal scenery and heritage.

What to visit in Dorset - Lyme Regis
Desitnations in Dorset – Lyme Regis

8. Man O’War Beach

Most beautiful place in Dorset to visit? Man O’War Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in England and is located in the southwestern part of the country. The beach is very popular with surfers, but it’s also a great place for families to visit and enjoy the sand, sea and sun.

Most beautiful place in Dorset to visit - Man O'War Beach
Things to do in Dorset today – Man O’War Beach

9. Old Harry Rocks

Things to do in Dorset this weekend? Old Harry Rocks is a large mass of chalk with a lighthouse at the top. The rocks are named after Harry “Longlegs” Ellyatt, who used to strip seaweed from the rocks for fertiliser.

The Old Harry Rocks are the remains of the most famous landslip in Britain’s history. The rocks are part of the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that stretches for 95 miles along the coast of Dorset and Devon.

Things to do in Dorset this weekend - Old Harry Rocks
Things to do in Dorset for adults – Old Harry Rocks

10. Sandbanks Beach

Sandbanks Beach is a popular beach located in Dorset, England. It is situated in the town of Poole, on the coast of the Isle of Purbeck and is known for its wide expanse of golden sand and clear blue waters. The beach is accessible by foot, bike or car and it offers a range of activities such as swimming, sunbathing, water sports and it is also a great spot for walking and cycling.

The beach is also home to the Sandbanks Beach Café, which offers food and drink and is open all year round. The beach is also dog-friendly all year round except for the months of July and August.

11. Corfe Castle

What to see in Dorset? Corfe Castle is a fortification standing above the village of the same name on the Isle of Purbeck in the English county of Dorset. Built by William the Conqueror, the castle dates to the 11th century and commands a gap in the Purbeck Hills on the route between Wareham and Swanage

Corfe Castle has been used as a location for several films and television programmes; most famously perhaps as Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001). It has also featured in many other films including Prince Valiant (1997), Dracula Untold (2014) Midsomer Murders “The Man Who Haunted Himself” (1969).

What to see in Dorset - Corfe Castle
Things to see in Dorset – Corfe Castle

12. Dorchester

Dorset towns to visit? Dorchester is a historic market town and borough in Dorset, England. It is situated on the River Frome eight miles (13 km) southwest of Poole and 15 miles (24 km) west of Salisbury.

It is the “county town” in Dorset – a small market town steeped in local history that is a perfect base for exploring the county.

13. Aunt Fanny’s Farm

Aunt Fanny’s Farm Shop & Café is a local farm shop & café in Dorset, England. It is located in the town of Wimborne, it is a family-run business that offers a wide range of fresh and local produce, as well as a café serving homemade food.

The farm shop offers a variety of products such as fresh meat, eggs, cheese, bread, and homemade jams, chutneys, and pickles. The café serves breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, made with ingredients from the farm shop, it also provides outdoor seating. It is a great place to buy local and seasonal produce, and to enjoy a homemade meal in a rural setting.

14. West Lulworth

Places of interest in Dorset? West Lulworth is a small coastal village in the county of Dorset, England. It lies in the Purbeck hills, on the south coast of England, roughly mid-way between the towns of Weymouth and Swanage.

The village was recorded in Domesday Book as Lulueorde, meaning “Lula’s ford”. The ford was located near what is now called Ford Farm. The name evolved over time to become “Lowlandersford”, before finally becoming West Lulworth.

Places of interest in Dorset - West Lulworth
Places in Dorset to visit – West Lulworth

15. Charmouth

Top Dorset destinations? Charmouth Dorset is a beautiful coastal village, located in the West Dorset district of Dorset, England. It lies about 5 miles (8 km) south of Lyme Regis and runs along the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site. The village has been inhabited since Neolithic times and contains many historic buildings.

The village of Charmouth is home to fossils dating back over 360 million years, including some of the earliest known fish fossils. These include examples of ancient primitive fish.

Top Dorset destinations - Charmouth Dorset
What’s Dorset famous for – Charmouth Dorset

16. Studland

Dorset best places to visit? Studland is a village and civil parish in the English county of Dorset. It is situated on the shore of Poole Harbour, about 3 miles (4.8 km) east of Swanage, 7 miles (11 km) south of Bournemouth and 10 miles (16 km) west of Christchurch. It has a population of 1,758.

Dorset best places to visit - Studland
Places to go Dorset – Studland

17. South Coast Path

Things to do Dorset? The South Coast Path is a National Trail, stretching from Minehead in Somerset to Poole Harbour in Dorset. The trail links with the West Country Way and Wessex Ridgeway, taking walkers past some of the most beautiful countryside in southern England.

The South Coast Path is a National Trail that is open to all walkers and cyclists. It has been designed so that it can be walked or cycled as part of a short break holiday or a longer holiday, by families or groups of friends, as well as by individuals with differing abilities.

Things to do Dorset - The South Coast Path
Dorset beauty spots – The South Coast Path

18. Brownsea Island

Brownsea Island is an island located in Poole Harbour, Dorset, England. The island is known for its beautiful natural scenery, including forests, meadows, and wetlands. It is an important wildlife haven and home to a wide variety of animals including red squirrels, peacocks, and deer, and it is also an important breeding ground for seabirds such as terns and oystercatchers.

The island is also famous for being the birthplace of the Scouting movement, where Robert Baden-Powell held the first Scout camp in 1907. Visitors can take guided tours of the island, exploring its history and wildlife, and can enjoy a variety of activities such as walking and cycling, bird watching, and picnicking. There is also a gift shop and a restaurant on the island.

19. Swanage

Places to see in Dorset? Swanage is a seaside town in Dorset, England. It is situated in the south west of the Isle of Purbeck, approximately 9 miles (14 km) east of Dorchester and 12 miles (19 km) west of Poole. The town has a population of approximately 10,000 people and contains the majority of the 7 miles (11 km) long Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

Places to see in Dorset - Swanage
Best places in Dorset to visit – Swanage

20. The Blue Pool

Most beautiful places in Dorset? The Blue Pool gets its name from the colour of its water, which can vary depending on the time of year and level of rainfall. The colour can be due to several factors like the presence of algae and the presence of minerals dissolved from surrounding rocks.

Most beautiful places in Dorset - The Blue Pool
Tourist attractions in Dorset – The Blue Pool

21. Moors Valley

Moors Valley Country Park and Forest is a recreational area located in Dorset, England. It is situated near the towns of Ringwood and Ashley Heath and is known for its beautiful natural scenery, including forests, meadows, and wetlands. The park features a wide range of activities for visitors including walking and cycling trails, a Go Ape high ropes course, a play area, a miniature railway, and a large lake with a café.

There is also a visitor center that provides information and advice on the park’s history and wildlife, as well as a gift shop. Moors Valley is a great spot for families and nature lovers, it’s a great place to explore the outdoors, and it’s a perfect spot for a picnic or a family day out.

22. West Bay

Where to go in Dorset? West Bay Cliffs Dorset is a beautiful place to visit in Dorset and has plenty of great things to do. From the breathtaking cliffs to the amazing views of the sea, West Bay is a place you will not forget!

The cliffs are home to many seabirds such as fulmars, guillemots and kittiwakes. The area is also a popular attraction for fossil collectors due to the large number of fossils found in the cliffs.

Where to go in Dorset - West Bay
What to do Dorset – West Bay

23. Chesil Beach

Nice places to visit Dorset? Chesil Beach is a wild and beautiful place. It was once a natural barrier between land and sea, but as the cliffs have been eroded by the sea, it has become a popular area for walking, cycling and horse riding.

The beach is one of only three major shingle structures in the world. It is also one of only three examples in Britain where a large area of continuous shingle beach occurs with no dunes behind it.

Nice places to visit Dorset - Chesil Beach
Dorset what to do – Chesil Beach

24. Stair Hole

Activities to do in Dorset for adults? Stair Hole is one of the best known natural sea caves on the Dorset coast. It is located at Burton Bradstock, about 3 miles (4.8 km) east of Swanage, and lies within the boundaries of the Purbeck Coast World Heritage Site.

The sea cave was formed by coastal erosion along a meandering river channel. The cave’s name comes from its appearance as a staircase-like series of ledges connected by waterfalls and overhangs.

Activities to do in Dorset for adults - Stair Hole
Dorset famous for – Stair Hole

25. Abbotsbury Swannery

Fun things to do in Dorset? Abbotsbury Swannery is a nature reserve and bird sanctuary in the village of Abbotsbury on the Isle of Purbeck, in Dorset, England.

The reserve also includes ponds, marshes and reedbeds which support many other species including avocet, water rail, little egret and reed bunting. The site is open to visitors all year round but please note that it does get very busy during the spring and summer months so we recommend visiting outside this time if you would like more space to yourself!

26. Highcliffe Beach

Dorset beautiful places? The beach is situated between the towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch, in the borough of East Dorset. It is popular with tourists, particularly in the summer months when there are plenty of attractions nearby such as Bournemouth Pier.

If you’re looking for a place to learn how to surf in Dorset, then Highcliffe Beach is a great place. The beach itself is only accessible by foot or by car and there is parking available near the beach entrance gates. The beach itself is made up of small pebbles and sand which makes it ideal for those who want to try their hand at surfing for the first time.

Dorset beautiful places - Highcliffe Beach
Best things to see in Dorset – Highcliffe Beach

27. Southbourne Beach

Southbourne Beach is a popular beach located in Dorset, England. It is situated on the south coast of the county, near the town of Bournemouth. The beach is known for its wide expanse of golden sand and clear blue waters and is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.

The beach is backed by a promenade with a wide range of shops, cafes and restaurants, and it is also home to a children’s play area, making it a great spot for a family day out. The beach is also home to a lifeguard service during the summer months, and it is also dog-friendly, but there are certain restrictions on certain areas during the peak season. The beach is also well connected by public transport and has a car park, toilets and showers nearby.

28. Kimmeridge Bay

Best things to do in Dorset? Kimmeridge Bay is one of the most spectacular beaches in England, if not Europe. It is located in Dorset and overlooked by the beautiful village of Kimmeridge.

The bay itself is formed by two huge Jurassic cliffs that stretch for over three miles along the coast. These cliffs are made up of layers of shelly limestone which formed when an ancient ocean covered what is now Britain.

29. Isle of Portland

Places to visit in Dorset UK? The Isle of Portland is a limestone-tied island, with a population of more than 2,000 residents, approximately eight miles (13 km) long by one and a half miles (2.4 km) wide. It lies just off the coast of Dorset, in south-west England, where the English Channel meets Weymouth Bay at Portland Harbour.

The island forms part of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site which includes some of the most significant coastal landforms and geology on the planet.

Places to visit in Dorset UK - The Isle of Portland
Top Dorset tourist attractions – The Isle of Portland

30. Weymouth

Places to go in Dorset? Weymouth is a seaside town in Dorset, on the south coast of England. It’s the second largest resort in Dorset after Bournemouth and has a wide sandy beach, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

The town became a Naval Base in 1665 and was the launch point for several famous naval battles such as the Battle of Trafalgar and the Battle of Britain.

What is along the Dorset coastline?

The Dorset coastline is known for its beautiful scenery and a variety of attractions. Some of the notable things along the Dorset coastline include:

  • The Jurassic Coast: a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stretches for 95 miles along the Dorset coastline, it is known for its outstanding geological features, including cliffs, bays, and rock formations that date back millions of years.
  • Beaches: Dorset has many lovely beaches, such as Bournemouth, Weymouth, and Swanage, which are great for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.
  • Lighthouses: Dorset has several lighthouses along its coastline, such as Portland Bill Lighthouse, which offers great views of the coast and the sea.
  • Island: Brownsea Island, which is located in Poole Harbour, is a popular spot for wildlife watching and birdwatching and is also known as the birthplace of the Scouting movement.
  • Castles and Fortifications: Dorset has a number of historic castles and fortifications along its coastline, such as Corfe Castle, and Sandsfoot Castle.
  • Nature reserves: Dorset has several nature reserves along its coastline, such as RSPB Arne, that offer great opportunities for wildlife watching and birdwatching.
  • Walking trails: Dorset offers many walking trails along the coastline, such as the South West Coast Path, which offers spectacular views of the coast, and the Isle of Purbeck Heritage Coast, which offers a variety of landscapes and habitats.

All in all, Dorset coastline is a great destination for visitors who want to enjoy the outdoors, nature, history, and culture while enjoying the beautiful sea views.

Which is better Durdle Door or Lulworth Cove?

Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove are both popular tourist attractions along the Dorset coastline, and both are considered to be among the most beautiful natural landmarks in the area. Both sites offer unique experiences and scenic views, so it depends on what you’re looking for.

Durdle Door is a natural limestone arch located along the Jurassic Coast, it is a natural wonder that sits on the beach, and it is accessible by foot. It offers a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and taking in beautiful views of the surrounding cliffs and the sea. It’s a great place to explore the geology and the natural beauty of the area.

Lulworth Cove is a small, picturesque cove located along the Jurassic Coast. It is a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and taking in beautiful views of the surrounding cliffs and the sea. The cove is surrounded by a number of interesting geological features, including the Lulworth Crumple, which is a unique fold in the rock formation, and the Stair Hole, a large natural amphitheater.

Both Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove are great places to visit and it depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a beautiful natural arch, Durdle Door is the place to go. If you’re looking for a picturesque cove, Lulworth Cove is the place to visit.

What is the best village in Dorset?

Dorset is home to many charming villages, each with its own unique character and attractions. Some of the best villages in Dorset include:

  • Corfe Castle: is a charming village located in the Purbeck Hills and is known for its ruined castle that dates back to the 11th century. The village offers a great selection of shops, pubs, and restaurants, as well as a number of interesting museums and galleries.
  • Cerne Abbas: is a picturesque village located in the heart of the Dorset countryside, it is known for its historic abbey, and the Cerne Giant, a 180-foot-tall hill figure carved into the chalk hillside.
  • Abbotsbury: is a charming village located on the coast, known for its picturesque streets, medieval St Catherine’s Chapel, and the Abbotsbury Swannery, home to a colony of swans.
  • Lyme Regis: is a seaside town located on the Dorset coast, it’s known for its picturesque harbor, and its 13th-century Cobb and its famous as the setting of John Fowles’ novel “The French Lieutenant’s Woman.”
  • Beaminster: is a charming market town located in the heart of Dorset’s countryside, known for its unique architecture and quaint streets.
  • Shaftesbury: is an ancient hilltop town, known for its historic landmarks such as Gold Hill, and the iconic statue of the “Gold Hill Girl”.

All of these villages offer a great variety of things to see and do, and are a great place to experience the local culture and history. They are all easily accessible by car or by public transport and have a good selection of accommodation options, making them great destinations for a day trip or a longer stay.

What is the main town in Dorset?

The main town in Dorset is Bournemouth, it is the largest town in the county and it is located on the south coast of England. It is a popular seaside resort and tourist destination, known for its seven miles of sandy beaches, vibrant nightlife, and a wide range of restaurants, shops and entertainment.

Bournemouth is also home to several large events throughout the year, such as the Bournemouth Air Festival and the Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival.

Dorset coast cottages

Dorset is home to a wide variety of cottages along its coastline, which are a popular accommodation option for visitors to the area. These cottages offer a great way to experience the natural beauty and the coastal lifestyle of Dorset.

They can range from traditional thatched cottages to modern and luxurious properties and can be found in many of the towns and villages along the coast, such as Weymouth, Lyme Regis, and Swanage. Some of the cottages are available for rent on a weekly or short-term basis, and they often provide all the amenities and comforts of a home, including fully-equipped kitchens, comfortable living areas, and private gardens.

Many of these cottages also offer great views of the coast and the sea and are a great base for exploring the local area and the surrounding countryside.

Is it worth visiting Dorset?

Yes, it is! Dorset is a county in the south of England known for its picturesque countryside, charming villages, and historic towns. It offers a range of attractions and activities that make it a popular tourist destination. The county is well-known for its beautiful Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that stretches along the coastline, offering some of the most impressive geological features in the UK.

It is also home to the charming town of Dorchester, the county town of Dorset, with a rich history and a number of interesting museums and landmarks to explore. The village of Corfe Castle is also worth visiting, it is a charming village with a ruined castle that dates back to the 11th century. The seaside towns of Weymouth and Bournemouth are also popular tourist destinations, both offer lovely beaches and a range of entertainment options.

Dorset is a lovely county, with many different things to see and do, therefore, it can be worth visiting for anyone looking for a holiday or a UK weekend trip.

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