Gold Hill in the sunshine
Rural Dorset offers traditional rural England at its finest; unspoilt countryside little changed since the times of author Thomas Hardy, picturesque villages with thatched cottages and quaint pubs.
Explore miles of footpaths through varied scenery, colourful heathlands home to rare reptiles and birds, the sweeping downland of Cranborne Chase and the Dorset Downs and the pretty valley of the meandering River Stour.
Enjoy outdoor pursuits, walking, cycling, horse-riding and golf and a wealth of family attractions and events – the forest, lakes, cycle and play trails at Moors Valley Country Park; delightful Wimborne Model Town, the Great Dorset Steam Fair and Sting in the Tale storytelling festival.
Some Rural Dorset Highlights
Explore the area’s rich heritage from mysterious pagan rings at Knowlton to the romantic ruins of Shaftesbury Abbey, from the splendour of gilded rooms and works of art at Kingston Lacy (NT) to the amazing Chained Library in Wimborne Minster.
Rural Dorset is home to some stunning gardens with award winning roses, camellias, fuchsias, blueberries, azaleas, acers and heathers. Download the Specialist Nurseries and Hidden Gardens of Dorset guide and explore these fascinating gardens for yourself.
The Rural Dorset area offers a wide selection of welcoming accommodation, to find out more please use the relevant search menus.