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Itinerary Planner

Plan your visit to Dorset using the '+ Itinerary Planner' button. Add to Excursion

Select items throughout the site to build an itinerary of your choice.

The Esplanade

The Esplanade

Weymouth

Dorset Towns

Dorset towns are brimming with history and charm, set in beautiful countryside and fringed by glorious coastline.

Visit the coastal towns in Dorset on the Jurassic Coast and beyond, with their mix of colourful harbours, sandy beaches and seaside fun, or head inland and discover our fascinating market towns.

Enjoy unique shopping and farmers' markets, amazing architecture and plenty of places to eat out and sample the local produce.

Historical Towns in Dorset

Vibrant and thriving, the historic market towns in Dorset offer a contemporary fusion of old and new.

The county town of Dorchester (Hardy’s Casterbridge) is a perfect example, mixing relics of its Roman past with the recently built Brewery Square, a vibrant new quarter bringing a trendy, Covent Garden feel to the town.

Sherborne is without doubt one of the most beautiful towns in England. Medieval and mellow stoned this Dorset gem has a magnificent abbey, two castles and reputation for art, antiques and unique shopping.

The old Saxon town of Wareham is situated on the River Frome making the pretty town a popular destination for those who enjoy boating up the river or simply relaxing on the Quay.

And close to Dorset’s northerly border you will find Shaftesbury, famous for Gold Hill, the steep cobbled street which provided the backdrop to the 1970s Hovis advert.

Dorset’s Coastal Towns

Victorian doctors used to prescribe patients a seaside stay to combat ailments of the spirit and a spell on the coast is still as every bit restorative as any pill.

The stylish town of Lyme Regis combines one of the south west’s most enviable dining scenes with a laid back ambience, typified by the mackerel fisherman who recline in chairs along the famous Cobb.

Historic Christchurch has a Saxon past, Norman priory, green flag quay and two castles. The colourful row of swanky beach huts at nearby Mudeford are among Britain’s most expensive.

The Victorian seaside resort of Swanage and Georgian Weymouth, each with their grand esplanades and wide sandy beaches are a firm favourite with families.

Breathe in the salt-drenched air as you wander between ice-cream and seafood stalls and relax on the beach whilst the children splash happily in the shallow waters and build sandcastles.

 

Book your stay with us today!

Get lost in Dorset’s charm and stay with us a while. Click below to browse our fantastic selection of accommodation and book a stay in one of the man Dorset towns.

Make the most of your visit and pop in to one of Dorset's Tourist Information Centres for inspirational ideas on what to see and do while you are here

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  1. Add Ferndown to your Itinerary

    Ferndown

    Wimborne

    Today a modern town with a good shopping centre and excellent community and leisure facilities. Much of the town's development was due to the arrival of the Stewart family from Scotland who set up a nursery in the town in 1864, to grow plants in warmer conditions than could be achieved at their...

  2. Add Westbourne to your Itinerary

    Westbourne

    Bournemouth

    One of the most elegant parts of Bournemouth. For ladies wear boutiques, interior design specialists, beauty stores and some delicious delis and restaurants. Westbourne is a real gem with an urban village feel. Make sure you do not miss the beautiful Victorian arcade, look up to see 22 gargoyles...

  3. Add Poole to your Itinerary

    Poole

    Poole Quay, Poole

    Poole is home to the second largest natural harbour in the world and is renowned for its watersports. Poole Quay is lined with beautiful merchant houses alongside modern architecture. Enjoy the cobbled streets and take the Cockle Trail Walk or enjoy a boat ride to the National Trust Brownsea Island...

  4. Add Blandford Forum to your Itinerary

    Blandford Forum

    West Street, Blandford Forum

    Located on the banks of the River Stour, Blandford Forum is the most complete, small Georgian town in England. Following an extensive fire in 1731 Blandford Forum "rose like the phoenix from its ashes, to its present beautiful and flourishing state" as the Fire Monument in the Market place states...

  5. Add Wimborne Minster to your Itinerary

    Wimborne Minster

    Wimborne Minster

    The historic market town of Wimborne Minster is an enticing blend of old and new; a ‘Fairtrade’ town where high quality modern stores and charming independent boutiques sit side by side in hidden courtyards and pedestrianised squares. The colourful Town Square and attractive High Street offer a...

  6. Add Wareham to your Itinerary

    Wareham

    Wareham

    Wareham is a curious and fascinating town. It has a history that goes back nearly 2000 years; flourishing in Saxon times and was a strategic stronghold for King Alfred the Great. After seeing action in both Civil Wars, Wareham’s importance slowly diminished as the nearby town of Poole grew in...

  7. Add Gillingham to your Itinerary

    Gillingham

    Gillingham

    Gillingham a town in the Blackmore Vale area of Dorset, England. The town is the most northerly in the county 4 miles south of the A303 lying on the B3095 and B3081. The town of Shaftesbury is 5 miles to the south east.

    There is a stone age barrow in the town, and evidence of Roman settlement...

  8. Add Swanage to your Itinerary

    Swanage

    Swanage

    This small town surrounds a beautiful curved bay and offers a seaside experience with a difference. Enjoy the soft sand and the award winning beach front whilst being surrounded by Purbeck’s natural beauty and wildlife. Make your first port of call the Tourist Information Centre on Shore Road...

  9. Add Upton to your Itinerary

    Upton

    Wareham

    Upton is the second largest town in Purbeck, after Swanage.

    Upton Country Park offers good walking and cycling around Poole Harbour includes an education centre, the Peacock Art Gallery, a walled garden, plant centre and tea rooms.

  10. Add Shaftesbury to your Itinerary

    Shaftesbury

    Shaftesbury

    The picturesque hilltop town of Shaftesbury lies nestled around its Saxon Benedictine Abbey, at its peak the largest women's religious community in England.

    An indespensible Medieval trading post for the farmers of the arable Cranborne Chase and dairying Blackmore Vale, today Shaftesbury offers...