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Itinerary Planner

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

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A pretty Dorset village

A pretty Dorset village

Dorset Villages

Dorset is home to some of the prettiest villages in England.

If you’re looking to wander down winding country lanes lined with sweet scented wild flowers, tinkling streams, thatched cobb cottages before chancing upon a quaint little village pub or tea room, you’ve come to the right place!

Picturesque Dorset Villages

One of the most popular villages in Dorset is Abbotsbury, a picture postcard village set in the Dorset AONB countryside.

Whilst here, visit the famous Swannery, or climb to St Catherine’s Chapel for tremendous views along Chesil Beach and the Jurassic Coast.

You’re in for a treat if you visit West Lulworth as the small hamlet is dotted with little trinket shops and ice cream parlours as it meanders down to the stunning Lulworth Cove.

Milton Abbas is also well worth a visit, with its uniformed line of thatched white cottages. Visit in July for the 18th Century Street Fair and be whisked back in time.

And set in the heart of Cranborne Chase, once a mediaeval hunting estate, are the intimate, rural villages of the Tarrants, Chrichels and the Gussages.

 

Quirky village names

Dorset villages have their fair share of strange place names and many of these are often cause for much tittering.

Whilst in Dorset you may find yourself in the Piddle Valley and stumble across the villages of Piddlehinton and Piddletrenthide.

Whilst strolling in the beautiful Purbecks, you may see a signpost to Happy Bottom. And, what other English county has such evocative village names as Whitchurch Canonicorum, Rhyme Intrensica or Gussage All Saints?

There is one village name in Dorset which is far too rude to mention here but bound to cause a few laughs, why not come and visit and see if you can find it (we'll give you a clue, it's near Bere Regis).

 

Villages full of folklore and history

Each Dorset village has its own character, history, individual charm and tale to tell.

Visit Cerne Abbas and see the famous club wielding chalk giant, imagine historic battles as you stand in Corfe Castle with its romantic castle ruins, stand under the Martyrs Tree at Tolpuddle, birthplace of the Trade Union and hear the whispers in the walls at Tyneham – Dorset’s ghost village.

Make a wish at the Upwey Wishing Well, hunt for fossils at Charmouth, visit Thomas Hardy’s Cottage in the forest at Higher Bockhampton or ascend to Ashmore, the highest village in Dorset.

 

Experience the rural ideal and explore Dorset’s villages

As you can see there are many quirky little villages in Dorset, each with their own history, claim to fame and individual mysteries just waiting to be discovered and unless you spend a night or two, there’s no way you will be able to see them all!

Fortunately, there's lots of great accommodation close to each of these villages so why not take advantage, simply click the links below to get started:

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Number of items: 89

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  1. Add Portesham to your Itinerary

    Portesham

    Dorchester

    A pleasant village, sheltered beneath the 776 ft Blackdown Hill. On the main road is a pretty 18th century house where Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy lived until 1807. It was also used in the Thomas Hardy novel 'The Trumpet Major' when Bob Loveday visited Captain Hardy to ask if he could serve...

  2. Add West Bexington to your Itinerary

    West Bexington

    Bridport

    West Bexington is a small coastal village on the Chesil Beach, between Burton Bradstock and Abbotsbury surrounded by National Trust land. Although the village is small, West Bexington has a lot to offer its tourist. Visitors to West Bexington can enjoy year round sea fishing off the beach,...

  3. Add Charmouth to your Itinerary

    Charmouth

    Lyme Regis

    Charmouth is a friendly and traditional village situated at the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coast, an ancient coastline of dramatic cliffs, fossils and beautiful scenery. The beach at Charmouth is world renowned for its abundance of fossilised remains and as such, attracts scores of...

  4. Add Maiden Newton to your Itinerary

    Maiden Newton

    Dorchester

    Maiden Newton is a town-sized village located on the confluence of the Rivers Frome and Hooke. It was once an old market town but, overshadowed by neighbouring Dorchester, instead developed as a light industrial village. Today, although not classically picturesque, Maiden Newton is a pleasant blend...

  5. Add Abbotsbury to your Itinerary

    Abbotsbury

    Bridport

    Abbotsbury is a popular, pretty, picture-postcard village steeped in history and surrounded by spectacular scenery. The village has much to offer a visitor of any age as it includes the famous 14th century St Catherine’s Chapel (a local landmark often captured on photos of Chesil Beach), old Abbey...

  6. Add Charminster to your Itinerary

    Charminster

    Dorchester

    Charminster is a small village 2 miles north of Dorchester full of delightful traditional cottages and possesses a typical Old English feel. It has two pubs and a superb Norman church, St Mary’s, which is unusually situated directly over the River Cerne. The Ham stone tower to the church was added...

  7. Add Piddletrenthide & Piddlehinton to your Itinerary

    Piddletrenthide & Piddlehinton

    Dorchester

    These small, sweet villages derive their extraordinary name from the river on which they sit – the Piddle. The villages provide a charming base from which to explore Hardy country, whether it be for the literary links or just to enjoy some of England’s best countryside. Piddlehinton is a delightful...

  8. Add Cerne Abbas to your Itinerary

    Cerne Abbas

    Dorchester

    Cerne Abbas is a charming and quaint village that is world renowned for the Cerne Giant, a 180 ft high ancient chalk figure carved out into the steep sloping hillside above the village. The origins of the Giant, now owned by the National Trust, are a mix of fact and speculation. Some believe that...

  9. Add Evershot to your Itinerary

    Evershot

    Sherborne

    Evershot is the second highest village in Dorset at 625ft above sea level and is the source of the River Frome. It is a small, neat village, of only 200 inhabitants and has little changed since Hardy’s time. Despite its size, Evershot is a well known village, famous for its inclusion in much of...

  10. Add Bovington and Wool to your Itinerary

    Bovington and Wool

    Wareham

    Bovington contains some of Purbeck’s most loved attractions including the Tank Museum with interactive displays, Monkey World and it's unique collection of primates and Clouds Hill, the home of Lawrence of Arabia. The Lawrence Trail starts at the Tank Museum and follows the story of T.E. Lawrence,...