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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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  1. Add Fortuneswell - Isle of Portland to your Itinerary

    Fortuneswell - Isle of Portland

    Originally known as Fortunes' well because it was an island settlement established around a small watercourse. The main road through to the top of the island has a wide variety of properties, some are small Portland stone cottages that were built on steep slopes. As you climb the hill St John's...

  2. Horton

    Add Horton to your Itinerary

    Horton

    Wimborne

    Lying between the rivers Allen and Crane, the village of Horton has an attractive church and a village pub and shop on the outskirts.

    The village's unique landmark, Horton Tower, was built in 1750 by Humphrey Sturt as an observatory to watch the movement of deer when he could no longer ride. ...

  3. Add Cattistock to your Itinerary

    Cattistock

    Dorchester

    Known by many as the “knob-throwing village”, Cattistock’s recent rise to fame is thanks to a peculiar tournament of the same name held annually in the village. This quirky game, where one hurls a Dorset Knob Biscuit as far as they can, has rapidly grown in popularity. Coinciding with the Frome...

  4. Add Eype to your Itinerary

    Eype

    Bridport

    Meaning “steep hill”, Eype has been described as one of West Dorset’s most beautiful villages. It is easy to see why, as the village is full of pretty thatched cottages with country gardens, dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Situated just West of Bridport on the coast, Eype has a...

  5. Add Tolpuddle to your Itinerary

    Tolpuddle

    Dorchester

    Tolpuddle is a tiny, thatched village by the River Piddle which has become globally famous for the story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. It was under a sycamore tree in 1831, that six hard working farm labourers led by a Methodist lay preacher George Loveless met to form a union in an effort to resist...

  6. Add Batcombe to your Itinerary

    Batcombe

    Sherborne

    Batcombe is a very small village hidden under the northern slope of the Dorset Downs and is surrounded by mysterious legends. The church is the subject of one of these curious tales. It is said that at one time, the local squire, who was known as 'Conjuring Minterne' due to his dabbling in...

  7. Add Minterne Magna to your Itinerary

    Minterne Magna

    Sherborne

    The lush, beautifully wooded parish of Minterne Magna is best known for its grand Manor House in which many a famous family have dwelled including Churchill, Napier and Digby. Inside the small, late medieval church of St. Andrew, magnolia-washed walls are covered with monuments to these families....

  8. Add Morecombelake to your Itinerary

    Morecombelake

    Lyme Regis

    Sitting under Hardown Hill, Morecombelake is the home of Moore’s Biscuit Factory. The Moore family have been making biscuits since 1850 and are most famous for their traditional Dorset Knob, a hard, round, savoury biscuit typically eaten with cheese. It is said that Thomas Hardy was particularly...

  9. West Parley

    Add West Parley to your Itinerary

    West Parley

    Wimborne

    A large village with shops, restaurants and a pub. The village lies on the River Stour with some excellent views from the iron age fort at Dudsbury and a charming historic parish church.

    The village is close to Bournemouth (Hurn) International Airport, there are two popular garden centres on...

  10. 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...