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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 Winterborne Abbas to your Itinerary

    Winterborne Abbas

    Dorchester

    Winterbourne Abbas is situated just south west of Dorchester and is a pleasant village with little bridges to the 17-19th century stone, brick and flint cottages. There is a small stone circle near the village on the edge of a beech wood called 'The Nine Stones' which are most probably early...

  2. Add West Moors to your Itinerary

    West Moors

    Wimborne

    A large village with a modern parade of shops and two village pubs. The village lies on the route of the Castleman Trailway a walking and cycle route which runs from Poole to Ringwood. Surrounded by heathland and woodland, a great base for a cycle ride.

  3. Pamphill & Cowgrove

    Add Pamphill & Cowgrove to your Itinerary

    Pamphill & Cowgrove

    Wimborne

    Pamphill is one of Dorset’s most unspoilt villages; along with the neighbouring villages of Cowgrove and Shapwick, it was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1982 by the Bankes Family, as part of the Kingston Lacy Estate. Three commons or ‘greens’ unite scattered 17th and 18th Century cottages and...

  4. 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...

  5. Add Crossways to your Itinerary

    Crossways

    Dorchester

    Crossways is a new and expanding village approximately 6 miles east of Dorchester. The area Crossways is built on was once an RAF airfield which served an important part in World War 2 being a major fighter base during the Battle of Britain and offering fighter protection for Portland Naval Base...

  6. 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...

  7. Add Powerstock & Nettlecombe to your Itinerary

    Powerstock & Nettlecombe

    Bridport

    Nestling at the foot of the ancient hill fort of Eggardon, Powerstock is a straggling but attractive village surrounded by beautiful countryside including the Dorset Wildlife Trust owned Powerstock Common which boasts superb views of Dorset's coastline and a range of wildlife and flowers,...

  8. Add Cranborne to your Itinerary

    Cranborne

    Wimborne

    A charming village of red brick and cob houses on the River Crane. The village has two pubs, a restaurant, village stores selling local produce and a garden centre.

    Known as 'Chaseborough' in the novels of Thomas Hardy, the village was also popular with poet Rupert Brooke who stayed at the...

  9. Add Sutton Poyntz to your Itinerary

    Sutton Poyntz

    Weymouth

    The first part of the name is derived from the Old English words 'sud' (south) and tun (farm). The manor here was held by the Poyntz family from the 13th century. On 18th April 1908 a serious fire broke out in the village and by the time the Weymouth Fire Brigade arrived, almost a quarter of a mile...

  10. Add Yetminster to your Itinerary

    Yetminster

    Sherborne

    Yetminster is a sleepy village built almost entirely of honey coloured limestone and exudes a timeless and serene ambience. This comes partly from the age of its houses—many of which date back to the 17th century—but also from its lack of major through traffic.

    Yetminster Fair has a claim to be...