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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 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...

  2. Add Highcliffe to your Itinerary

    Highcliffe

    Highcliffe, CHRISTCHURCH

    Highcliffe's attractive coastline,with its panoramic views of the Isle of Wight to the east and the Purbecks to the west is just a few minutes walk from the award-winning village centre. The unspoilt beaches are great for watersports, swimming and body boarding or for just lazing around and can be...

  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 Colehill to your Itinerary

    Colehill

    Wimborne

    A peaceful residential area surrounded by farmland and forestry.

  5. Add Osmington to your Itinerary

    Osmington

    Dorchester

    Six miles from Weymouth, Osmington is a smart, well preserved village with grey stone cottages, narrow lanes and bright gardens. John Constable spent his honeymoon here in 1816 during which time he completed his painting of Weymouth Bay which now hangs in the National Gallery. Carved into the chalk...

  6. Add Corfe Castle to your Itinerary

    Corfe Castle

    Wareham

    Corfe is overlooked by the outstanding ruins of its castle perched above the village on a hill in a gap in the chalk ridge. The castle, built in 1086, was one of the country’s great strongholds and was strongly defended by the wife of its owner during the civil war, before being betrayed by one...

  7. Add Bridport & West Bay to your Itinerary

    Bridport & West Bay

    Bridport

    Set amongst the spectacular rolling Dorset hills, Bridport is a lively town with a friendly and vibrant character. As well as being a Gateway Town to the Jurassic Coast, Bridport has also been named a Beacon Town for the quality and variety of its locally produced food. Bridport’s culinary delights...

  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 Osmington Mills to your Itinerary

    Osmington Mills

    Dorchester

    A seaside hamlet with a pretty approach and magnificent views across Weymouth Bay to Portland. The shore is rocky and wild and not safe for swimming however the area is rich in fossil remains, has a number of riding stables close by and the village boasts the popular Smugglers Inn, one of the...

  10. 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...