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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 Kimmeridge to your Itinerary



    This small hamlet is humble yet dramatic with great cliffs and a beautiful bay. It is famous for its fossil finds which regularly fall from the unstable rock face and its unique geology means that it is home to many interesting marine creatures. The cliffs are very unstable, so please do not search...

  2. Add Wimborne St Giles to your Itinerary

    Wimborne St Giles


    A picturesque village with a classical church, a row of beautiful 17th century almshouses facing the pretty village green its with stocks and village sign, and a local pub.

    The village is home to the Ashley family, the Earls of Shaftesbury, who came to prominence after the Industrial Revolution...

  3. Add Bere Regis to your Itinerary

    Bere Regis


    Bere Regis is found in north west Purbeck between Dorchester and Poole and is a short distance to the villages of Moreton and Bovington. The beautiful Athelhampton House is just a short drive away on the edge of Puddletown village.

    The village features St John the Baptist church which has a...

  4. 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...

  5. Add Crossways to your Itinerary



    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 Winterborne Abbas to your Itinerary

    Winterborne Abbas


    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...

  7. Add Chiswell - Isle of Portland to your Itinerary

    Chiswell - Isle of Portland

    One of Portland's ancient hamlets, a fishing village with cottages built on the back of Chesil Beach. The village lies at the point where the massive Chesil Beach joins Portland to the Dorset mainland. Equally magnificent on a warm summer's day as it is in the full force of a winter's storm.

  8. Add Moreton to your Itinerary



    Moreton is a small village with highlights including St. Nicholas Church and its beautiful glass windows engraved by the late Sir Laurence Whistler. T.E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) lived nearby at Clouds Hill, Bovington and his last resting place is in Moreton cemetary.

    Why not stop in at the...

  9. Add Whitchurch Canonicorum to your Itinerary

    Whitchurch Canonicorum

    Lyme Regis

    Referred to as the capital of the Marshwood Vale, Whitchurch Canonicorum is an attractive mix of farms and cottages.

    Whitchurch Canonicorum is where you can find the very ancient church of St. Candida and the Holy Cross.

    It is unique in being the only parish church in England to contain the...

  10. Add Osmington to your Itinerary



    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...