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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. Hinton Martell

    Add Hinton Martell to your Itinerary

    Hinton Martell

    Wimborne

    A quiet and leafy village of medieval origin, which, from its description in the Domesday Book, seems certain to have been of special importance at the time of the Norman Conquest. The main feature of the village is the fountain in the centre, opposite the church.

    The village Church of St John...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. Add Puddletown to your Itinerary

    Puddletown

    Dorchester

    Nestling in the Piddle Valley, surrounded by rolling hills and woodland lies Puddletown (formerly Piddletown), one of Dorset’s most attractive villages and which features heavily in Hardy’s novels, most notably Far from the Madding Crowd. Filled with small thatched and colour washed cottages,...

  7. Add Symondsbury to your Itinerary

    Symondsbury

    Bridport

    Symondsbury is a large, pretty village of golden sandstone, bounded by the Marshwood Vale to the north and the World Heritage Jurassic Coast to the south in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The village is known for its iconic landmark – Colmers Hill, which is featured extensively on postcards...

  8. Longham

    Add Longham to your Itinerary

    Longham

    Wimborne

    Longham is a linear village, with houses lining the road from the bridge over the River Stour to the pretty little church at the north end, where the parish abuts the town of Ferndown.

    There are two pubs, a village stores and hotel and restaurant. Longham is also home to Haskins Garden Centre,...

  9. 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...

  10. Add Mudeford to your Itinerary

    Mudeford

    Mudeford, CHRISTCHURCH

    Mudeford has an intriguing history of smuggling over the centuries and the picturesque quay is still the focal point of the local fishing industry. Its spectaular location with Christchurch Harbour on one side and the open sea on the other makes it a very popular destination for sailing and...