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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 Corfe Castle to your Itinerary

    Corfe Castle


    Corfe Castle village is overlooked by the outstanding ruins of its castle perched on a hill in a gap in the Purbeck Ridge.

    The Castle, built in 1086, was one of the country’s great strongholds and was defended by Lady Bankes (the wife of its owner) during the English Civil War, before being...

  2. Add Minterne Magna to your Itinerary

    Minterne Magna


    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....

  3. Add Warmwell to your Itinerary



    This unpretentious village, the name of which is derived from a well of tepid water, has many aspects contrary to a typical Dorset village including several farms, a mill, the village, a great heath, watercress beds, a quarry and once an airfield used by the RAF during the Second World War.


  4. Add Witchampton to your Itinerary



    Described as "one of the most beautiful villages in the country" Witchampton's winding village street is flanked by timbered and thatched cottages with pretty gardens. The road into the village crosses the clear trout stream of the River Allen by means of a modern stone faced brick bridge which...

  5. Add Evershot to your Itinerary



    Evershot is the second highest village in Dorset at 625ft above sea level and is the source of the River Frome. It is a small, neat village, of only 200 inhabitants and has little changed since Hardy’s time. Despite its size, Evershot is a well known village, famous for its inclusion in much of...

  6. 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...

  7. Add Wyke Regis to your Itinerary

    Wyke Regis


    Wyke Regis takes its name from the old word 'wic' or even 'ic' and there are various opinions as to its meaning - it may be 'dairy farm', dependent farm (of Portland?) or harbour/fishery. The 'Regis' indicates royal ownership dating back to the 13th century, when the village is named as 'Kingeswic'...

  8. West Parley

    Add West Parley to your Itinerary

    West Parley


    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...

  9. Add Bradford Peverell to your Itinerary

    Bradford Peverell


    Bradford Peverell is one of the oldest villages in Dorset which pre-dates the Roman occupation of Dorchester. The village is the birthplace of John Hutchins (1698-1773), Dorset's most famous historian.

    The church of St. Mary's is unusual for Dorset in that it is one of the few in the county with...

  10. Add Abbotsbury to your Itinerary



    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...