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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 Buckland Newton to your Itinerary

    Buckland Newton

    Dorchester

    Buckland Newton is an average sized village situated between Sherborne to the north and Dorchester to the south. The village sits at the head of the Blackmoor Vale and lies amongst lush AONB meadow land and gentle hills. The village has a Grade 1 Listed Parish Church (Holy Rood) of gothic structure...

  3. 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...

  4. Corfe Mullen

    Add Corfe Mullen to your Itinerary

    Corfe Mullen

    Wimborne

    Featured in the Domesday Book, the residential parish of Corfe Mullen takes its name from Saxo-Norman meaning ‘a mill in a gap’ and the mill, on the River Stour, sadly no longer in use, is described in the book as the most valuable corn mill in Dorset. For many years Corfe Mullen was important for...

  5. Sixpenny Handley

    Add Sixpenny Handley to your Itinerary

    Sixpenny Handley

    Wimborne

    A mix of old and new, Sixpenny Handley lies on the Cranborne Chase in excellent walking country, close to the roman road of Ackling Dyke. The village has a pub and several shops.

    The village's unusual name, often shortened to '6d Handley' is derived from two medieval hundreds - Sexpenna and...

  6. Add Kimmeridge to your Itinerary

    Kimmeridge

    Wareham

    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, in fact the Bay is part of the Purbeck Marine...

  7. Add Askerswell to your Itinerary

    Askerswell

    Bridport

    A small village made up of a mixture of old stone cottages, farm buildings and a number of modern bungalows, offering peace and quiet in some of Dorset's most beautiful countryside. Ideally situated to explore the Jurassic Coast plus the nearby vibrant town of Bridport.

  8. Add West Stafford to your Itinerary

    West Stafford

    Dorchester

    West Stafford is a small, thatched village in the Frome valley just to the east of Dorchester. The village has good connections with Hardy’s work, the church of St. Andrews being the apparent setting for Tess and Angel Clare’s marriage in Tess of the D’Urbervilles and Lower Lewell Farm, located...

  9. Add Charmouth to your Itinerary

    Charmouth

    Lyme Regis

    Charmouth is a friendly and traditional village situated at the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coast, an ancient coastline of dramatic cliffs, fossils and beautiful scenery. The beach at Charmouth is world renowned for its abundance of fossilised remains and as such, attracts scores of...

  10. Add Frampton to your Itinerary

    Frampton

    Dorchester

    A quirky village with many attractive cottages located on one side of the street and yet nothing on the other, making it appear quite lop sided! Another odd feature of the village is the church of St. Mary with its tower corners consisting of two huge columns, one on top of the other with pinnacles...