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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. Add Hooke to your Itinerary

    Hooke

    Dorchester

    The quiet village of Hooke is tucked away in the Dorset Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with a picturesque pond and 15th century church at its centre. The single bronze bell in its tower is reputed to be the second oldest bell in Dorset. There are pleasant walks of varying length and...

  2. Add Milton Abbas to your Itinerary

    Milton Abbas

    West Street, Blandford Forum

    A picture book English cob and thatch village on the Milton Abbey estate. Uprooted and rebuilt in the late 18th Century so the noise and smell of the village could no longer trouble the calm of the Abbey House! The original site now lies beneath a lake. The charming Abbey Church is open to the...

  3. Add The Gussages to your Itinerary

    The Gussages

    Wimborne

    Three attractive villages; Gussage St Andrew, Gussage St Michael and Gussage All Saints lying along a pretty valley. The name 'Gussage' is thought to mean 'gush of water', a reference to the clear chalk stream that flows through the area.

    Each village has an attractive church and Gussage All...

  4. 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,...

  5. 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. The very ancient church of St. Candida and St Cross is unique in being the only parish church in England to contain the remains of an ancient saint. The 13th Century shrine of St...

  6. Add Poundbury to your Itinerary

    Poundbury

    Dorchester

    Poundbury is a high density urban extension to Dorchester, designed by Prince Charles, consisting of town houses, cottages, shops and light industry. The village, which is built on Duchy land, has followed a high-density urban pattern, focussing on integrating housing, shops and workplaces, rather...

  7. Add Charminster to your Itinerary

    Charminster

    Dorchester

    Charminster is a small village 2 miles north of Dorchester full of delightful traditional cottages and possesses a typical Old English feel. It has two pubs and a superb Norman church, St Mary’s, which is unusually situated directly over the River Cerne. The Ham stone tower to the church was added...

  8. 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...

  9. Add Kingston, Worth Matravers & Langton Matravers to your Itinerary

    Kingston, Worth Matravers & Langton Matravers

    Wareham

    Kingston, Worth Matravers and Langton Matravers are found south of Corfe Castle.

    Stop in at the infamous Worth Matravers village pub to meet the locals and look around the fossil museum next door. You might be lucky enough to visit the pub when they have their annual Stone Carving or Pumpkin...

  10. 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...