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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 Hooke to your Itinerary



    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 Toller Pocorum to your Itinerary

    Toller Pocorum


    Toller Porcorum (valley of the pigs) is a village of approximately 160 households nestling within the West Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the South Wessex Downs Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) and the South Wessex Downs Natural Area. Due to its fabulous countryside location,...

  3. 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...

  4. Add Batcombe to your Itinerary



    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...

  5. Add Burton to your Itinerary


    Burton , Christchurch

    Burton is a village in Christchurch. It has a strong community feel with a village green as the hub. The Green has a local shop, doctors surgery and 2 churches. They have a yearly veterans parade and scouts carnival.

  6. Add Sydling St Nicholas to your Itinerary

    Sydling St Nicholas


    Sydling St. Nicholas is a stunningly picturesque village, winding along the little Sydling Water with tiny connecting bridges to the ancient thatched cottages which line the banks. In the summer the walls are covered with roses and clematis and birdsong drifts from the gardens.

    The church of St...

  7. Add Corscombe to your Itinerary



    Corscombe lies in lovely wooded country north of Beaminster with its main street climbing up the chalk hillside. It commands splendid views over Somerset from the upper road and is one of the most peaceful parts of Dorset. The famous republican Thomas Hollis lived here, benefactor of many...

  8. Add Powerstock & Nettlecombe to your Itinerary

    Powerstock & Nettlecombe


    Nestling at the foot of the ancient hill fort of Eggardon, Powerstock is a straggling but attractive village surrounded by beautiful countryside including the Dorset Wildlife Trust owned Powerstock Common which boasts superb views of Dorset's coastline and a range of wildlife and flowers,...

  9. Add Cerne Abbas to your Itinerary

    Cerne Abbas


    Cerne Abbas is a charming and quaint village that is world renowned for the Cerne Giant, a 180 ft high ancient chalk figure carved out into the steep sloping hillside above the village. The origins of the Giant, now owned by the National Trust, are a mix of fact and speculation. Some believe that...

  10. 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...