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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 Sturminster Marshall to your Itinerary

    Sturminster Marshall

    Wimborne

    A large, pretty village with three pubs, village stores and several relics of past village life including the village stocks and maypole, the latter of which is still in use today.

    Just outside of the village a medieval, eight-arched, bridge crosses the River Stour at White Mill. The bridge is...

  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 Thorncombe to your Itinerary

    Thorncombe

    Bridport

    The Parish of Thorncombe lies in the north-west corner of Dorset, bordering both Devon and Somerset. It is a relative newcomer to West Dorset, having been part of Devon until 1843. Principally agricultural, Thorncombe is set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has won a number of village...

  4. Pamphill & Cowgrove

    Add Pamphill & Cowgrove to your Itinerary

    Pamphill & Cowgrove

    Wimborne

    Pamphill is one of Dorset’s most unspoilt villages; along with the neighbouring villages of Cowgrove and Shapwick, it was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1982 by the Bankes Family, as part of the Kingston Lacy Estate. Three commons or ‘greens’ unite scattered 17th and 18th Century cottages and...

  5. Add Melbury Osmund to your Itinerary

    Melbury Osmund

    Sherborne

    This quiet and unspoilt village is where Hardy’s parents were married in 1839 and the marriage certificate can be seen framed on the wall in the church. At the northern end of the footpath through the churchyard is a thatched house where Hardy’s mother is thought to have lived when she was a child....

  6. Horton

    Add Horton to your Itinerary

    Horton

    Wimborne

    Lying between the rivers Allen and Crane, the village of Horton has an attractive church and a village pub and shop on the outskirts.

    The village's unique landmark, Horton Tower, was built in 1750 by Humphrey Sturt as an observatory to watch the movement of deer when he could no longer ride. ...

  7. Add Bothenhampton to your Itinerary

    Bothenhampton

    Bridport

    Bothenhampton is a Bridport suburb which has had significant modern expansion. The interesting feature of this village is that is has two churches, the newer of which is well worth visiting for any church enthusiast. Built in 1887, the new church was designed by the well-known Arts and Crafts...

  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 Little Bredy to your Itinerary

    Little Bredy

    Dorchester

    Little Bredy stands at the head of the Bride Valley where the River Bride tumbles down a waterfall from its springs and is well worth visiting for its gorgeous setting. The descent into it from the east is tremendous from either of the two roads with some of the best inland scenery to be seen in...

  10. Holt

    Add Holt to your Itinerary

    Holt

    Wimborne

    Several scattered hamlets with wonderful names; Gods Blessing Green and Pig Oak, make up Holt, itself centred around a large green faced by pretty thatched cottages and a traditional village inn.

    Holt is recorded in the Domesday Book as the 'foresta de Winburne', a royal chase and forest. Known...