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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 Highcliffe to your Itinerary

    Highcliffe

    Highcliffe, CHRISTCHURCH

    Highcliffe's attractive coastline,with its panoramic views of the Isle of Wight to the east and the Purbecks to the west is just a few minutes walk from the award-winning village centre. The unspoilt beaches are great for watersports, swimming and body boarding or for just lazing around and can be...

  2. Add Middlemarsh to your Itinerary

    Middlemarsh

    Sherborne

    Middlemarsh is a very small village situated on the A352, approximately 6 1/2 miles south of Sherborne and 12 miles north of Dorchester. The village lies in the heart of rural Dorset and is surrounded by miles of glorious unspoilt Hardy countryside making it the perfect relaxing base to explore the...

  3. 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,...

  4. 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...

  5. Add Melbury Bubb to your Itinerary

    Melbury Bubb

    Sherborne

    This attractively named farming village, tucked between a heavily wooded area and Bubb Down is refreshingly reminiscent of how the region would have looked in the 19th century. In Thomas Hardy's 'The Woodlanders', Melbury Bubb is known as ‘Little Hintock’ and is described as “such a small place...

  6. Add Edmondsham to your Itinerary

    Edmondsham

    Wimborne

    A quaint village with old brick houses and cottages, a big iron village pump dated 1884 and a pretty church. The charming Manor House, open to the public on selected days, has an impressive 17th century staircase and a good selection of paintings, including a portrait of Lewis Tregonwell, founder...

  7. Add Crossways to your Itinerary

    Crossways

    Dorchester

    Crossways is a new and expanding village approximately 6 miles east of Dorchester. The area Crossways is built on was once an RAF airfield which served an important part in World War 2 being a major fighter base during the Battle of Britain and offering fighter protection for Portland Naval Base...

  8. Add Bradford Peverell to your Itinerary

    Bradford Peverell

    Dorchester

    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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...