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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 Sydling St Nicholas to your Itinerary

    Sydling St Nicholas

    Dorchester

    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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. Add Winterborne Abbas to your Itinerary

    Winterborne Abbas

    Dorchester

    Winterbourne Abbas is situated just south west of Dorchester and is a pleasant village with little bridges to the 17-19th century stone, brick and flint cottages. There is a small stone circle near the village on the edge of a beech wood called 'The Nine Stones' which are most probably early...

  5. Add Cattistock to your Itinerary

    Cattistock

    Dorchester

    Known by many as the “knob-throwing village”, Cattistock’s recent rise to fame is thanks to a peculiar tournament of the same name held annually in the village. This quirky game, where one hurls a Dorset Knob Biscuit as far as they can, has rapidly grown in popularity. Coinciding with the Frome...

  6. Add Hurn to your Itinerary

    Hurn

    Hurn, CHRISTCHURCH

    Action and activity is the key for all the family at Hurn, only a ten minute drive from Christchurch town centre. Here you will find Adventure Wonderland and Wild Thing, Aviation Museum, Snowtrax and a variety of activities including horse riding, four wheel driving, golf, go-karting and...

  7. Add Puncknowle to your Itinerary

    Puncknowle

    Bridport

    Puncknowle, pronounced ‘Punnle’ is a handsome village of stone cottages and farm buildings. A ridge of downland shelters one side of the village from the sea and on the other side is the beautiful Bride Valley. Puncknowle Manor Estate offers five star self catering accommodation in a first class...

  8. Add Eype to your Itinerary

    Eype

    Bridport

    Meaning “steep hill”, Eype has been described as one of West Dorset’s most beautiful villages. It is easy to see why, as the village is full of pretty thatched cottages with country gardens, dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Situated just West of Bridport on the coast, Eype has a...

  9. Hinton Martell

    Add Hinton Martell to your Itinerary

    Hinton Martell

    Wimborne

    A quiet and leafy village of medieval origin, which, from its description in the Domesday Book, seems certain to have been of special importance at the time of the Norman Conquest. The main feature of the village is the fountain in the centre, opposite the church.

    The village Church of St John...

  10. Add Minterne Magna to your Itinerary

    Minterne Magna

    Sherborne

    The lush, beautifully wooded parish of Minterne Magna is best known for its grand Manor House in which many a famous family have dwelled including Churchill, Napier and Digby. Inside the small, late medieval church of St. Andrew, magnolia-washed walls are covered with monuments to these families....