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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: 90

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  1. Add West Stafford to your Itinerary

    West Stafford

    Dorchester

    West Stafford is a small, thatched village in the Frome valley just to the east of Dorchester. The village has good connections with Hardy’s work, the church of St. Andrews being the apparent setting for Tess and Angel Clare’s marriage in Tess of the D’Urbervilles and Lower Lewell Farm, located...

  2. 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...

  3. Add Studland to your Itinerary

    Studland

    Wareham

    Studland is a small village located on a peninsula in south Purbeck, and is close to both Swanage and Corfe Castle. The start of the 630 mile South West Coast Path national trail is found at Shell Bay and continues to Minehead in Somerset.

    The area is famous for it's long, sandy beaches, and...

  4. 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...

  5. Add East and West Lulworth to your Itinerary

    East and West Lulworth

    West Lulworth, Wareham

    The Lulworth Estate is situated in south west Purbeck and is owned by the Weld Family who live on the estate. The scenery around the area is stunning, with the estate boasting some of the most dramatic features of Purbeck and also forms part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Kimmeridge,...

  6. Add Abbotsbury to your Itinerary

    Abbotsbury

    Bridport

    Abbotsbury is a popular, pretty, picture-postcard village steeped in history and surrounded by spectacular scenery. The village has much to offer a visitor of any age as it includes the famous 14th century St Catherine’s Chapel (a local landmark often captured on photos of Chesil Beach), old Abbey...

  7. 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.

    The area is very popular for walking and a number of our walking trails pass through or near these villages.

    The 'Smugglers Ways' begins at Worth Matravers and then travels down to the coast path and back again...

  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 Chideock and Seatown to your Itinerary

    Chideock and Seatown

    Bridport

    Chideock is a small, hilly village located between Bridport and Lyme Regis and has much to offer its visitor. Together with the neighbouring hamlet of Seatown, the village lies in a nationally recognised Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty comprised of pastoral and farmed land, breathtaking cliffs...

  10. Add Charmouth to your Itinerary

    Charmouth

    Lyme Regis

    Charmouth is a friendly and traditional village situated at the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coast, an ancient coastline of dramatic cliffs, fossils and beautiful scenery. The beach at Charmouth is world renowned for its abundance of fossilised remains and as such, attracts scores of...