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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 Bovington and Wool to your Itinerary

    Bovington and Wool

    Wareham

    Bovington contains some of Purbeck’s most loved attractions including the Tank Museum with interactive displays, Monkey World and it's unique collection of primates and Clouds Hill, the home of Lawrence of Arabia. The Lawrence Trail starts at the Tank Museum and follows the story of T.E. Lawrence,...

  2. 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...

  3. West Parley

    Add West Parley to your Itinerary

    West Parley

    Wimborne

    A large village with shops, restaurants and a pub. The village lies on the River Stour with some excellent views from the iron age fort at Dudsbury and a charming historic parish church.

    The village is close to Bournemouth (Hurn) International Airport, there are two popular garden centres on...

  4. 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....

  5. Add Cranborne to your Itinerary

    Cranborne

    Wimborne

    A charming village of red brick and cob houses on the River Crane. The village has two pubs, a restaurant, village stores selling local produce and a garden centre.

    Known as 'Chaseborough' in the novels of Thomas Hardy, the village was also popular with poet Rupert Brooke who stayed at the...

  6. Add Corfe Castle to your Itinerary

    Corfe Castle

    Wareham

    Corfe is overlooked by the outstanding ruins of its castle perched above the village on a hill in a gap in the chalk ridge. The castle, built in 1086, was one of the country’s great strongholds and was strongly defended by the wife of its owner during the civil war, before being betrayed by one...

  7. Add Toller Pocorum to your Itinerary

    Toller Pocorum

    Bridport

    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,...

  8. Add Southwell - Isle of Portland to your Itinerary

    Southwell - Isle of Portland

    Portland's most southerly village made up of quaint quarrymen cottages and new houses with a village pub in the centre of the village. Park here and access the wonderful round-island cliff walks. A variety of self catering cottages and The Venue hotel and spa.

  9. 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...

  10. Add Mudeford to your Itinerary

    Mudeford

    Mudeford, CHRISTCHURCH

    Mudeford has an intriguing history of smuggling over the centuries and the picturesque quay is still the focal point of the local fishing industry. Its spectaular location with Christchurch Harbour on one side and the open sea on the other makes it a very popular destination for sailing and...