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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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  1. Add Corscombe to your Itinerary



    Corscombe lies in lovely wooded country north of Beaminster with its main street climbing up the chalk hillside. It commands splendid views over Somerset from the upper road and is one of the most peaceful parts of Dorset. The famous republican Thomas Hollis lived here, benefactor of many...

  2. Alderholt

    Add Alderholt to your Itinerary



    Located on the border with the New Forest Alderholt is a largely modern village with a 19th century church, pub and shops. A little outside of town lies an 18th century watermill, which is still used today to mill flour.

    The name of Alderholt's railway station (no longer in existence) was...

  3. Add Melbury Bubb to your Itinerary

    Melbury Bubb


    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...

  4. Add Chideock and Seatown to your Itinerary

    Chideock and Seatown


    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...

  5. Add Evershot to your Itinerary



    Evershot is the second highest village in Dorset at 625ft above sea level and is the source of the River Frome. It is a small, neat village, of only 200 inhabitants and has little changed since Hardy’s time. Despite its size, Evershot is a well known village, famous for its inclusion in much of...

  6. Add Mudeford to your Itinerary


    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...

  7. Add Alton Pancras to your Itinerary

    Alton Pancras


    Running alongside the River Piddle, Alton Pancras is a small village with its church dedicated to St. Pancras. Little features remain from the 15th century when the church was built however its organ has an interesting history, having been originally a fairground organ, and thus has a different...

  8. Add Moreton to your Itinerary



    Moreton is a small village with highlights including St. Nicholas Church and its beautiful glass windows engraved by the late Sir Laurence Whistler. T.E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) lived nearby at Clouds Hill, Bovington and his last resting place is in Moreton cemetary.

    Why not stop in at the...

  9. Add Hooke to your Itinerary



    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...

  10. Add Poundbury to your Itinerary



    Poundbury is a high density urban extension to Dorchester, designed by Prince Charles, consisting of town houses, cottages, shops and light industry. The village, which is built on Duchy land, has followed a high-density urban pattern, focussing on integrating housing, shops and workplaces, rather...