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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 Melbury Osmund to your Itinerary

    Melbury Osmund

    Sherborne

    This quiet and unspoilt village is where Hardy’s parents were married in 1839 and the marriage certificate can be seen framed on the wall in the church. At the northern end of the footpath through the churchyard is a thatched house where Hardy’s mother is thought to have lived when she was a child....

  2. 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...

  3. Add West Bexington to your Itinerary

    West Bexington

    Bridport

    West Bexington is a small coastal village on the Chesil Beach, between Burton Bradstock and Abbotsbury surrounded by National Trust land. Although the village is small, West Bexington has a lot to offer its tourist. Visitors to West Bexington can enjoy year round sea fishing off the beach,...

  4. Add Frampton to your Itinerary

    Frampton

    Dorchester

    A quirky village with many attractive cottages located on one side of the street and yet nothing on the other, making it appear quite lop sided! Another odd feature of the village is the church of St. Mary with its tower corners consisting of two huge columns, one on top of the other with pinnacles...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. Add Broadmayne to your Itinerary

    Broadmayne

    Dorchester

    The village of Broadmayne lines the main road between Dorchester and Wool and although not one of the prettiest villages in Dorset, it has retained some good cottages. One of the cottages in particular behind the main road is made of brick and dated 1732, a very rare occurrence so early in Dorset....

  8. Add Tolpuddle to your Itinerary

    Tolpuddle

    Dorchester

    Tolpuddle is a tiny, thatched village by the River Piddle which has become globally famous for the story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. It was under a sycamore tree in 1831, that six hard working farm labourers led by a Methodist lay preacher George Loveless met to form a union in an effort to resist...

  9. Add Poundbury to your Itinerary

    Poundbury

    Dorchester

    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...

  10. Add Fortuneswell - Isle of Portland to your Itinerary

    Fortuneswell - Isle of Portland

    Originally known as Fortunes' well because it was an island settlement established around a small watercourse. The main road through to the top of the island has a wide variety of properties, some are small Portland stone cottages that were built on steep slopes. As you climb the hill St John's...