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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 Bridport & West Bay to your Itinerary

    Bridport & West Bay


    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...

  2. Add Sydling St Nicholas to your Itinerary

    Sydling St Nicholas


    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...

  3. Add West Moors to your Itinerary

    West Moors


    A large village with a modern parade of shops and two village pubs. The village lies on the route of the Castleman Trailway a walking and cycle route which runs from Poole to Ringwood. Surrounded by heathland and woodland, a great base for a cycle ride.

  4. Longham

    Add Longham to your Itinerary



    Longham is a linear village, with houses lining the road from the bridge over the River Stour to the pretty little church at the north end, where the parish abuts the town of Ferndown.

    There are two pubs, a village stores and hotel and restaurant. Longham is also home to Haskins Garden Centre,...

  5. Add Portesham to your Itinerary



    A pleasant village, sheltered beneath the 776 ft Blackdown Hill. On the main road is a pretty 18th century house where Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy lived until 1807. It was also used in the Thomas Hardy novel 'The Trumpet Major' when Bob Loveday visited Captain Hardy to ask if he could serve...

  6. 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...

  7. Add Maiden Newton to your Itinerary

    Maiden Newton


    Maiden Newton is a town-sized village located on the confluence of the Rivers Frome and Hooke. It was once an old market town but, overshadowed by neighbouring Dorchester, instead developed as a light industrial village. Today, although not classically picturesque, Maiden Newton is a pleasant blend...

  8. Add Broadmayne to your Itinerary



    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....

  9. Add Edmondsham to your Itinerary



    A quaint village with old brick houses and cottages, a big iron village pump dated 1884 and a pretty church. The charming Manor House, open to the public on selected days, has an impressive 17th century staircase and a good selection of paintings, including a portrait of Lewis Tregonwell, founder...

  10. 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...