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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 Hurn to your Itinerary

    Hurn

    Hurn, CHRISTCHURCH

    Action and activity is the key for all the family at Hurn, only a ten minute drive from Christchurch town centre. Here you will find Adventure Wonderland and Wild Thing, Aviation Museum, Snowtrax and a variety of activities including horse riding, four wheel driving, golf, go-karting and...

  2. 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,...

  3. 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...

  4. Add Puddletown to your Itinerary

    Puddletown

    Dorchester

    Nestling in the Piddle Valley, surrounded by rolling hills and woodland lies Puddletown (formerly Piddletown), one of Dorset’s most attractive villages and which features heavily in Hardy’s novels, most notably Far from the Madding Crowd. Filled with small thatched and colour washed cottages,...

  5. 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,...

  6. 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...

  7. Add Whitchurch Canonicorum to your Itinerary

    Whitchurch Canonicorum

    Lyme Regis

    Referred to as the capital of the Marshwood Vale, Whitchurch Canonicorum is an attractive mix of farms and cottages. The very ancient church of St. Candida and St Cross is unique in being the only parish church in England to contain the remains of an ancient saint. The 13th Century shrine of St...

  8. Alderholt

    Add Alderholt to your Itinerary

    Alderholt

    Wimborne

    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...

  9. Add Puncknowle to your Itinerary

    Puncknowle

    Bridport

    Puncknowle, pronounced ‘Punnle’ is a handsome village of stone cottages and farm buildings. A ridge of downland shelters one side of the village from the sea and on the other side is the beautiful Bride Valley. Puncknowle Manor Estate offers five star self catering accommodation in a first class...

  10. 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....