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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 Sturminster Marshall to your Itinerary

    Sturminster Marshall

    Wimborne

    A large, pretty village with three pubs, village stores and several relics of past village life including the village stocks and maypole, the latter of which is still in use today.

    Just outside of the village a medieval, eight-arched, bridge crosses the River Stour at White Mill. The bridge is...

  2. Add Bradford Peverell to your Itinerary

    Bradford Peverell

    Dorchester

    Bradford Peverell is one of the oldest villages in Dorset which pre-dates the Roman occupation of Dorchester. The village is the birthplace of John Hutchins (1698-1773), Dorset's most famous historian.

    The church of St. Mary's is unusual for Dorset in that it is one of the few in the county with...

  3. 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....

  4. Add Witchampton to your Itinerary

    Witchampton

    Wimborne

    Described as "one of the most beautiful villages in the country" Witchampton's winding village street is flanked by timbered and thatched cottages with pretty gardens. The road into the village crosses the clear trout stream of the River Allen by means of a modern stone faced brick bridge which...

  5. 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...

  6. Add Moreton to your Itinerary

    Moreton

    Wareham

    Moreton is a small village with highlights including St. Nicholas Church with its beautiful engraved glass windows by the late Sir Laurence Whistler. Why not stop in at the tearooms housed in the old school house or the village pub near to the train station?

    Tadnoll and Winfrith Heaths which...

  7. Pamphill & Cowgrove

    Add Pamphill & Cowgrove to your Itinerary

    Pamphill & Cowgrove

    Wimborne

    Pamphill is one of Dorset’s most unspoilt villages; along with the neighbouring villages of Cowgrove and Shapwick, it was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1982 by the Bankes Family, as part of the Kingston Lacy Estate. Three commons or ‘greens’ unite scattered 17th and 18th Century cottages and...

  8. Add Cerne Abbas to your Itinerary

    Cerne Abbas

    Dorchester

    Cerne Abbas is a charming and quaint village that is world renowned for the Cerne Giant, a 180 ft high ancient chalk figure carved out into the steep sloping hillside above the village. The origins of the Giant, now owned by the National Trust, are a mix of fact and speculation. Some believe that...

  9. 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,...

  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...