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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 Langton Herring to your Itinerary

    Langton Herring

    Dorchester

    This picturesque, rural village has a quaint appearance, with a number of original thatched cottages from the 17th and 18th century and plenty of pretty gardens. Despite its small size, the village has four Listed Buildings and the aesthetic value of this village has attracted many an artist. As...

  2. 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....

  3. Add Bere Regis to your Itinerary

    Bere Regis

    Wareham

    Bere Regis is found in north west Purbeck between Dorchester and Poole and is a short distance to Moreton and Bovington. The beautiful Athelhampton House is just a short drive away on the edge of Puddletown village.

    The village features St John the Baptist church which has a history dating back...

  4. 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...

  5. Add Winterborne Abbas to your Itinerary

    Winterborne Abbas

    Dorchester

    Winterbourne Abbas is situated just south west of Dorchester and is a pleasant village with little bridges to the 17-19th century stone, brick and flint cottages. There is a small stone circle near the village on the edge of a beech wood called 'The Nine Stones' which are most probably early...

  6. Add Chideock and Seatown to your Itinerary

    Chideock and Seatown

    Bridport

    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...

  7. St Leonards & St Ives

    Add St Leonards & St Ives to your Itinerary

    St Leonards & St Ives

    Wimborne

    The parishes of St Leonards and St Ives, situated between Ringwood and Ferndown, are surrounded by heath land which walkers and visitors can explore at Avon Heath Country Park, with its visitor centre and marked trails. There is good access to both Rural Dorset, the New Forest, Bournemouth, Poole...

  8. Add Middlemarsh to your Itinerary

    Middlemarsh

    Sherborne

    Middlemarsh is a very small village situated on the A352, approximately 6 1/2 miles south of Sherborne and 12 miles north of Dorchester. The village lies in the heart of rural Dorset and is surrounded by miles of glorious unspoilt Hardy countryside making it the perfect relaxing base to explore the...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...