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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 Highcliffe to your Itinerary

    Highcliffe

    Highcliffe, CHRISTCHURCH

    Highcliffe's attractive coastline,with its panoramic views of the Isle of Wight to the east and the Purbecks to the west is just a few minutes walk from the award-winning village centre. The unspoilt beaches are great for watersports, swimming and body boarding or for just lazing around and can be...

  2. 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...

  3. Hinton Martell

    Add Hinton Martell to your Itinerary

    Hinton Martell

    Wimborne

    A quiet and leafy village of medieval origin, which, from its description in the Domesday Book, seems certain to have been of special importance at the time of the Norman Conquest. The main feature of the village is the fountain in the centre, opposite the church.

    The village Church of St John...

  4. 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...

  5. Add Milton Abbas to your Itinerary

    Milton Abbas

    West Street, Blandford Forum

    A picture book English cob and thatch village on the Milton Abbey estate. Uprooted and rebuilt in the late 18th Century so the noise and smell of the village could no longer trouble the calm of the Abbey House! The original site now lies beneath a lake. The charming Abbey Church is open to the...

  6. Holt

    Add Holt to your Itinerary

    Holt

    Wimborne

    Several scattered hamlets with wonderful names; Gods Blessing Green and Pig Oak, make up Holt, itself centred around a large green faced by pretty thatched cottages and a traditional village inn.

    Holt is recorded in the Domesday Book as the 'foresta de Winburne', a royal chase and forest. Known...

  7. Add Kimmeridge to your Itinerary

    Kimmeridge

    Wareham

    This small hamlet is humble yet dramatic with great cliffs and a beautiful bay. It is famous for its fossil finds which regularly fall from the unstable rock face and its unique geology means that it is home to many interesting marine creatures, in fact the Bay is part of the Purbeck Marine...

  8. 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...

  9. Add Hooke to your Itinerary

    Hooke

    Dorchester

    The quiet village of Hooke is tucked away in the Dorset Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with a picturesque pond and 15th century church at its centre. The single bronze bell in its tower is reputed to be the second oldest bell in Dorset. There are pleasant walks of varying length and...

  10. Add Little Bredy to your Itinerary

    Little Bredy

    Dorchester

    Little Bredy stands at the head of the Bride Valley where the River Bride tumbles down a waterfall from its springs and is well worth visiting for its gorgeous setting. The descent into it from the east is tremendous from either of the two roads with some of the best inland scenery to be seen in...