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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: 90

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  1. Add Maiden Newton to your Itinerary

    Maiden Newton

    Dorchester

    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...

  2. 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....

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. Add The Gussages to your Itinerary

    The Gussages

    Wimborne

    Three attractive villages; Gussage St Andrew, Gussage St Michael and Gussage All Saints lying along a pretty valley. The name 'Gussage' is thought to mean 'gush of water', a reference to the clear chalk stream that flows through the area.

    Each village has an attractive church and Gussage All...

  6. Horton

    Add Horton to your Itinerary

    Horton

    Wimborne

    Lying between the rivers Allen and Crane, the village of Horton has an attractive church and a village pub and shop on the outskirts.

    The village's unique landmark, Horton Tower, was built in 1750 by Humphrey Sturt as an observatory to watch the movement of deer when he could no longer ride. ...

  7. Add Alton Pancras to your Itinerary

    Alton Pancras

    Dorchester

    Running alongside the River Piddle, Alton Pancras is a small village with its church dedicated to St. Pancras. Little features remain from the 15th century when the church was built however its organ has an interesting history, having been originally a fairground organ, and thus has a different...

  8. Add Studland to your Itinerary

    Studland

    Wareham

    Studland is a small village located on a peninsula in south Purbeck, and is close to both Swanage and Corfe Castle. The start of the 630 mile South West Coast Path national trail is found at Shell Bay and continues to Minehead in Somerset.

    The area is famous for it's long, sandy beaches, and...

  9. 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...

  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...