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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 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...

  2. 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...

  3. Add Bothenhampton to your Itinerary

    Bothenhampton

    Bridport

    Bothenhampton is a Bridport suburb which has had significant modern expansion. The interesting feature of this village is that is has two churches, the newer of which is well worth visiting for any church enthusiast. Built in 1887, the new church was designed by the well-known Arts and Crafts...

  4. Add Yetminster to your Itinerary

    Yetminster

    Sherborne

    Yetminster is a sleepy village built almost entirely of honey coloured limestone and exudes a timeless and serene ambience. This comes partly from the age of its houses—many of which date back to the 17th century—but also from its lack of major through traffic.

    Yetminster Fair has a claim to be...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. Longham

    Add Longham to your Itinerary

    Longham

    Wimborne

    Longham is a linear village, with houses lining the road from the bridge over the River Stour to the pretty little church at the north end, where the parish abuts the town of Ferndown.

    There are two pubs, a village stores and hotel and restaurant. Longham is also home to Haskins Garden Centre,...

  8. 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...

  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...