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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 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...

  2. Add Melbury Bubb to your Itinerary

    Melbury Bubb

    Sherborne

    This attractively named farming village, tucked between a heavily wooded area and Bubb Down is refreshingly reminiscent of how the region would have looked in the 19th century. In Thomas Hardy's 'The Woodlanders', Melbury Bubb is known as ‘Little Hintock’ and is described as “such a small place...

  3. Add Morecombelake to your Itinerary

    Morecombelake

    Lyme Regis

    Sitting under Hardown Hill, Morecombelake is the home of Moore’s Biscuit Factory. The Moore family have been making biscuits since 1850 and are most famous for their traditional Dorset Knob, a hard, round, savoury biscuit typically eaten with cheese. It is said that Thomas Hardy was particularly...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. Add Piddletrenthide & Piddlehinton to your Itinerary

    Piddletrenthide & Piddlehinton

    Dorchester

    These small, sweet villages derive their extraordinary name from the river on which they sit – the Piddle. The villages provide a charming base from which to explore Hardy country, whether it be for the literary links or just to enjoy some of England’s best countryside. Piddlehinton is a delightful...

  7. Add Powerstock & Nettlecombe to your Itinerary

    Powerstock & Nettlecombe

    Bridport

    Nestling at the foot of the ancient hill fort of Eggardon, Powerstock is a straggling but attractive village surrounded by beautiful countryside including the Dorset Wildlife Trust owned Powerstock Common which boasts superb views of Dorset's coastline and a range of wildlife and flowers,...

  8. Add Poundbury to your Itinerary

    Poundbury

    Dorchester

    Poundbury is a high density urban extension to Dorchester, designed by Prince Charles, consisting of town houses, cottages, shops and light industry. The village, which is built on Duchy land, has followed a high-density urban pattern, focussing on integrating housing, shops and workplaces, rather...

  9. Add Sandford Orcas to your Itinerary

    Sandford Orcas

    Sherborne

    Sandford Orcas lies in a valley approximately 2½ miles north of Sherborne and was the crossing point of the confluence of three streams that rise in the Parish. in Saxon times, the water was forded over a sandy bottom from which the name SandFord derives. In the century after the Battle of...

  10. Add Puddletown to your Itinerary

    Puddletown

    Dorchester

    Nestling in the Piddle Valley, surrounded by rolling hills and woodland lies Puddletown (formerly Piddletown), one of Dorset’s most attractive villages and which features heavily in Hardy’s novels, most notably Far from the Madding Crowd. Filled with small thatched and colour washed cottages,...