Things To Do in Dorchester
Looking for some ideas of things to see and do in Dorchester?
If you’re here for just the day or staying a little longer, you’ll find so much to see and do in Dorset’s County Town, no matter what your age or interest. For some extra help, you can download a map of the town from the Dorchester Visitor Guide.
For those looking to get active and enjoy the great outdoors, Dorchester provides it all. Whether you love to swim, hit the gym or exercise in the great outdoors you’ll find plenty to keep you busy.
Delve into Dorset’s Jurassic Past
Meet Dorset’s real dinosaurs as you uncover the Mesozoic Era in the Jurassic Coast Gallery at Dorset Museum. Here, you’ll be immersed into the UNESCO Coast’s fascinating geological heritage and come face to face with the Weymouth Bay Pliosaur.
If you've got children in tow, Dorchester’s Dinosaur Museum will enthral young minds with its life-sized reconstructions of dinosaurs, fossils and skeletons and its exciting hands-on multimedia experience.
Museums you must visit
Towering over the town, The Keep is one of Dorchester’s most impressive buildings and should definitely be on your itinerary. This state of the art museum tells the engaging story of the Dorset and Devon Regiments - climb to the top of the museum for superb rooftop views over Dorchester!
Pay a visit to Dorchester's Shire Hall Museum where 200 years of justice, injustice, crime and punishment are brought to life. Walk in the footsteps of everyday people who were tried and sentenced in this old courthouse.
Walk through a tomb filled with fabulous treasures, where sight, sound and smell combine to recreate one of the world’s greatest discoveries – Tutankhamun. If you want to find out even more about Ancient Egypt, the unique Mummies exhibition displays exact facsimiles of some of the Royal Mummies and thrilling facts about this popular cult in Ancient Egypt.
Relax and unwind on a spa day
For a luxurious spa day near Dorchester, be sure to visit Monart Spa Poundbury.
This premium day spa offers a quiet and tranquil experience where you are allocated your own dedicated relaxation space as well as access to the hydrotherapy pool and state-of-the-art thermal spaces including sanarium, caldarium, sauna, salt grotto, infrared pro cabin, aroma steam room and unique experience showers.
You can book for a full day, half day or evening package as well as treatments, and you will receive a robe and slippers on arrival to use during your visit.
Be astounded by Dorchester’s ancient sites
Dorchester’s Roman origins are displayed at the Roman Town House, which is the finest example of its kind in Britain. Step foot in the grounds and you’ll be instantly whisked back to a time of gladiators and togas. Stroll the tree–lined walks which marked the old Roman boundary and visit Maumbury Rings - Dorchester’s very own Roman Amphitheatre!
Just outside the town is Maiden Castle, a spectacular hill fort the size of 50 football pitches. Climb its Iron Age ramparts and you’ll be rewarded with the most spectacular, windswept views over Dorchester and Poundbury.
Fun and fitness for all
Dorchester’s sports centre offers a 50 station fitness suite, dance studio, sports pitches, a state of the art sports hall and two swimming pools.
Whatever your fitness needs whilst visiting the town, Dorchester Sports Centre will be sure to provide what you’re looking for. If its high octane dance classes, group training sessions or if a relaxing evening swim is more your thing, it’s all here to enjoy.
Insight Activities gives you the chance to try authentic woodland weaponry. Nestled in woodland near the village of Tolpuddle you can try your hand at archery, axe throwing and even crossbows!
Book your woodland adventure with friends and family and see who comes out on top in surviving the wild.
Gardens, parks and riverside walks
The Borough Gardens and Salisbury Fields offer play parks and plenty of open space the whole family can enjoy.
During the summer months, the bandstand in the Borough Gardens provides the music whilst the children splash happily in the water feature play park. Why not prepare a picnic and enjoy some family time in the fresh air.
For some peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle, take a riverside walk along the River Frome and enjoy the lovely views across the water meadows, home to an abundance of wildlife. At dusk, you can watch the bats swoop overhead and hear the owls hoot and if you’re very lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of a water vole.
Stay a while
Whether it's all action or a more tranquil pace you enjoy, you're sure to find the perfect day out here in Dorchester. If you're planning on staying a while you can book your accommodation online with ease. What are you waiting for?
Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens is no ordinary garden, with its own micro-climate in a sheltered woodland valley on the Jurassic Coast. The special plant collection has been built up over the last...
Abbotsbury Swannery is the only place in the world where you are able to walk through the heart of a colony of nesting Mute Swans. A visit to this beautiful and tranquil place is one of the most...
Brewery Square is a vibrant and stylish regeneration in the heart of Dorchester which currently boasts a variety of shops, eateries and leisure facilities including; Nando's, Zizzi, Hobbs, Phase...
Little Waddon Vineyard is a small boutique low-intervention vineyard producing wine without the use of pesticides or synthetic chemicals. Nestled in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on...
Shire Hall Museum brings over 200 years of justice and injustice to life. Walk in the footsteps of people whose lives were forever changed in the historic court at Dorchester’s Shire Hall...
Nestled in a beautiful Dorset woodland, you will find award winning outdoor activity company, Insight Activities. Here to offer you one of the most fun and memorable experiences you can have during...
Athelhampton nestles in the Piddle valley, between Tolpuddle and Puddletown and is easily reached from the A35 main road. The ancient manor of Athelhampton has been continually lived in since Saxon...
Probably one of the most authentic woodland activities you can experience in Dorset. Relax in our beautiful secluded woodlands and reconnect with our ancestors way of life. Our Bushcraft activities...
Welcome to Dorset Museum, a place to connect with 250 million years of history. From amazing archaeology, to dinosaur bones and the story of Mary Anning, the archive of Thomas Hardy and the Elisabeth...
*LATEST UPDATE* Please browse through the updated brochure including two new special offers and view the Covid Policy. Gift vouchers now available for as little as £20 Monart Spa - Poundbury is...