Things To Do in Dorchester
Looking for some ideas of things to 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 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 near the top of your itinerary. This state of the art museum tells the engaging story of the Dorset and Devon Regiments - climb to the top for superb rooftop views over Dorchester!
Pay a visit to Dorchester's Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum where 200 years of justice, injustice, crime & punishment are brought to life. Walk in the footsteps of everyday people who were tried and sentenced in the court.
Or 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.
Be astounded by Dorchester’s ancient sites
Dorchester’s Roman origins are displayed at the Roman Town House, 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 Dorchester the 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.
If getting your exercise in the great outdoors is more you thing, maybe a guided walk would hit the spot. Jurassic Coast Guides are award winning walking guides that offer a bespoke walking experiences along the Jurassic Coast and surrounding areas.
Thrills on the hills
If you’re after some real adrenaline pumping action, head north of Dorchester to Henley Hillbillies for an action packed day out.
You and your friends and family can ride quad bikes, smash clay pigeon, fly a hovercraft 6 inches from the ground and hit the target straight in the bullseye.
Insight Activities gives you the chance to try authentic woodland weaponry. Nestled in woodland near 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 enjoy some family time.
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 it 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
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...
Bincombe Geocache Trail
Hosted by Bincombe Valley Primary School, and led by the Dorset Youth Association with the support of Artsreach and Aster Group, the ‘Bincombe Geocache Trail’ has been developed by...
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...
Jurassic Coast Guides
Martin offers professional guided walks, Jurassic Coast tours, Charity Walks, Corporate Walking Events and fossil hunts anywhere along the full length of the Jurassic Coast and surrounding areas....
Little Waddon Vineyard
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 Historic Courthouse Museum
Executed for arson. Transported for asking for fair pay. Given six months hard labour for stealing clothes. 200 years of justice, injustice, crime and punishment are brought to life at...
Woodland Archery, Axe Throwing and Crossbow shooting in Dorset
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 House and Gardens
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...
Bushcraft and Primitive Survival Skills
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...
Monart Spa Poundbury
*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...