Villages in Dorset

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

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 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).

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 forgotten 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, here are some quicklinks to get you started:


• Hotels
• B&Bs
• Self Catering
• Farmhouses
• Pubs & Inns
• Caravan and Holiday Parks
• Campsites

Discover Dorset'spicturesque villages

Cranborne

An ancient royal hunting area now populated by small picturesque villages in a large open landscape.

Abbotsbury

A chocolate box village steeped in history and surrounded by spectacular scenery.

Charmouth

Charmouth is one of the best places in Dorset to go fossil hunting.

Cerne Abbas

Cerne Abbas is a charming and quaint village that is world renowned for the Cerne Giant.

Milton Abbas

A picture book English cob and thatch village on the Milton Abbey estate.

East & West Lulworth

The villages on this country estate offer stunning scenery and the famous Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door and Lulworth...

We handrawn heart Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle village is overlooked by the outstanding ruins of its castle perched on a hill in a gap...

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Areas to Visit

Bustling towns, quaint villages and seaside resorts...all waiting to be explored!

The Jurassic Coast

Lulworth is home to Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove on the famous Jurassic Coast.