If Dorset wasn't already interesting enough, the county is also home to some extraordinary facts and legends that give us an intriguing glimpse into Dorset's fascinating history! Here are 10 of the most weird and wonderful things that you may not already know about Dorset's colourful character.

1. A photograph taken underwater by William Thompson in Weymouth Bay 1856 is said to be the worlds first-ever underwater snap shot.

2. Studland Bay has the world’s largest seahorse-breeding colony in Great Britain and the beach was also the backdrop for Coldplay’s video of their hit song “Yellow”.

The exotic Studland Bay is also home to some magnificient wildlife

3. Did you know that if you live in Dorset you can expect to live up to 2 years longer than the average English person? It is also in fact, one of the most spacious places to live in England with only 197 people per square kilometre.

Dorset is home to miles of unspoilt countryside

4. Legend has it that the Villages of Puddletown and Briantspuddle which used to contain the word ‘piddle’ changed their village titles to avoid embarrassing Queen Victoria whilst she was visiting!

5. The further east you go along Chesil beach the larger the pebbles. In West Bay the shingle is the size of a pea but in Portland they are bigger than your fist. Legend has it that at night local smugglers could tell exactly where they were by the size of the pebbles.

Chesil Beach

6. Lush was founded in 1995 by Mark and Mo Constantine who’s first shop was in Poole and Britain's first ever New Look store opened on New Bond Street in Weymouth in 1969.

7. It is said that Bournemouth is the birthplace of the good old fashioned beach hut. By the 1960's they were so popular, you could rent one supplied with deckchairs for a fiver a week. Nowadays, anyone looking for their own perfect spot on the beach could be paying anywhere up to £90,000!

Dorset is said to be the birthplace of the famous beach hut

Above photo credit: Bournemouth Tourism

8. Maumbury Rings is the remarkable site of a giant henge monument, which was built 4,500 years ago. When the Roman's arrived 2,000 years later they then developed the site further into a 10,000 seat amphitheatre.

Dorset is home to many iron age hill forts including maumbury rings

9. Some of Dorset's many pubs have a very interesting story such as The Crown Inn at Marnhull and its feature as ‘The Pure Drop Inn’ in Thomas Hardy’s famous novel, Tess of the d’Urbervilles. To this day, the pub still has many of its original features including an inglenook fireplace and priest hole. If you fancy taking a step back in time, you can visit Dorset's oldest pub, The World's End in Blandford Forum!

10. Badbury Rings dating back to 2200BC is believed to be one of the few settlements that belonged to the Durotridges – an ancient tribe who were amongst the first to live in Dorset, now that's interesting!

There's so many more quirky facts about Dorset that are sure to astonish and amaze you, check out our other blogs to find out more!



With the fantastic backdrop of the World Heritage Jurassic Coast, an award winning safe sandy beach, full programme of colourful events and fun-filled attractions, Weymouth is the ideal all year round holiday destination.

Shell Bay, Studland

Studland is a small village located on a peninsula in south Purbeck, and is close to both Swanage and Corfe Castle.


Nestling in the Piddle Valley, surrounded by rolling hills and woodland lies Puddletown, one of Dorset’s most attractive villages and which features heavily in Hardy’s novels - most notably 'Far from the Madding Crowd'.

Chesil Beach
Natural Feature
© James Loveridge Photography

Chesil Beach is 18 miles (28 kilometres) long and, on average, 160 metres wide and rises to 12 metres in height. It is a pebble and shingle tombolo connecting Portland to Abbotsbury and then continuing north-westwards to West Bay near Bridport. It is the largest tombolo in the UK.


Poole is home to the second largest natural harbour in the world and is renowned for its watersports. Poole Quay is lined with beautiful merchant houses alongside modern architecture.

Shopping in Bournemouth

With seven miles of golden sands and sparkling sea, the vibrant cosmopolitan town of Bournemouth has it all. Explore a vast variety of shops, restaurants and holiday accommodation, seafront hotels, quality B&Bs and buzzing nightlife.

Maumbury Rings
Historic Site
Maumbury Rings

Maumbury Rings is a Neolithic henge in the south of Dorchester town in Dorset, England. The monument is now a public open space, and used for open-air concerts, festivals and re-enactments.

Blandford Forum
Market Place, Rachael Piper Harding©

Stunning Georgian town on the River Stour with a selection of shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes. Learn about the towns fiery history in the town museum, enjoy a tour of the local brewery or learn about costume at the Fashion Museum.

Badbury Rings
National Trust Property
Badbury Rings (photo credit National Trust Images/John Millar)

Badbury Rings is an Iron Age hillfort in east Dorset. The site dates from around 800 BC and was in use until the Roman occupation of 43 AD. Now forming part of the Kingston Lacy estate, and under the guardianship of The National Trust, the site has been restored to light grazing land as this has always played an important role in establishing centuries of wild herbs and flowers.



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