Short Break Ideas in Dorset

Planning a weekend getaway or short break to Dorset? Even if you’re only visiting for a couple of days, it will feel like a true escape from everyday life.

Be inspired by the amazing themed ideas below for a memorable holiday – we’ll show you the best places to go for luxury, food, wellbeing, romance and more.

If you're looking to stay for a week or two, why not combine a few of our suggested itineraries to see the most of our beautiful county?

A weekend away for two

The perfect romantic getaway requires the perfect backdrop, and there are fewer places prettier than Dorset.

Booking a couples break to Dorset is a fantastic way to reconnect with each other and give your love life a boost. Picture yourselves in an intimate retreat for two, perhaps hidden away in the forest or in the luxury of a 5 star hotel.

Strolls along the coast, forest escapes, picturesque villages to explore and grand houses await you in this beautiful county. Add to that some romantic experiences tailored for two and some fantastic restaurants and you’ve got yourself the perfect escape.

Whatever your occasion, be it a honeymoon, an anniversary, a birthday, Valentine's Day or just the chance to sweep someone special off their feet, there’s sure to be a romantic break for you in Dorset.

Car free and care free

Without a motorway in sight, Dorset is a great place to enjoy a break away without the car.

Just imagine not having to sit in a traffic jam or endure the bank holiday rush to the South Coast, you’ll arrive fresh as a daisy and ready to make the most of your short break.

So, whether you want to keep down your carbon footprint or just want a break from driving, choose from one of these great car free holiday ideas.

Step to it!

Dorset is consistently voted as one of the top counties in the UK to enjoy a walking break and it’s very easy to see why.

Expect to see spectacular coastal views, pretty villages abound, fascinating geology and captivating beauty.

Hike through the landscapes that inspired Thomas Hardy and walk through time on the World Heritage Jurassic Coast.

Indulgent breaks

There are a plethora of luxury getaway ideas here in Dorset; there are lodges with hot-tubs hiding in forests, castles available for exclusive hire, 5 star B&Bs with opulent four-poster beds and luxury coastal hotels

It’s not just the accommodation that’s luxury here in Dorset, there are also a sparkling variety of top restaurants and award winning English vineyards to sample too.

Not forgetting of course that Dorset is full of grand houses, tranquil beaches and dramatic rolling countryside; the perfect backdrop to any five star break.

Seek some inner-peace

If you're looking to relax, unwind and de-stress, then a wellbeing break is just what you need. Dorset is the perfect bolthole away from city life and the busy fast-paced lives we all lead. You'll start to feel better as soon as you drive into the county and see the rolling hills and beautiful coastline.

You might like to book a pamper day or spa break. Or perhaps a yoga retreat or mindfulness workshop is just what you need to clear your mind and restore some calm in your life.

Food Glorious Food

Love trying out new flavours or seeking out local delicacies to try? We're not all about fish and chips and ice-cream you know (although they are rather tasty!).

Wine, chocolate, cider, gin, cheese and coffee are all produced in the county, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Farmers, chefs and fisherman work incredibly hard to bring delicious produce to the table. Be sure to look out for Lyme Bay scallops, Dorset Blue Vinny Cheese or Black Cow Vodka. If you dare, take on the heat from the Dorset Naga - one of the hottest chillies on earth.

Lots of our cafes, restaurants and pubs serve locally reared meat or farm fresh produce on their menus, so you're in for a foodie treat during your stay.


At Easter time in Dorset, it’s great fun to join an egg hunt, especially in one of our National Trust venues or stately homes.

Many of Dorset’s attractions put on special Easter events so you’ll be guaranteed a great day out wherever you choose to go.

The arrival of Spring means warmer days and longer evenings so make the most of the change in the weather and enjoy some outdoor activities with the family.

Christmas & New Year

Begin your Christmas celebrations in style in December by inhaling the smell of mince pies and mulled wine at one of Dorset’s festive markets.

Don’t miss a magical carol service in Sherborne Abbey, Christchurch Priory or Wimborne Minster and laugh uproariously with the kids at a traditional pantomime

At New Year, you can guarantee a colourful start to the year ahead by dressing up in Weymouth or taking the plunge at the Lyme Lunge!

Itineraries and inspirationfor a short break

Summer Breaks

Experience fantastic festivals, inspiring activities and amazing beaches this summer.

Cycling Breaks

Join an organised tour or discover Dorset your own way as you pedal around our beautiful county.

Car Free Breaks

Give your car its own holiday and enjoy days out on foot, bike, boat, train or bus.

Walking Breaks

Explore miles of routes and trails across Dorset's coast and countryside.

Foodie Breaks

If you are a food and drink lover then Dorset is the perfect place for a short break.

Romantic Breaks

With dreamy scenery and rustic rural retreats, Dorset is the ideal place for a romantic break.


Spend some quality time with your newly wed in Dorset.

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Dorset has a fantastic range of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets.

Food & Drink

Dorset is a real hot spot for food and drink, try some delicious local produce on your trip.


With a large range of shopping experiences in Dorset, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for.

What does your Dorset look like? Adventures on our epic coastline? Visiting attractions with family? A walk through the beautiful countryside? Or perhaps a chilled out evening eating and drinking with friends? Discover a sample of your #VisitDorset images below and share your love for Dorset using the hashtag on Instagram.