Visit Dorset Business Support Hub County Highlights

Dorset Highlights

* Some of England’s most stunning, unspoiled coastal and rural landscapes

* Just 2 hours from London

* Home to England’s only natural World Heritage Site - The Jurassic Coast

* Thomas Hardy’s birthplace and inspiration

* London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games sailing events venue

Jurassic Coast

England’s only natural World Heritage Site, designated because of its outstanding geology spanning 185 million years of the earth’s history. The coast covers most of Dorset – fossil hunting at Charmouth or Lyme Regis is a must!

Corfe Castle

One of Britain’s most majestic ruins, over 1,000 years old and set on a natural mound dominating the Purbeck district of Dorset. Built by William the Conqueror, the Castle was besieged during the English Civil War.

Athelhampton House

Dorset is well known for its manor homes, Athelhampton House is a prime example; over 500 years old, the House remains in private ownership. The gardens are known for its superb topiary.

Wimborne Minster Chained Library

Home to one of England’s handful of Chained Libraries and one of the country’s first libraries with books from around the world and dating over 7 centuries. The Minster (church) is over 1,000 years old.

Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy

The Weymouth & Portland Sailing Academy, the venue for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games’ sailing events, was developed to take advantage of what are recognised as some of the best small boat sailing waters world-wide.

Chesil Beach

At over 22km long, Chesil Beach is one of the world’s longest barrier beaches. The pebbles are naturally graded by the tides in size from fist-sized near Portland to pea-sized at Bridport.

Hardy's Cottage

The most famous author from the area, Thomas Hardy wrote classics such as Tess of the d’Urbevilles. The towns and countryside are still recognisable from the descriptions in his novels.

Lulworth Cove & Durdle Door

Two of the best-known and most distinctive rock formations along the Dorset coast, Lulworth Cove, a perfect horse-shoe shape and the limestone archway of Durdle Door have been visitor highlights for generations.

South West Coast Path

The South West Coast Path stretches along almost all of Dorset’s stunning coastline. Inaccessible by road for most of the distance, the Path offers unspoiled coastal countryside with spectacular views over the sea. Among the many highlights is Golden Cap, the highest spot along the south coast of England.

Lyme Regis Cobb

Made famous by the film of John Fowles’ novel “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” the Cobb is a distinctively-shaped harbour at this historic seaside resort. Lyme Regis was the home of Mary Anning who became a distinguished fossil hunter.

Brownsea Island

Located in Poole Harbour, the largest natural harbour in Europe, Brownsea Island is home to the red squirrel and the location of the first Boy Scout’s camp.