Dorset is a county on the south coast of England – United Kingdom, in the West Country.
Understand : Dorset is mostly rural, with a few large towns and many small villages. The county has a variety of landscapes, from steep chalk hills and wide clay valleys full of small dairy farms to the 50 mile Jurassic Coast world heritage site, popular with tourists and important to science.
Destinations / Towns : Blandford Forum , Bournemouth , Bridport , Christchurch , Corfe Castle , Dorchester , Gillingham , Isle of Portland , Lyme Regis , Poole , Shaftesbury ,
Sherborne , Swanage , Wareham , Weymouth , Wimborne Minster – Famed for its ‘chained library. Villages : Bovington , Buckland Newton , Burton Bradstock , Cerne Abbas , Langton Matraver , Milton On Stour , Studland , Worth Matravers , Upwey
Access : Coordinates : 50.793692, -2.413253 / By plane : The only major airport in Dorset is Bournemouth International Airport, which does flights to many cities in Europe. Bristol airport, 50 miles to the north, has a wider selection, including New York. Southampton airport, 20 miles to the east, has a good selection of European destinations also. London is just over 100 miles east. By train : Dorchester, Poole, Bournemouth, Weymouth and on a separate line Sherborne and Gillingham are connected directly to London, approximately 2 hours. Dorchester, Weymouth and Sherborne are connected to Bristol and Bath, about 1 1/2 hours away.
By car : The A303 is the main route from London into the north of the county (and has Stonehenge half-way). The south of the county is connected to London by the M3 and M27, and to the Channel Tunnel by the M27 and A27. Both routes carry on into Devon and Cornwall. The A36 and A37 connect to Bath and Bristol. The A35 between Dorchester and Bridport has spectacular views over the local countryside, as too does the coastal road (B3157) between Weymouth and Bridport. Both are probably most dramatic at sunset (driving towards Bridport) but are amazing at any time. By boat : There are ferries from Jersey, Guernsey, Cherbourg, France, to Poole and Weymouth run by Brittany Ferries and Condor Ferries.
- Shaftesbury – charming town in north Dorset , Corfe Castle – a National Trust site, an impressive ruined Norman castle , The Jurassic Coast of Dorset and East Devon – a World Heritage site
- Durdle Door beach , Poole Harbour – the second largest natural harbour in the world (second only to Sydney), and the largest in Europe
- Brownsea Island near Poole – a National Trust site, famous for its large population of red squirrels, and as the birthplace of the Scout Movement
The Great Dorset Steam Fair near Blandford Forum – 600 acres of steam engines attended by over 200,000 visitors for a week in August/September each year. During the fair, the camping site becomes the largest community in the county! ,
- The Cerne Abbas Giant – a giant figure carved into the side of a hill by removing turf to expose white chalk
- The Isle of Portland and Portland Bill Lighthouse
- Wimborne Minster – a big church in a small town , Studland Beach – a popular beach and beauty spot
- Bovington Tank Museum a very interesting tank museum ,
- Swanage Steam Railway, Swanage, Dorset, England (Park at Norden Park and Ride station) . daily April to October. Ride in authentic heritage carriages for 6 miles from Corfe Castle to the seaside resort of Swanage behind an original steam locomotive £9 ,
- Gaggle of Geese Charity Poultry Auction, Gaggle of Geese, 01300 345249 . A charity poultry auction, farmers market and car boot sale is held twice a year in the grounds of the Gaggle of Geese. Flock to the pub at the end of May or the second Sunday in September to buy all sorts of poultry, all profits go to local charities.
Activities : Explore : If you are an outdoors person, Dorset is a very rewarding place to visit. Walking just a few miles in any direction generally offers you beautiful scenery and historic sites. If you feel the need to get further out, cycling is always a good option, so long as you are prepared to deal with some steep hills and the possibility of punctures , Fish : If you are near Chesil Beach, try your hand at some Mackerel fishing, on a nice evening the beach can be packed end to end with families going to catch their supper.
Go next : Devon / Somerset / Wiltshire / Hampshire