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Top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Dorset

Best Places to Visit in Dorset

Dorset is a cityless county in England’s western countryside. But what Dorset has is some of the most romantic countryside and stunning coastal landscapes that make up the UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coast. Wherever you go, there is always something memorable nearby.

There are atmospheric harbors at sea, perfect sandy beaches, huge cliffs and natural wonders like the Durdle Door. Here you are in England’s fossil hunting capital and with a little patience, you will find exciting discoveries. The interior is full of castles, monasteries and mansions, many of which you may have seen on television or in movies.

Have a look at our list of the Best Places to Visit in Dorset and make your trip enjoyable.

10 Best Places to Visit in Dorset

Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Dorset:

1. Weymouth

It’s easy to see why the seaside town of Weymouth is so popular with tourists: The charming harbor is on the banks of the River Wey just before it reaches the sea. The marina has lots of quaint old hotels and warehouses, and you can sit on a waterside bench and enjoy the view, watching the yachts and trolls come and go.

Then there is the beach: a long stretch of sand, the waters are safe and the kids can paddle and have fun on sunny days. There’s always something big going on in Weymouth, whether it’s the Kite Festival in May or the Seafood Festival in the Docklands in July.

2. Bournemouth

Since the early 1800s, Bournemouth has been a spa town that attracts the upper echelons of Regency and Victorian society to wellness retreats due to its warm climate (relatively speaking!), gardens, pine forests and clean sea air. Large villas were built during this period and continue to add a palace feel to the city.

There are seven miles of beaches on the beach, one of which is the Blue Flag alum with excellent golden sand. Browse Westbourne’s arts and crafts shops and experience the nightlife in the Square area. A true treasure trove of British art and decoration awaits at the Russell-Cotes Gallery, housed in a luxurious Art Nouveau villa atop a cliff.

3. Dorchester

Dorset county’s seat is both beautiful and historic, with many listed buildings at its center and stately properties such as Athelhampton and Kingston Maurward in the neighboring countryside. For shopping and nightlife, don’t miss the newly built Beer Square in front of the stunning Old Eldridge Pope Brewery.

The respected Victorian writer Thomas Hardy spent most of his time in and around Dorchester. You can visit Thomas Hardy’s Cottage, a quaint thatched cottage where Thomas Hardy was born in 1840 and lived there until he was 34, during which time he wrote classics like Far From the World.

4. Jurassic Coast

Dorset’s entire western coastline, from Studley to the Devon border, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The entire rugged limestone rock recorded nearly 185 million years of natural history and was covered with fossils of plants and animals that lived in the area at the time.

The beach has been an important area for fossil hunting for hundreds of years and was first made famous by 19th-century amateur Mary Anning, whose understanding of precious fossils was unrivaled. Located just off the Golden Cap, the highest cliff on England’s south coast, the village of Charmouth is also home to the Charmouth Coast Heritage Centre, where you can learn about the natural and human history of this unique coastline.

5. Poole

With its expansive natural harbor, Poole’s calm, sheltered waters may be the best place for water sports on the South Shore; Perfect for sailors, fishermen and windsurfers. If you’re looking for a bit of sightseeing, Poole’s twee heritage pier is a working marine area and a boarding point for many cruise ships and excursions.

One of the most popular islands is Brownsey Island, which is wholly owned by the National Trust, hidden in pine and oak forests and filled with exciting bits of history. But it’s the sandbar that really draws the pool crowd. Many say it’s the best beach in the UK, with a kilometer of soft golden sand shading the spit on the north side of the harbour.

6. Christchurch

If you’re in Bournemouth there’s no reason not to take the train to Christchurch, it’s a short, short journey east. This town combines unspoiled countryside, a beautiful old town and wonderful beaches with a port where two rivers meet. There is so much to explore in the area and you’d better rent a bike to get from one beautiful place to another.

Rejuvenate with a walk on Highcliffe Beach, try a crab bite at Mudford Pier, or explore the remains of the original Norman building, Constable House. Probably the best is Christchurch Abbey, a magnificent medieval monastery that became a parish church in the 1500s and survived Henry VIII’s dissolution.

7. Swanage

The scenic Swanage is a seaside town with some of the best beaches in the county. The beach has soft white sand and its shallow slopes create lots of shallow water for smaller beachgoers. Perched on a steep hillside, the resort is elegant and meticulously preserved Victorian stone buildings, including a tea room, bar, and fish and chip shop.

This is the Jurassic Coast, a natural wonder here. Old Harris Rock is the most magnificent site in the area, a collection of chalk fossils. If you laugh at vertigo, you can follow the erosion path above the narrow isthmus with a steep drop on either side and examine the vertical stack at its end more closely.

8. Shaftesbury

The charming country town of Shaftesbury is Dorset’s only large hill community rising over 200 meters above sea level. Shaftesbury is very tourist friendly and has its fair share of inns and hostels in wonderful period buildings. There has been a settlement on this site since at least Saxon times, with an old monastery built in the 9th century.

Step into the museum next to the ruins, now adorned with magnificent gardens. Meanwhile, Gold Mountain covers the English countryside perfectly. This steep cobblestone street features thatched cottages and the most stunning rural scenery. Gold Mountain first gained national attention with Ridley Scott’s Hovis bread commercial and has since become a cherished landmark.

9. Blandford Forum

In 1731, the town of Branford was destroyed by fire. And this event is what gives it such architectural integrity today because almost everything you see in the center is from later years of reconstructions led by extraordinary bastard brothers. So the joy of visiting Branford lies in strolling the elegant Georgian streets, especially around the baroque town hall and Corn Exchange, both of which are rated I.

The market has a fire memorial to commemorate the fire, and the city museum has interesting exhibits about the Great Reconstruction. Not to be missed around Blandford is the Hall & Woodhouse Brewery, operating since 1777 and famous for its Tanglefoot bitters.

10. Lulworth

This central Jurassic Coast region includes East Lulworth and West Lulworth and has some of the most inspiring seascapes of any UNESCO site. The most inspiring of these is the Durdle Gate, a natural arch overlooking a secluded sandy cove. Driven by stronger limestone, the arch climbs east above Durdle Door and is also spectacular when viewed from the adjacent Man O’ War Bay.

Lulworth Bay is also majestic, named one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the South and forms an almost perfect bowl protected by rugged rocks. Add Lulworth Castle to your itinerary: despite its rugged exterior, this 17th-century building was more of a majestic residence than a castle and witnessed many fascinating events during its time.


Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Dorset. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Dorset, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.

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