All you need to plan your perfect holidays in Dorset

The Visit Dorset website provides you with travel and tourist information for Dorset. So whether you are planning holidays in Dorset or coming for a short break or business trip, Visit Dorset has all the information you need:

  • explore the vibrant holiday resorts, small market towns and picturesque villages of Dorset with our Places to Visit guide
  • discover the amazing array of Things to Do while on your holidays, from sightseeing at nature reserves and stately homes to kite surfing or quad-biking


  • find out what events and festivals are going on all year round with our constantly updated guide to What’s On in Dorset
  • choose a restaurant for a romantic evening out or a friendly country pub for a warm and hearty meal using our Eating Out in Dorset section
  • find out the best way of Getting to Dorset, be it by car, train, aeroplane or ferry
  • download money off vouchers, and pick up useful tips on dog friendly beaches, parking, access for disabled visitors, etc in the Visitor Info section

Dorset is a quintessentially English county of rolling hills and chalk downlands, with a picturesque coastline that is so important geologically it was awarded World Heritage Status by UNESCO in 2001. Known as The Jurassic Coast, the rocks of the East Devon and Dorset coastline record 185 million years of the Earth’s history – a geological walk through time spanning the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. The craggy Dorset coastline, which stretches from Lyme Regis in the west to Christchurch in the east, also boasts many unique geological landforms such as Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door, the Isle of Portland and the shingle bank of Chesil Beach to name but a few. Over half of Dorset is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

cleaners bournemouth

Nestled among the Dorset hills are charming market towns with enchanting little shops and interesting museums, as well as numerous picture-postcard villages such as the sandstone village of Abbotsbury, which has numerous tea rooms and pubs as well as the world famous Abbotsbury Swannery and the Sub-Tropical Gardens. There are also historic sites such as the famous Cerne Abbas Giant, which is carved into the chalk hillside above the village and at 180-foot-high is the largest hill figure in Britain, as well as the Iron Age hill fort of Maiden Castle, the largest hill fort in Britain and regarded by some as the largest in Europe.

Dorset’s natural beauty means walking, cycling and horse riding are popular activities, but there are plenty of other things to do in Dorset, both on and off the water. There is an abundance of family attractions, historic houses and gardens, golf courses, paintballing, even llama trekking and zorbing. There are water sports aplenty: fishing, canoeing, kite surfing, wind surfing, wakeboarding, swimming and, of course, sailing. In fact the waters off Weymouth and Portland are generally regarded as the best in Europe for sailing, which is why the area was chosen to host the sailing events during the London 2012 Olympic Games. What more could you possibly want for your holidays in Dorset?

Nightlife in Dorset tends to centre on the popular holiday resorts of Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth. Apart from numerous pubs, bars, restaurants and night clubs, there are also multiplex cinemas, ten-pin bowling alleys, ice rinks and dry ski slopes. So you will never be short of things to do on holidays in Dorset. Many of the larger towns in Dorset also have theatres that put on concerts, plays, shows and comedy nights, including the Lighthouse in Poole and Tivoli in Wimborne. The leading venue for events as well as conferences and exhibitions in Dorset is the Bournemouth International Centre, or BIC as it is known.

Finding the perfect place to stay in Dorset should be a pleasure with the choice available – from five star hotels to romantic B&Bs to family-friendly seaside caravan parks – Dorset has them all. So, whether you are looking for accommodation in Bournemouth, Poole, Weymouth or elsewhere in the county, you are sure to be able to find something to suit your taste and budget.

Newly Added EventsView All

03 Jan

The Chesil Beach Centre, Portland Road, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 9XE

03/01/2016 To 31/01/2016

10:00 am To 4:00 pm

Come and see the great deals in the Chesil Beach Centre shop this January. 100% of the profits go back into helping wildlife in Dorset. Books, stationery, gifts are all on offer.

29 Nov

The Chesil Centre, Portland Road, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 9XE

29/11/2015 To 29/11/2015

10:00 am To 4:00 pm

10am – 4pm.

Come & support your local wildlife by Christmas shopping with us at the Chesil Beach Centre. We will have local art & craft stalls, wildlife books for all ages, nature toys, beautiful gifts for the home & much more. Indulge in a mince pie & some mulled wine from the Taste* café while the children are entertained by our ‘green’ Father Christmas or by making wild Christmas decorations.

All profits from our shop go back into conservation, so join us & ‘shop for wildlife’.

The Chesil Centre, Portland Road, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 9XE.

Tel 01305 206191.

05 Dec

Urban Wildlife Centre, Beacon Hill Lane, Corfe Mullen, Wimborne, Dorset BH21 3RX

05/12/2015 To 05/12/2015

10:00 am To 1:00 pm

10am – 1pm.

Make your own natural Christmas wreath at Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Urban Wildlife Centre, Corfe Mullen.

Forage with us for your festive greenery & then learn how to make your own wreath to take home.  Outdoor activity so please wear warm clothing & stout footwear.

£10 to include refreshments & a mince pie.

Places limited so BOOKING ESSENTIAL on 01202 692033 or email

Newly Added Listings

8 East Street, Corfe Castle, Dorset

Handpicked self-catering, Dorset holiday cottages that have something special to offer – be it four poster beds, open fires, panoramic sea views, a fun family holiday near the beach, a luxury lodge or just peaceful rural seclusion.

23 Melcombe Avenue, Weymouth, Dorset

Cycle hire in Weymouth, Portland, Dorchester and the surrounding area.

Free delivery and collection all year round.

Emporium Christchurch, Avon Works, Bridge Street, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 1DY

Over 150 individual sellers of Antiques, Artwork, Arts and Crafts, Aromatherapy, Gifts, Vintage, Shabby Chic Furniture and Products, Toys, New, Used, Recycled or up-cycled items, Ladies Clothes, Dresses and Handbags, Baby Clothes, Vintage, Handmade, Organics, Musical Instruments, Bunting and Cushions, Beauty & Bathroom Products, Candles, Clocks, Frames and Florists to name but a few