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

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  • 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 dorset

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. Pop-up cafes, restaurants, bars and shops are also common in Dorset, especially during the summer festival season. If you need to arrange a pop up shop in Dorset then shop design from Sheridan and Co could be just what you need.

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. If Dorset isn’t for you and you’re looking to go abroad for the summer this year, make sure you you keep your health insurance up to date with european health insurance card renewal​ to stay safe wherever you go. Alternatively, if you fancy visiting the United States, make sure you have your USA esta visa in place.

Businesses in Dorset can also benefit from using this website: to advertise their products and source suppliers. Any Dorset-based business that wants to improve its customer service should look into the numerous and highly targeted courses offered by the Institute of Customer Service.

Newly Added EventsView All

01 Jul

The Riviera Hotel, Burnaby Road, Alum Chine, Bournemouth, DORSET BH4 8JF

01/07/2017 To 01/07/2017

10:30 am To 4:30 pm

: https://dorsetbumptobabyshow2017.eventbrite.co.uk

Dorset Bump to Baby Show 2017 is being held at The Riviera Hotel in Bournemouth. It’s a beautiful location and we’re aiming to make the day a really fun, relaxing and worthwhile experience for over 300 new and expectant parents with some very special guest speakers including the fantastic midwife and author, Mark Harris and author, midwife, blogger and hugely popular insta-mum Clemmie Hooper, a range of educational workshops and taster sessions, treatments and prenatal/postnatal exercise classes, 40 exhibitors showcasing and selling some of the best local pregnancy and baby related products and services and access to the hotel’s great spa and leisure facilities and restaurant.

If you’re expecting in 2017 or have a young baby you really can’t afford to miss this fantastic event!

Tickets on sale via Eventbrite NOW! £1 from the sale of each £12.50/£15.50 ticket and 50p from the sale of each £3 will go directly to our chosen charity, SPRING support.

For more information please contact Zoe and Claire at dorsetbumptobabyshow@gmail.com

09 Sep

Baiter (Harbourside) Park, Poole BH15 1UX

09/09/2017 To 10/09/2017

10:00 am To 7:00 pm

A two day event to experience the taste of Thailand this summer at Baiter (Harbourside) Park, Poole is brought to you by Magic of Thailand.

Treat yourself to a weekend wonder and bring along your families and friends to feel a touch of Thai culture, where you can challenge your taste buds and feast your eyes on world class food and performances.

Unwind with a traditional Thai massage and don’t miss the unique eating competition and Muay Thai boxing.

The festival starts with a traditional food offering to Buddhist monks and entertainment throughout the day including traditional music and dancing, Muay Thai boxing, Ladyboy show, Thai beer garden, Thai food and produce stalls, Thai massage and children’s play area.

Date: Sat 9th and Sun 10th September 2017

Location: Baiter (Harbourside) Park, Labrador Drive, Poole BH15 1UX

Time: 10am to 7pm

Ticket: Adult: £4 per day; Under 12 years old is free

How to get there:

By Train: Poole Station

By Bus: 1B, Route 1

By Car: Baiter (Harbourside) Park, Labrador Drive, Poole BH15 1UX

Follow us on Facebook: Poole Thai Festival

Website: www.magicofthailand.co.uk

13 Jul

The Dorset Centre for the Creative Arts, Middle Farm Way, Poundbury, Dorchester DT1 3AR

13/07/2017 To 13/07/2017

9:30 am To 12:30 pm

: Please bool on line at the shop 'Rosalind Atkins - Smocking and Dorset Buttons' on Folksy.com, or follow the link from the website or give Rosalind a call.

This workshop is an ideal way to ease yourself into learning about smocking and create a freestyle postcard sampler.  You will be provided with all the materials necessary, including pre-pleated fabric, to learn a simple smocking stitch (or two) and create a postcard sampler.

Newly Added Listings

With over 100 personally inspected holiday cottages in Dorset, you’ll certainly find the perfect accommodation for your trip to the area.

If you’re planning a visit to Dorset, why not browse through some of our beautifully-appointed holiday cottages. All our cottages are personally inspected and we have developed a reputation over 25 years for offering high-quality holiday cottages at great prices.

From romantic cottages perfect for two to properties ideal for families, you’re sure to find a holiday cottage perfect for you…

PO BOX 9120, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 4GR

New! OCEANROCKS celebrates your love affair with the coast, seaside and water. Shop for organic t-shirts, tops and clothes for families inspired by Dorset’s incredible Jurassic Coast.

Stunning bespoke designs printed on organic, environmentally friendly and ethically produced garments.

Discover great things to do and places to discover off the beaten track with OCEANROCKS Explorer and our Dorset blog.

OCEANROCKS is a proud business partner of the Jurassic Coast Trust – guardians of the UN World Heritage Site.

Safe, secure online shopping at www.oceanrocks.co.uk with free delivery for orders over £25.

Morcombelake, Bridport, Dorset DT6 6EA

Kay and Julian would like to welcome you to Halsons Bed and Breakfast, located in Morcombelake, a small village close to the Jurassic coastline, between the market town of Bridport and the seaside town of Lyme Regis.
Halsons was built in the 1800s and was built mainly of flint; it stands in the centre of its own walled garden. It stands in an elevated position which allows fantastic views of the surrounding countryside.

Halsons Bed and Breakfast, although easily accessible from the A35, is tucked away down a small country lane. The house sits in its own walled garden and due to its elevated position has wonderful views of the surrounding countryside including Golden Cap. Hardown Hill, the parent peak of Golden Cap, is directly behind us. We have three rooms, two large doubles and a twin. All the rooms have been recently renovated, including new modern bathrooms with walk in showers. Each room has tea and coffee making facilities, flat screen TVs with free view channels, and a DAB radio alarm clock. As well as the large airy dining room there is a shared lounge for guest use and a patio which leads off of both the dining room and lounge. Guests have the option of eating their breakfast outside on the patio on warm days. On cooler days there is a wood burning stove in the lounge. There is free Wi-Fi and free parking.

We serve a full English breakfast as well as a selection of cereals, fruit, yoghurt and breads and tea and coffee.

We are surrounded by walking routes and bridle ways and are within walking distance of Golden Cap and the Jurassic Coast. The local bus stop is a 2-3 minute walk away with buses to Bridport, Dorchester and Weymouth in one direction and Lyme Regis, Axminster and Exeter in the other. Axminster train station is a 10 minute drive away with regular trains to London Waterloo and Exeter.