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

24 Feb

Maiden Newton Village Hall, Station Road, Maiden Newton, DT2 0AE

24/02/2018 To 24/02/2018

10:30 am To 2:00 pm

: Please just come along between 10:30am and 2pm.

Maiden Newton 5th annual Potato Day, pop up gardener’s market & seed fair

Saturday 24th February 2018

10.30am – 2.00pm

Maiden Newton Village Hall, Station Road, Maiden Newton, DT2 0AE

FREE ADMISSION

Refreshments, local arts and craft stalls!

A not to miss event to kick start your gardening year.

Everyone welcome from experienced gardeners to newbies. There’s plenty of advice available.

Over 97 varieties of seed potatoes by tuber including Vitelotte Noire, a rare French heritage seed potato with purple flesh and chestnut flavour. Over 700 varieties of heritage and heirloom seeds, plus exclusive introductions from Burpee USA. 7 varieties of onion sets, 6 varieties of shallots, 7 varieties of rhubarb, unusual tubers including oca, yacon, mashua, Chinese artichokes, 2 varieties of Jerusalem artichoke, asparagus crowns, lots of soft fruit bushes including 5 varieties of raspberry canes plus dwarf raspberry Ruby Beauty. Top fruit trees including peaches, nectarines, quinces, medlars and grafted mulberries and lots of herb plants. New blight resistant tomato Oh Happy Day, plus tasty cucumber Merlin, which produces 6 inch greenhouse fruits in 2 months.

18 Feb

Upton Country Park, Poole, BH17 7BJ

18/02/2018 To 18/02/2018

11:00 am To 3:00 pm

Historic Upton house open its doors to showcase this amazing wedding venue, with leading local suppliers from the industry on hand. Watch the bridal fashion show and chat to the Events Team and expert suppliers about your special day. Don’t forget to pick up your complimentary glass of Bucks Fizz!

11am – 3pm, Upton House

Just £1 entry, accompanied children go free.

21 Apr

Poole Park, Parkstone Road, Poole, BH15 2SF

21/04/2018 To 21/04/2018

7:00 pm To 11:00 pm

:

Sign up today at www.dorsetneonrun.com/poole.

The annual Dorset Neon Run is returning for its second year of splashing a little colour across Poole Park. The event is for all abilities, so whether you prefer to run, walk or jog this event is perfect for you. Join up to 1,000 other neon runners by making a difference for Diverse Abilities, Dorset’s disability charity.

We cannot change people’s disabilities but you can help us make their lives fun and fulfilled. Sign up today for just £35 and you could be helping to make a difference to not only children and adults with disabilities, but their families too.

Diverse Abilities is an independent, not for profit organisation working together with families to help meet the needs of local people, of all ages, with physical and learning disabilities.

Newly Added Listings

Insight Activities are a woodland based outdoor activity company specialising in Archery, Crossbows and Axe Throwing.

We are based in Tolpuddle Dorset.

Everyone welcome, pre-booking essential.

No previous shooting or throwing experience required.

Great fun for all, ages 6+ for Archery in Dorset, 12+ for Crossbows, 13+ for Axe Throwing.

www.insightactivities.co.uk

Purple Nanny – Cruelty Free Shopping.

Local shopping at affordable prices. Each product is carefully selected to ensure value for money whilst taking care that no animals are harmed in the manufacture of them.
Purple Nanny has a variety of items for you to try. Why not take a look at the vegan, handmade nail polish by Liv Oliv or dog food produced by Devon based Forthglade.
Purple Nanny also sells handmade bath bombs by Gifts By Little Miss and haircare by Faith In Nature.
With hundreds of products available which you can buy online or instore Purple Nanny is your one stop local shop.

Visit www.purplenanny.co.uk today

Contact the Purple Nanny on 07765021555 or by email at purplenannyeco@outlook.com

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…