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

dream cottages dorset

  • 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

15 Dec

BH20 5EZ

15/12/2017 To 16/12/2017

6:30 pm To 8:30 pm

© National Trust Images/Will Wilkinson

Join us on 15 & 16 December for a Tudor Christmas feast beside the roaring log fire in our tea-rooms, featuring authentic period recipes accompanied by mulled wine and mead. Booking essential.
http://bit.ly/2AHC4cg

21 Dec

BH20 5EZ

21/12/2017 To 21/12/2017

7:15 am To 9:00 am

© National Trust Images/David Sellman.
Watch the sunrise across the Purbeck landscape on the shortest day of the year from the castle ruins, followed by a hot breakfast bap and drink in our Tea-Rooms. Tickets £10, booking essential.
http://bit.ly/2yCjwJ5

09 Dec

BH20 5EZ

09/12/2017 To 30/12/2017

4:00 pm To 7:00 pm

© National Trust Images/Martin Franks.

See the past in a magical light this Christmas at Corfe Castle. Take in the festive atmosphere with our beacons, brazier, lanterns and contemporary lighting as you explore the castle grounds.

Winter Lights from dusk until 7pm on: Sat 9, Fri 15, Sat 16, Mon 18 – Wed 20, Fri 22, Sat 23, Wed 27 – Sat 30 December.

This event is free, but normal admission charges apply for the venue.
http://bit.ly/2AGcbcO

Newly Added Listings

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…

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.