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

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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.

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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

02 May

Clock Tower, Weymouth, Dorset

02/05/2015 To 02/05/2015

11:00 am To 2:00 pm

Bungee jumping tandem or on your own from the clock tower in Weymouth, Dorset at the Weymouth Kite Festival and raise money for the Dorset Blind Association.

You can bungee solo to conquer your fears alone, or if you want to share the experience with your nearest and dearest, make a lover’s leap with a tandem bungee.

Bungee jumping Weymouth is definitely one of the most popular extreme sports, and with very good reason. Bungee forces us to face our fears, test ourselves and push our limits to the absolute max. Oh, and it’s really, really good fun.

Minimum sponsorship £100

21 Mar

Bournemouth Pier, Dorset

21/03/2015 To 21/03/2015

11:00 am To 2:00 pm

The FIRST Pier to shore Zip Wire experience in the world with a launch tower towering above the sea, giving an exhilarating “zip surf” over the waves to the beach. It’s a dual line so you can “fly” with friends or family or dare we suggest “race” them to the beach?

Join Dorset Blind Association staff, volunteers and members in this exciting Pier Zip Wire Bournemouth Pier – no upper age limit!

There is no minimum sponsorship but we are asking people to raise as much as possible to help local blind and partially sighted people.

Order tickets via Eventbrite:

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/pier-zip-challenge-tickets-15553225115?aff=efbevent

24 May

Shapwick Village Green, Stewards Lane, Shapwick, Dorset DT11 9JZ

24/05/2015 To 24/05/2015

12:00 pm To 4:00 pm

Shapwick Country Fair is a traditional country fair and fun afternoon for all the family, with lots of fun things to do including: ferret racing, coconut shy, tombola, fun dog show, skittles, kids races, Dorset Knob contest, nail in the bale, plants, produce, splat the rat, kids train rides, bar, Pimms, BBQ, teas and home-made cakes and lots, lots more.

Dorset’s amazing Celtic Rock band, Black Sheep, will be performing during the afternoon.

Adult £2, kids go free. Parking and disabled facilities.

Newly Added Listings

Pier Approach, Bournemouth, Dorset BH2 5AA

Oceanarium Bournemouth – see amazing baby loggerhead turtles cruise the waters of their Key West home and get jaw-droppingly close to the new crocodiles!

Come face to face with hundreds of creatures – from otters, rays and clownfish to sharks and piranhas – discover the world’s waters under one roof.

Unit 5 Brewers Quay, Hope Square, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 8TR

Be A Pop Star – Record a Song at Brewers Quay – The ultimate professional recording studio experience.

Walk away within two hours with a CD or MP3 with a recording of you or a group singing a song of your choice.

This also makes a great gift experience for someone who loves singing or even karaoke!

With a combined 38 years’ experience in music production and fully qualified in Music Technology and Music Production, we are the number one choice for recording in Weymouth, Dorset.

For more information or to book your bespoke experience, please get in touch.

Don’t leave with just a postcard – Leave Weymouth with your own professional studio recording from Rachel Scott Recordings and Tuition Weymouth.

32 Waterloo Road, Poole, Dorset BH17 7LF

Ever since 2010, Total Clean Solutions Bournemouth has been providing high-quality cleaning services to homeowners and businesses across Dorset.

Total Clean is proud to offer a remarkably wide range of cleaning services, including after builders, move in/out, end of tenancy, one-off and regular maintenance residential cleaning, window, carpet and upholstery, oven cleaning, cleaning communal areas, but also services for estate agents, retail industry, and office buildings. Caravan and car cleaning services are also available.