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

13 Feb

The Jellicoe Theatre, North Road, Poole, Dorset BH14 0LS

13/02/2016 To 13/02/2016

11:30 am To 7:00 pm


No registration

Jellicoe Theatre presents its FREE, family friendly festival!

Featuring performing arts workshops in musical theatre, acting and dance, there is also live music and performances.

Market village including face painting, glitter tattoos, wood craft, refreshments, Deedees Sweeties, Flora & Flo Bunting, Tropic Skincare, Krafty Crafts.


Running from 11.30am-7pm for ages 4 and up, there is something for everyone. We look forward to seeing you there! 13th Feb at The Jellicoe Theatre, The Bournemouth & Poole College, North Road, Poole, Dorset BH14 0LS.

For more information, please visit or email:

25 Mar

The Toy Barn, Dodd's Cross, Sherborne, Dorset, DT9 4JX

25/03/2016 To 25/03/2016

11:00 am To 4:00 pm


You can book your tickets in advance online at or by dropping by the shop. Book early to guarantee a place and save money. We cannot guarantee space if you arrive at The Toy Barn without a ticket. You can also order your Easter Egg Hunt tickets by calling us on 01935 815040. Advance tickets are £4 while tickets bought on the day will be £6. Adult entry is free. All tickets to be collected at the door on arrival.

Come and join us at The Toy Barn on the 25th March 2016 from 11am ‘til 4pm to cdelebrate Good Friday with a wonderful Easter Egg Hunt and Children’s entertainment!

As always we ask children (and willing adults!) to dress up for the day in the wackiest costumes possible, with no specific theme let your imaginations run wild – it certainly adds to the fun! A prize will be awarded for best costume.

With the largest outdoor play equipment and climbing frame display area in the South West Children are free to roam and play in a safe, enclosed environment on our wide array of fantastic climbing frames, trampolines, slides, swings and in our play houses. Our Go Karts will also be whizzing around at 50p a go! Our outdoor play area is attached to out independent toy shop, full of goodies for children and parents to browse on the fun filled day.

Parents can sit back and relax with refreshments provided with proceeds going to The Samaritans. Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate and cold drinks will be available to purchase for attending families along with a selection of cakes and biscuits.

Our annual egg hunt has become increasingly popular over the years, in no small part due to our location in the heart of the beautiful Dorset countryside. Our farm location allows a chocolate box setting of grazing cows in the fields, blooming flowers and a listed barn as well as the added bonus of free parking! Our friendly staff ensure a stress free day and are always on hand to help.

The egg hunts take place every hour at 11am, 12 noon, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm. Please specify which hunt your child will take part in when booking your tickets. Please aim to arrive 15 minutes before the hunt begins.

03 Dec

Middle Beach, Studland, Dorset BH19 3AQ

03/12/2016 To 03/12/2016

10:30 am To 3:30 pm

Meet new people, get out in the fresh air, learn new skills and get to know our Purbeck sites from the inside! We’re looking for volunteers who love the outdoors to join us and work side by side with our Rangers in stunning locations.

Free event

Newly Added Listings

Our Dorset base is in Burley

The Carter Company’s gentle cycling holidays offer a unique way to discover Dorset. Designed with families and leisure cyclists in mind, we have a range of self-guided tours ranging from 4 to 8 nights. Pedal at your own pace along our creative, largely traffic-free routes designed by locals to help you discover the hidden gems of the area, and enjoy overnight stays in hand-picked boutique hotels. Stonehenge, The New Forest, the Isles of Wight & Purbeck, and Salisbury all feature on our routes, as do gorgeous stretches of Dorset countryside and charming little villages. With 25 years of experience, we are known for our top-notch customer service and we love sharing Dorset’s treasures with our customers! Route directions, luggage transfers, bike hire, accommodation and a full support service are included on our tours.

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.