The Visit-Dorset website provides you with travel and tourist information for Dorset. So whether you are planning to holiday in Dorset or come 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 holiday in Dorset 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 in Dorset with our constantly updated Events Diary
- choose a restaurant for a romantic evening out or a friendly country pub for a warm and hearty meal using our Eating Out section
- find out the best way of Getting Here for your Dorset holidays, be it by car, train, aeroplane or ferry
- pick up useful tips on parking, access for disabled visitors, the best estate agents etc in the Useful Info section
Dorset is a county of outstanding natural beauty, with rolling hills, craggy coastlines and soft sandy beaches. It is famous for its picturesque coastline, which stretches from Lyme Regis in the west to Christchurch in the east, including the popular holiday resorts of Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth. Dorset’s coastline was awarded World Heritage Status by UNESCO in 2001 for its unique geological history and landforms such as Lulworth Cove, the Isle of Portland and the shingle bank of Chesil Beach to name but a few.
Dorset owes much of its charm to its numerous, picture-postcard villages. Cerne Abbas, nestling in the valley of the River Cerne, is a quintessentially English village with a ruined abbey and of course the famous Cerne Abbas Giant carved into the chalk hillside above the village – the largest hill figure in Britain, standing 180-foot high. The sandstone village of Abbotsbury boasts numerous tea rooms and pubs as well as the world famous Abbotsbury Swannery and the Sub-Tropical Gardens. Other villages have unusual names such as Ryme Intrinseca, Piddletrenthide and Affpuddle, each with their own history, character and charm.
Dorset’s strong links with the sea mean water sports of all kinds are very popular. The waters off of Weymouth and Portland in particular are generally regarded as the best in Europe for sailing, which is why this area has been chosen to hold all the sailing events when London hosts the Olympic Games in 2012. For those of you who prefer your activity and adventure to be on dry land, there’s also walking, horse riding, fishing, golf, tennis, llama trekking, zorbing and much, much more. In fact, what more could you possibly want for your Dorset holidays?
Although Dorchester is the county town of Dorset, the nightlife tends to centre around Bournemouth, Poole and, to a lesser extent, Weymouth. The Bournemouth International Centre is a leading venue for music concerts, plays, stand-up comedies, conferences and exhibitions. Theatres in the region include the Pavilion and Pier in Bournemouth, the Pavilion in Weymouth, the Regent Centre in Christchurch and the Tivoli in Wimborne. There are also multiplex cinemas, ten-pin bowling alleys, ice rinks, dry ski slopes, swimming pools and of course night clubs, restaurants and pubs.