The main part of the Dorset's population live in the coastal region, the rest of the county is largely rural. It is hardly surprising – the Jurrasic coast is spectacular.

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Dorset Countryside

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Along with East Devon the Jurrasic coast became England's first natural World Heritage Site. A geological walk through time of three periods, the Triassic, Jurrasic and the Cretaceous – 185 million years!

The South West Coastal Path runs along the whole coastline, all 95 miles of it. There are plenty of local paths leading into it, so shorter walks are easily undertaken. Sensational scenic views reward the walker together with rock formations that reveal the earth's geological wonders.

Guided walks are offered right through the year and not just during the summer months. Details can be found in local Tourist Information Centres.

Towns and Cities

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County Show, Dorchester

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Dorchester is the capital of the county, a charming market town with an ancient history. Dorchester's best known son was of course Thomas Hardy, the writer, who was born a few miles away at Upper Bockhampton. Both the house where he was born and the house he designed and his brother, Henry, built for him – Max Gate - are owned by The National Trust and open to the public.

Weymouth that delightful old fashioned town on the coast, so beloved of generations of families for their holiday by the seaside. Still is. Halfway along the Jurrasic Coast it is an ideal place for a starting point for the South West Coastal Path as well, or just for a stroll along a bit of it. Definitely a shutterbug's paradise!

200 events crowd Weymouth's calendar throughout the year! The popular Carnival is held in August annually.

Isle of Portland was the venue for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Sailing events. It was a stunning choice. Portland has the largest man made harbour in Britain and has the very modern Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy. On top of these fantastic facilities Portland is in a spectacular location on the south Dorset coast with the Jurassic coast as the backdrop.

Bournemouth and Poole extend a long way along the coast and entice the beach loving visitor to partake of the pleasure of the safe golden beaches. Walk up Bournemouth Chines for a magnificient vista on a lovely sunny day – or an awesome one on a stormy day. Bit blowy though! Visit the Russell Cotes Museum on the Chine.

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Rural Dorset

Winding lanes, green countryside, small villages with attractive thatched cottages and intriguing little pubs, lend a tourist a peaceful haven for a relaxing break away from it all.

Footpaths wind through woods, cycle ways call, little lanes beckon - come and see what is round the next corner. Camera country.

A beautiful county.

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Great Dorset Steam Fair

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Tarrant Hinton is a small pretty village on the Salisbury to Blandford Forum road. The village is famous as being the venue for the Great Dorset Steam Fair a five day festival held every year in September.

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Other pages that may be of interest

Events in Dorset



Isle of Wight



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Sandstone, Cliffs, Burton Bradstock

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Useful Information

Events in Dorset

There are quite a few events in Dorset during the year and one very good idea is to combine some with a short break. This is a lovely county, have a wander on foot, cycle or car perhaps.

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Hotels can be found locally from Wessex Hotels

There are some delightful cottages around the county. Probably one near where you would love to stay.

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Car Rentals

Want a cute car? Large car? Small car? Whatever you need you will find it here. You will probably even find your favourite car hire firm here and Car Rentals do not add a penny to their price for looking all over for you!

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Please note that National Express coach services have been suspended due to the current pandemic.

Why not travel by Coach

If you do decide the leave the car at home and help the environment too, why not go National Express. They run coaches all over the country. Some pretty good fares too.

Just imagine - sit back and relax, no hassling with the traffic!!!

Do you know that you can book on your mobile phone and they will send the ticket as a text!!!!

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Virgin Trains is an excellent main line railway.

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More Public Transport

Traveline is a very useful resource for public transport throughout Wessex, even local buses. There are other pages on Traveline for other parts of the country.

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Durdle Door

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Sherborne Abbey

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Cottage at West Lulworth

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Sturminster Newton Mill

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