Dorset is a county in England’s south west, on the coast of the English Channel. The county town is Dorchester and other noteworthy towns in Dorset are Bournemouth, Bridport, Shaftesbury, Poole and Wareham.
Dorset is a very popular holiday destination for family holidays as it has lots of award winning beaches at Bournemouth, Poole, Swanage, Lyme Regis and Weymouth.
Must See and Do Tourist Attractions in Dorset
Dorset is known for its famous geological landforms of Lulworth Cove, Chesil Beach, Isle of Portland and Durdle Door which form part of the “Jurassic Coast”.
Tourist attractions in Dorset include Corfe Castle (National Trust), Swanage Steam Railway, The Annual Great Dorset Steam Fair (Blandford Forum in August/ September), The Isle of Portland and Portland Bill, Wimborne Minster, Studland Beach, Shaftesbury, Poole Harbour, Brownsea Island, Bovington Tank Museum, Bournemouth Park, Poole Park.
Family Days out in Dorset
Dorset’s safe and family friendly beaches are Lyme Regis, Charmouth, West Bay, Chesil Beach, Chesil Cove, Hallelujah Bay, Portland Harbour Beach, Smallmouth Beach, The Fleet’s Beaches, Poole Harbour Beaches, Sandbanks Beaches, Bournemouth Beach, Weymouth Beach, Greenhill Beach, among others.
You can also take a cycling or boat trip together. Weymouth Sea Life Park and Marine Sanctuary’s, Monkey World, Honeybrook Farm and Adventure Wonderland will keep children entertained all day long during your family holidays in Dorset.
Sport in Dorset
Dorset is a paradise for walkers. You can either hike along the coast or follow one of the numerous walking paths through the amazing scenery. You can also go cycling to explore the beatiful landscape. Kitesurfing, sailing, diving, fishing and other water activities are offered at Dorset’s coast.
If you want to spend your golfing holidays in Dorset, you can exercise on one of the golf courses. There are the Weymouth Golf Club, Wessex Golf Centre, Lodmoor Country Park, Sturminster Marshall Golf Club, Bridport & West Dorset Golf Club, the Dudsbury Golf Centre and many more for you to tee off.
Shopping in Dorset
Bournemouth is known for its excellent shopping facilities, featuring small shops and big department stores and nationwide chains. Castlepoint Shopping Centre includes more than 40 stores and free parking.
Poole has the Dolphin Shopping Centre, and the Sovereign Shopping Centre is located in Bournemouth. Weymouth also has its own shopping centre, while smaller towns and villages host markets regularly. Those can be found in Bournemouth (Thursday & Saturday), Bridport (Wednesday & Saturday), Dorchester (Wednesday), Lymington (Saturday),
Shaftesbury (Thursday), Sherborne (Thursday & Saturday) and Weymouth (Thursday).
Nightlife in Dorset
Many pubs, bars and clubs make up Dorset’s nightlife. Those include The Porterhouse (Bournemouth), Toko (Bournemouth), the Zinqbar (Bournemouth), The Scott Arms (Kingston), King Charles Tavern (Bridport), The Ropemakers (Bridport), Harry’s Bar & Nightclub (Weymouth), The Moorings Bar (Weymouth), The Cricketers Arms (Wimborne) and the Bliss Bar (Bournemouth).
Transport in Dorset
Bournemouth International Airport (BOH), Southampton Airport (SOU) or Bristol Airport (BRS) are international airports for Dorset, however it is best to check which one is nearest your hotel in Dorset.
Some railway stations in Dorset offer a direct connection to London that takes around 2 hours. Those are Dorchester, Poole, Bournemouth, Weymouth, Sherborne and Gillingham.
Ferries operate between Dorset and the Channel Islands and France. Many buses are operating within Dorset.
Official Tourism Offices for Dorset
- Blandford Information Centre – Riverside House, West Street, Blandford Forum DT11 7AW
- Bridport TIC – South Street, Bridport DT6 3NY
- Christchurch TIC – 49 High Street, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 1AS
- Dorchester TIC – Antelope Walk, Dorchester DT1 1BE
- Lyme Regis TIC – Church Street, Lyme Regis DT7 3BS
- Portland Bill Visitor Centre – The Lighthouse, Portland Bill, Portland DT5 2JT
- Purbeck Tourist Information and Heritage Centre – Holy Trinity Church, South Street, Wareham BH20 4LU
- Shaftesbury and Gillingham Tourism Services – 8 Bell Street, Shaftesbury SP7 8AE
- Sherborne TIC – Digby Road, Sherborne DT9 3NL
- Swanage Information Centre – The White House, Shore Road, Swanage BH19 1LB
- Wimborne TIC – 29 High Street, Wimborne Minster BH21 1HR
- Weymouth TIC – Pavilion Theatre, The Esplanade, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 8ED
Visit Dorset – www.visit-dorset.com