Known for the Jurassic Coast, a long stretch on the English Channel where the cliffs contain many fossils, and rock formations show millions of years of geological history. Two prominent natural landmarks are Durdle Door, an ancient stone arch, and the layered cliffs at nearby Lulworth Cove. The towns of Poole, Weymouth and Swanage are popular for their sandy beaches.
We have many characterful towns and villages nearby. Dorset’s county town, Dorchester, was founded by the Romans and has an excellent museum. You will also find many other museums to visit with the children in the town.
Originally known as Hyne-Pydel which became delightfully corrupted into Honeypuddle.
The most northerly of the piddle valley villages and the source of the River Piddle.
Situated in the Piddle valley on the dip slope of the Dorset Downs, 8 miles north of Dorchester.
There are long stretches of coast path to explore, with amazing views. Visit the famous Durdle Door near Lulworth Cove or the deserted village of Tyneham, near Kimmeridge Bay (a favourite place of ancient smugglers!)
Windsurfing, kayaking, swimming: the Jurassic Coast is a fantastic place to enjoy all kinds of water sports, or just lie on the beach in the sun. Westwards towards Devon the rocks are full of fossils just waiting to be uncovered.
End your day at the seaside by grabbing some mouth-watering fish and chips or sitting down for some tasty fresh seafood in one of the many cafes and restaurants dotted along the Jurassic Coast.
If you’re after an amazing day out, there are many museums in easy reach. See a magnificent collection of naval aircraft at Yeovilton or visit the Royal Signals museum at Blandford. Monkey World, with its rescue centre, is next door to Bovington Tank Museum, as is the National Trust’s Clouds Hill, the cottage owned by Lawrence of Arabia.
There are other National Trust sites nearby too: Stourhead, Corfe Castle, Kingston Lacy and Thomas Hardy’s birthplace near Dorchester, the county town. Or you could feed the lambs, play in the hay bales and rev up the go-karts at Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park.
The beginning of his novel ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ is set in this area and ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’ was recently filmed in Sherborne. Another historical place of interest would be Thomas Hardys birth place, a beautiful cottage with a visitor centre where you can discover more about the life and works of Thomas Hardy and his connection to the local landscape.
Dorset is renowned for its small organic food and drink producers. A vineyard tour at Langham Wine Estate is well worth it - they use traditional methods to produce classic sparkling wines.
Over at Goldhill Organics you can browse the mouthwatering farm shop, with its yummy cheeses, meats, chutneys, jams, pasta, chocolate and smoked fish. There’s also a café there serving homemade cakes and pastries.
Hall and Woodhouse are the major brewers in the area – you can find them in Blandford – and there’s Olives Et Al and Moores Biscuits, creators of the famous Dorset Knob.