Dorset is just glorious. The landscape varies from atmospheric rolling green hills with pretty villages nestled within, to beautiful coastline steeped in dinosaur history with stunning secluded beaches that can only be reached by foot. We have picked our top 10 favourite little gems to enjoy in Dorset. Why not try some!
1] Catch your own supper
Take your family on a fishing boat to catch your evening supper. There are many boat trips that offer this service in Dorset. A popular choice is Harry May, in Lyme Regis. He will take you deep sea fishing, where you will have a rod each to catch whiting, dog fish, bream, mackerel and skate, amongst others. On a good day, you can enjoy beautiful calm waters with the stunning Dorset countryside on one side and the endless turquoise seas on the other. Catch your supper, let Harry wash it and prepare it for cooking, then take it home to pop on the barbeque. Pure heaven!
2] Stay in a chocolate box cottage in a rural village
Dorset Village – Walking
Rent a cottage with family and friends and be immersed in the beauty of Dorset. With such varied landscape, you can enjoy meandering through pretty peaceful villages in the green countryside, stopping off in a pub with a roaring fire, or strolling along the Jurassic Coastline with glorious sea views and dramatic cliff edges.
3] Sip local ale in an old Smugglers Inn
Dorset boasts some of the best pubs in the country. Old Smugglers Inns sit along the coast with their huge open fires and stories of years gone by. Read this great blog for a list of 17 cosy pubs to visit in Dorset.
4] Perch on a harbour wall with some fish and chips
There is nothing more delightful than enjoying fish and chips overlooking the water from where their catch originated. Spend some time in Weymouth harbour. It is a splendidly traditional harbour bustling with fishing boats and crabbers. Sit on the harbour wall and enjoy fish and chips from Marlboro fish and chip shop. Then, you really must pick up a bag of Billy Winters (locally caught Weymouth Bay prawns) from the fishmongers to take home.
5] Enjoy a quintessential English seaside holiday
Winterbourne Abbas – Dorset
Not so hidden, but most definitely a gem, is the elegant Georgian seaside town of Weymouth. Sticks of rock, bucket and spade frolics, Punch and Judy shows, donkey rides on the beach and a promenade with a carousel and penny drop machines. Tie a handkerchief on your head, roll your trousers up and get paddling!
6] Visit the picture postcard village of Milton Abbas
Have a Dorset cream tea in the picture book cob and thatched village of Milton Abbas where sits, identical thatched white cottages all in a row. They look so perfect that they don’t actually look real and photographs of them are often used in Dorset postcards.
7] Watch the waves crash on the rocks of Portland
Portland – Dorset
The sea around Portland is so treacherous that the Portland Lighthouse is still used today to guide vessels through the waters. This area of the sea is famously known as the Portland Race and many boats have become shipwrecked in this area over the centuries. Stand on the rocks, or even better, climb the lighthouse tower and just watch the violent seas below.
8] Enjoy a show at the Electric Palace in Bridport
Visit this cool vintage theatre for film, theatre, music and comedy. It’s an art deco gem, complete with a bar, red velvet seating and really cool artwork. It’s a perfectly intimate setting and a must to visit.
9] Take the steam train to Corfe
For some pure Enid Blyton nostalgia, pop on the steam train at Swanage and head through the rolling hills of Dorset to the pretty village of Corfe with old castle ruins. Corfe has some lovely pubs and is a real treat to visit and the castle is a cherry on the cake.
10] Walk along the Jurassic Coast
West Bay – Dorset
A simple walk but oh so beautiful. The Jurassic coast is steeped in dinosaur history. Walk the dog, hunt for fossils, stop at a pub, watch the turquoise seas and find some secluded beaches. Take a picnic and enjoy it facing the Durdle door. A simple but perfect day out.