Welcome to the Dorset Guide
Dorset has one of the best known coastlines in England extending eastwards from Lyme Regis with numerous sandy beaches, ideal for family holidays and no shortage of Dorset cottages to rent. The town of Poole is home to one of the world’s largest natural harbours and there are many nature reserves and marine parks along the coast. Notably, Chesil Bank, a huge pebble beach, stretching from Weymouth to Bridport. There are also many attractive coves such as Lulworth.
As well as having an attractive coastline, Dorset's inland scenery is equally inviting. The area is rich in archaeological remains, reflecting the long history of the county along with unspoilt rural villages set in the lovely countryside like Abbotsbury and Worth Matravers. In the east there are extensive heath lands, whilst the centre of Dorset has the chalk downs criss-crossed by rivers and streams. This region is perhaps best known for the famous giant cut into the chalk hillside behind Cerne Abbas.
In the west of Dorset the landscape is made up of undulating wooded countryside with a patchwork of small fields. The flat expanse of the Blackmore Vale, dominates the north of Dorset. This is farming country with ancient hedgerows and winding country lanes. Perfect walking territory where one can spend many hours exploring the maze of narrow lanes, footpaths and bridleways.
The county was home to a number of well-known authors, including Jane Austen. However, it is Thomas Hardy that we most associate with Dorset. His novels were based in the fictional Wessex with its county town of Casterbridge is Dorset's real county town of Dorchester. Scenes from such well-known novels as “Far from the Madding Crowd” and “Tess of the D’Urbevilles” can be identified with little difficulties and attract tourists from around the world.back to top