Things to do in Dorset

The Dorset Guide best things to do

As one of the UK's oldest and favourite holiday destinations Dorset has no shortage of tourist attractions. With an abundance of stunning scenery both rural and coastal, Dorset offers more natural attractions than one would imagine for a relatively small county. With around 70 miles of coast the Dorset coast path is a must for any avid walker. Ranging from long sandy beaches to the stunning coves of the Jurassic Coast and crossing several harbours including one of the biggest in the World, Dorset's coast is perhaps its greatest asset.

There is history here too, from pre-Roman times to the Industrial Revolution. Not to mention the Jurassic Coast dating back millions of years and throwing up fascinating new fossil discoveries all the time. As well as the sites themselves, Dorset has a well supported network of well run museums in nearly all the major towns. Dorset's rich military history can be seen through the castles and forts that dot the landscape and coast. There is also a significant present day military presence and several more contemporary museums attractions such as the Tank Museum at Bovington and the Royal Signals Museum in Blandford.

The National Trust have a significant presence in Dorset with several properties of significant historical interest such as Clouds Hill, T.E. Lawrence's rural retreat. However, their main role here as been a protectorates of the coast and countryside. Nearly all the stately homes in Dorset still remain in private hands, with some still run by the family that has owned them for centuries such as Sherborne Castle.

For families there is plenty to do whatever the weather with an abundance of wildlife and farm based attractions ranging from Bournemouth's Oceanarium to Farmer Palmers Farm near Poole. There's also a plethora of good ol’ fashioned seaside amusements the length of the coast and a few theme parks thrown in for good measure!

If the above isn't enough then maybe you're looking for heritage steam railways, or beautiful gardens. Dorset has them all so enjoy browsing our comprehensive and growing list of tourist attractions.

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