Towns, Villages & Beaches
Dorset towns and villages are scattered all along the glorious sweep of its coastline. Also known as the Jurassic Coast, it provides a perfect setting for every kind of seaside adventure. Find your spot for the day and paddle or plunge into the sea. Alternatively you can experience a day out on a fishing trip, take part in a sailing regatta or simply take in the scenery with a walk along a section of the South West coast path.
The dramatic heritage coastline also offers spectacular views, with many walks and trails to follow, you’re sure to find a perfect spot to unwind. Dorset is the home to many small towns and villages with bustling shopping areas, local markets and historical monuments, there truly is something for everyone.
So if you’re after that ideal day out whilst enjoying your holidays in Dorset, then take a look at some of the fantastic towns and other locations you can visit whilst you’re in the area.
Old Harry Rocks
Old Harry Rocks in Dorset stand at the tip of a chalk headland between the bays of Studland and Swanage. Chalk is made up of the fossilised remains of single-celled organisms which lived in the sea. Over thousands of years, millions of fossils became compressed to form the rock. As sea levels fell, the chalk became exposed. Old Harry Rocks form a headland as the chalk is more resistant to erosion than the surrounding clays.Visit the website
The perfect getaway destination for all seasons. Situated on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, and a gateway town for exploring the Jurassic Coast, the fun family resort of Swanage is ideal for relaxing breaks, walking, cycling and for group activity and educational holidays. Experience some of the south coast’s best weather while strolling along the promenade or why not hire one of the colourful beach huts to make your short break extra relaxing. Paddling in the water, collecting sea shells and building sandcastles is something that children will remember for years to come.Visit the website
A bustling Quay, the best beaches in England & a stunning natural harbour make Poole a natural first choice. Miles of golden sands with waterside bars & restaurants, enjoy quayside crabbing or shopping in the town centre.Visit the website
The jewel of Britain’s South Coast, Bournemouth is a vibrant and colourful resort with miles of sandy beaches and panoramic views of the coastline, as well as a cosmopolitan and cultural town centre with hundreds of restaurants and bars that come alive long after the sun has gone down. Our calendar is packed with family friendly festivals and events so it’s no wonder we’ve got a reputation as an ‘eventful’ destination.Visit the website
Isle of Portland
Portland Bill is the most southerly point in Dorset, at the tip of the Isle of Portland where you will find Portland Lighthouse and Pulpit Rock.Visit the website
Durdle Door & Lulworth Cove
Durdle Door is a world famous geological wonder, with its massive rock arch, set right on the Jurassic Coast between Swanage and Weymouth, just along the coast path from Lulworth Cove, it is absolutely beautiful. Lulworth Cove is the prime Dorset attraction for the budding geographer or simply for a leisurely walk along the Natural World Heritage Coastline and the challenging hills. By the Lulworth Cove there is the West Lulworth Heritage Centre acting as a museum about Lulworth and its coast and the history of the village, with plenty of Lulworth Souvenirs.Visit the website
Looking for a traditional family holiday by the sea? Then pack up your bucket and spade and head to Weymouth! With beautiful golden sands, safe shallow waters, action packed events programme and pretty harbourside you certainly won’t be disappointed! From sand sculptures to a magical underwater world of dazzling sea creatures, Weymouth has attractions to delight visitors of all ages! Make sure you stoll round to Weymouth's beautiful harbour during your visit. This is a great place to to while away the hours and watch all the comings and goings...luxury yachts, fishing trawlers, tall ships, RNLI Lifeboats and even cross harbour rowing ferries, you'll be able to watch it all!Visit the website
Big name stores, chef-led restaurants, cafes, bars and bistros, museums, attractions, glorious gardens, river walks and a Roman Town House, you’ll find plenty to see and do in Dorset’s county town.Visit the website
With the stunning golden glow of the majestic sandstone cliffs and the shimmering radiance of Golden Cap, West Bay, Dorset is the Golden Gateway to the Jurassic Coast. West Bay, Dorset is a wonderful seaside location for family holidays, coast and countryside walks, fossil hunting, fishing / angling trips, scuba diving, paragliding, golfing, river boating and so much more.Visit the website
Situated in rural Dorset surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful coast and countryside, Bridport is an attractive and lively market town. Four of the West Dorset Leisure Holiday's Parks are located within 3 miles of Bridport and West BayVisit the website
The great rocky shoulder of Golden Cap offers magnificent views at every compass point. On a clear day you can see across Lyme Bay to Dartmoor - well worth the effort of the walk uphill.Visit the website
The world famous Jurassic beach at Charmouth was recently voted one of the 21 Best Beaches In The World by National Geographic. While renowned for its fossils, Charmouth beach also offers safe swimming and large sandy areas with plenty of space for everyone. Miles of spectacular coastal and inland walks provide quiet tranquility for both the active who want to explore the South West Coast Path, and those who just want a gentle stroll in West Dorset's Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty.Visit the website
Lyme Regis boasts breathtaking scenery and a special mystique, making it a sparkling resort for all seasons. Its historic Cobb and harbour are iconic features, set against moody blue cliffs yielding fossilised evidence of life on earth millions of years ago. Whatever your age and whatever the time of year, you can be sure to find something to delight and entertain you. Lyme Regis has it all - the perfect family resort, the home of palaeontology, a world-class creative and cultural community, a bustling harbour, gastronomic delights, an array of shops, a calendar full of events, and plenty for the active.Visit the website
Nestled in a natural valley in stunning West Dorset is the delightfully picturesque town of Beaminster. Just a short drive north of Bridport, Beaminster is a town known for its historical heritage and being home to some wonderfully talented artists. Beaminster provides a wonderful change of pace and is the perfect town to hide away, recharge your batteries and reinvigorate yourself. Beaminster’s central square embodies the small town feel with welcoming pubs, independent shops and wonderful eating options all encompassed with stunning architecture.Visit the website
Sherborne is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful towns in England. With its abundance of medieval buildings, superb Abbey, world famous Schools, picturesque Almshouse and two Castles, Sherborne has much to offer visitors.Visit the website