England Dorset

WEEKEND BREAKS IN

Dorset

200-million year-old fossil-flecked cliffs, sea-fizzed coastal towns, dreamy thatched villages, and dramatic beaches that run for miles. Welcome to Dorset, friends - where the weekends always come with ice-cream.

Why weekend in Dorset?

It's hopelessly handsome

Home to the world-famous Jurassic Coast (England’s only natural World Heritage Site), Dorset is an ancient south-west county bordering Somerset, Devon, Wiltshire and Hampshire.

The dinosaurs knew what they were doing when they chose Dorset 185 million years ago. The Jurassic Coast is a sight to behold; its muscular cliffs, stunning rock formations, beautiful beaches, fabulous coves (yes, we’re talking about you, Lulworth Cove) and natural ports, harbours, and towns will get under your skin and salt your soul.

Even inland, away from the coast, Dorset’s wonders bite and don’t let go: from the subtropical gardens of Abbotsbury and the famous cobbled street of Gold Hill in Shaftsbury, to the ruins of Corfe Castle on the Isle of Purbeck and the Dorchester streets that author Thomas Hardy called home.

There’s so much to do and see in Dorset that you’ll need more than one weekend. Trust us. 

INSPIRED PLACES TO STAY IN DORSET

Our favourites

Whether you’re after unique pet-friendly accommodation, a cosy B&B, pub with rooms or a hotel where you can hunker down after a day exploring the coast, or a self-catering holiday cottage that’s loaded with rural traditional and charm, Dorset won’t let you down. Here are some of our favourite places to stay in Dorset to inspire your midweeker or weekend trip.

BRIDPORT

Hey gorgeous: luxury New England hideaway for 2

The Coop is a New England-style cabin with a whole lotta 'hot dang' going on!

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LYME REGIS

A mighty gem: Sundial House is a unique place to call home for a weekend

Grade II listed property on the Lyme Regis seafront, which sleeps 9 and is loved by locals and visitors.

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SHERBOURNE

A Georgian hotel that's far from the maddening crowds

Beware: It's all too easy to leave your heart behind at The Eastbury Hotel & Spa in Sherborne.

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LYME REGIS

Woof woof: cool dog-friendly stone cottage in the heart of town

Coombe Street cottage is a dog-friendly escape no more than a beach-ball bounce away from the sea.

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SEAVIEW APARTMENT

Set your sights on Ammonite Apartment, Lyme Regis

This 2 bedroom apartment with show-stopping views of the Jurassic Coast from the terrace floats our ...

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TRIED & TESTED

Unmissable: Outbuildings make stays joyfully unique

A destination in its own right, Outbuildings in Dorset are so much more than another farm stay. They...

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INSPIRATION

6 spots easy to fall for on the Jurassic Coast

On the seafront, by the beach, tucked away or in the heart of town, consider your Lyme staycation so...

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TRIED & TESTED

Why The Queen's Arms is 00-Heaven!

Daniel Craig likes a pint here - and if it's good enough for him, it's good enough for the likes of ...

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EPIC THINGS TO DO IN DORSET

Fun and fabulous

Dorset’s doesn’t disappoint, what time of year it is. Sights and sounds, experiences and events, festivals and feasts, there is lots going on for us weekenders! Here are just some of the fabulous Dorset things to do that we think will sweeten your Dorset weekend break.

EAT & DRINK

Drink award-winning cocktails at The Potting Shed

Plants, rum cocktails and themed food events: it’s no wonder the locals in Bridport, Dorset are digging The Potting Shed.

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WHY NOT TRY?

Sandy salutations: blissful sea view yoga with Maitri Yoga

Open your heart, find your soul with blissful yoga on Lyme's sandy beach

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Tried & Tested

Bridport Food Festival serves up a summer treat

THE foodie event of Bridport's summer calendar - and it's even more delicious than we expected!

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EAT & DRINK

10 Lyme Regis restaurants that leave you hungry for seconds

From fresh seafood to innovative veggie wholesomeness, Lyme Regis's restaurants and cafes are dynamic and delicious.

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TOP PLACES TO VISIT IN DORSET

Weekend Guides & Itineraries

Where to go, what to do in Dorset – here are our top guides and itineraries for you to use, all tried and tested by us. If your chosen Dorset village or town guide isn’t featured yet, don’t fret. We’re updating content all the time, so be sure to sign up for The Weekend Edit to get updates on new content added to the site.

EASY PEASY WEEKENDS

Go local: Unmissable Lyme Regis

A bucketload of things to do to in Lyme Regis. Including top tips only locals will know.

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EASY PEASY WEEKENDS

24 hours in West Bay, Dorset

Majestic golden sandstone cliffs, West Bay in Dorset is the Golden Gateway to the Jurassic Coast.

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WORTH THE DETOUR

Dorset towns and villages you’d be crazy to miss

You don’t have to go far in Dorset to stumble across a quaint village or pretty seaside town. Most are generally slow-paced and modest, with the exception of coastal resorts like Bournemouth and Weymouth, who hum with tourists in the summer months.

For (slightly) less crowded spots, head to market town of Bridport or Wareham aka: the gateway to the Isle of Purbeck. The attractive fishing harbour and town of Swanage is worth the detour, as is the ‘county town’ of Dorchester.

We also love the charming small town of Sherborne, home to a stunning medieval Abbey and the famous Jurassic gem of Lyme Regis.

    GOOD TO KNOW

    The best time to visit Dorset 

    Spring: As well as a beautiful coastline, Dorset boasts some of England’s most stunning countryside which is perfect for exploring in spring. Don’t miss the Golden Cap Estate with its incredible carpet of bluebells during the spring months.

    Summer: If you’d prefer to hunt fossils and enjoy the beaches of Dorset’s Jurassic Coast in warmer weather then you may wish to brave the summer tourists. Don’t forget to visit Durdle Door for the ultimate photo op.

    Autumn: Take in some of Dorset’s beauty spots as summer greenery gives way to autumnal tones, Sherborne Castle and Gardens is famed for its fabulous fall hues. There are plenty of towns and villages to visit too such as the historic Corfe Castle with its famous castle, steam railway and model village.

    Winter: Wrap up warm and enjoy the Dorset coast at its most dramatic or take a Christmas lit steam train trip around the Isle of Purbeck to give your weekend break a truly magical edge.

    NEED TO KNOW

    Getting to Dorset 

    Distance from London: Dorset is located 124 miles from London and is reachable in under three hours by road.

    Nearest airport: Bournemouth

    By rail: South Western Railway runs direct routes from Waterloo to Dorset stopping at stations including Winchester, Southampton Central, Christchurch and Bournemouth.

    By bus: National Express runs a regular direct service between London Victoria Coach Station and Bournemouth with additional stops at towns around the county including Westbourne, Parkstone and Poole.

    By road: Dorset is easily accessed by road with motorway and A road links from every part of the UK with the M3, M27 and A31 leading from London.

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