Chesil Beach

Discover Dorset’s self-catering holidays

West Dorset enjoys everything you could wish for if you’re planning on coming for a Dorset holiday, weekend or short-break? With many self-catering holiday cottages and quiet or lively caravan holiday parks available with many also offering dog friendly holiday stays.

Discover the many great locations to enjoy on a walking holiday in West Dorset exploring the literally hundreds of coastal and countryside footpaths.

Exploring Dorset’s historic market towns

The historic market town of Bridport is renowned for its rope making industry, Palmers Brewery and twice weekly street markets.

“Come to Bridport and explore the street markets”

bridport street market

There’s a thriving Arts Scene, galleries to browse, Arts Centre, the Electric Palace vintage theatre and the re-developed Bridport Museum with its local history.

Close by is West Bay, sometimes known as Bridport harbour, is a popular and lovely gem right in the heart of Broadchurch country.

view of west bay harbour and cliff top walk

Ancient Dorchester is the county town of Dorset and in the heart of Dickens’ country! The famous novelist Charles Dickens lived in Dorchester and was born nearby.

Dorchester goes back to prehistoric times and long before the Romans arrived, but is perhaps more well known when occupied by the Romans. At the top of town are remains and mosaics of a Roman Town House and on the edge of the town is Poundbury which is built on Duchy land.

“The Keep Military Museum and memorial to the Dorset Martyrs”

visit historic dorchester

Explore Lyme Regis with the fine golden sandy beach and pleasant promenade offering an outstanding view along the Jurassic coastline.

The historic harbour, the Cobb possibly dating back to late 13th/early 14 Century is Grade I listed and have many adn varied boats moored in the harbour.

“The historic Cobb harbour in Lyme Regis”

The Cobb

In the beautiful town of Sherborne, there’s two castles to explore. The new one of Sherborne Castle with its substantial and pleasant grounds is a great day out, and the older Castle to visit is owned by English Heritage and located further along the road.

Sherborne Abbey is one of the best and finest Abbey’s you’ll ever come across. Founded by St. Aldhelm in AD705 Sherborne Abbey has developed from Saxon cathedral to the worshipping heart of a monastic community, and is one of England’s most beautiful churches. A visit is highly recommended.

“Visit the ancient and fine Abbey at Sherborne”

sherborne_abbey

Weymouth and Portland is a bustling and wonderful coastal holiday resort attracting many holiday visitors throughout the year. The resort is an ideal destination to enjoy all types of holidays in Dorset with many B&Bs, hotels and abundance of self-catering holiday accommodation and many offering dog friendly places to stay.

Enjoying a long Georgian era esplanade with a large fine golden sandy beach with many popular family visitor attractions to enjoy. With theatres, gardens, markets, a bustling shopping centre and the SeaLife Adventure Park and the popular Jurassic Skyline.

Weymouth enjoys a large and popular harbour with vessels of all sorts. Close by jutting out to sea is Portland. Portland Bill has lighthouses, coastal footpaths and stunning views back over the coast.

“Weymouth harbour view from the bridge crossing”

Weymouth harbour

⇒ Some brief notes on Dorset’s history

  • Bridport’s world-renowned rope and net making industry dates back more than 700 years to before King John and the Middle Ages
  • Palmers Brewery in Bridport has been brewing since 1794
  • In 1651 King Charles II escaped capture in Lee Lane, Bridport
  • Follow in the footsteps of the Neolithic period on the The Ridgway causeway
  • Abbotsbury Swannery, established by Benedectine monks has been there since the 1040s where the monastery was also built, later destroyed during the dissolution in 1539
  • Dorchester was founded by the Romans in approx 60 AD, but was inhabited for 1,000s of years before the Romans arrived
“The remains of a Roman Town House in Dorchester”

roman town house in Dorchester

Exploring the picturesque villages

When you’re visiting West Dorset come and explore the many wonderful and picturesque villages. You’ll just love the old and historic thatch roof cottages like in the village of Abbotsbury with its tea rooms and access to the many footpaths.

“Beautiful villages with thatch roof cottages and delightful footpaths”

burton bradstock thatch cottage

Exploring Dorset’s many holiday activities

Staying in dorset is all about having a great holiday time enjoying the wonderful activities available to visitors. Go and try some fossil hunting on the beach, Dorset and its harbours are great for fishing or taking a fishing boat trip along the West Doreset coastline. You can even have some fun hiring a river boat for an hour or two.

Dorset is a walkers’ paradise and there many coastal and countryside walks to explore. Exploring the many footpaths walks in West Dorset’s enchanting meadows, woods, fields and alongside streams and  rivers in a real joy.

“Discover and explore Dorset’s streams and waterfalls”

waterfall and streamDorset’s also a great place to enjoy cycling along the cycling routes and quiet country lanes – West Dorset is an amazing place for both walkers and cyclists.

The Ridgway Neolithic causeway trail and the long distance South West Coast Path is easily accessible in West Dorset.

“Enjoy cream teas and Dorset apple cake in Abbotsbury”
abbotsbury village
Cream teas and Dorset apple cake in Abbotsbury

“West Dorset and its Jurassic coastline… there’s so much explore!”