Discover and enjoy a West Dorset holiday

West Dorset is the perfect destination to enjoy Dorset family holidays along the dramatic Jurassic Coast with its great beaches and delightful ancient coastal towns and their historic harbours.

There’s so many wonderful places to see and experience during a family holiday or short break when exploring West Dorset’s historic picturesque villages and old market towns – all set in breathtaking countryside with so many Dorset footpaths.

“Glorious views over the countryside to West Bay”


During your stay on a holiday in West Dorset follow in the footsteps of ‘David Tennant’ to the glorious locations of the ‘Broadchurch’ ITV series in this outstanding area of Dorset in South West England!

“A visit to Dorset is a walker’s paradise”

South West Coast Path

⇒ Explore all this in West Dorset

  • The 185 million years old Jurassic Coast World Heritage site
  • Sandy beaches & Fossil Beaches | Portland Bill & Lighthouses
  • Glorious Countryside (AONB) | Coastal & Countryside views
  • Wonderful Houses & Gardens | Churches | Historic Castles
  • Great Family Visitor Attractions | Street Markets | Museums
  • Variety of Events | Exhibitions | Festivals | Various Activities
  • Outstanding Clifftop, Countryside and Village footpath walks
  • Ancient Market Towns | Pretty Villages |Fine Dorset Food
  • Picturesque Historic Harbours | Headlands | Hidden Coves
  • Explore its Roman, Neolithic and Ancient history
  • Dog and Pet Friendly Holiday Accommodation Available
“Enjoy exploring historic castles in Dorset”


It’s wonderful self-catering in West Dorset

If you’re planning a Dorset self-catering family holiday whether it’s in a car or camper van, cycling or a enjoying a walking holiday you’ll find there so much to explore and experience.

Discover the ancient market towns, which are steeped in ancient history, of Bridport, Dorchester, Sherborne and the seaside towns of Lyme Regis, Weymouth and Portland Bill.


 Learn about their historic past with a visit to the many wonderful local history and fossil museums along with their traditional markets.

Weymouth and Lyme Regis with their fine sandy beaches and historic harbours are truly great seaside towns to enjoy holidays, long weekends or short breaks on a West Dorset holiday.

“Visit the historic harbours of West Dorset”

Weymouth harbour

Dorset’s villages are set in picturesque and exceptional countryside and many have lovely and peaceful footpaths and bridleways to explore, along with streams and delightful meadows and the unusal sunken paths called holloways.

Exploring the villages of Dorset is always a wonderful experience during a West Dorset holiday visit. Abbotsbury and Burton Bradstock are two wonderful villages with so many more to explore with thatch roof cottages as well as the popular fishing village of West Bay with its harbour.

“Discover the beautiful gardens and footpaths of Dorset”

⇒ Dorset’s links to famous people

  • Dorset is renowned for its links to many well-known or famous people including the novelist and poet Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), the poet William Barnes, the writers Jane Austen, Enid Blyton and Beatrix Potter
  • Not to be confused with the novelist, is also Captain Thomas Hardy, who was born at Kingston Russell House, Long Bredy in 1769 and was captain of HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, and close friend of Lord Nelson
  • Other well-known people include Sir Walter Raleigh, ‘hanging judge’ Judge Jeffreys plus the Tolpuddle Martyrs who were sentenced to transportation in 1834.
“Cottage and birthplace of novelist Thomas Hardy”

Thomas Hardy birthplace

Dorset’s very own Jurassic Coast Heritage Site

It’s literally like walking through history exploring the 185 million year old World Heritage Jurassic Coast – and is world renowned for its abundance of fossils. It’s a walker’s paradise too as it’s one of the UK’s best and popular places to go walking!


Exploring the rugged, dramatic and amazing Jurassic coastline you’ll discover delightful hidden coves, amazing rock and cliff formations and headlands along the many coastal footpaths that offer outstanding and commanding sea and country views.

“The BBC TV documentary ‘Attenborough & the Sea Dragon’ was filmed on the Jurassic Coast”

Golden Cap

Dorset events, festivals, exhibitions & open days

Dorset has many events during the year, all varying in size, such as the Weymouth Seafood Festival and the Dorset County Show.

There’s also loads of West Dorset exhibitions, festivals and markets to enjoy throughout the year, plus many local and traditional Dorset Village Festivals and Studio & Garden Open Days. Take a look what’s happening in Dorset on at the “What’s On’‘ page HERE

“Explore what’s going on happening in and around Dorset”

Bridport market

Shop Local! Enjoy truly great local Dorset food

Discover West Dorset’s wonderful traditional old inns with log fires, the various pubs & bars, fine restaurants and eateries. It’s always best to Shop Local in Dorset and discover the wonderful and various locally produced produce and freshly caught Dorset seafood.

Seek out the delightful West Dorset village tea rooms and enjoy freshly prepared Dorset Cream Teas and local specialities such as the amazing Dorset Apple Cake.

Locally sourced food

Dog friendly Dorset welcomes you

Dorset also offers wonderful dog and pet friendly caravan holiday parks and cottages too – it’s no wonder visitors return time and time again to this beautiful and historic area of West Dorset and the Jurassic Coast where you can literally walk through history!

“Visit West Dorset recommends visiting Tourist Information Centres (TIC) for local information during your Dorset holiday visit”
Dog friendly self catering holidays – great for all the family”

A Dorset village nestled below rolling hills

Visit West Dorset is featured in the article on 15 of the UK’s most charming towns on FlightNetwork – one of the world’s largest online travel agencies!