The Dorset Countryside is a popular travel destination for thousands of UK holidaymakers. Being someone who lives in this neck of the woods I am also witnessing an influx from overseas tourists. Compared to most British resorts the Dorset countryside has become increasingly popular.
So why is this and where’s best to visit?
One of the most popular attractions in Dorset is it’s beautiful coastline. Also known as the Jurassic Coast as it has the highest density of fossils in the country. A must see is Lulworth Cove a popular attraction that receives almost half a million visitors a year, this is what made me sell my house and move to Dorset and can be seen in the picture above. After following a path with local shops, quaint little houses and a fishmongers you enter a cove surrounding of rocks and what appears to be a pool of water. It’s a great place to take the kids as they can enjoy crabbing in shallow waters and also hunting for fossils which are surprisingly quite easy to find.
Durdle Door and Harry’s Rock
Just a 10 minute walk from Lulworth Cove a fascinating rock formation can be find. Durdle Door is an arch of rock that resembles an open doorway. It’s huge in scale and probably one of the best natural wonders that this country has to offer. You can get very close to the rock and climb around it if you wish. The beach is small and seems exclusive, it has soft sand so you may wish to do your sunbathing here rather than at the pebble beach of Lulworth Cove. If you fancy seeing a second natural wonder then Old Harry’s rock is about a twenty minute drive away and this shows two free standing rocks which did in fact used to be a door formation like Durdle Door.
Corfe Castle is famous for being the old home of William the Conqueror, it sits on top of a huge mound that may take up to twenty minutes to climb. Once at the top you can freely walk around the ruins of the castle. No fancy furniture or interiors exist but enough of the ruins still exists to make this visit worthwhile.
In terms of which beach in the UK to visit, Studland Bay is known to be the best. A blue flag beach that is managed by the National Trust, it benefits from being surrounded by sand dunes and heath land and you can always find a secluded spot to sunbathe if you don’t wish to be on the main beach. One of the main attractions is the National Trust shop which is very large and has wonderful gifts including fossils for sale. Interesting point to note, the beach has a designated 900m stretch for nudists. You will clearly see a sign noting this and it is at the far side of the beach so you do not need to go near this spot if you don’t wish to. Old Harrys Rock is near this location and so is Corfe Castle.
The historic town of Dorchester will show you a very old fashioned side of England. Untouched by modern society it is a great place to visit if you wish to get the feel of a traditional British town. Roman ruins are scattered across the town and a visit to the Tutankhamun museum is recommended it has original artefacts and a fantastic recreation of the tomb.
Monkey world is a rescue centre and zoo that has been going for over 25 years. It probably has the best selection of apes in the country and can make a very enjoyable day out.
Weymouth is most recently known for hosting the sailing events for our Olympic games. It’s a nice seaside town to visit and also has a great sea life centre.
For a more modern take on things and a very good place to find a hotel is the town of Bournemouth. With lots to do and an array of restaurants, shops and bars this has central location that will allow you to easily visit the above attractions. The town centre itself has fantastic park walks and Bournemouth beach is very popular.
I hope anyone who visits Dorset finds this article helpful, from being a resident for the past 10 years the above places have given me the most enjoyment. If you wish to sell your house and move to Dorset or just visit on holiday then I am sure you will have a great time.
Mark Diner lives in the south of England and enjoys writing about is home town which is a popular tourist destination.