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Destination guide

Head to a Dorset cottage for museums and unique villages

On the southern coast of England, you'll find the Dorset region. Many villages and towns populate the area, and they each have something special to offer. You can spend time on the sandy beaches along the channel or book holiday cottages in the Cotswolds in one of the inner towns for a quiet and relaxing holiday adventure. There are also over 30 museums in the area that cover general and specialist categories. The Tank Museum at Bovington is particularly interesting as it features tanks and armoured vehicles from many more nations than just the UK.

 
History

Explore history near Dorset holiday lettings

Dorset has numerous heritage sites and museums for a glimpse into its fascinating history. Holiday homes are available near intriguing places like Corfe Castle, a millennia-old royal castle with ruins and panoramic vistas, and the Tank Museum, a large museum with tanks and interactive activities. You could also visit the Portland Bill Lighthouse, a historic lighthouse and keeper’s quarters with a visitor centre dedicated to maritime history.

Things to do

Places to go near Dorset holiday homes

Dorset holiday rentals aren't hailed as some of the UK's most family-friendly-stays for nothing. Between ice creams at the seaside and fossil hunting sessions, be sure to fit in a trip to the rip-roaring Dinosaur Museum in Dorchester. You'll be greeted by a wide-mouthed T. rex and oodles of prehistoric finds. The Jurassic Skyline is another one to take the breath away. It soars above the coast in Weymouth, offering 360-degree panoramas of the primeval cliffs. And then there's Lulworth Castle, where re-enactment shows and medieval history abounds.

Activities

Things to do near Dorset holiday homes

Dorset is tailor-made for adventurers. With its chalk hills and the rolling Dorset Downs, the county has large swathes of protected landscapes ripe for walkers and bikers and horse riders. You can lace up the boots and hit old bridle trails, sometimes spotting haunting shells of Norman castles, sometimes dropping into rustic towns where tearooms and hearty alehouses await. The shoreline is for the fossil hunters – the rugged rocks of the Jurassic Coast can't be beaten for that. And it's for the sailors, sea kayakers, swimmers and sandcastle builders, too.

Weather

Local weather for your stay in Dorset holiday homes

It might be perched on the South Coast, enjoying some of the warmest weather in the whole of the UK, but Dorset is still in England. That's worth remembering if you're thinking about booking your Dorset holiday rentals for the winter months between November and March – there are hefty downpours and lashing storms aplenty then. Spring, in May, and summer, from June to September, are the favourite periods. They're when folk come with their swimming gear and hiking boots to catch the warmest seas and best sun.

Natural features

Dorset is Hardy country

The landscapes of Dorset are romantic and green, and it's easy to see why Thomas Hardy was inspired by them. Great swathes of the county are covered by Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In the south, that means the Dorset AONB, where the ridgeway walking routes weave over the Jurassic Coast, past fossil-spotted beaches and wave-lashed coves. That soon rises to the Yeovil Scarplands and the wooded valleys further north, eventually joining with the chalk ridges of Cranborne Chase, the gateway to rural England with its downs and Iron Age fortresses.

How to get there

Travelling to and around Dorset

The nearest airport is in Bournemouth (BOH-Bournemouth Intl.), located 21.5 mi (34.6 km) from the city centre. If you can't find a flight that works for your travel itinerary, you might consider flying into Southampton (SOU), which is 43.1 mi (69.4 km) away.

If you prefer to travel by train, Dorchester Moreton Station, Dorchester South Station and Dorchester West Station are the main stations in the area.

Good for couples

Couple's activities near Dorset holiday homes

Dorset is an idyllic location with plenty of romantic spots to explore. Holiday lettings can be found near places like Durdle Door, a natural limestone arch on the Jurassic Coast that offers beautiful views and photography opportunities, and the Isle of Portland, a scenic island with cliffside vistas and scenic walking paths near the Channel. You’ll also like the Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, a formal garden with rare plants and magnolia and camellia blooms.

How many holiday rentals are available around Dorset (county)?

Our 2020 accommodation listings offer a large selection of 2,807 holiday lettings around Dorset (county). From 5 cottages to 5 cabins, find unique self catering accommodation for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends for a long holiday or a weekend break.