Dorset is a beautiful county, featuring a mix of coastal and rural locations, found in the South West of England on the English Channel coast. Dorset shares its four borders with the counties of Devon which is to the west, Somerset to the north-west, Wiltshire to the north-east, and Hampshire to the east. Use our map of Dorset above to discover the perfect location for your holiday in Dorset.
In the north of the county, you will find acres upon acres of tranquil, unspoilt countryside as most of the area falls into a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; it is easy to see how so many authors and artists were compelled to base their works on this region. Much of the area falls into the stunning area of the River Stour Valley, which is called the Blackmoor Vale. Because of its setting, North Dorset is ideal for active holidays walking or cycling the many purpose-built trails in the area. Alongside the rural areas, North Dorset is also home to a number of popular towns including Blandford Forum, Gillingham, Shaftesbury, and Sturminster Newton.
Running along the southern edge of the country, South Dorset is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coast Path and natural beauty spots like Durdle Door and the picturesque Lulworth Cove. The Jurassic coast path stretches 96 miles from the border of East Devon and West Dorset, all the way to Old Harry Rocks in East Dorset, near the town of Swanage. Due to this, South Dorset is the perfect holiday destination for fossil hunting, or simply to explore the fascinating history of the area. Some other significant towns that are located in South Dorset include the popular seaside town of Weymouth, as well as Bere Regis, Corfe Castle, Swanage, Wareham, and Worth Matravers.
Featuring the popular holiday destinations of Bournemouth and Poole, East Dorset is a vibrant and exciting area of the country in which to enjoy a break. Arguably the most exclusive area of Dorset is found at Sandbanks, a small spit that sits at the mouth of Poole Harbour just between Bournemouth and the Isle of Purbeck. The beaches here are renowned for the bucket and spade days out that they offer, with the city of Bournemouth offering fantastic shopping and nightlife here too.
Dorset shares its four borders with the counties of Devon which is to the west, Somerset to the north-west, Wiltshire to the north-east, and Hampshire to the east.
A large part of West Dorset falls into an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, as well as being home to part of the UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coast Path. Interestingly, West Dorset is where Britain’s only dinosaur bone was found. When on holiday in West Dorset, you will be treated to picturesque villages and great attractions including the Abbotsbury Sub-Tropical Gardens, Swannery and Children’s Farm. Popular towns in West Dorset include; Lyme Regis, Bridport, Charmouth, Portland and West Bay.
The Dorset map above will help you to picture your perfect holiday in Dorset.