Dorset Towns and Villages


Abbotsbury is situated on The Fleet under a steep limestone hill. The village contains many old stone cottages, many of them thatched. Abbotsbury is a gateway village on the Jurassic Coast, and consequently is very popular with tourists.

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This market town is an old settlement which dates back to the 7th Century and has been devastated by fire three times. The whole of the historic town centre is a conservation area, with over 200 listed buildings. Many thatched, and very attractive.

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Bridport is a Gateway Town for the World Heritage Site of the Jurassic Coast. Street markets have been held in this historic market town for the last 1000 years and are still held every Wednesday and Saturday, with a Famers Market held every 2nd Saturday of the month.

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Corfe Castle

As they say there’s more to Corfe than just the dramatic ruins of the castle. With just two main streets which link at the main square, the village is constructed almost entirely from the local grey Purbeck limestone. At the square there are a few shops, post office, church and pub.

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A great historic market town with plenty of fabulous attractions that are not to be missed. It was also the birthplace and home to the author Thomas Hardy, whose novels Tess of the d’Urbervilles and The Mayor of Casterbridge were both based on the town.

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The sheltered, horseshoe-shaped harbour is one of the most picturesque bays, and in the 18th and 19th Century made an excellent location for smuggling. With the natural rock formation known as Stair Hole and the well-known Durdle Dor just a little further it’s a great part of Dorset to visit.

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Lyme Regis

Known as the pearl of Dorset, this picturesque seaside town with breath-taking scenery is a resort for all seasons. Surrounded by beautiful coastlines and countryside, the area has been awarded World Heritage Site Status and is famous for its fossils, its historic old town, its Cobb and its beaches.

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A large coastal town and seaport with records that document human settlement in the area dating back to before the Iron Age.

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Shaftesbury’s claim to fame is most certainly Gold Hill the location of the famous Hovis advert. Almost anyone hearing Dvorak’s New World Symphony will be reminded of those bygone days and that bike bumping down the cobbled streets of Gold Hill.

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Sherborne is a delightful, picturesque town with plenty to offer its visitors. It is dominated by the super golden-coloured Abbey which dates back to Saxon times. There is an abundance of medieval buildings, the picturesque Almshouse, two Castles as well as a couple of waterwheels.

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Studland is located between Swanage and the entrance to Poole Harbour in the southwest. It’s a small village on the Isle of Purbeck famous for its beaches and nature reserve.

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Swanage is a small, attractive seaside Victorian town. With a variety of attractions to suit all ages, sporting and leisure activities, as well as historic buildings and a great beach for the traditional seaside holiday it has plenty to offer.

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This charming walled market town contains some fascinating buildings. Although many of the older buildings were destroyed by fire you can still see some Georgian cottages in the quaint back lanes.

It is possible to take boat trips and enjoy the scenery along the lovely River Frome and at the end of July the town holds a carnival with a parade, fireworks and music by the beautiful riverside quay.

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Weymouth is an elegant Georgian seafront with a sheltered bay at the mouth of the River Wey and a gateway situated half-way along the Jurassic Coast with a good choice of parks, gardens and open spaces to explore. It has 3 miles of connected promenade which allows access to the beach, the harbour and the busy town centre.

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