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Take a trip to the historic market town and Dorset’s County Town, Dorchester. Nestled on the banks of the River Frome, Dorchester is surrounded by open countryside and just nine miles from the coast, it is the perfect base for exploring South West Dorset.

With parks, and formal gardens to enjoy, as well as river walks and several playgrounds for the kids to explore, it really is a little town you’ll want to visit again and again.

Maiden Castle

Maiden Castle, Dorchester, Dorset

Dorchester has been inhabited since prehistoric times, is steeped in history and boasts one of the finest examples of an Iron Age Fort in Europe at Maiden Castle.

Dorchester Museums

Dorset County Museum

The town has several museums, including the Dorset County Museum which houses important fossil collections from the Jurassic coast. Take a visit to the Teddy Bear Museum, Terracotta soldier’s museum and a Dinosaur Museum, where you can easily spend a whole day.

Roman Ruins

Roman ruins are scattered around Dorchester, as it was once an important garrison town and includes one of the best-preserved Roman townhouses in the country. You can see Dorchester’s links to the past in almost every street. Maumbury Rings are the remains of a Roman amphitheatre.

Thomas Hardy

Hardy's Cottage, Dorchester, Dorset

Dorchester is also rich in the arts and literature, with Thomas Hardy the most notable resident, and many of his books are based in and around the town.

You can also take a walk around his childhood home a few miles out of town in Thorncombe Woods, or take a wander around his last residence Max Gate, now a popular National Trust property located on the edge of town.

The Dorset Arts centre often has plays, book recitals and gigs on at the Corn Exchange, which is a great place to get a feel for Dorchester’s history, traditions and local entertainment.

Exploring Dorchester

Dorchester is a bustling and lively town, there are many opportunities to shop, eat and drink, with Brewery Square and Poundbury. Both offer a huge choice in independent boutiques, popular restaurants and coffee shops and all within easy walking distance from our properties. The busy town centre is full of well-known high street brands and hosts a market once a week.


Poundbury, Dorset

If you came to shop then Poundbury and Brewery Square, located at opposite ends of town are full of quirky and interesting boutiques. We love Cherryade who have the most beautifully curated lifestyle shop. Yard, offers a fantastic range of clothing and accessories, perfect for picking up gifts. Boos Toy shop have created a magical store full of thoughtful and inspiring toys.

Our Dorset Cottages are perfectly placed to walk around the County Town. View cottages set back from the hustle and bustle, with corner shops and local pubs serving real ales within a 10-minute walk from most of our Dorchester accommodation.