Things to Do and Places to See

There is a lot of amazing things to see and do in Dorset and this section will be updated with more information soon. If you are looking for festivals, shops and restaurants, see our local information list here.

The Jurassic Coast is England’s first natural World Heritage Site. Covering 95 miles of  coastline from East Devon to Dorset, displaying 185 million years of the Earth’s history. More information.

West Bay, is a wonderful seaside location for coast and countryside walks, fossil hunting, fishing trips, scuba diving, paragliding, golfing, river boating and more. The Dorset historic market town of Bridport lies one and a half miles inland. West Bay provided the location for the TV series Broadchurch.

Blandford Forum, located on the banks of the River Stour, is the most complete, small Georgian town in England. This unique Georgian gem with its stunning architecture, charming parish church and wonderful market place was the inspiration of local architects and builders the Bastard Brothers. More information.

Corfe Village and Castle. From the Cretaceous and Jurassic periods when dinosaurs roamed the Isle of Purbeck, right up to the modern day, nearly all periods of history are celebrated in and around the village of Corfe, unequalled in the UK. More information.

Monkey World assists governments around the world to stop the smuggling of primates from the wild.  At the Centre refugees of this illegal trade as well as those that have suffered abuse or neglect are rehabilitated into natural living groups. More information.

Studland Beach and Nature Reserve is a glorious slice of natural coastline featuring a four-mile stretch of golden, sandy beach, with gently shelving bathing waters and views of Old Harry Rocks and the Isle of Wight. The heathland behind the beach is a haven for naturalists and native wildlife and features all six British reptiles. More information.


Brownsea Island is famous for its Red Squirrels, wildlife and scouting. It is managed by the National Trust and dramatically located in Poole Harbour, with spectacular views across to the Purbeck Hills. More information.

The Swanage Railway is one of Britain’s most popular heritage railways, with steam trains running every day between April and October. At busy periods there are two steam trains a day providing a 40 minute service between Norden Park and Ride at Corfe Castle. More information.

Lyme Regis has it all – the perfect family resort, the home of palaeontology, a world-class creative and cultural community, a bustling harbour, gastronomic delights, an array of shops, a calendar full of events, and plenty for the active. More information.

The Great Dorset Steam Fair is a traditional English fair held annually in September at the village of Tarrant Hinton, near Blandford Forum, in the heart of the beautiful Dorset countryside. More information.

Abbotsbury Swannery is unique as it is the only place in the world where you are able to walk through the heart of a colony of nesting Mute Swans. The Swannery is open every day from 21st March to 1st November, 10am to 5pm. More information.




Shaftesbury is steeped in history and tradition and offers visitors breathtaking views and the warmest of welcomes. The “Shaston” of Thomas Hardy’s novels, Shaftesbury is one of the oldest and highest towns in England and dominates what Hardy called the “engirdled and secluded” Blackmore Vale. It is also home to Gold Hill made famous in the 1970s by a Hovis bread TV advert. More information.