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Dorset

From quaint villages, historic landmarks, to stunning landscapes, what more could you ask for?

Dorset offers everything you could want from a European trip, right here in the UK. Famous for its Jurassic Coast, and tourist attractions like Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, the beaches here are truly incredible. That’s not all either as the Dorset countryside also attracts all ages and means there’s always something to do, however you want to spend your days.

Choose between towns like Poole, Swanage or Weymouth and enjoy a home away from home with a variety of holiday accommodation. From cottages with direct beach access and sea views to country houses with ample space for all the kids, as well as your four-legged friends, one thing’s for sure, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to holiday homes in Dorset. 

It’s not all go, go, go, either. For those that prefer a quieter approach, Dorset has plenty of gentle walking routes and gastro pubs that are ideal for relaxing in. So, what are you waiting for? If you’re looking to plan a UK staycation, choose Dorset and we promise you won’t look back.

POOL

OAK CLIFF PLACE

DORSET

This magnificent Victorian house in Wootton, Isle of Wight, has uninterrupted views over the Solent to Portsmouth. Light-filled and spacious, it is set in five acres of land including its own small wood and swimming pool.

From £46 pppn | Sleeps 16

BEACH VIEW

DORSET

Sleeping up to 28, this manor house has a rich (and royal) historical background. Adventure beyond the private gates, and find a grand property that wouldn’t look out of place in a period drama.

From £66 pppn | Sleeps 8

TURNIP COTTAGE

DORSET

Sleeping up to 28, this manor house has a rich (and royal) historical background. Adventure beyond the private gates, and find a grand property that wouldn’t look out of place in a period drama.

From £27 pppn | Sleeps 4

RAFTERS

20DORSET

This beautiful house can accommodate up to twenty guests in ten bedrooms, all benefiting from wetroom style showers in each of the en-suite bathrooms, some with the added luxury of a roll top bath.

From £380 pppn | Sleeps 20

Hot Tub

KEY WEST COTTAGE

DORSET

This magnificent Victorian house in Wootton, Isle of Wight, has uninterrupted views over the Solent to Portsmouth. Light-filled and spacious, it is set in five acres of land including its own small wood and swimming pool.

From £70 pppn | Sleeps 16

DORSET ECO RETREATS

DORSET

A splendid collection of three unique eco retreats situated in rural and beautiful North Dorset, each enjoying a wood fired hot tub and enviable views. Perfect for extended families or group of friends to celebrate a special occasion together, whilst allowing privacy and the comfort of individual dwellings.

From £41 pppn | Sleeps 16

THE GATE HOUSE

DORSET

The Gate House is a handsome country house located on the Dean’s Court Estate and is ideal for family holidays and celebrations with friends.

From £41 pppn | Sleeps 16

LANES END COTTAGE

DORSET

Situated in a pretty hamlet amid glorious Dorset countryside, Lanes End Cottage has been furnished and equipped to an exemplary standard with luxury touches throughout including a copper bath and a garden hot tub.

From £65 pppn | Sleeps 4

FERN

DORSET

One of three unique, detached eco retreats, Fern and its neighbours Bracken and Bramble have been constructed in 2020 to the highest standards and enjoy far-reaching views and a decadent wood fired hot tub.

From £45 pppn | Sleeps 4

BRAMBLE

DORSET

Bramble is the smallest of three eco retreats enjoying wonderful rural views and a wood fired hot tub. This newly constructed two bedroom, detached property boasts underfloor heating, a wood burning stove and luxurious copper bath.

From £42 pppn | Sleeps 4

PARK FARM BYRE

DORSET

Park Farm Byre is a stylish and secluded rural barn conversion with a courtyard style garden and Swedish wood fired hot bath, perfectly situated for enjoying the delights of central Dorset and the nearby Jurassic Coast.

From £45 pppn | Sleeps 5

Hillside

DORSET

Hillside offers a wonderful rural retreat for eight guests. Featuring a hot tub in the enclosed garden, contemporary style and furnishings, and within easy reach of the coast too, Hillside is an excellent choice for your next Dorset staycation.

From £103 pppn | Sleeps 8

Large

The ORCHARDS

DORSET

The Orchards consists of three individual properties located side by side in the popular village of Bonchurch, and collectively they provide flexible and impressive accommodation for up to 22 guests.

From £40 pppn | Sleeps 22

STAPLEFORD FARM COTTAGES

DORSET

Stapleford Farm Cottages are a collection of impressive barn conversions sleeping up to 20 guests in the three separate cottages of Drackenorth Lodge, Bower Cottage and Tothery Cottage which can all share a large courtyard garden.

From £40 pppn | Sleeps 20

PARK HOUSE

DORSET

Situated within the grounds of the Came House Estate, Park House is a combination of our two handsome houses, The Garden House and The Courtyard House, which together can accommodate up to 19 guests in Palladian style.

From £50 pppn | Sleeps 19

Oak Tree Cottage

DORSET

Oak Tree Cottage is a wonderful property, cleverly combining both traditional and contemporary styles and sitting amongst glorious Dorset countryside with stunning panoramic views all around.

From £41 pppn | Sleeps 7

BROOK FARMHOUSE

DORSET

Brook Farmhouse has been exquisitely refurbished to an impeccable standard to create a well-appointed, spacious and stylish home from home just minutes away from the South Wight Jurassic Coastline.

From £60 pppn | Sleeps 11

THE GARDEN HOUSE

DORSET

The Garden House is an elegant and spacious semi-detached Victorian house within a private Estate, offering guests generous and flexible family accommodation in a wonderful rural setting, and only a short journey from the coast.

From £45 pppn | Sleeps 8

DRACKENORTH LODGE

DORSET

Drackenorth Lodge is a fabulous and impressive converted barn which has generous sized rooms throughout including a dining hall, galleried landing and open-plan sitting room, perfect for a large family gathering.

From £45 pppn | Sleeps 8

Milton Manor

DORSET

Nestled in the heart of the picturesque Dorset village of Milton on Stour you’ll find the impressive Milton Manor.

Sat on six acres of private landscaped gardens this 14 bedroom Georgian home caters for all.

From £78 pppn | Sleeps 33

Best towns for a staycation in Dorset

Quiet villages, bustling harbours and seaside towns, Dorset is home to some of the prettiest places in the UK, all of which are ideal for a staycation. 

West Lulworth

Best for: Exploring the rest of Dorset

Home to Lulworth Cove, which is one of the area’s best-loved attractions, West Lulworth is popular with holidaymakers of all ages. Not only is it a great base for exploring the rest of the region but the village itself is stunning and has plenty of pubs, restaurants and things to do. 

Bournemouth

Best for: A traditional seaside break

If you want to experience everything that a British seaside holiday can bring, then look no further than Bournemouth. Not only is there an award-winning beach but a jam-packed pier and town filled with shops, attractions and restaurants. There really is something for everyone here – whether you’re into sports, shopping, arts or more. 

Wareham

Best for: A fun and interactive history lesson

History doesn’t have to be boring, and Wareham proves it. It’s a pretty market town that has over 2,000 years worth of tales. In fact, it’s one of the few remaining walled towns from the Saxon times in England. Plus, when you’re done learning about Dorset’s past, you can explore the rolling hills and incredible views that Wareham has to offer. 

Weymouth

Best for: Those looking for something active

If you’re looking for something to keep all ages busy, Weymouth and its historic harbour won’t disappoint. Combine this with a Blue Flag beach, and you’ll have plenty of watersports and activities to choose from. There’s also regular boat trips that take you along the coastline for something a little more relaxed. 

Dorchester

Best for: Something truly British

The county town of Dorset, and birthplace of Thomas Hardy, is jam-packed with museums that bring British history to life. That’s not all either as you’ll also find cute cafes and tearooms, independent shops and family-friendly attractions like the Teddy Bear Museum. 

Poole

Best for: Luxury days at the harbour 

Poole is possibly one of the prettiest coastal towns, not just in Dorset but in the UK as a whole. Here, you’ll find amazing beaches, a luxury harbour, plenty of bars and restaurants and an Old Town that wouldn’t look out of place somewhere abroad. The local countryside is just as impressive for walkers, hikers and adventure seekers too.

Best walks in Dorset

Bat’s Head Loop

Location: West Lulworth
Difficulty: Easy

Walk length: Three and a half miles

Bat’s Head Loop is a gentle route that follows a popular coastal path in West Lulworth. It’ll take you past Man O War Beach along to Durdle Door before ending up at Bat’s Head, so you’ll definitely want to pack your camera. You could even pack a picnic to enjoy midway round, and really make the most of these views. 

Old Harry Rocks Loop

Location: Bournemouth
Difficulty: Medium

Walk length: Just over four miles

Just a short drive from Bournemouth, you’ll find Old Harry Rocks Loop. While it’s not suitable for everyone, if you’re up to it, you won’t be disappointed. Expect tough climbs but when you’ve reached the end, the views really are incredible. 

The Wareham Two Rivers Walk (Blue Route)

Location: Wareham

Difficulty: Easy

Walk length: Three miles
Whether you’re looking to get young kids outside in the fresh air or want a gentle morning stroll with the dogs, the Wareham Two Rivers Walk (Blue Route) is ideal. It’ll lead you through a water meadow near the river, and it’s not uncommon to spot a range of wildlife so be sure to keep little ones and pups under control. 

Abbotsbury Castle 

Location: Weymouth
Difficulty: Hard

Walk length: Six miles

If you’re into history, the Abbotsbury Castle walk has got to be on your list. It might be challenging, with a few steep climbs, but it’s one of the best ways to really take in the local history. Along the way, you’ll discover a few stories of years gone by and get to see some incredible sights too. 

Ratty’s Trail

Location: Dorchester
Difficulty: Easy

Walk length: One and a half miles

Ratty’s Trail is great for all ages and walking abilities, and will allow you to get up close and personal to some of the local wildlife. The route follows the River Frome until you end up where you started. It’s a good one to do with all the family and, afterwards, there’s plenty of Dorchester cafes to refuel in.

Poole Trail

Location: Poole
Difficulty: Easy
Walk length: Varied

What better way to explore Poole and its harbour than with the Poole Trail? Featuring interactive activities along the way that can be played using your smartphone, all ages are sure to enjoy it. Plus, you’re never too far from one of the luxury restaurants to enjoy a drink or two.

Must-see places in Dorset

When you’re not sitting back and enjoying Dorset’s award-winning beaches, venture out into the countryside and pretty villages to discover some of the most popular attractions.

Durdle Door

Best for: Getting those picture-perfect shots

Durdle Door is probably one of Dorset’s most famous attractions. It sits along the Jurassic Coast and is a set of caves that have been carved by the sea. To get up close to it, you need to head down 140 steps so it’s not suitable for everyone. However, there are nearby cafes for those who want to wait closeby. 

Corfe Castle

Best for: A family day out

Trekking around a castle might not be your kids’ idea of fun but when you tell them there are ‘murder holes’ and endless wildlife to spot, they might change their mind. A day at Corfe Castle guarantees plenty to do and, with an on-site tearoom selling sweet treats and savoury bites, everyone will be happy. 

Monkey World

Best for: Getting up close and personal with some animals 

Monkey World houses hundreds of endangered apes and monkeys from all over the world, and gives you the opportunity to see and feed them, as well as learn all about them. The on-site Treetops Cafe also means you can make a whole day of it, before heading back to your holiday home for a family night in. 

Swanage Railway

Best for: Something a little unique

Swanage Railway isn’t just any old railway, it has full-size steam trains that allow you to travel from Norden to Corfe Castle. Some even serve up a full dining experience, which is a great choice if you’re celebrating something special. It wouldn’t be Dorset without incredible views though, and you can be sure that each journey provides you with just that. 

Dorset Adventure Park

Best for: Letting off some steam

Dorset Adventure Park boasts a Water Park, Mud Trail and outdoor assault course that is popular with all ages. Plus, there’s even two lakes and over 18 acres of land, meaning that everyone is catered for here. Pack up the cool bag, take some toys for the dogs and find a sunny spot to sit back and relax all day. 

Old Harry Rocks 

Best for: Experiencing Dorset’s real beauty

Old Harry Rocks are the famous chalk formations that stand out in the sea. We guarantee you won’t have seen anything like this before and any pictures you have seen won’t do it justice. If you’re looking for something a bit different, you can even hire a kayak for the day and explore the rocks from down below. 

Best pubs in Dorset 

From gastro pubs to olde worlde bars, Dorset and its seaside towns have a huge selection of pubs to choose from.

The Ilchester Arms

Location: Weymouth

A traditional family-run pub and restaurant, The Ilchester Arms serves up a delicious menu of home-cooked food that uses the freshest local ingredients. Inside, you’ll find huge farmhouse tables, and endless books and toys making it a great choice for large family get-togethers. The menu also changes weekly depending on what they can get their hands on. 

The Ferry Inn

Location: Salcombe 

If you’re looking for an unpretentious pub with first-class views, then The Ferry Inn is for you. When the sun’s shining, the terrace is one of the best places in the UK to enjoy a nice glass of something cold. And, in the winter, it’s just as impressive. Situated right by the ferry jetty, this seaside beer garden needs to be top of your list. 

Jack in the Green Inn

Location: Exeter 

Having been one of the most popular pubs in the area for over 25 years, the Jack in the Green Inn focuses on quality local produce – in fact, they’ve even won awards for it. Inside, it’s got a traditional pub feel with low beams and leather armchairs. If you’re looking for something a little more formal though, the restaurant is sure to impress. 

The Harbour Inn

Location: Axmouth

A Grade II listed pub with a thatched roof, The Harbour Inn dates back to the 12th century. Retaining many of its features, this is a typical English pub but its menu is anything but. Think lobster, flatbread pizzas and more. Plus, dogs are allowed – but only if they’re well-behaved. 

Milbrook Inn

Location: Kingsbridge 

When the tide’s right, you can actually reach the Millbrook Inn by boat from Salcombe but it’s also super easy to get to from Kingsbridge and Dartmouth. Here, award-winning chefs cook up a storm daily with Gallic inspiration and unique dishes. The pub itself boasts low beans and stone walls making it a popular hotspot for tourists and locals. 

The Three Horseshoes

Location: Burton Bradstock

Housed in an incredible 300-year-old thatched property on the Jurassic Coast is The Three Horseshoes. And, if that doesn’t tempt you, when you see inside it will. Boasting a suntrap beer garden and being just minutes from the coastal paths, this pub is a great pitstop during the day and there’s always something delicious on the menu. 

Best places to eat in Dorset

Whatever your budget or favourite food, Dorset is fast-becoming a foodie scene so you’re sure to find something to treat your tastebuds. 

Rick Stein

Location: Sandbanks 

If you’ve got something to celebrate or you’re looking for a luxury dining experience, Rick Steins’ house restaurant in Sandbanks is the one. With an incredible seafront location, and guest list featuring some of the biggest names, it’s a great excuse to get all dressed up. On the menu, expect the freshest seafood.

The Parlour

Location: Burton Bradstock

Nestled in Bredy Farm, this secret pizza parlour serves up the tastiest dishes and live music throughout the week. If the weather’s on your side, bag a table outside, where the pizzas are cooked in a wood-fired oven. But don’t worry if you have to sit indoors, the whole place gives off Amalfi vibes and we guarantee you’ll be back for more. 

The Station Kitchen

Location: West Bay

On the menu here, you’ll find hearty European food served in a luxurious and sophisticated way. Every month, the menu changes and dishes depend on what’s in season and what the chefs can get their hands on. Set on a station platform, some of the herbs and vegetables are even grown just outside. 

The Yachtsman

Location: Poole 

For family-friendly dinners, look no further. Not only does this place welcome all ages but there’s even a play area and breakout zone for kids. On the menu, you’ll find childhood classics and smaller portions which are perfect for those fussy eaters. 

Annie’s Tearoom

Location: Bridport 

If you want to grab something quick or are after a light bite to eat, this cute tearoom is a great idea. From soups and sandwiches to baked potatoes and buns, this place serves up good, honest grub with a friendly atmosphere all day long. We recommend leaving space for a sweet treat afterwards though. 

Mad Cucumber

Location: Bournemouth 

The veggies amongst you will love this vegetarian and vegan diner in the heart of Bournemouth. Serving up a range of healthy food and equally healthy drinks, owners Kamil and Ewelina wanted to bring about positive change to the people of Dorset with their unique offerings. 

Why travel when you can enjoy the UK’s best Staycations