Well-known for its fossil-rich Jurassic coast (the first ever natural World Heritage site in England), this beautiful slice of the Southwest of England encompasses 1,024 square miles (or 2,653 km). Pretty seaside towns, dramatic scenery and wonderful attractions make Dorset a dreamy destination for holidays.


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A local’s guide to Dorset holidays…

Things to do in Dorset

Ford Abbey House

A must-do on any Dorset holiday is a visit to Forde Abbey House and Gardens. Open every day, these gardens cover 30 acres and boast various areas like the Kitchen Garden, Ponds, Blacksmith’s Hill, and more, each with its own charm.

The Kitchen Garden is a favorite, providing fruits and veggies for the tearoom. The Mermaid Pond features England’s tallest Centenary Fountain, visible for miles. In summer, you can pick your own fruit at the Fruit Farm with your own containers.

Guided Fossil Walks in Dorset

If you’d like to get outdoors AND brush up on your knowledge of the Jurassic Coastline, a guided walk is a fun way to do it!

Offered by Lyme Regis Museum these are some of the most popular short walks in the area as you’ll also have the chance to discover Jurassic fossils. Led by the museum’s geologist and its marine biologist, the walks are informal and friendly, with a maximum of 15 walkers per guide. Whether you’re a fossil enthusiast or just curious, the thrill of searching for ancient treasures on the shore will captivate you and your family.

These walks are suitable for both adults and children, taking you along the rocky beach to explore sites of significant fossil discoveries.



Attractions in Dorset

Being relatively small for a county means that, no matter where it is you choose to stay in Dorset, you’ll be within easy reach of its best attractions.  Great news for those who like a full holiday agenda.

Dorset’s Landscape

The coastline is of course one of Dorset’s best assets so you can look forward to the perfect seaside break. Think fossil-rich beaches backed by plunging cliffs where you can beachcomb and explore, picturesque harbours for scenic strolls, and sandy stretches in stunning coves where your days can be spent swimming and sunbathing.

Dorset’s Historic Connections

Dorset’s incredible landscape and natural landmarks have inspired writers, poets and film producers, with some rather famous names linked to the county. Names like Enid Blyton – the beloved children’s writer who visited Dorset regularly and who got inspiration for many of her books here, including the Famous Five.

Jane Austen too, who visited during the summer of 1804 with her family and was inspired to use Lyme Regis as a setting for some of the chapters of her last novel Persuasion. And of course, poet and author Thomas Hardy who set many of his best-known works in Dorset including Tess of the D’Urbervilles.


Walking in Dorset

Burton Bradstock Walk

This short 1.9 mile walk around Burton Bradstock village in Dorset is ideal for a relaxed stroll along the South West Coast path. It’s perfect if you’re bringing your dog along, with dog-friendly beaches and pubs along the way.

As you walk, take in the views of Lyme Bay, imagining how the cliffs appeared over 184 million years ago. Look out for the Cobb, a famous harbour defence, jutting out from the mainland.

During the summer, East Beach is open to dogs, and you can explore the quieter Hive Beach and Cogden Beach nearby. These hidden coves add to the charm of the walk.

Enjoy the easy walk along the cliff tops, soaking in the sights of Lyme Bay. The path eventually leads you into Burton Bradstock, a historic village with thatched cottages and friendly locals, giving you a glimpse of Dorset’s past.

Back Beach Walk

While its pebbly surface might not be ideal for sunbathing, it’s perfect for fossil hunting. Families often enjoy walks here, and kids can search for their own piece of Jurassic history.

Back Beach, can be found on the northwest coast of Lyme Regis and is a popular spot for a stroll. Accessible from the town’s northern promenade, it offers picturesque views typical of Lyme Regis.

It’s really important to be cautious of tide times though to avoid getting stranded. Also, stay a safe distance from the cliffs, as they can be unstable.

Golden Cap Walk

Managed by the National Trust, the Golden Cap estate is part of the renowned Jurassic World Heritage Coast, ensuring well-maintained walking paths. Bring a picnic for breaks along the hilly route, but the striking views make it all worthwhile.

Golden Cap, the highest point on the south coast of England, offers a must-see walk near Lyme Regis. While it involves some steep hills, the stunning coastal scenery makes it worthwhile. Rising 191 meters above sea level, reaching the top rewards you with unforgettable views of Lyme Regis and Bridport.


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