The county town is Dorchester but other notable towns include the holiday resorts of Bournemouth, Poole, Lyme Regis, Swanage and Weymouth (venue of the 2012 Olympic sailing events).
Dorset is one of the few English counties without a motorway but major transport links include the three ports of Poole, Weymouth and Portland and and there is an international airport at Hurn.
It is very rural and over half the county has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Dorset contains a large section of the Jurassic Coast – a World Heritage site and haven for fossil collectors. This section of coastline is home to the striking landmarks of Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove, Old Harry Rocks, the Isle of Portland and Chesil Beach.
The area also has some fantastic food and drink and a thriving music and arts scene. With plenty of things to do, Dorset is a county that has something for everyone, so it’s not surprising that tourism is the primary industry, attracting millions of people every year.