Villages

Notable villages include:

Abbotsbury

The lovely village of Abbotsbury marks the centre of an area that has been settled for more than 6000 years. You’ll find a swannery and subtropical gardens.

Beaminster

Beaminster dates back to around the 7th century, when it was known as Bebingmynster, meaning the church of Bebbe.

Cerne Abbas

The historic village of Cerne Abbas sits in the valley of the River Cerne, in the steep chalk downland of central Dorset. It’s famous for the Cerne Abbas Giant, one of the largest hillside figures in Britain.

Charmouth

Famous for fossils and the Heritage Centre is home to Attenborough’s Sea Dragon.

Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle is a village, civil parish and ruined castle with views across the Isle of Purbeck.

Evershot

Evershot is a pretty village between Beaminster and Cerne Abbas on the River Frome. It’s one of the highest villages in the county at 700 feet above sea level.

Kimmeridge

In this coastal village you’ll find the very interesting Etches Museum

Lulworth

Lulworth Cove is one of the finest examples of a natural cove in the world.

Milton Abbas

The pretty village of Milton Abbas sits on the Milton Abbey estate. It has 36 thatched cottages each made from cob and almost identical.

Moreton

Moreton village near Dorchester is famous for its association with Lawrence of Arabia.

Portland

Portland can be reached over a narrow causeway from Chesil Beach. It’s a huge block of limestone and 400 feet above sea level in the north. A lighthouse warns boats of the dangerous waters. The famous Portland Stone is quarried here.

Puddletown

Puddletown is a small village near Dorchester. It used to be called Piddletown after the River Piddle but legend has it that Queen Victoria insisted the name was changed before a state visit.

Purbeck

Purbeck is a district of Dorset that takes its name from the peninsula known locally as the ‘Isle of Purbeck’. This sixty square mile chunk of land jutting into the English Channel is bordered on three sides by water and, although not actually an island.

Sturminster Newton

Sturminster Newton is situated in the beautiful Blackmore Vale, between Sherborne and Blandford Forum.

Tolpuddle

Tolpuddle is a village in the Piddle Valley made famous by the Tolpuddle Martyrs.

Tyneham

225 residents of Tyneham were displaced during the second world war, so that the War Office could use the land around the village as a firing range. It’s still uninhabited.

Wool

Wool has a 17th century gabled Woolbridge Manor House.

Yetminster

Yetminster village, on the River Wriggle is built almost entirely of honey coloured limestone. Many of the houses date back to the 17th century.