Dorset has some wonderful villages, towns, bays and beaches, to wander round, plus some extraordinary natural formations to wonder at. A number of the places listed here (and it’s certainly not an exhaustive list) are considered the very best in England.
Small hamlet on the River Frome. Park by the bridge and walk alongside the River. Lots of birdlife. See where Thomas Hardy went to school.
5 minutes from Greenwood Grangewww.visit-dorset.com >
View the Giant figure carved into the hillside. Beautifully kept village with lots of character. Three pubs and tea shops. Very quaint. Located in a ‘Dorset Area of Outstanding Beauty’. Walks up to the Giant.
30 minutes from Greenwood Grangewww.cernevalley.co.uk >
This village has oodles of character. Several tea rooms and two pubs. Home to Abbotsbury Sub-Tropical gardens. Walk up to St Catherine’s Chapel and see the amazing views over the Fleet and over to Portland.
30 minutes from Greenwood Grangewww.abbotsbury-tourism.co.uk >
Thriving new urban development that was designed by Prince Charles. There are some lovely buildings to see and plenty of coffee shops. As well as a monthly Farmers’ Market.
5 minutes from Greenwood Grangepoundbury.org.uk >
Interesting roman town. Weekly market held on Wednesdays. The Brewery Square development is a popular shopping and leisure destination with an Odeon cinema, Carluccio’s, Wagamama, Zizzi and Nandos, as well as designer shops.
5 minutes from Greenwood Grangewww.dorchesterdorset.com >
One of the most beautiful towns in England. Abundance of medieval buildings. Picturesque Almshouse. Why not visit the historic Abbey or Sherborne Castle? Lovely tea rooms. Quaint shopping street.
30 minutes from Greenwood Grangwww.sherbornetown.com >
Vibrant and lively market town. Many independent shops. Whilst visiting why not go to West Bay where the hit TV programme ‘Broadchurch’ was filmed? Circular walks through the countryside provide spectacular views and diverse wildlife.
30 minutes from Greenwood Grange
A pretty riverside town. One of the few remaining Saxon walled towns in England. Boat trips to Poole along the river. Why not hire a canoe, rowing boat or paddle board? The Quay is a lively area which hosts many events and a weekly market.
30 minutes from Greenwood Grangewww.visit-dorset.com >
Beautiful sandy beach. Fishing harbour with lots of restaurants. Boat Trips to Portland Bill and along the Jurassic Coast (summer season only). Sea Life Centre and Adventure Park. 10 pin bowling. Cineworld Multiplex cinemas.
20 minutes from Greenwood Grangewww.weymouth.co.uk >
Reached by a causeway from Chesil Beach. Home of the sailing at the 2012 Olympics. Glorious views over the Chesil Bank and Weymouth. Access can be gained to Portland Bill Lighthouse. The Lobster Pot restaurant is great for crab sandwiches!
35 minutes from Greenwood Grangewww.visit-dorset.com >
A delightful seaside town. Noted for fossils found in the cliffs and beaches. The harbour wall known as The Cobb features in Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion. Carnival week in August is always popular, but events run throughout the year.
45 minutes from Greenwood Grangewww.lymeregis.com >
Victorian seaside resort with a ‘Blue Flag’ beach and wonderful scenic walks. Take the coastal path (sensible footwear needed) and view nearby Old Harry Rocks. Lovely picnic areas on the Downs. Dolphins have been spotted along the coast.
50 minutes from Greenwood Grangewww.visitswanage.com >
Small town with a delightful beach. Ancient coastline of dramatic cliffs, fossils and beautiful scenery. Lots of sand especially at low tide. Safe swimming, picnic areas, cafes. For your own safety please don’t sit directly under the cliffs.
35 minutes from Greenwood Grangewww.charmouth.org >
A town known for its historical heritage. The central square has many pubs, independent shops, lots of places to eat and stunning architecture. Location perfect for scenic walks. A year round events calendar with the highlight being the Beaminster Festival.
40 minutes from Greenwood Grangewww.beaminster.org.uk >
Chalk formations standing tall at the southern end of Studland Bay. One of the most famous landmarks on the South Coast. Part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Nearest car park is at South Beach. Parking is free for NT members.
40 minutes from Greenwood Grangewww.visit-dorset.com >
A popular National Trust attraction for our guests to visit. Catch the ferry from Poole Quay or Sandbanks. Enjoy the stunning coastal views and walks. Picnic or swim off the beach area. No dogs allowed.
25 minutes from Greenwood Grangewww.nationaltrust.org.uk >
Another favourite National Trust attraction for our guests. The beach and countryside are amazing throughout the year. Free parking for NT members. Discovery Centre and Café. Kayak hire available. Dog-friendly beach.
50 minutes from Greenwood Grangewww.nationaltrust.org.uk >
Popular area for National Trust members. Free Parking close to beach. Dog-friendly. Guests love to walk along coastal path but please pay attention to the safety notices. These cliffs are also prone to landslides.
30 minutes from Greenwood Grangewww.nationaltrust.org.uk >
The magnificent Durdle Door arch is just west of Lulworth. You can access the shingle beach on foot via a path and steps over the hill from Lulworth Cove or down from the cliff top car park. The beach is recommended by the Marine Conservation Society for its excellent water quality.
30 minutes from Greenwood Grangewww.lulworth.com >
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