Dorset is one of England’s most beautiful counties. Luscious green landscapes, country lanes brimming with old stone thatched cottages, pretty working harbours and old smugglers inns all add to Dorset’s unique beauty.
Here are just five wonderful villages in Dorset, which all offer traditional country charm yet are just a stone’s throw from the sea and the magnificent Jurassic coastline.
Abbotsbury is one of the most beautiful villages in England according to the Telegraph. It is gloriously green, peaceful and rural yet home to some rather cool art galleries, jewellery workshops and vintage antique shops.
If you are looking to visit the perfect English countryside village, then Abbotsbury totally fits the bill. The pretty thatched stone cottages fill the country lanes and amongst them, quaint tea rooms, the village post office, a butchers and a baker with some wonderful art galleries peppered throughout.
Meander through the village, stopping for cups of tea and a big slice of Dorset apple cake. Then head down to Chesil beach which is just 5 miles down to the coast and enjoy the stunning scenery and the iconic sight of the long stretch of beach, separated from the mainland by the saline Fleet filled with rare and beautiful wildlife.
Lyme Regis is a wonderfully unspoiled seaside resort and fishing port on the world famous Cobb harbour. Do you remember the famous scene with Meryl Streep standing on the Cobb wall with her dark flowing cape in the film ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’? The film most definitely put this peaceful seaside town on the map.
To completely soak up everything this beautiful resort has to offer, take a fishing trip from the harbour. A popular choice is Harry May. He will take you deep sea fishing, where you can catch whiting, dog fish, bream, mackerel and skate, amongst others. On a good day, you can enjoy beautiful calm waters with the stunning Dorset countryside on one side and the endless turquoise seas on the other. Catch your supper, let Harry wash it and prepare it for cooking, then take it home to pop on the barbeque. Pure heaven!
Even better, take it back to your holiday cottage in Dorset to really get into the holiday spirit,
Higher Bockhampton is less village, more, tiny rural hamlet on the edge of Puddletown Heath. This beautiful part of Dorset is where Thomas Hardy was born and lived in the cob, brick and thatched cottage that his grandfather built in 1800. An intensely rural corner of England, there is nowhere in the world more beautiful in the spring and summer months. Follow the finger posts through the woodland and keep your eyes peeled for badgers along the way. Then pop to the Pine Lodge Tea Room up the road for tea and homemade cake. The quintessential countryside day out!
The village of Corfe is definitely one of Dorset’s most delightful treasures. Overlooked by the romantic ruins of Corfe Castle, the dwellings in the village are all built from the same Purbeck stone and include a wonderful post office that wouldn’t look out of place in times gone by, the Corfe Castle Tea Rooms, an old fashioned ice cream parlour and the Ginger Pop Shop, which is devoted entirely to Enid Blyton since Enid is reputed to have written many of her stories here.
This pretty village has wonderful pubs, beautiful old cottages and a steam train chugging in from Swanage to the beautiful old traditional Corfe station. The inspiration behind the Famous Five books!
West Bay, otherwise known as Bridport Harbour is a pretty little seaside town. So pretty in fact, that it was used as the setting for the television drama series Broadchurch.
Sat between golden sandstone cliffs, West Bay marks the golden gateway to the Jurassic coast. From here you can enjoy water sports on the turquoise seas, or take bracing walks along the cliffs. You could even take a river boat trip which you can pick up along the harbour and which will take you along the river Brit and past riverside meadows.
Grab a bag of freshly caught cockles or fish and chips from the seafront kiosk and roll up your trousers for some beachside strolling. This place is an absolute delight!