Dorset holiday cottages and special places to stay

Dorset has some of the UK’s best-preserved and most spectacular history, landscape and wildlife. White chalk stacks, honey-coloured cliffs, green hills and lowland heaths hold the footsteps of dinosaurs, timeless villages, ancient castles and rare birds.

Untouched by the industrial revolution, Dorset’s rugged coast and quiet countryside are beautifully pristine. The Purbeck peninsula teems with wildlife and coastal paths wind between quiet fishing villages and port towns with a distinct cultural flourish in their art, food and music.

We inspect and select hotels, B&Bs, inns and self-catering cottages in Dorset that make you feel a part of the county’s past and present. Watch Morris dancers from a harbourside townhouse, find a cosy wool store bolthole down winding country lanes or strike out to innovative restaurants from a classic thatched cottage.

Property types in Dorset

Choose from open plan self-catering cottages with harbour views, cosy bed and breakfasts
in rural farmland, characterful hotels on the riverside, and classic country inns.

Things we love about Dorset

  • Walking through history, from fossils in the cliffs at Lyme Regis to Cerne Abbas Giant chalk figure and the ruins of Corfe Castle
  • The diversity, from the quiet countryside of the vast Dorset AONB to the dramatic coast of the Isle of Purbeck peninsula and the lively towns of Bridport and Swanage
  • Eating Dorset apple cake, drinking locally produced cider and sampling the freshest catch and admiring panoramic views at Mark Hix’s restaurant in Lyme Regis
  • Finding thatched cottages and old stone pubs by the riverside in villages that seem almost too picture-perfect to be true.

 

Great things to do in Dorset

  • Walk from pretty Lulworth Cove to the striking Durdle Door and then keep going, the crowds disappear and the coast path is staggeringly beautiful
  • Explore the dramatic chalk stacks of Old Harry Rocks along the coastal path or by sea kayak from Studland Bay
  • Drop in to Bridport or Swanage for festivals of food, literature, folk music and even pirates
  • Walk a stretch of the impressive 18-mile shingle beach (or bank, as it’s better known) at Chesil Beach
  • Take the ferry to National Trust’s Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, to spot Sika deer and red squirrels.

Popular destinations in Dorset

Dorset is known for its incredible coastline, such as the dramatic Jurassic Coast, fossil collecting on beaches, delicious freshly-caught seafood,
historical castles and plenty of hiking territory. Choose from our most popular destinations to find your perfect place.

Featured places