Brief Roadtrip Guide to Dorset

If you aren’t familiar with dorset on the South Coast of England, use this quick guide to get you started

Breathtaking views, exquisite coastline

Dorset is located on the south coast running from Lyme Regis all the way across to Christchurch. This beautiful stretch of coastline has so much to offer. Here you will find everything from rolling countryside and nice walks to the dramatic Jurassic Coast that attracts people from world wide. There is plenty to keep you busy and an endless number of sites to see.

A feature highlight of Dorset is Durdle Door, This area of the Jurassic coast attracts approximately 500,000 visitors every year. Each year more than 200.000 walkers use the footpath between Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door!

Getting To Dorset

The best way to experience Dorset is by motorhome or campervan, and maybe a little by foot or bicycle! Some of the roads in the more rural areas and little villages can be tight, so walking or cycling could be a great way to explore local to where you stay. Your route in will be determined by where you want to start. In the holiday season Lyme Regis and Weymouth are big tourist attractions so the A35 and A37 can be quite congested. Taking a road less travelled is always exciting and might lead you to discover some hidden gems.

The A31 takes you straight across to the M3 which is the main road down into Dorset from us and the London area. You will pass through the New Forest National Park which is beautiful and home to lots of wild horses and other animals.

What To Do in Cornwall

Dorset has everyone covered from nature lovers, sea people, to even those who like to explore towns and do some shopping. It’s known for the UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coast, a long stretch on the English Channel where the cliffs contain many fossils, and rock formations show millions of years of geological history. Two prominent natural landmarks are Durdle Door, an ancient stone arch, and the layered cliffs at nearby Lulworth Cove. The towns of Poole, Weymouth and Swanage are popular for their sandy beaches. A top 10 of the places we would recommend a visit too:

  • Jurassic Coast
  • Shaftesbury
  • Lyme Regis
  • Poole
  • Wareham
  • Christchurch
  • Weymouth
  • Kimmeridge Bay
  • Lulworth
  • Swanage

There really are and endless list of things you can do in Dorset, the area has a tonne of things to do and see. It is also a great place to stop by and see some highlights if you are on a longer trip across to Cornwall or the other way to Kent and Sussex.

The Best of The Best

The following are examples of things to to see and do at the more specific end of the scale, reasons to come to Dorset not just to have a taster of something. These sites we love and think you will too:

1. Exploring the Jurassic Coast

The Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage Site on the English Channel coast of southern England. It stretches from Exmouth in East Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset, a distance of about 96 miles, and was inscribed on the World Heritage List in mid-December 2001.

You can find a bunch of the attractions on the Jurassic coast website here

2. Take a dip in the blue waters off the Isle of Portland

The Isle of Portland is a tied island, 6 kilometres long by 2.7 kilometres wide, in the English Channel. Portland is 8 kilometres south of the resort of Weymouth, forming the southernmost point of the county of Dorset, England. A barrier beach called Chesil Beach joins it to the mainland. 

Portland is home to some secret hidden bays that have white pebbles and turquoise blue water.

3. Old Harry Rocks, Handfast Point

Old Harry Rocks are three chalk formations, including a stack and a stump, located at Handfast Point, on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, southern England. They mark the most eastern point of the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Beautiful views and a scenic walk from Swanage. Well worth a visit by anyone passing through Dorset.

4. Visiting Highcliffe Castle and Beach

Highcliffe Castle, situated on the cliffs at Highcliffe, Dorset, was built between 1831 and 1835 by Charles Stuart. It is a beautiful building that attracts loads of people all year round.

Once you have looked around the near 200 year old building you have direct access down to the sea. There are shops, ice cream and a lovely sandy beach that stretches right down the coastline.

5. Swim in Lulworth Cove and walk to Durdle Door

Lulworth Cove is tucked away just down the coast from Durdle Door. If you’re going to visit one then it is highly recommended that you visit both! There is a great walk over the top down the scenic coast from one to the other.

Lulworth Cove is part of the 12,000 acre Lulworth Estate, which has been owned and managed by the Weld family since 1641. The village of West Lulworth is right next to the cove and has all the usual amenities.