One of the reasons for Dorset’s backwater status is that few major transport routes cross it. There are two slow railway lines, running from Bristol and Bath through Dorchester West to Weymouth, and from London and Southampton to Bournemouth and Poole.
The main operator in east and central Dorset is Wilts & Dorset (01202-673555; Poole; www.wdbus.co.uk). For western Dorset and on to Devon and southern Somerset, First (01305-783645; www.firstgroup.com) is the main operator.
Regional timetables are available free from tourist offices or bus stations, or by download from the companies’ websites. Otherwise call Traveline (0870 608 2608; www.traveline.org.uk).