Attractions

Top Choice Historic Building in Dorset

Kingston Lacy

Dorset's must-see stately home looks every inch the setting for a period drama. It overflows with rich decor, most famously in the Spanish Room, which is smothered with gold and gilt. Other highlights are the hierog…
Top Choice Historic Building in Wareham

Clouds Hill

The tiny cottage that was home to TE Lawrence (1888–1935) provides a compelling insight into a complex man. The British soldier became legendary after working with Arab tribes against Turkish forces in WWI. Look out…
Top Choice Castle in Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle

The startling, fractured battlements of one of Dorset's most famous landmarks were once home to Sir John Bankes, Charles I’s right-hand man. The Civil War saw the castle besieged by Cromwellian forces; in 1646 the p…
Top Choice Landmark in Lulworth Cove

Durdle Door

The poster child of Dorset's Jurassic Coast, this immense, sea-fringed, 150-million-year-old Portland stone arch was created by a combination of massive earth movements and erosion. Today it's framed by shimmering b…
Top Choice Archaeological Site in Dorchester

Maiden Castle

Occupying a massive slab of horizon on the southern fringes of Dorchester, Maiden Castle is the largest and most complex Iron Age hill fort in Britain. The first defences were built on the site around 500 BC – in it…
Top Choice Sculpture in Isle of Portland

Tout Quarry

Portland's white limestone has been quarried for centuries and has been used in some of the world's finest buildings, such as the British Museum and St Paul's Cathedral. Tout Quarry's disused workings now house more…
Top Choice Landmark in Cerne Abbas & the Cerne Giant

Cerne Giant

Rarely do you find such a nudge-nudge, wink-wink tourist attraction. Nude, full frontal and notoriously well endowed, this hillside chalk figure is revealed in all his glory. And he's in a stage of excitement that w…
Top Choice Museum in Dorchester

Dorset County Museum

The Thomas Hardy collection here is the world's largest, offering extraordinary insights into his creative process. You can see from text in Hardy's cramped handwriting where he's crossed out one word and substitute…
Top Choice Wildlife Reserve in Chesil Beach

Abbotsbury Swannery

Every May some 600 free-flying swans choose to nest at this swannery, which shelters in the Fleet Lagoon, protected by the ridge of Chesil Beach. Wandering the network of trails that winds between the swans' nests i…
Top Choice Lighthouse in Isle of Portland

Portland Lighthouse

For a real sense of Portland's remote nature, head to its southern tip, Portland Bill, to climb the 41m-high, candy-striped lighthouse. It offers breathtaking views of rugged cliffs and the Race, a surging vortex of…