Top things to do

Top Choice Historic Building in Corfe Castle

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 House in Wareham & Around

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 & Around

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 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 53 s…
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 Modern British in Sherborne

Green

In this affable, elegant eatery, the furniture is more chic than shabby and the food is pure West Country élan. Dorset goodies might include steamed Lyme Bay brill made fragrant with wild garlic, or saddle of local …
Top Choice French in Poole

Guildhall Tavern

Poole's top table consistently delights as it combines local ingredients with lashings of French flair. Predictably, fish features strongly – the vanilla-infused confit salmon is superb; succulent skate wing comes à…