Jurassic Coast

Almost the entire length of the Dorset coast forms the major part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, designated in 2001. This coast is notable for the variety in its geological structure and resultant landforms, and for the abundance of fossils found within its cliffs.

Within the length of Dorset's coast can be found examples of a nearly circular cove (Lulworth Cove), a very clearly exposed and accessible geological fold (Stair Hole), a natural sea arch (Durdle Door), sea stacks (Old Harry Rocks), an active landslip (Black Ven), and numerous and often quite spectacular cliffs, including the highest cliff on England's south coast, Golden Cap.

Kingston Lacy

Kingston Lacy is a country house and estate near Wimborne Minster, Dorset, England. It was for many years the family seat of the Bankes family who lived nearby at Corfe Castle until its destruction in the English Civil War after its incumbent owners, Sir John Bankes and Dame Mary, had remained loyal to Charles I.

The house was designated as a Grade I listed building in 1958 and the park and gardens are included in the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens at Grade II. The house was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1982 after the death of Henry John Ralph Bankes, along with Corfe Castle. The house and gardens are open to the public.

Cranborne Chase

The Cranborne Chase is composed of a continuation of the same chalk strata which form the Dorset Downs to the south-west; it is divided from the Downs by the valley of the River Stour, which cuts through the chalk at Blandford Forum. Cranborne Chase lies partly within the neighbouring county of Wiltshire. It is a sparsely populated area that is well-wooded in parts. The name 'chase' comes from its previous use as a hunting area.

The whole area around Blandford is ideal for exploring on foot, with many footpaths and trails, criss-crossing the surrounding countryside.

Blandford Form

Blandford Forum, or more simply "Blandford" to locals, is a market town in Dorset, England. The town is almost surrounded by land that has been designated as having landscape value of national significance: the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) to the west and the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB to the north and east.

Blandford is notable for its Georgian architecture, the result of rebuilding after the majority of the town was destroyed by a fire in 1731. The rebuilding work was assisted by an Act of Parliament and a donation by George II, and the rebuilt town centre—to designs by local architects John and William Bastard—has survived to the present day largely intact.

Wimborne Minster

Often referred to as Wimborne, is a market town in Dorset, about 10 miles southeast of Blandford, and the name of the Church of England church in that town. It is situated at the confluence of the River Stour and River Allen, just north of Poole, on the Dorset Heaths.

The architecture of Wimborne is regarded as one of the foremost collections of 15th-, 16th- and 17th-century buildings in Dorset. Local planning has restricted the construction of new buildings in areas such as the Cornmarket and the High Street, resulting in the preservation of almost all of the original buildings. The most interesting examples of English architecture include the centuries-old Wimborne Minster, the town hall, the Priest's House Museum and dozens of original 16th-, 17th- and 18th-century fronted shops and pubs. The town is home to the Tivoli Theatre, a 1930s art deco cinema and theatre.


Dorchester is the county town of Dorset. It is situated between Poole and Bridport on the A35 trunk route. A historic market town, Dorchester is on the banks of the River Frome to the south of the Dorset Downs and north of the South Dorset Ridgeway that separates the area from Weymouth, 7 miles to the south.

Dorchester's roots stem back to prehistoric times. The earliest settlements were about 2 miles southwest of the modern town centre in the vicinity of Maiden Castle, a large Iron Age hill fort that was one of the most powerful settlements in pre-Roman Britain. Different tribes lived there from 4000 BC. The Durotriges were likely to have been there when the Romans arrived in Britain in 43 AD.

The Great Dorset Steam Fair

(Also known as The National Heritage Show) is an annual show featuring steam-powered vehicles and machinery. It now covers 600 acres and runs for five days. It runs annually From the Thursday before the UK August Bank Holiday until the Bank Holiday itself. It is reputedly the largest collection of steam and vintage equipment to be seen anywhere in the world. The fair was founded by the Dorset Steam & Historic Vehicle Club, and has been held in Dorset, England, every summer since 1969.

Larmer Tree Festival

A 3-day music (usually in July), comedy and arts festival held annually at the Larmer Tree Gardens near Tollard Royal on the Wiltshire-Dorset border. Described as "One of the most family-friendly festivals around", it takes place in the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The festival is held in the Larmer Tree Gardens, a Victorian pleasure ground founded by Augustus Pitt Rivers, and has remained small by choice, with a total capacity of 5000 audience members per day.