Natural beauty

In fact, over half the County is designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty.

So the chances are, you’ll either be living in an officially designated area of natural beauty, or you’ll be very close by to one.

Beaches and harbours

Dorset has nearly 100 miles of coastline with award-winning, golden sandy beaches at Bournemouth, Sandbanks, Christchurch, Swanage and Weymouth.

Meanwhile, the harbours of Poole, Portland and Christchurch offer a great variety of water sports, from kite surfing to paddle boarding.

And if you’re looking to get your heart racing, you could always try high speed RIB rides, rock climbing, coasteering, or even the zip wire that runs off the end of Bournemouth Pier!

Modern cities and historic market towns

A place to call home.

Bournemouth is the most vibrant city in the county, with a nightlife that’s second to none and a popular destination for hen and stag parties. The city is equally popular with day-trippers, drawn to its family atmosphere and traditional seaside setting.

Meanwhile the historic market towns of Dorchester, Weymouth and Lyme Regis are bursting with places to eat, drink and shop, combining historic architecture with contemporary art and culture, as well as that unique blend of special Dorset charm.


Attractive, lively market town


Modern, vibrant city


County town of Dorset


Historical harbour town

Lyme Regis

Famous for fossils


Large, coastal town

Jurassic Coast

Strolling along the Jurassic Coast is like taking a walk back in time

With it’s rocks and fossils uncovering stories from our ancient past, the Jurassic Coast is the only natural World Heritage Site in England


Dorset is full of festivals.

Take your pick from Dorset knob throwing, nettle eating, fossils, kites, waistcoats, arts, film, literary, walking, food, drink, music, flowers, hats, Christmas trees, Tolpuddle Martyrs and Camp Bestival.

And if you’re feeling energetic, you could even join the Bournemouth Marathon Festival!

Inspiration for the arts

Dorset inspires.

Over the centuries, artists and writers of all disciplines have drawn inspiration from the Dorset landscape.

The list of literary masters includes Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen and Enid Blyton. This trend has followed through into popular culture, notably so when West Bay provided the backdrop to the award-winning TV drama ‘Broadchurch’.

Olympic legacy

Dorset truly had a summer to remember in 2012

Weymouth and Portland hosted the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic sailing events. The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy hosts international events and offers world-class facilities for training the sailing stars for the future.

Long-living residents

If we’re happy, it usually means we live longer.

Dorset tops the tables for the highest life expectancy in Britain.

According to the Office for National Statistics, if you live in Dorset you can expect to live for almost four years longer than the national average.

This is helped in no small part by the wide range of leisure and outdoor pursuits available across the region. The New Forest National Park is just a short journey across the border into Hampshire, offering an ideal environment for cycling, horse riding and Nordic walking.

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