Dorset

Everything from an island, ancient coasts and hidden gems to a castle, cottages and an Italian inspired palace

Places to visit

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What's on in Dorset

Dorset is a great place to spend some time in the winter. There are lots of places to go and a huge choice for a day out. There's also dramatic coastline, unspolit countryside and beautiful gardens for a fix of fresh air and chance to let off steam in the great outdoors.

Kingston Lacy

Watching the sunrise at Old Harry, Studland Bay

Winter Solstice at Studland Bay

Watch the sunrise on the shortest day of the year with a walk to Old Harry Rocks followed by a full English breakfast at Knoll Beach Café.

The great outdoors

A wreath hanging on a door at Trelissick, Cornwall

Find a place to visit 

Discover somewhere to visit using our search. In the South West you're never far from somewhere to explore.

Upcoming events

Brownsea Island

Poole Harbour Bird Boats - Harbour Cruise

Sun 11 Dec 2016
09:00-11:30
Join expert guides from the RSPB and Dorset Wildlife Trust for a unique opportunity to see one of the best winter bird spectacles in the UK
Kingston Lacy

A family Christmas

Sun 11 Dec 2016
10:00-16:00
Don't miss the opportunity to take a winter walk through our magical light display and explore Christmas portrayed through the eyes of the Bankes' children. Finish the evening with a winter warming treat from the cafe or pick up a gift in the shop.
Corfe Castle

Tudor Christmas

Sun 11 Dec 2016
10:00-16:00
Join our lord of misrule and walk through the romantic ruins of Corfe Castle, find out about the rich history of Tudor traditions and maybe participate in a play or a game or two.
Kingston Lacy

Santa Claus at Kingston Lacy: Saturdays & Sundays

Sun 11 Dec 2016
11:00-11:15
Meet Santa Claus at Kingston Lacy; tell him your Christmas wishes to add an extra bit of magic to the festive season.
Hardy's Cottage

Tranter Dewey's Christmas party

Wed 14 Dec 2016
19:00-21:00
A celebration of Midwinter and the Christmas season with carols, folksongs, poetry and readings from the works of Thomas Hardy. Performed by Tim Laycock and fiddler Colin Thompson.
Kingston Lacy

Activate Coast & Countryside Health Cycle Rides

Thu 15 Dec 2016
09:30-10:30
Every Thursday, In partnership with Moors Valley Country Park, come and join our fun, friendly and active free cycle rides from 9.30am (please arrive 15 minutes early).
Shedbush Farmhouse viewed from the front garden on a sunny day

Why not stay a while?  

Staying in a National Trust holiday cottage provides the chance to explore Dorset in greater depth. Find out more here.

Kingston Lacy

Dorset gardens 

Dorset offers grand landscaped gardens and charming cottage hide-aways.

A dog playing on Studland Beach, Dorset

Dog walking in Dorset 

If you have a dog, it's no-doubt very much a part of your family life. So here are some of the fantastic locations that you and your friend can explore in Dorset.

Father Christmas, dressed in green, giving a gift to a child with Christmas tree in the background

Find an event 

Places in the South West host everything from guided house tours and ranger days to Father Christmas and festive markets.

Nearby

Somerset

From Tudor houses and hidden gardens to tors, gorges and natural piers, see what Somerset has to offer.

Wiltshire

World-famous gardens, villages and ancient landscapes, and some lesser-known gems can all be found in Wiltshire

Devon

Journey from wild coasts, moorland and curious historic houses to lush gardens and beaches in Devon.