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Dorset

Everything from an island, ancient coasts and hidden gems, to a castle, cottages and a home inspired by an Italian palace, there are plenty of things to do in Dorset.

Places to visit

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Top places to visit in Dorset

A mansion house seen at a distance across parkland
Place
Place

Kingston Lacy 

A lavish family home re-imagined as a Venetian Palace in the rural Dorset countryside.

Wimborne Minster, Dorset

Fully open today
View of the ruins of Corfe Castle, lit in golden autumn sunlight, with a hill in the background
Place
Place

Corfe Castle 

Thousand-year-old royal castle shaped by warfare.

Wareham, Dorset

Partially open today
Old Harry Rocks seen from the South West Coast Path in Studland Bay, Dorset
Place
Place

Studland Bay 

Vast area of sandy beaches and heathland.

near Swanage, Dorset

Fully open today
View from the top of Golden Cap
Place
Place

Golden Cap 

Stunning coastline overlooking the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site

Bridport, Dorset

Hambledon Hill, Dorset
Place
Place

Hambledon Hill 

Iron Age hill fort with far reaching views and spectacular wildflowers

Dorset

Visitors walking along the remains of the ramparts and ditches of the iron age hill fort at Badbury Rings, Dorset
Place
Place

Badbury Rings 

Iron Age hillfort home to protected wildlife

Reopening in 2024

An aerial view of Brownsea Island, Dorset. Brownsea Island sits in the middle of Poole Harbour.
Place
Place

Brownsea Island 

Famous for scouting, wildlife, birds and red squirrels. Brownsea Island will reopen in spring 2024.

Poole, Dorset

Closed now
autumn leaves
Place
Place

Clouds Hill 

The rural retreat of T E Lawrence. Reopens in spring 2024.

near Wareham, Dorset

Closed now
White Mill on the River Stour, on the Kingston Lacy estate, Dorset
Place
Place

White Mill 

A corn mill with wooden equipment in a riverside setting. Reopens in spring 2024.

near Wimborne Minster, Dorset

Closed now
View of Hardy's Cottage and the surrounding gardens from Thorncombe Woods, Dorset
Place
Place

Hardy's Cottage 

Hardy's Cottage is now closed, but will re-open on 19 March 2024.

near Dorchester, Dorset

Closed now
autumn leaves
Place
Place

Max Gate 

Hardy's House, Max Gate is now closed but will re-open on 20 March 2024.

Dorchester, Dorset

Closed now

Volunteering in Dorset

Making new friends, working in amazing places, and knowing that you're helping a great cause - just three great reasons to volunteer with the National Trust in Dorset.

A volunteer clearing bracken in the woods at Studland Bay, Dorset
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Volunteering opportunities at Studland Bay 

Volunteers play a big part in caring for habitats and helping visitors across Purbeck and we are always looking for friendly and passionate people to join our teams. Come along to our Purbeck volunteer recruitment event on Saturday 20 January to learn more.

Volunteers planting trees as part of the Parkland Project at Oxburgh Hall
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Volunteering at White Mill 

Find out all you need to know about joining the volunteer team at White Mill, from the kind of work our volunteers help with and how to get in touch.

A volunteer talks to visitors at Kingston Lacy, Dorset
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Volunteering at Kingston Lacy 

There are numerous ways that you can volunteer with the National Trust at Kingston Lacy. Find out how to join our team.

Two volunteers in National Trust jackets sit at a picnic table on Studland Beach, sharing drinks and cake
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Supporter groups in Dorset 

Whether you want to get hands on helping with conservation work in the great outdoors, or enjoy special talks and visits to properties and gardens, find a group for you.

Places to stay in Dorset

Stay at a National Trust holiday cottage, or campsite, in Dorset and discover more above this special county.

The exterior of South Shore Lodge, Brownsea Island

South Shore Lodge, Brownsea 

Perfectly placed for sea views and island adventures.

The exterior of Westwood Farm, Dorset

Westwood Farm House 

New. A rustic farmhouse close to Corfe Castle and the South West Coast Path.

The loggia at The Cheese House on Westwood Farm, Dorset

The Cheese House 

Discover golden beaches, ruined castles and rolling countryside from this cosy, rural escape at the heart of the Jurassic coast.

The exterior of 524 Pamphill Green, Dorset

524 Pamphill Green Cottage 

An eye-catching thatched cottage on the Kingston Lacy estate, where you’ll find miles of footpaths through lush rolling countryside waiting to be explored.

The exterior of Greenlands, Studland, Dorset

Greenlands 

At the edge of Poole Harbour, with green fields all around this 1940s cottage has views to Brownsea Island.

The exterior of Groom's Cottage, Corfe Castle, Dorset

Groom's Cottage 

In the shadow of Corfe Castle, this former groom’s cottage is a quirky retreat in a historic village.

The exterior of Portland House Portland House, Weymouth, Dorset

Portland House 

Get a spectacular taste of 1930’s glamour in this stunning Art-Deco, Hollywood -Spanish inspired style villa on the Dorset coast.

The exterior of Middlebere Farmhouse, Dorset

Middlebere Farmhouse 

A picture-perfect thatch cottage with modern rustic interiors, close to Poole Harbour.

Places to camp in Dorset

The area surrounding Weston Farm Motorhome Site, Dorset

Weston Farm Motorhome Site 

Five sea-view pitches in the grounds of an old dairy farm, with walks inland to the Purbeck hills or to Chapman’s Pool on the Jurassic Coast.

Kingston Lacy Motorhome Site, Dorset

Kingston Lacy Motorhome Site 

A peaceful site surrounded by grassland and ancient trees on the Kingston Lacy estate, a short stroll from the house and gardens.

Weston Farm Campsite, Dorset

Weston Farm Campsite 

A meadow campsite just off the South West Coast Path, with walks inland to the Purbeck hills or to Chapman’s Pool on the Jurassic Coast.

Camping at Brownsea Island Campsite, Dorset

Camping on Brownsea Island 

An island campsite that feels a world away from the nearby mainland, surrounded by thriving habitats for rare species, trails and views of the Purbeck Hills.

Sustainable travel

Looking for greener travel options to the places in our care in Dorset? Find out how you can travel by train, bus, bike or on foot.

A female walker on the coast path near Burton Bradstock on a sunny day in early April
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Sustainable travel in Dorset 

There are a number of sustainable options for travelling to and from the places in our care in Devon, whether you’re looking to travel by train, bus, bike or foot. Here’s a little more information that can help you plan your visit.

Upcoming events

Event

Snowdrop pixie pendent craft 

Kingston Lacy, Wimborne Minster, Dorset

Join us in the café coach house for Saturday morning craft sessions in February from 9.45 am to 11 am. Celebrate the Snowdrop season by making your very own adorable snowdrop pixies.

Event summary

on
24 Feb 2024
at
09:45 to 11:00
Event

Mission Conservation family quest 

Corfe Castle, Wareham, Dorset

Welcome to mission conservation at Corfe Castle! Join in with this new family quest to learn about the multi-million pound conservation project that has begun here at Corfe Castle.

Event summary

on
24 Feb to 16 Mar 2024
at
10:00 to 16:00
+ 21 other dates or times
Event

Trust10 

Studland Bay, near Swanage, Dorset

Join us for the Trust10 at Studland Bay and challenge yourself on this 10km run with breathtaking views.

Event summary

on
25 Feb to 23 Jun 2024
at
08:45 to 11:00
+ 4 other dates or times
Event

Nature Tots 

Studland Bay, near Swanage, Dorset

Explore the outdoors with your little ones at our weekly Nature Tots group

Event summary

on
26 Feb to 16 Dec 2024
at
10:00 to 11:00
+ 31 other dates or times
Event

Medieval Tile Workshop 

Corfe Castle, Wareham, Dorset

Join our friendly artisan volunteers as they demonstrate the medieval craft of tile making in our 15th style timber frame workshop.

Event summary

on
26 Feb to 16 Dec 2024
at
10:00 to 12:30
+ 42 other dates or times
Event

Under 5s Play Mornings 

Kingston Lacy, Wimborne Minster, Dorset

Escape the wet weather and join our indoor play sessions for under 5s in the tipi each Tuesday.

Event summary

on
27 Feb to 19 Mar 2024
at
09:30 to 12:00
+ 3 other dates or times
Event

Nordic wellness walk: every Tuesday at 10am 

Kingston Lacy, Wimborne Minster, Dorset

Would you like to try a gentle Nordic walk in the beautiful surroundings of Kingston Lacy? Dorset Council run weekly walks every Tuesday at 10am that last an hour. A Nordic Wellness Walk may incorporate mobility exercises to help with...

Event summary

on
27 Feb to 17 Dec 2024
at
10:00 to 11:00
+ 42 other dates or times
Event

Nordic walking workout: every Tuesday at 10am 

Kingston Lacy, Wimborne Minster, Dorset

Would you like to try Nordic walking in the beautiful surroundings of Kingston Lacy? Dorset Council run weekly walks every Tuesday at 10am that last an hour. These one-hour walks are designed to help you improve your fitness levels and get...

Event summary

on
27 Feb to 17 Dec 2024
at
10:00 to 11:00
+ 42 other dates or times
Family walking down the main drive with lady in a tramper at Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire - CTA crop only

Where will you visit next?

Discover lots of gardens, historic houses, days out at the coast and more.