Our guide to Dorset holiday cottages

The ITV hit Broadchurch reminded us all just how beautiful Dorset is when it burst onto our screens, and it showcases the county’s one of a kind Jurassic coastline in all its glory. If you’ve yet to visit and have been wondering if the programme showed the real Dorset then the answer’s a definite yes. Yes, the beaches really are that unspoilt, yes the views from the cliffs are breathtaking, and yes, much of the coastline is a Site of Special Scientific Interest thanks to its fascinating history.

Things to do in Dorset

If your idea of the perfect escape from everyday life is long walks along the beach and fossil hunting in the very places that have been the sites of some of the world’s most important dinosaur-related finds then head to Dorset. The beaches of Lyme Regis and Bridport make the perfect places to inspire budding palaeontologists and see who can find an actual dinosaur fossil, and if you’re after sandy beaches with plenty of space head to Bournemouth…a resort truly blessed in the beach department!

In fact, as Bournemouth’s officially the happiest place in the country then it’s the place to head to if you’re in need of some quality time somewhere special. Home to seven blissful miles of sandy beach and the kind of family attractions that’ll have the kids wanting to stay on, Bournemouth’s got it all, and many of the thing to do and places to see revolve around its dinosaur-packed history so it’s great fun too. Neighbouring Christchurch is easy on the eye, and we’d recommend donning a large pair of sunglasses so you can spot celebrities as it’s a firm favourite with the rich and famous.

Places to visit in Dorset

Now for the best place to visit in Dorset…fossil-strewn beaches and prehistoric cliffs aside, the county’s home to some of the most beautiful stretches of the South West Coast Path (think Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove), and its starred as the backdrop to more films and series than we could shake a dinosaur bone at. From Nanny McPhee to The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Dorset’s coastal resorts have created the perfect settings for film after film.

More than a staggering 200,000 walkers traipse their merry way past Durdle Door every year, and if you’ve walked the section of coast path that passes through Lulworth Cove before then you’ll understand why it draws people in their droves.

Part of the World Heritage Coast, the natural limestone arch that juts out in the sea is a photographer’s dream. If you can make your way down the steep hill to the little shingle beach at the foot of the cliffs you’ll be rewarded with one of the best views in the UK and peace and quiet far from the crowds. If you want to take the historic coastline in without walking your socks off then you’ll find a whole host of boat trips keen to showcase the site from the water.

Restaurants in Dorset

They’re a gifted bunch when it comes to cooking in sunny Dorset, and whether you’re after tapas in style with a view of the Lyme Regis Cobb (Harry Tates), fine dining in historic Dorchester (Sienna) or good old fish and chips overlooking Poole’s famous harbour (Lakeside Fish Restaurant), then you’ll find just the place to tuck in and wind down. We have to mention the Goat & Tricycle pub in Bournmeouth just beause – (well when are we going to get to use that phrase again?!) – and its mind-boggling selection of hand pulled Real Ales make it a firm favourite with locals as well as visitors. It’s even recommended by The Good Pub Guide.

The Larder House has a following of foodies and a fantastic reputation, and as it’s run by the World Class UK Bartender of the Year 2014 it goes without saying that the whole menu oozes flair, passion and a dedication to making every meal an experience.

Dog friendly Dorset

With walks that follow some of the country’s most spectacular stretches of coastline, Dorset’s the perfect place for a dog friendly holiday. Chesil Beach rolls on for 18 pebbly miles Portland, and as it welcomes dogs all year round it’s one of the most popular spots for a stroll with your dogs during a stay in the area. If you want to drop in an intriguing yet unprovable fact as you walk the beach here it is, rumour has it the beach is home to more than 180 billion pebbles…

Anyway, if you fancy taking in the landmark that’s Durdle Door during your stay then there’s good news, the pretty little shingle beach beside it welcomes dogs, so you can walk this famous stretch of the South West Coast Path with your pet in tow.

Cottages in Dorset

Whether you opt for a luxury lodge complete with its own bubbling hot tub or a cosy cottage, thanks to its handy location Dorset’s perfect for a late escape…and many of you can be from your desk to the front door in just a couple of hours. We have Dorset self catering cottages that welcome dogs, a selection from our Baby Blue Chip collection which include everything new mums and dads need for that first break away with baby, and everything in between.

Every Dorset cottage, lodge and apartment has been hand picked because it offers something special. You could roll out of bed and step out onto your own private balcony, close the curtains on a sea view, or find yourself just seconds from your own inviting hot tub to make an escape you’ll remember for a lifetime.  

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