My first stop in Dorchester was the tourist information, on the one hand because I did not have any map of the town and wanted to ask for one, on the other hand because I needed info on how to get to Maiden Castle.
This tourist information was maybe the best one I have visited so far! They were very, very friendly and gave me a very good map, told me exactly how to get to Maiden Castle (which bus to catch when and where, how long it took etc.), gave me a whole bunch of other brochures and also a big bus plan, and marked all the important places on my new map so I could find them easily.
There are not also leaflets and brochures about Dorchester, but about a lot of places in Dorset, and in addition some souvenirs and books about the region, especially on local history.
Opening times: April to October Monday to Saturday 09.00am to 05.00pm, November to March to 04.00pm
Address: Antelope Walk
Directions: In the town centre, corner Princes Street & Trinity Street
Always leave something for the next visit! These are the things I didn't do in Dorchester so far and that I want to do when going back:
Hardy's Cottage - Thomas Hardy's birthplace
Max Gate - a house designed by Hardy, he lived there from 1885 to 1928
Dinosaur Museum - stood in front of it and decided that, given that I was short on time, I should go somewhere else - maybe worth a visit next time?
Tutankhamen - a museum about ancient Egypt
Terracotta Warriors - a reconstruction of the famous attraction in China
Walks around the town - I liked the one I did very much, and the others look interesting, too! Especially the one taking in a Tudor Arch and the gardens
Aquaeduct and Poundbury Camp - Roman history north of the town centre
Burial Mound - There is another burial mound east of the town centre
This is the heart of Thomas Hardy country of course, and there are references to him in a few places as one walks around.
There was also an impressive statue of him, seated, as we entered Dorchester.
Not as much as the Shakespeare references in Stratford-upon-Avon (tons!), but a good few!
In London there are loads of blue plaques all over the place!
I always try and nab a photo of one when I see them. I dont often see them in villages and towns in England, but I did see one in Dorchester :)
They show where someone famous once lived, or was born, or died.
In this case, this blus plaque says that the Mayor of Casterbridge used to live here as depicted in Thomas Hardy's story, 'the Mayor of Casterbridge'.
This popular story was written in 1885.