Quiet, small city feel. Affordable lodging/services.
Football Team, Worst Christmas Lights In Britain, etc
A picturesque village in wonderful surroundings
Being located in a typical English landscape of hills and dales, meadows, pastures and the Thames meandering through it, Dorchester makes an ideal base for a little hike along the river. Leave the village via Bridge End and Wittenham Lane, passing some beautifully flowering gardens, and you will reach the meadows south of the village. Walk straight...more
Dorchester Abbey is one of the oldest Christian places of worship of England. In 635, King Cynegils of Wessex was baptised by the missionary Birinus who was later given land by the king to build a church on. More than 1300 years ago, there already was a church on this site. It was thriving for a few hundred years, but later sank into oblivion. Only...more
Built on the site of two earlier Saxon cathedrals, little remains of this important and once prosperous Augustinian priory. However, the existing abbey church dates from around 1140, and is full of interesting bits and pieces. It is well worth exploring, and has its own little museum.More details of the abbey's history on my Dorchester page.more
The Maumbury Rings is a semi-circular set of earth works located in south Dorchester, Dorset. The original construction was likely completed around 2500 BC. Their original purpose remains unknown. When the Romans occupied the area, they modified the rings to form an amphitheatre. Their handiwork, though slightly changed in the 17th century, is what...more
What stands today may look like a big grassy hill, but 2500 years ago it was the largest hill fort in all of Europe. As you walk along its slopes and bumps, the sheer size of it is mind-boggling, as you must remind yourself that this massive hill was constructed by hand - bucket after bucket! I spent the balance of a rainy afternoon exploring the...more
The Dorset County Museum holds many artifacts that belonged to Thomas Hardy. A room was designed exactly how his house in Max Point is furnished with his original desks, chairs, pens, books, etc.. What an exciting moment for me to see the very pens he used to write "Tess" and "Jude, theObscure"...two of my favorite novels that he wrote. My...more
My girlfriend and I visited Dorset County, the birthplace of my all time favorite author, Thomas Hardy. His novels are an inspiration to me ever since I saw the film, "Tess of the Durbervilles". I then read his other powerful novels, "Return of the Native" and "The Mayor of Casterbridge." But what influenced my way of thinking most of all is his...more
Something for everyone in this wonderful cafe/bar. There are two inside eating areas (one part is a semi pub) but we ate in the covered courtyard and there was a real sense of history here. Unfortunatly it was a busy walkway into the shopping area from a car park and if you do not like people passing by as you eat then go inside.Friendly staff who...more
A good old fashioned English tearoom if you are between Dorchester and Poole. Red leatherette seats and table cloths with silver teapots. A part of England that thankfully never disappears.There is an outside seating area and plenty of parking. Two parts to the indoor area and a nice clean and friendly place. Service good and unobtrusive.Open for...more
If you are in Dorchster and want to explore north of Dorchester there is rover ticket called a Heart of Wessex Day Ranger. Available after 08.30 this ticket allows unlimited travel between Weymouth - Dorchester - Castle Cary - Bristol TM plus Swindon - Bath Spa/Trowbridge/Swindon/Westbury. Cost is £19.00 or child £12.55. If you hold a railcard the...more
There are two railway stations in Dorchester - you need to know which one to use depending where you are going.Dorchester South is served by South West Trains and is on the London - Southampton - Bournemouth - Weymouth line. Fast new electric trains provide a frequent service and there is plenty of car parking. See...more
For two consecutive years (2002 &2003) Dorchester was voted in national newspapers as having the worst, least imaginative christmas lights in Britain!!
A single row of non-coloured light bulbs was erected above the street in 2002, and after so much ridicule, they increased it to a whopping two rows the next year! It's so bad it's funny!
Every Boxing Day or New Years Day, providing we are still in the same league, The Avenue hosts one of the two bank holiday derbies between these great rivals. The crowds and atmosphere for these games are usually great, and always passionate.
Plus if you go to The Avenue each week, this is the one time each year that you'll get to see a decent football team!!