Dorchester Travel Guide

  • The post office
    The post office
    by Britannia2
  • Thatched cottage in churchyard
    Thatched cottage in churchyard
    by leics
  • Toll house
    Toll house
    by leics

Dorchester Highlights

  • Pro
    CitizenTed profile photo

    CitizenTed says…

     Quiet, small city feel. Affordable lodging/services. 

  • Con
    Meadows11 profile photo

    Meadows11 says…

     Football Team, Worst Christmas Lights In Britain, etc 

  • In a nutshell
    King_Golo profile photo

    King_Golo says…

     A picturesque village in wonderful surroundings 

Dorchester Things to Do

  • A walk to Days Lock

    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...

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  • Dorchester Abbey

    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...

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  • Visit Dorchester Abbey

    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.

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  • Lord of the Maumbury Rings

    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...

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  • Maiden Castle

    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...

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  • Brie and Thomas Hardy

    Brie and I went together to the Hardy sites in Dorchester. It was wonderful to share with her my "experiences" with the Hardy novels. Our train ride to Dorchester was qually satisfying. I finally saw the "Heath" Hardy constantly wrote about in his novels.

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  • Hardy Monument

    This monument was erected by American Admirers and is next to the Hardy Birthplace. It is a quiet place and one can reflect on the life and works of this great novelist and poet.

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  • The Dorset County Museum

    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...

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  • A Pilgrimage to Thomas Hardy's...

    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...

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Dorchester Hotels

Dorchester Restaurants

  • Olde worlde building with great cafe

    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...

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  • Traditional country tearoom

    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...

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  • Dorchester Hotels

    9 Hotels in Dorchester

Dorchester Transportation

  • Day ranger on the trains

    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...

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  • Two railway stations

    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...

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Dorchester Shopping

  • Shopping in Dorchester

    The main chains all have shops here - Waitrose, WHSmith, Boots, Woolworths, Marks and Spencer, The Works, Thorntons etc. There are also plenty of independent traders to make this quite a good town to shop in.

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  • A surprising number of arcades

    There are a surprising number of arcades in this town. The whole of the shopping area is predestrianised but the arcades contain a wide variety of shops - the best arcade is Antelope Walk and this is where the TIC can be found.

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Dorchester Warnings and Dangers

  • Meadows11's Profile Photo

    by Meadows11 Written Mar 4, 2005

    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!

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Dorchester Off The Beaten Path

  • Roman Ruin

    As Brie and I strolled the streets of Dorchester, we happened upon an ancient Roman ruin. Supposedly it was a homestead of a well-to-do Roman officer.

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  • The Streets of Dorchester

    While walking around the streets at Dorchester, Brie and I happened upon an old church with gorgoyles. Fun....

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  • Dorchester Hotels

    9 Hotels in Dorchester

Dorchester Sports & Outdoors

  • Meadows11's Profile Photo
    The Avenue- Dorchester

    by Meadows11 Written Mar 4, 2005

    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!!

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    • Arts and Culture

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