Dorchester Travel Guide

  • Dorchester
    by CDM7
  • Dorchester
    by CDM7
  • Isis
    Isis
    by CDM7

Dorchester Things to Do

  • Kingston Maurward Gardens & Animal...

    During the First World War the estate was purchased by the Hanburys,a well known family who also owned La Morola in Italy.In the Second World War,the estate was taken over by the American Armed Forces.The garden became a wilderness,the lake silted up and the surrounding parkland was used as a fuel storage depot for the D - Day landings.From 1949 it...

    more
  • Dorset County Museum

    Dorset County Museum is one of the main sights in Dorchester and it shows many things of very different topics connected to Dorset. First of all, the building itself is interesting from the outside, and parts of the interior are very beautiful. The Victorian Hall is one of the main exhibition spaces and it is wonderful. It was built in 1884 when...

    more
  • Max Gate - Thomas Hardy

    As i had already visited the first home of Thomas Hardy (where he was born) last year i thought it was about time that i made a visit to Max Gate,the home that he designed himself.This grand old house which is some 400 years old is set in a large well kept garden. On arrival i found the staff very helpful and friendly,especially Daphne,who gave me...

    more
  • Sculpture by the Lakes - Park

    THE BEAUTY OF NATURE WITH BEAUTIFUL ART. This little piece of paradise can be found close to the market town of Dorchester.It is where you will find one of the most beautiful and unique sculpture parks in the U.K.The sculptures are created by one of the U.K leading contemporary sculptures,Simon Gudgeon. The park has been carefully landscaped and...

    more
  • Dinosaur Museum

    From the outside, this boarded up old brick house looks rather dull, but the reason for the boards is because the inside has been turned into a museum with displays. The Jurassic Coast being just a few miles away, this place shows a lot of local fossil finds and has models of dinosaurs, so it is a great complement to the county museum exhibition on...

    more
  • Teddy Bear Museum

    Haha, please don't make fun of me - but yes, I really visited the Teddy Bear Museum in Dorchester. I walked past it and thought it looked cute, and so I walked in. Although I now only own one teddy bear - the one I got as a present for my first birthday - I always felt fond of them! Inside, you get a leaflet to guide you around the museum. The...

    more
  • Thomas Hardy's Birthplace

    This delightful cob and thatch cottage,which is situated in woodland close to the town of Dorchester is where the famous novelist and poet Thomas Hardy was born.Although trained as an architect working in London he soon became successful at writing and gave up architecture.It was at the cottage he wrote "Under the Greenwood Tree" and "Far from the...

    more
  • Terracotta Warriors Museum

    There are lifesize exact replica models of the Terracotta Army, where you can see them in very clear detail. With fascinating spoken information pointing out interesting facts about the army & dress. Plus lots of information about how the Warriers were re found by peasents digging out a new well on a hill side, everything you need to know...

    more
  • Mill Stream Walk

    This is a very nice walk in the north of the town centre, it is very idyllic and pretty. The Mill Stream is a branch of the Frome and walking here I felt like being in the country side, although I was actually still in the town. I think it must be even prettier when it is another season, and everything is green, or when the leaves turn red and...

    more
  • Sculpture by the Lakes

    THE BEAUTY OF NATURE WITH BEAUTIFUL ART.This little piece of paradise can be found close to the market town of Dorchester.It is where you will find one of the most beautiful and unique sculpture parks in the U.K.The sculptures are created by one of the U.K leading contemporary sculptures,Simon Gudgeon.The park has been carefully landscaped and...

    more
  • Kingston Maurward Gardens and Animal...

    During the First World War the estate was purchased by the Hanburys,a well known family who also owned La Morola in Italy.In the Second World War,the estate was taken over by the American Armed Forces.The garden became a wilderness,the lake silted up and the surrounding parkland was used as a fuel storage depot for the D - Day landings.From 1949 it...

    more
  • Kingston Maurward Gardens and Animal...

    Although Kingston Maurward is a college that provides courses in agriculture and horticulture it also has a visitor centre where the general public can visit the gardens,lake and animal park.It is situated in 35 acres of the Dorset countryside close to the town of Dorchester.There is a cafe at the entrance where hot and cold drinks are...

    more

Dorchester Hotels

  • Summer Lodge

    9 Fore Street, Evershot, Dorchester, DT2 0JR, United Kingdom

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

  • George Albert Hotel

    Wardon Hill, nr Evershot, Dorchester, DT2 9PW, United Kingdom

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Solo

  • The Casterbridge

    49 High East Street, Dorchester DT1 1HU

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

Dorchester Restaurants

  • Nappers Mite

    4 out of 5 stars

    Nappers Mite is a piece of local history,originally built in 1615 by Sir Robert Napper as a set of Almshouses for 10 old men.It is now a cafe/restaurant and the oldest building in South Street,Dorchester.Inside it is full of old world charm with its stone walls,stone mullioned windows,original stone doorways and the nail studded oak door.Outside...

    more
  • Little Chef

    We stopped at this little chef at Winderbourne Abbas which is a couple of miles west of Dorchester. This restaurant chain is dotted all over the UK. Not known for its culinary achievements but an ideal pit stop. I would however recommend the French red onion tart, its gorgeous!! Prices are average, £6-8.00 for a main course. It is not unusual to...

    more
  • The King's Arms

    After failing to find an Italian restaurant we settled on the Kings Arms, on the Dorchester High Street. This 300 year old coach house, was full of architectural atmosphere, if a little rough around the edges. As well as the specials board you can order 2 meals for 10.00 pounds which we ended up doing. A Spinach Fritiata with a strong tomato...

    more
  • Rajpoot Restaurant

    At the top of the High Street there are two Indian restaurants opposite each other. We looked at the one on "our side" of the street but it was an upstairs restaurant and impossible to see how popular it was. It also had a specials board outside and according to my Bourdain-fan hubby this is an act of desperation so we settled for The Rajpoot even...

    more
  • A Cafe / Restaurant with History

    Nappers Mite is a piece of local history,originally built in 1615 by Sir Robert Napper as a set of Almshouses for 10 old men.It is now a cafe/restaurant and the oldest building in South Street,Dorchester.Inside it is full of old world charm with its stone walls,stone mullioned windows,original stone doorways and the nail studded oak door.Outside...

    more
  • Great Indian but stay off desserts

    At the top of the High Street there are two Indian restaurants opposite each other. We looked at the one on "our side" of the street but it was an upstairs restaurant and impossible to see how popular it was. It also had a specials board outside and according to my Bourdain-fan hubby this is an act of desperation so we settled for The Rajpoot even...

    more

Dorchester Transportation

  • Train

    While exploring the south of England for ten days, I stayed in Bournemouth and from there did day trips by train. My first one was the one to Dorchester. It was a very convenient trip because the journey only takes about 45 minutes. I booked a return ticket online in advance which was £11. This is an off peak ticket which means that you can only...

    more
  • Heart of Wessex Day Ranger

    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
  • Heart of Wessex Day Ranger

    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

Dorchester Shopping

  • Antelope Walk

    Antelope Walk is a small arcade with several small shops. Most of them are individual shops, not chains. It is a nice place to stroll around because everything looks very old-fashioned, almost like in a period drama. The emblem of the arcade shows an antelope, and the walk was named after the Antelope Hotel, a coaching inn that was located here. It...

    more
  • Major Stores

    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.

    more
  • 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.

    more

Dorchester Warnings and Dangers

  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo

    Guidance on photography in churches:...

    by CatherineReichardt Written Oct 17, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Visiting churches is one of the absolute highlights of a trip to Europe, and provides a fascinating insight into the culture which has shaped European cultures of the past couple of millenia.

    Unlike some other religions - where access to places of worship may be restricted to members of that religious group or a specific gender - the vast majority of Christian churches will allow tourists to visit at most times, including routine services (although some may charge an admission fee for doing so, and access may be denied for private events such as weddings and funerals). However, tourists need to bear in mind that most churches are still active places of worship, and so visitors need to exhibit a certain sensitivity to display respect to the culture and avoid giving offence to people at prayer.

    The following guidelines are based on wonderful advice offered by Homer (homaned) - who does this for a living - in a forum response, and although specifically written for Christian places of worship, would apply equally to places of worship for other religions

    So, here is a general list of do's and don'ts for people wishing to photograph during a church service:

    READ THE SIGNS
    If photography is not permitted - because, for example, it may damage paint on delicate murals - this will usually be indicated by a pictogram of a camera with a red line through it. Under most circumstances, you can assume that photography will be allowed (unless otherwise indicated), but may not be permitted during services. If in doubt, ask for clarification - this shows respect and will very seldom be met with anything other than a helpful response.

    TURN OFF YOUR FLASH!
    Every camera on the market has a button on it which will turn off the flash. The number one most alarming and distracting thing that can happen during a liturgy, and one which will even get you kicked out of some churches, is the bright flash that goes off when you take a picture. Not only is it distracting, but it usually makes the picture turn out dark, because your camera's flash only has about a 10-15' range. Turn off the flash, and hold the camera up against your eye, using the viewfinder, and you will likely get a better picture (and you definitely won't have any red-eye problems!).

    DON'T MOVE AROUND ALL OVER THE PLACE! (UNLESS YOU HAVE PERMISSION)
    Instead of walking all over down the main aisle and in front of everybody, pick a good place from which to take a picture at the beginning of the liturgy, and stay there. Unless you're a professional photographer with practice at stealthily moving during liturgies, you're a distraction, and you're being disrespectful. Even if you're a pro, try to stick to one out-of-the-way place, and use a zoom lens and zoom in to get pictures. Walking in front of people is a surefire way to distract and disrespect and closing in on priests or other celebrants just to capitalise on a photo opportunity is offensive.

    TURN OFF THE CAMERA'S SOUND!
    Every camera has some way to mute all its 'cute' beeps and clicking noises. If you press a button, and hear a beep, or if you take a picture and hear an obnoxious shutter clicking sound, you need to turn off those sounds (the muting option is usually in one of the menus). Along with the flashing, it's an obvious sign that someone is taking pictures and not showing much respect for those trying to pay attention to the liturgy.

    TURN OFF the 'focus assist' light!
    If your camera can't focus without the little laser-light that shines in everyone's eyes before your camera takes a picture, then don't use your camera. You have to turn that light off! It is very distracting to be watching a lector or priest, and see a little red dot or lines pop up on his face all of the sudden. It's as if some rifleman is making his mark! Turn the light off (again, look in the menus for the option to turn off the 'AF assist' or 'focus assist' light). If you can't turn it off, put a piece of duct tape or some other opaque material over the area where the light is, so the light won't shine on someone.

    TURN OFF THE CAMERA'S LCD!
    You should never use the LCD to compose your shots anyways; just put your eye up to the viewfinder, and that will not only not distract, it will also steady your camera against your face, making for a better picture (especially if you don't have the flash on). And if you must review the pictures you've taken, hold the camera in front of you, down low, so people behind you don't notice the big, bright LCD display on your camera

    CERTAIN PARTS OF THE CEREMONY ARE PARTICULARLY SENSITIVE
    Photographing the blessing of the eucharist (bread and wine) and distribution of communion to the congregation are considered to be particularly sacred parts of the service, and it is offensive to photograph these activities.

    The main thing is to try to be respectful of the culture and of other people present at the service. Don't distract. And, if you are asked to not take pictures, or if there's a sign saying 'no photography allowed,' then don't take pictures. You can always ask a priest's permission before the liturgy, but if he says 'No,' put away your camera and enjoy the freedom you have to focus on the privilege of being able to share an experience with people who consider these religious rituals core to their culture and identity, rather than focusing on your camera's LCD!

    Homer's Rules ... Homer rules!

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner

    more

Dorchester What to Pack

  • Shoes!

    If you plan to visit Maiden Castle, you should take some good walking shoes. Sneakers are fine, you don't need real hiking shoes, but it would not be good to walk around Maiden Castle wearing sandals, flip-flops, high heels or similar. The ground is very uneven and slippery, and sometimes you need to climb a little in order to get onto the earth...

    more
  • What to bring with?

    Luggage with wheels is always a good idea, wherever you are travelling. Whether snowy/wet/sunny/warm or cold weather, layer your clothing. Wear thermal underwear (these are easily bought at the local clothing shops), with warm leggings and a top under a toasty jacket for the cold. I have my trusty grey duffle coat, plus a white snow jacket for...

    more
  • Dorchester Hotels

    29 Hotels in Dorchester

Dorchester Off The Beaten Path

  • Maiden Castle

    After I had explored the interior parts of Maiden Castle for more than an hour I was very tired and tried to make my way back to the car park. I ended up on a part of the outer ramparts and walked along them a little, and when I found that I was walking away from the car park, I decided to continue because I liked this walk so much. Parts of these...

    more
  • Fountain

    This fountain marks the end of the Roman aqueduct which was located in Princes Street. It is a pretty fountain in a somewhat "Roman" style. It is possible to see some remains of the original aqueduct between Poundbury Street and the River Frome about a mile to the northwest of the town centre, but I did not go there. The aqueduct was nine km long...

    more
  • Hangman's Cottage

    Despite its appalling name, this is a very pretty cottage that to me looked exactly like the ideal English cottage, including a pretty garden and a thatched roof! Adding to that, it is located closed to the Mill Stream, at the beautiful River Walk. However, it was the home of the town's executioner. The location where the hangings took place is...

    more

Dorchester General

  • Tourist Information Centre

    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...

    more
  • What I still have to do...

    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 birthplaceMax Gate - a house designed by Hardy, he lived there from 1885 to 1928Dinosaur Museum - stood in front of it and decided that, given that I was short on time, I should go...

    more
  • Thomas Hardy country!

    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!

    more

Instant Answers: Dorchester

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

34 travelers online now

Comments

 
Explore Deeper into Dorchester
Maumbury Rings
Off The Beaten Path
John White's House
Off The Beaten Path
Dorset Martyrs Statue
Off The Beaten Path
Cenotaph & Victorian Post Box
Off The Beaten Path
Street Market
Shopping
Tutankhamun Museum Shop
Shopping
Max Gate - The home of Thomas Hardy
Things to Do
Visit Thomas Hardy's birthplace.
Things to Do
Visit Athelhampton House
Things to Do
Maiden Castle - Walk along the outer ramparts
Off The Beaten Path
Maiden Castle
Off The Beaten Path
Roman Town House
Things to Do
Maumbury Rings
Off The Beaten Path
Holy Trinity Church
Things to Do
Dorset County Museum
Things to Do
St Peter's Church & William Barnes statue
Things to Do
Maiden Castle - Burial Mounds
Off The Beaten Path
The Roman Wall
Things to Do
The Mayor of Casterbridge House
Things to Do
Thomas Hardy statue
Things to Do
Mill Stream Walk
Things to Do
Old Crown Court
Things to Do
Fountain marking the Roman aqueduct
Off The Beaten Path
The Grove
Things to Do
Teddy Bear Museum
Things to Do
Town Pump and town walks
Things to Do
To Dorchester by train
Transportation
Bus to Maiden Castle
Transportation
Hangman's Cottage
Off The Beaten Path
The Keep
Things to Do
John White's House
Off The Beaten Path
Judge Jeffrey's Lodgings
Off The Beaten Path
South Walks and Dorset Martyrs Statue
Off The Beaten Path
Cenotaph & Victorian post box
Off The Beaten Path
Several nice and small shops
Shopping
The Dinosaur Museum
Things to Do
Durnovaria Town Walk and Wall
Things to Do
Roman Town House
Things to Do
Dorset County Museum
Things to Do
Museum Shops
Shopping

View all Dorchester hotels

Map of Dorchester