hillsides, dramatic cliffs, sweeping beaches, sleepy villages, bustling
towns, quiet countryside - West Dorset's charms are there for all to see.
our listings for West Dorset you will find places to stay and things to
do in the areas main towns and villages including Abbotsbury, Chideock,
Charmouth, West Bay, Bridport and Sherbourne. Although in West Dorset
we have seperate sections for the character seaside resort of Lyme
Regis and Dorchester the county town of Dorset and focal point of Thomas Hardy's many novels
set in the area. The entire coastline of West Dorset forms part of the
newly designated World
Heritage Coast. Although technically within the borough of Weymouth and Portland, the Isle
of Portland at the eastern end of this stretch of the World Heritage
Coast offers spectacular views along the whole of the West Dorset coast
and is well worth a visit.
These quiet villages and rural market towns also make for
great cycling. If angling's more your sport, there's good fishing from
the Chesil Bank, the Cobb at Lyme Regis, the pier at West Bay or offshore
in deeper waters. Inland, there are plenty of well-stocked lakes pro-viding
endless hours of fishing pleasure. Back on dry land, golf addicts have
the challenge of eleven West Dorset courses, while horse riders have an
excellent choice of riding centres and stables from Abbotsbury to Sherbome,
Osmington Mills to Bridport.
region owes much of its charm to its villages, over 150 of them - and
they are well worth ex-ploring. Drive through Abbotsbury's long and winding
main street and you will see sandstone cottages, tempting tea rooms and
glimpse an old coaching inn. What you won't see is the Swannery, the Tithe
Barn or the bracing views over Chesil Beach.
So go exploring - Like many of West Dorset's villages, Abbotsbury holds
secrets well worth the finding. With quaint names like ToIler Porcorum,
Plush and Piddlehinton, each has its history, character and charm. At
the heart of these villages you'll find beautiful old churches, small
stores and Post Offices selling fine local produce, pubs with grub and
a warm welcome everywhere. Many, like Evershot, Nettlecombe or Cerne Abbas
- lie hidden in quiet inland valleys. In Cerne Abbas, for instance, you'll
find houses dating from the 15th century, the ruins of an Abbey and the
famous Giant - a striking 180-foot-high figure cut into the chalk downs
overlooking the village. The whole area and the County town of Dorchester
(Thomas Hardy's Casterbridge) played the setting for Thomas Hardy's famous
To open a large version of the map in a new window and plan a journey to West Dorset click here.