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Need A Reason To Visit?

Explore Athelhampton House dating from 1485, with Tudor Great Hall. Trace history from Henry VII to Victoria. 15 rooms of period furniture and fine art. Wander through award winning gardens; topiary pyramids, fountains, pavilions, rare plants, and the River Puddle.


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Tourist Information: Villages And Towns
The following list consists of some of the villages that we think are worth a visit, either to stop and look around or just to drive through and admire the views.

Abbotsbury
9m west of Weymouth, B3157. Where Chesil Beach meets mainland. Swannery, sub-tropical gardens, St Catherine's Chapel, St Nicholas Church, smugglers barn, viewpoint, walks.

Ashmore
Pretty village with typical village pond

Bere Regis
10m east of Dorchester Quiet village thanks to bypass, church of St John the Baptist with life size apostle figures, one mile east is Woodbury Hill Iron Age settlement.

Blandford
9m north of Wimborne. Lively country market, brewery and army town with interesting Georgian architecture. Nearby attractions include the Badger Brewery, Royal Signals Museum and Chettle House.

Bradford Abbas
Pretty stone houses

Cattistock
Pretty village NW of Dorchester.

Cerne Abbas
4.3m south of White Horse Farm, just off the A352 Delightful village, full of history, dominated by nearby 180ft Cerne Giant chalk figure cut into chalk in pre-Roman times. Abbey house, wishing well, many fine buildings. Tea rooms, village shop and three pubs!

The New Inn Cerne Abbas a favourite with many of our guests.

Corfe
4m south of Wareham, A351. Purbeck stone village dominated by ruined castle. NT shop, museum, Corfe Castle Model Village - the castle recreated as before its sacking in 1645, with surrounding village.

Cranborne
19m north of Wimborne, B3078. Peaceful, once important village. Visit Cranborne Manor 17th century gardens and herb garden. Nearby is Edmonsham House and gardens. Also nearby is Cranborne Chase, an area of outstanding natural beauty comprising some 150,000 acres.

Evershot
14m northwest of Dorchester, off A37 Very pretty village, 15th century church and famous "Evershot Bakery". Also exclusive "Summer Lodge Hotel", why not try their afternoon tea.

Glastonbury
www.glastonbury.co.uk
Visit the sacred site of Glastonbury Abbey ruins, or perhaps the healing spring and peaceful gardens at Chalice Well. Or why not walk up Glastonbury Tor for some spectacular views.

Hinton St Mary
Small village on the River Stour with several 17th and 18th century buildings built from local pale yellow limestone. You can also see the remains of Cutt Mill by the river.

Kingston
1m south of Corfe Castle, B3069 Wonderful views of castle, St James's Church.

Langton Herring
4m northwest of Weymouth, B3157. On slopes overlooking the Fleet and Chesil Beach. Elm Tree Inn has ship's mast in bar.

Langton Matravers
2m west of Swanage, B3069. Purbeck stone village at heart of serious rambling area, Coach House Museum, Dancing Ledge on coast to south (when the tide is out there is a swimming pool built in to the rock).

Littlebredy
7m west of Dorchester, off A35. Picturesque hamlet deep in River Bridge valley, Bronze Age barrows, thatched cottages, ark and manor house, "valley of the stones".

Milton Abbas
7m southwest of Blandford, off A354. Picturesque thatched village on one main street built in 18th century after first village was destroyed as it spoiled view from house next to Milton Abbey.

Moreton
6m east of Dorchester, off the A351. Georgian Gothic church (St. Nicholas church), T.E. Lawrence buried in cemetery. Also tea rooms & restaurant, with room dedicated to life & memory of T.E. Lawrence. Also gardens & plant centre.

Okeford Fitzpaine
3m southeast of Sturminster Newton, off A357. Large village, museum with restored 1809 fire engine, superb views over Blackmoor Vale.

Pentridge
9m northeast of Blandford, A354. Hill village near ancient earth rampart Bokerley Ditch on Hampshire border, also Dorset Cursus prehistoric monument, Oakley Down Bronze Age barrows, Ackling Dyke preserved Roman road.

Powerstock
4m northeast of Bridport Thatched village, Norman Castle earthworks, Iron Age hill fort on Eggardon Hill.

Puddletown
Located on the River Piddle, and close to the village of Tolpuddle.

Ryme Intrinseca
6m southwest of Sherborne. Delightfully named after old English Rima (the border or rim) with Intrinseca (within the bounds) added later. Church is one of only two in country dedicated to St Hypolite.

Shaftesbury
This Saxon hilltop town features the famous Gold Hill (Hovis advertisements) with its steeply cobbled street lined with a row of attractive cottages. The Abbey is reputed to have been a gift from King Alfred the Great to his daughter who was the first Abbess in AD880. Though the Abbey all but disappeared after the dissolution of the monasteries, its site is nicely laid-out with a small museum.

Sherborne
Sherborne's name is derived from the Saxon words "scir" and "burna" - the place of the clear brook or stream. Famous for its ancient school, medieval buildings, a fine abbey, 15th century Almshouses and two castles.

Steeple
5m south of Wareham. West of Church Knowle is the quiet hamlet of Steeple with it out-of-the-way church featuring a coat of arms that helped to inspire the American Stars and Stripes. Lulworth Army firing ranges may lead roads to be shut.

Stinsford
1m east of Dorchester, A35 Heart of Thomas Hardy is buried in churchyard

Stoke Abbott
6m north of Bridport, off B3162. Pretty village deep in hills, remains of Roman fort.

Sturminster Newton
Attractive market town. Local market every Monday. Birthplace of poet William Barnes, also home to Thomas Hardy for two years. The six-arch stone bridge spanning the River Stour dates back to c.1500 with a plaque (like other bridges in Dorset) threatening transportation to any person causing wilful damage. The town has a picturesque and ancient working mill which is open to visitors in the summer months.

Sutton Poyntz
3m northeast of Weymouth, A353 Mill pond, thatched cottages, and good walks.

Sydling St Nicholas
7m northwest of Dorchester off the A37. Chalk valley of Sydling Water, Georgian house, court house, spoilt tithe barn, church with gargoyles. Very picturesque.

Tarrant Monkton
5m northeast of Blandford, off B3082. Ford, churchyard graves of WW1 German prisoners of war, Langton Arms

Tolpuddle
7m east of Dorchester, off A35. Home to the Martyrs of 1834 who were transported to Australia for forming a union. Village has a museum and the remains of the sycamore tree where they met. Each year Trades Union Congress holds a rally in their honour.

Tyneham
6m southwest of Wareham. Access is permitted to the general public on a limited basis at holidays and most weekends. Saddest village in Dorset. The residents of Tyneham village received notice to quit their homes on 16th November 1943. The week before Christmas they were gone. They willingly made the sacrifice for the war effort, believing that peacetime would return them to their homes.They were never allowed to return and Tyneham is now a ghost village, partly derelict, there is a restored church, often used for filming, exhibition in hall, large car park, road to village may be shut if army ranges in use. There continues a determined campaign to return it to civilian ownership. A walk through Tyneham is clearly marked and warnings abound to stay within the designated paths for fear of coming across unexploded shells.

Wareham
An ancient town and former royal borough, the charming market town of Wareham is well worth a visit. Between the rivers Frome and Piddle, the attractive gateway to the Isle of Purbeck was a major port until the Middle Ages when the Wareham Channel began to silt up and it was superseded by Poole. Walk around Wareham's quaint back lanes and along thoroughfares dating back hundreds of years; or enjoy a drink or cream tea on the quay.

Wimborne St Giles
9m north of Wimborne, off B3078. Pretty village with church, green, almshouses.

Worth Matravers
4m west of Swanage, off B3069. Former Purbeck Stone quarrying centre, Norman Church, Square, cliff top walks.

Yetminster
Yetminster - 4m south of Yeovil, off A37. Yellow stone houses, 13th century church, village shop and pubs.

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