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Things to do inDorchester

Visitor information for Dorchester in Dorset

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Dorset’s county town of Dorchester is a fun and fascinating place to visit. With history, shopping, family attractions and a wide range of restaurants, there is so much to do! And, being situated near the centre of the county, Dorchester makes a perfect base for a tour around Dorset.

In the town centre you’ll find plenty of independent retailers alongside some more familiar high street names. Take a break from the shopping and enjoy a spot of light lunch or a hearty meal in one of the cafes or restaurants. Explore Poundbury where numerous shops are dotted amongst this attractive village-style development of houses, offices and factories. Brewery Square, situated a short stroll from the town centre, is home to a selection of smart shops and chain restaurants as well as a cinema. It’s become a popular destination, particularly in the evening when it’s buzzing with diners and film-goers. Just behind Trinity Street you’ll find the Borough Gardens, where there’s a play area to keep the children entertained as well as tennis courts and an outdoor gym for sporty individuals. With grassy banks and floral displays it’s a good place to sit and enjoy a lunchtime sandwich or afternoon picnic.

The latest blockbusters can be seen at the Plaza Cinema or the Odeon at Brewery Square; and there’s often entertainment at the Corn Exchange. Events in the town include colourful street markets, an annual arts festival, carnival day and lots of special events at the local museums and family attractions.

Of course, we can’t talk about Dorchester without acknowledging legendary poet and writer Thomas Hardy. Author of Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Far From the Madding Crowd and The Mayor of Casterbridge, Hardy was born and spent his early years in a thatched cottage at nearby Bockhampton. He later became an architect and designed Max Gate, a home in Dorchester for himself and his wife Emma. Both Hardy’s cottage and Max Gate are open to the public on selected days from April to October.

Things to do in Dorchester

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Dorchester Events

Latest Dorchester Features

23 Sep 2019
Halloween Events in Dorset The October half-term is now synonymous with Halloween and the themed fun that takes place. If you’re out and about in Dorset, you’ll find many a Halloween event happening, so grab your broomsticks, sharpen those fangs, and prepare to have one hell of a good time! Dorset Halloween events include everything from zombie fests and enchanted illuminations, to pumpkin carving and the Sea Life Ascarium! It's scary how much there is to choose from... Halloween ... Read more...
13 Sep 2019
Dorset Tourism Awards - Finalists Announced for Small Visitor Attraction of the Year As proud sponsors of the small visitor attraction of the year category, all at Resort Dorset would like to congratulate the businesses that have made it through to the finals of the Dorset Tourism Awards. Finalists for this category are: Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park, Verwood Langham Wine Estate, Dorchester Shire Hall Historic Courthouse and Museum, Dorchester Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum Shire Hall offers a historic, educational experience to ... Read more...
8 Aug 2019
Things to do on a rainy day in Dorset Dorset is blessed with countless scenic locations to explore in the summer months, from Durdle Door to Portland Bill there are plenty of beauty spots and outdoor activities to enjoy. But what about those rainy days in Dorset when the number one priority is keeping dry? We’ve compiled a list of fantastic Dorset attractions and activities to keep you and your family entertained when the rain takes hold. Rainy Day Attractions & Activities in Dorset What else ... Read more...
11 Jul 2019
Dorset Village Fairs Our village fairs pay homage to the rural culture that Dorset is built upon. It’s a way of celebrating Dorset that involves fun for everyone. Dorset village fairs, fetes and festivals range from large to small, such as the Dorset County Show which has been running for more than 175 years and attracts over 60,000 visitors each year! Then, we have local fairs that celebrates life in the smaller villages such as the Milton Abbas Street Fayre which demonstrates the strength of our ... Read more...
21 Jun 2019
Places to go for a Cream Tea in Dorset We're celebrating National Cream Tea Day on 28th June - are you? Here in Dorset, looking for places to go for a cream tea (or afternoon tea) isn't exactly difficult. You're likely to be able to get a top-notch cream tea at just about any town or village you visit in our delightful county. So, to help you cream tea lovers celebrate on the 28th, we've compiled a list of just some of the many places you can enjoy a delicious cream tea. But obviously, a cream tea in ... Read more...

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