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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.

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Latest Dorchester Features

26 Mar 2018
Resort Dorset Magazine 2018 The popular Resort Dorset magazine for 2018 is out today. Our free title offers visitors the chance to discover all the best things to see and do across the county. Resort is packed with great attractions, activities, food and drink, shopping, events and more ideas for great days out. You'll also find lots of money-saving vouchers! Keep an eye out for the bright yellow dispensers and pick up your copy soon - they'll be found in many hotels, holiday parks, shops, ... Read more...
27 Feb 2018
10 of the Best Dorset Places of Interest Dorset is blessed with more beauty spots and landmarks per square mile than anywhere else (ok we just made that up, but it's got a lot). With its stunning countryside, breathtaking coastal views, historic monuments and spectacular natural features, you don’t have to look far to see why visitors just can’t get enough of what Dorset has to offer. One of the great advantages is just how accessible everything is – many sights are close together and you could ... Read more...
27 Feb 2018
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