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DorchesterUnited Kingdom

With greater historical legacies than many far bigger cities, Dorset's county town is rich in sights and activities for the curious traveler. 

Explore prehistoric ruins, ancient amphitheaters and literary locations in cultural Dorchester. Founded by the Romans in a land previously inhabited by Stone Age farmers, this town still displays the heritage of these two distinct groups. Walk through the town and surrounding area to see the lasting impact of Dorchester's colorful history.

Orient yourself by finding the centrally located obelisk, which was once the town pump. Learn about the region's past at the Dorset County Museum, which houses local archaeological findings, Tudor paintings and manuscripts from local writer Thomas Hardy. Many of the exhibits relate to Dorchester's most famous sights.

Travel farther back in time at the Tutankhamun Exhibition, featuring recreations of Egypt's most famous mummy. Discover different facets of history at the Keep Military Museum, the Dinosaur Museum and the Terracotta Warriors Museum.

Continue your journey into history outdoors, stopping at the Maumbury Rings. This ancient circle, a short walk from the town center, is made of three different layers dating from the Neolithic, Roman and English Civil War eras. Find out how Romans lived at the remains of a Roman Town House and relax in the green Borough Gardens which hosts many of the town's cultural events.

Outside the city limits, discover even more area stories. Marvel at the mysterious Cerne Abbas Giant, Britain's largest chalk drawing. Historians disagree on the origins and purpose of the famous naked figure. View the drawing from afar for the whole picture or stroll around it to see pleasant scenery and local wildlife.

South of town lies Maiden Castle, a hill fort about 5,000 years old. Examine the Roman temple and Neolithic defenses and admire spectacular views over the town. The ancient settlement is free to visit and open year-round.

Dorchester has two railway stations, both 5-minute walks from the town center. Trains from London regularly head to Dorchester South. Arrange to visit in spring or summer to thoroughly appreciate the outdoor attractions that make the town such a fascinating destination.

Top hotels in Dorchester

The Frampton Arms
The Frampton Arms
3.5 out of 5
The price is £80 per night from 7 Dec to 8 Dec

Situated in the historical district, this hotel is 2.5 mi (4.1 km) from Sculpture by the Lakes and within 6 miles (10 km) of The Tank Museum and Monkey World ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (81 reviews)

"Very nice room and very clean. Staff were very friendly. Ate breakfast and dinner in the restaurant during the stay - both were delicious!"…"

Reviewed on 1 Nov 2020

The Frampton Arms
The Countryman Inn
The Countryman Inn
3.5 out of 5
The price is £90 per night from 4 Dec to 5 Dec

Situated in Dorchester, this beach inn is within 6 miles (10 km) of Durdle Door Beach, Durdle Door and Monkey World Ape Rescue Center. Weymouth Bay and The Tank ...

4.2/5Excellent! (86 reviews)

"Lovely location. All staff very friendly and helpful can’t fault the the place looking forward to staying again"…"

Reviewed on 20 Oct 2020

The Countryman Inn
Best Western Wessex Royale Hotel Dorchester
Best Western Wessex Royale Hotel Dorchester
3 out of 5
32 High West Street, Dorchester, England
Get Rates

Located in the heart of Dorchester, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from The Keep Military Museum and Tutankhamun: The Exhibition. Roman Town House and Borough ...

4.2/5Excellent! (283 reviews)

"A modern hotel with an old fashioned feel. Well worth staying here. Car park a little small, so worth getting the JustPark App for the public car park up the road (the hotel may refund this)."…"

Reviewed on 6 Nov 2020

Best Western Wessex Royale Hotel Dorchester
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Holiday Rentals in Dorchester

Linden Lea
Linden Lea
3.5 out of 5

Situated in Dorchester, this cottage is within 1 mi (2 km) of Dorset and East Devon Coast and Chesil Beach. West Bexington Beach and Cogden Beach are also within ...

Linden Lea
Thatched Cottage, West Dorset
Thatched Cottage, West Dorset
3.5 out of 5

Situated in Dorchester, this cottage is 2.8 mi (4.6 km) from Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and within 9 miles (15 km) of Mapperton Gardens and Cerne ...

Thatched Cottage, West Dorset
Six Horse Barn
Six Horse Barn
3.5 out of 5

Situated in Dorchester, this cottage is 3.1 mi (4.9 km) from Monkey World Ape Rescue Center and within 6 miles (10 km) of Durdle Door and The Tank Museum. Weymouth ...

Six Horse Barn
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Dorchester

Top things to do in Dorchester

Reviews of Dorchester

4.3

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
33
5 - Excellent 41.25%
4 - Good
42
4 - Good 52.5%
3 - Okay
3
3 - Okay 3.75%
2 - Disappointing
2
2 - Disappointing 2.5%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

3 Feb 2020

No phone network, only wifi though

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

19 Jan 2020

Small town,only stopped there for coffee,so unable to comment really.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

10 Nov 2019

We enjoyed the town good shopping

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

6 Oct 2019

Excellent market and restaurants

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

21 Sep 2019

Beautiful beaches and countryside and of course monkey world my favourite place

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

13 Sep 2019

Dorchester market on a Wednesday is well worth a visit.

Cities near Dorchester