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Pocket Guide: Dorset

Dorset is located in the west of England, between the M3 and the M5 and close to the A303. It's well served by rail links, and with Exeter International Airport just over an hour away, it's easily accessible, whether you're travelling for business or pleasure. Part of the spectacular Jurassic Coast, Dorset offers a unique combination of the best of coast and country, swathed by undulating hills and bathed by temperate seas. With some of the United Kingdom's best beaches on offer and plenty of wide open space to explore, Dorset is a county for virtually every type of holiday, whether you want it quiet and serene or want to pack in some adventure activities. Hotels in Dorset come in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from cheap, beachside hotels and business stop-overs, to luxurious establishments with their own spas.

From Pre-History to TV History: Hotels in Dorset

As part of the Jurassic Coast, Dorset can trace its roots back to pre-history. Fossil hunters travel from across the world to the famous beaches that line the region, such as Lyme Regis and Charmouth, in the hope of uncovering a big find. There is plenty of evidence of early settlement, such as the priapic chalk giant at Cerne Abbas. The magic and mystery of Dorset have inspired artists from every walk, with perhaps the most well-known being the novelist, Thomas Hardy. However, even in the 21st Century, the rolling landscape continues to inspire; if it seems a little familiar, it may be because you've seen it used as the backdrop for the critically-acclaimed TV series, Broadchurch.

Attractions in Dorset

Dorset is one of the UK's most popular destinations, for those looking to spend some quality downtime surrounded by unparalleled panoramas and beautiful beaches. Thousands of visitors flock to the county throughout the year, drawn by the promise of a slower pace of life, excellent food and historic attractions. Many hotels, such as the Wessex Hotel and the Cliffeside Hotel in Bournemouth, are close to local attractions, making sightseeing that much easier.

When it comes to attractions, Dorset is full to bursting with great things to see and do for visitors of all ages. There are castles peppered throughout the county, from the romantic ruins of Corfe Castle to the classic grandeur of Lulworth Castle. Younger visitors will enjoy a trip to some of the many family attractions, such as Monkey World, Adventure Wonderland and Bournemouth Oceanarium. Those who want to soak up the great outdoors should earmark spots such as Hambleden Hill, New Forest and Purbeck Hills.

Hotels in a Foodie Hotspot

With superb, fertile soil, Dorset has become something of a hotspot for food lovers. Attracted by the prospect of some of the freshest produce in the UK, many restaurateurs have set up shop in the county, serving exquisite dishes, created from locally sourced ingredients. However, it's worth remembering that some of the hotels in Dorset on the upper end of the scale, such as the Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth West Cliff, have their own restaurants, with standards and food that rival some of the best independent eateries.

There's plenty of excellent accommodation to be found in Dorset, whether you're looking to spend some time with your partner, enjoy some family time or are simply passing through as part of a busy business schedule.