Find the perfect holiday rental for your trip to Dorset on Likibu and choose one of the many holiday cottages available to delve into the beauty of this coastal county. Known as the ‘Jurassic Coast’, the natural rocky wonders, castles and scenery in this southern seaside gem attract visitors from across the globe. Wherever you have come from, there is a holiday let waiting for you in Dorset.
Holiday cottages in the beautiful county of Dorset!
Immerse yourself in a true Dorset experience, and live like a local by renting a peaceful country cottage. Spend your days hiking along Dorset's famous landscapes, then rest and rejuvenate in a holiday let in the heart of this charming county. Whether you want to visit Durdle Door, one of the most photographed icons of the country, have a drink on the cliffside in the Isle of Portland, or take a walk along the coast to Old Harry Rocks, there is a holiday rental waiting to welcome you to best beach England can offer.
When to go to Dorset?
Dorset's holiday rentals, bed and breakfasts, roads and attractions can all get busy over the sunnier months of June, July and August when the schools finish for summer. If you can avoid these months, opt for the pleasant months of April and May, or September and October when you can still catch some southern sun. For a chilly but festive trip, visit the county in December, when you can enjoy the Christmas markets and the seasonal railway train.
How to get there?
Taking the train from London Waterloo is the most efficient way of travelling to the county if you are visiting from across the UK. There are two direct routes from the capital to Dorset, both of which is run by South Western Railway and can reach the destination in just over three hours. Alternatively, Dorset can be reached on the M1 and M27 motorway from the north, the M5 from the west, and the M20 from the east. For visitors arriving from even further afield, you will fly into Bournemouth international airport, which connects Dorset to all major European countries, with flights to Geneva, Kraków, Malta and many more. Do not forget, however, that Dorset is a coastal county, and can, therefore, be reached by sea. Take an overnight ferry from Normandy or Brittany in France, or travel from the Channel Islands in just over three hours.
If you are already enjoying a southern English seaside escape, you can visit parts of this beautiful county for the day. Travel from your holiday home in Bournemouth which is only 40 minutes from some of the most beautiful areas of Dorset, then return to the city for a night of fine dining and sunset views from your bedroom balcony.
Getting around the countryside
Dorset is bursting with individual seaside towns, castles and gardens which are just waiting to be discovered, so rent a car to make sure you don't miss any of the gems which this county has to offer. Another option is to hire a bike and experience Dorset's landscapes without the restrictions of the roads, as you can take to the peaceful country lanes and ancient paths on your own two wheels.
Where to book a holiday cottage in Dorset
Choose a holiday home in Weymouth, and stay a stone's throw away from miles of golden sandy beaches, craggy landscapes, and a quaint harbour. This vibrant area has the perfect balance of natural attractions and unspoilt scenery, with interesting architecture, lighthouses, restaurants and bars. Choose a holiday rental in this dynamic district, don't miss the Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park and the Nothe Fort!
Stay in a bed and breakfast on Airbnb in the ancient town of Dorchester and check out their vast number of museums, gardens and grade listed buildings. Hotels in Dorchester will get busier in late August when they hold their French market, which spills onto the streets, so be sure to book a room ahead to secure your own place in this ageless town.
West Dorset, or rather, the ‘Prehistoric Jurassic Coast', is the most picturesque place in Dorset, as it is where you can find rural cliffs, emerald bays, and spectacular views of the English Channel, so it really is no surprise that West Dorset is the backdrop to countless TV shows and movies. Book a holiday cottage in Lyme Regis to see why this picturesque coastal town in West Dorset is nicknamed "The Pearl of Dorset" as well as discovering more about the area's paleontological history in the Dinosaurland Fossil Museum.
Home to the iconic natural wonders of Durdle Door, Old Harry Rocks and the Isle of Purbeck, this district fringes the English Channel, meaning visitors can rejuvenate in the southern sea air. Choose a room with a view of the water and book a bed and breakfast or guest house in the hills of this preserved rural haven, and spend days learning for yourself why this location is one of the most beautiful in the entire country.
The district of Swanage boasts a promenade and beach and which attracts many unexpected visitors to Dorset, as it is known for its rare wildlife and bird sightings. The sea waves also attract surfers from across the nation, as Swanage beach offers some of the biggest waves in the country. For the surfer crowd, Swanage is the ideal place to rent a reasonably priced apartment or book a youth hostel to place you in the best position to catch those early morning waves.
If you consider yourself a foodie, then Dorset's quintessential market town is undoubtedly the place for you to book a hotel or holiday cottage. Escape reality by sampling Dorset's most exquisite food and drinks and take some local produce from the market back to your holiday rental to try cooking some of the county's specialty dishes for yourself. Once you have filled up of the many flavours of Bridport, take a walk around its West Bay, which will remind you of the coastal beauty which this county has to offer.
What to do in Dorset?
Lulworth Castle and Park
Spend the day living like royalty, for absolutely no cost, and indulge in the history of this 17th-century castle, which has been named the ‘most beautiful castle in the south'. Be sure not to leave your camera in your holiday rental and make the most of your visit to Lulworth by climbing the castle's tower for panoramic views of Dorset's vast countryside, and the Jurassic coast.
For an unforgettable way of travelling along Dorset's coast, jump aboard a restored train at Swanage Railway station, and even order a meal onboard on your timeless journey. Book ahead, and visit Swanage Railway over the festive period, where you can drink champagne on the specially decorated ‘Christmas Belle' observation car. For those visitors staying in a holiday cottage or bed and breakfast in Swanage, the station is just a short walk away, so be sure to make the most of this iconic railway line.
Book an apartment in Poole to be just a short walk from what is also known as Britain's 'Miami Beach' because of its golden sands and Jurassic Coast scenery. It is also very family-friendly as the Crazy Golf is also located nearby for an adventure-filled day!
The epitome of Dorset's coast, Studland's waters surround the rare rock formation of Old Harry and offer scenic views of the Channel for its chalky rock formation.
Visit West Bay beach, and you will soon see why this coast is a recognised World Heritage Site. Crowned by the Golden Cap cliff, visitors can spend their time bathing on the sands of this bay and try some local produce in the bay's harbour.
This geographer's paradise is one of the best spots in the country for hunting out fossils which date back to the Jurassic period. For those visitors who do not want to scout the rocky shore themselves, Charmouth has a fossil shop so that you can take home a piece of Dorset's history yourself.
Perhaps the most beautiful stretch of scenery in the British Isles, West Lulworth offers rich green waters and quaint holiday cottages where visitors can discover its breathtaking view, and get lost in its hidden coves.