Holiday Cottages in Dorset
There are many words you can use to describe the majesty of Dorset - scenic, picturesque, utterly beautiful. Here at Snaptrip, however, we don't think any of them quite capture the county's magical charm. When thinking of Dorset's rolling hills, craggy cliffs and secret coastline swimming pools, one word springs to mind, and that's 'unspoilt'.
Dorset is how the English countryside is meant to look. Its days are filled with sunshine, dancing across the top of cobblestones. Its nights are made of the clearest skies, fresh air and the sound of nocturnal birds. Dorset is a family holiday destination in a picture postcard image of England and a place you can never visit just once.
100 miles of stunning coastline
Dorset boasts over 100 miles of stunning coastline and more award-winning beaches than almost anywhere in Britain. The perfect pairing to the South West county's above average sunshine and below-average rainfall. While it's impossible sandy spots is the 'best in Dorset', here at Snaptrip, we're particular fans of Chapman's Pool.
Nestled on the South West Coast Path, this sandy beach is something of a challenge to get to, with the nearest car park being quite a walk away. However, we think this only adds to the pool's appeal. As many tourists decide to settle for more accessible spots, Chapman's Pool remains relatively quiet.
A horseshoe-shaped cove sketched into the landscape by centuries of gentle turquoise tides, Chapman's Pool is less a beach, more an image of paradise. The circle of sand around the water's edge is soft and golden. The only things that disturb the glass-like waters are local fishing boats, venturing south. Meanwhile, up on the cliffs, the smell of fresh green fields mixes with the salt of the sea, making the air down on the bay as crisp as it can be.
The Jurassic Coast is the most magnificent attraction
In the South West of Dorset lies, perhaps, the most magnificent attraction in Britain. Sometimes, it can be easy to forget what a small amount of history humans have been around for. Dorset's Jurassic Coast, however, is a gloriously beautiful reminder.
On the surface, the Jurassic Coast is 96 miles of exceptional scenery. Crystal waters snake beneath craggy cliffs, in a display so visually stunning, it stands alongside the Great Barrier Reef as a World Heritage Site of 'outstanding international importance'.
But, to those who know what they're looking for, these rugged rocks hide something even more spectacular. Wander the Jurassic Coast with a guidebook and you'll be able to read 185 million years of history on Earth. Spot the rock formations, colourations and find the fossils where the Earth really shows its age.
The most scenic areas in the South West
While the Jurassic Coast also stretches west into Devon, Dorset undoubtedly holds the most spectacular parts. Lulworth Cove, a stunning circle of turquoise water, etched into the coast, looks like a swimming pool made for the gods themselves. Durdle Door, a vast and perfect archway, crafted by time itself, is one of the most photographed landmarks in England.
Best of all, however, is Lyme Regis. Inland, this quaint and quiet seaside town is home to a variety of independent shopping spots, two incredible museums and even the award-winning restaurant of a celebrity chef. But by the sea is where Lyme Regis truly shines. Home to one of the largest collections of undiscovered fossils in the world, here, you can spend an incredible day uncovering treasures almost 1,000 times older than humanity itself.
Dozens of magnificent market towns
While the Dorset coast is one of the brightest gems England has to offer, inland, the incredible county has no less to give. Home to numerous medieval market towns, Dorset is the perfect place to feel immersed in old-country living.
Nestled on the River Frome, is the old Saxon town of Wareham. Here you can boat down one of Britain's most idyllic waterways and feel like your floating through a picture postcard. In North Dorset, lies Shaftesbury. Quaint, gorgeous and utterly English, the town is most famous for being the home of 'Gold Hill'. The steep cobbled street that provided the backdrop for 'Britain's favourite TV ad of the 1970s' - Hovis' famous 'bike advert'.
Here at Snaptrip, however, our favourite Dorset market town has got to be Dorchester. Mixing Roman relics and ancient architecture with a bustling local shopping district, if you're looking to do Christmas shopping, there's no better place to be.
Corfe Castle tells a vivid tale
In South East Dorset lies Corfe Castle. A famous survivor of the English Civil War, this incredible castle is renowned as one of the most entrancing and evocative structures in Britain and it's easy to see why. Its romantic ruins tell a vivid, and readable tale, one of violence, pride and vicious conflict.
Wandering through the ruins, you can see the marks left by history. You can spot the murder holes, through which defenders of the castle would pour terrifying substances down on attackers, like scalding water, quicklime or boiling oil. You can count the arrow loops, see the duelling scars or take a guided tour through the castle, and learn the incredible things that occurred in the spot where you stand.
What's more, the surrounding area of Corfe has no less to offer. While many tourists are too distracted by the castle to venture further into the village, Corfe is home to an incredible array of country pubs, charming eateries and gorgeous architecture.
Types of holiday cottage in Dorset
We want your holidays in Dorset to be as perfect as possible. Whether it's for a short break or a month-long getaway, whatever type of holiday home you're craving, we'll do our best to make it happen.
Do you want your four-legged friend to join the fun? Then check out our dog-friendly cottages in Dorset? After a little extra luxury? Why not check out our especially decadent Dorset cottages, large cottages with open plan living areas, a swimming pool or maybe a cottage with an indulgent hot tub. Do you fancy being beside the seaside? Then check out our Dorset coastal cottages or perhaps Dorset cottages by the beach.
Looking for a laugh - our UK comedy Clubs guide includes some great clubs in Dorset.