City guide: What to do in West Dorset

June 13, 2023

West Dorset, located in the beautiful county of Dorset, England, offers a diverse range of attractions and activities for visitors. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in West Dorset:  
Jurassic coast, World Heritage Site on the English Channel
 
  1. Jurassic Coast: Explore the stunning Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its fossil-rich cliffs and beautiful coastal landscapes. Take scenic walks along the coast, visit famous landmarks like Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, and enjoy the breathtaking views.
  1. Abbotsbury Swannery: Visit Abbotsbury Swannery, the only place in the world where you can walk among hundreds of nesting mute swans. Enjoy the peaceful surroundings, watch the swans on the water, and learn about their behavior and conservation efforts.
  1. West Bay: Discover the picturesque harbor town of West Bay, also known as Bridport Harbour. Enjoy a stroll along the beach, admire the iconic cliffs, and take in the panoramic views of the coastline. You can also indulge in fresh seafood at one of the local restaurants.
  1. Sherborne Castle: Explore the historic Sherborne Castle, a magnificent Tudor mansion surrounded by beautiful gardens and parkland. Take a guided tour of the castle, learn about its history, and wander through the well-maintained gardens with their stunning floral displays.
  1. Hardy's Cottage: Visit Hardy's Cottage, the birthplace of the renowned author Thomas Hardy. Explore the charming cob and thatch cottage, which has been preserved as a museum showcasing the writer's early life and the inspiration behind his literary works.
  1. Lyme Regis: Spend a day in the charming seaside town of Lyme Regis. Enjoy the sandy beach, stroll along the famous Cobb (harbor wall), and explore the town's narrow streets lined with independent shops, galleries, and cafes. Don't forget to visit the Lyme Regis Museum, known for its fossil collections.
  1. Mapperton House and Gardens: Discover the enchanting Mapperton House and Gardens, a beautiful stately home with extensive gardens. Take a guided tour of the house, admire the architecture and art collections, and explore the carefully manicured gardens filled with vibrant flowers and tranquil spots.
  1. Bridport Market: Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of the Bridport Market, held on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Browse the stalls offering a variety of goods, including local produce, antiques, crafts, and clothing. It's a great place to find unique souvenirs and immerse yourself in the local culture.
  When staying in West Dorset, Pass the Keys offers professionally managed vacation rentals, ensuring a comfortable and convenient base for exploring the area's attractions and enjoying the natural beauty of the region.  
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