Dorset is an ideal location for walkers and outdoor enthusiasts all year round. Dorset’s 88 miles of remarkable Heritage Coastline including the mighty Chesil Beach, one of the geological wonders of Europe, and the Jurassic rocks and fossils of over 200 million years ago, generates enormous interest. The coastal path is easy to explore and walkers are rewarded with dramatic seascapes and stunning landscapes. It is a photographer’s paradise, and a sea captain’s nightmare! Much of Dorset’s coastline is used for recreation, including sailing, windsurfing, fishing, diving and climbing. More informal leisure pursuits which take advantage of the scenery include horse-riding and golf.
Dorset is frequently described as ‘The Best of Both Worlds’, for behind the varied coastline lies a county rich in archaeology, unspoilt rural villages and countryside, and a history to be proud of. From before Roman times Dorset has been a jewel in England’s crown. Roman relics and vestiges of Saxon royalty vie with the reminders of Tutankhamun’s Egypt and modern architectural ideas championed by Prince Charles. Dorset features some excellent museums, with world leading centres at Bovington’s Tank Museum and the Russell Cotes Museum and Art Gallery in Bournemouth.
Above all of course, this is Thomas Hardy country; ancient Wessex -, the home of the ‘Mayor of Casterbridge’ and ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’. The county town of Dorchester has been immortalised as Hardy’s birthplace. Hardy’s Cottage, (where he wrote his first novels ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’ and ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’) and his later home, Max Gate are both near Dorchester.