Situated in an inland, but fairly central location, Dorchester is ideally located to serve as the county town of Dorset. Dorchester is surrounded by towns and villages such as Chickerell, Portland, Weymouth, Wool, Bovington, Milton Abbas, and Buckland, which all have their own attractions, so although it may be easy to stray, there is plenty to do in the town itself.
Why not start by finding out more about the area and its history at the Dorchester County Museum. The museum was founded in 1846, and has since played an important role in preserving the natural history and archaeology of the area. As well as important collections in these areas, the museum also displays fine art, social history exhibits, photography, and other artefacts. It also holds a wide range of events for all the family.
Evidence of Dorchester’s history, doesn’t just reside in glass cabinets though, it can be seen out and about in the town as well. First up, why not check out the Maumbury Rings earthwork monument. The rings have three distinct features, an Artillery Fort built to protect the town during the English Civil War, a Henge built during the Neolithic Period, around 2500BC, and a Roman Amphitheatre dating back to 1st Century AD. This unique location is often home to local events like the Dorchester Arts Fesitval. Maumbury Rings is just a few minutes from Dorchester Town Centre, but if you want to explore a bit further afield, then Maiden Castle is worth a visit. Maintained by English Heritage, this hillside fort, with its challenging ramparts and ditches is open to the public throughout the year.
Kingston Maurward Park and Gardens is also worth checking out if you’re looking for more family orientated attractions. There’s a visitor centre and animal park, along with formal gardens, parkland and lake. Other family fun can be had at the Dinosaur Museum, Teddy Bear Museum, and Dorchester Skate Park. There’s also a cinema, sports facilities, and a range of high street shops, food outlets and nightlife available throughout Dorchester.
The county town is within reachable distance of Bournemouth International Airport, is home to Dorchester South and Dorchester West Train Stations, and there are good road links into the county and Dorchester itself. So, if you feel like a trip to a historic part of Dorset, then maybe your next trip down South will take in Dorchester!