The seaside resort of Lyme Regis and the charming hill town of Shaftesbury have been highly recommended as top places to visit in Dorset in a survey of Which? members.
With its spectacular coastal scenery and paths, wild heathland and long sandy beaches, Dorset is an ideal choice for seaside holidays, walkers and nature lovers.
We asked Which? members to recommend their favourite towns, attractions and scenic journeys in Dorset. Some of those suggested most frequently appear below.
Several sections along the South West Coast Path were recommended for scenic walks, including from Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door and from Charmouth onto the sandstone cliffs of Golden Cap.
If you plan to go walking this summer, see our review of the best and worst brands of walking shoes.
Recommended Dorset wildlife
The Arne RSPB Reserve on the Purbeck peninsula proved popular among Which? members. It’s one of the best places in the UK to spot Dartford warblers and there’s a good chance of seeing deer. Nearby Brownsea Island is one of the few remaining English refuges for the red squirrel.
If you’re planning your own wildlife-watching break, check out our binoculars reviews.
Recommended Dorset attractions
Members spoke highly of Shaftesbury, with its views over the Blackmore Vale, Abbey museum and the steep, cobbled street of picturesque Gold Hill. Other favoured towns included Dorchester, Sherborne and Wimborne.
The most mentioned historic house was Kingston Lacy, a 17th century mansion with a substantial art collection and 300 acres of wooded parkland and gardens. Members also suggested seeing the atmospheric ruins of Corfe Castle from the Swanage Railway steam train.
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