Picture of Bournemouth
Bournemouth
Bournemouth
Picture of Poole
Poole
Poole
Picture of Dorchester
Dorchester
Dorchester
Picture of Southampton
Southampton
Southampton
Picture of Christchurch
Christchurch
Christchurch
Picture of Portsmouth
Portsmouth
Portsmouth

Bournemouth

Picture of Bournemouth

Bournemouth is the largest resort in Dorset and boasts a long 7 miles of sandy beaches, beautiful parks and floral gardens. It also provides a vast array of shops, restaurants and holiday accommodation to suit all budgets.

You are sure to find things to do whilst exploring Bournemouth, with lots of attractions, activities and entertainment to keep all ages entertained. With great shopping, and eating out experiences as well lots of events all year round. Why not enjoy the nightlife too, with some of the best pubs, bars and clubs along the coast.

Enjoy beautiful bay walks with breathtaking cliff top views. Discover Hengistbury Head Nature Reserve to the east and the magnificent coastline heading west towards Alum Chine, with its tropical gardens.

Poole

Picture of Poole

Poole is a coastal town in Dorset, known for its large natural harbour and award winning blue flag sandy beaches, including the world famous Sandbanks Beach. The old town boasts attractions like picturesque Georgian houses, as well as Poole Museum, which explores local history. From Poole harbour, boats head down south to Brownsea Island. This wooded island has trails and wildlife such as red squirrels. Plus the island houses the 16th century Brownsea Castle which is now a private hotel.

Nestled between Bournemouth, the Isle of Purbeck and the Jurassic Coast, Poole is a fabulous place to start exploring Dorset.

Poole's harbour is a haven for sailors, wildlife enthusiasts and water sports, with a gateway to the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. It is also home to the RNLI, which has a full training college situated along the harbour’s edge.

Why not explore the treasures of Poole’s historic quayside and delve deep into the heart of the old town where sea captains and pirates once stood! Or you could take to the water and enjoy the multiple water sports available, which include windsurfing, sailing or a powerboat ride in the safe and shallow water. Poole is a fantastic place for the whole family to visit, with so many local attractions and entertainment.

Dorchester

Picture of Dorchester

A town full of character, Dorchester has many great places to eat, not to mention a bustling event programme. Dorset's county town is home to some of the finest local attractions, which includes many historical sites, such as castles and ancient trails and paths - in Dorchester you can enjoy the rich history dating back as far as the Iron Age.

Explore the miles upon miles of bike trails and walking routes that surround Dorchester, and take in all of the stunning wildlife and nature. You are able to enjoy some of the breathtaking scenery whilst being moments from the centre of town, by using routes such as Maiden Castle and The Dorset Jubilee Trail.

Or perhaps you’d like to explore the Hardy Trail, which is not just for fans of the acclaimed poet and writer Thomas Hardy, but can be enjoyed by all lovers of nature. Those who have done a little research into Hardy’s life may also know that Casterbridge, featured in many of his novels, is a fictional name for Dorchester, Hardy’s home town. Many other references to the great poet can be found in and around the town too - many of the locals would probably be able to point out several!

Arguably the biggest event to be held in Dorchester is the Dorset County Show. A celebration of the local area's agricultural history, this show gives you the opportunity to get up close and personal with many of the rural trades that provided livelihoods for locals for generations.

Southampton

Picture of Southampton

This is much more than just a cruise stop or shopping destination. Its appeal lies with its diverse nightlife, retail opportunities, and varied leisure facilities. Not to mention the superb art and heritage attractions, lively events, and of course the charm of the bustling waterfront location.

Titanic enthusiasts will of course be aware that Southampton is where the famous ship began its maiden voyage in 1912, and will be able to visit some of the city's major Titanic related sights. These include war memorials, the former White Start headquarters and the Grapes pub.

Southampton's cultural offerings also include the award winning City Art Gallery and Southampton Guildhall, as well as fine theatres, galleries and international events such as the annual Boat Show.

If shopping is for you, why not visit WestQuay in Southampton. This is a state of the art shopping facility with almost a hundred shops in which you can browse and buy. WestQuay is also close to three more shopping centres, alongside various unique and quirky shops, making Southampton one of the top shopping destinations in southern England.

Christchurch

Picture of Christchurch

If you cannot decide between seaside or countryside, historic town or pretty harbour, then Christchurch is the place to solve this dilemma! A perfect solution that offers award winning beaches, coastal nature reserves, heritage attractions and a stunning quay, Christchurch is an incredibly popular local destination.

The historic Priory Church and nearby castle ruins give a certain old world charm to Christchurch, along with its attractive bustling town centre. Nearby villages such as Highcliffe and Mudeford furthermore provide a castle that continues to stand, along with very popular crabbing trips.

With four miles of coastline, which include views of the Isle of Wight, and six safe beaches, within the Christchurch area you’re also spoilt for choice when it comes to scenic walks and picnics!

There are additionally several ‘two for the price of one’ deals in Christchurch! With two rivers to sail or walk along, two historic quays, and two castles to discover, you may need to double the time you spend in this scenic town.

Perhaps the icing on the cake is the renowned annual food and drink festival, which never fails to bring the whole community together. Throughout the year there are hundreds of fairs, festivals, fetes, shows and exhibitions hosted in and around Christchurch too, giving you something to look forward to whenever you stay.

Portsmouth

Picture of Portsmouth

Portsmouth is a dynamic and vibrant waterfront city that is packed with many reasons as to why you should visit. Ideally situated along the south coast, this city is perfect for a short break by the sea. There are many things to do here, which include museums, live music, art, two cathedrals and a diverse literary heritage.

Portsmouth was the birthplace of Charles Dickens, but also home to Arthur Conan Doyle and Rudyard Kipling during their lifetimes. With these literary greats being celebrated throughout the city and at frequent events, Portsmouth may be a great destination for budding writers looking for some inspiration.

Why not visit Southsea common, which is a 50 acre open space right along the seafront. A popular place for dog walks, picnics and sport, this area also hosts high profile events such as America's Cup World Series and The Victorious Music Festival.

And if you do visit this great city, it’s important not to forget to see the recent modern emblem of Portsmouth, the Emirates Spinnaker Tower. This structure, towering above the city, stretches 170 metres above Gunwharf Quays, making it taller than Big Ben, the London Eye and Blackpool Tower. On a clear day visitors are able to see a phenomenal 350 degree panorama, stretching for up to 23 miles.