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Award-winning travel writer
Annabelle Thorpe

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Dorset’s Jurassic Coast

Our verdict:

If Dorset is a county you merely drive through to reach Devon or Cornwall, you're missing a trick. Its Jurassic Coast offers long sweeping beaches, quaint Lyme Regis, arty Bridport, sleepy rural villages and great foodie pubs. Stay in a cosy cottage or converted barn and join a local expert for a fossil hunt on the beaches of Charmouth and Lyme Regis.

Recommended travel company: Jurassic Coast Stays

Jurassic Coast Stays says

Officially stretching for 95 miles from Exmouth in Devon to Studland Bay in eastern Dorset, the Jurassic Coast is rapidly becoming one of the UK’s most popular destinations. West Bay was the backdrop for the hugely popular Broadchurch TV series – remember those amazing cliffs? – and the region is home to some of the West Country’s best restaurants, prettiest towns, quaint villages and rolling hills too. The 2015 film version of Far from the Madding Crowd was shot here too.

We are lucky enough to live and work in the heart of it all so we are in the best position to curate our ever-growing collection of hand-picked characterful cottages, B&Bs and even a campsite which are all available for short stays.

Our choice of B&Bs extends from Swanage in the east to Beer over the border in Devon. They range from farm stays to pubs with rooms in convenient locations for when you fancy heading out to explore.

If you prefer the idea of packing up your tent, check out our camping sites. Hobby Farm Camping, for example, is a beautiful site in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and it’s for adults only, year-round.

With our collection of holiday cottages, you can choose from coastal, village or countryside locations and many of our properties accept dogs. There’s WiFi and a Smart TV in every one as well as some charming personal touches from the owners, many of whom manage their own properties.

If you’re wondering about activities and places to see, you’ll be spoilt for choice year-round. Try village fetes, food and music festivals, world-class fossiling, sea swimming, mackerel fishing, hill walking, sailing, hot air ballooning, farmers’ markets and historic churches for starters. Explore our guide to the many things to do on the Jurassic Coast.

The area’s also become a foodie magnet; as well as a huge range of picturesque pubs with great food, Mark Hix runs a fish restaurant in Lyme Regis, there’s award-winning The Bull in Bridport, the impressive Brassica restaurant in Beaminster and the Crab Shack near Portland for example.

All our B&Bs, the campsite and many of our cottages offer flexible arrival dates and it’s always worth checking for last minute availability if you want to head off next weekend!

If you are still looking for inspiration,  some of our favourite places to visit.

Find out more about our holidays on the Jurassic Coast, including a selection of pet-friendly options.

Note: All the travel companies featured on this site are personally recommended by our editors. Companies pay us a flat annual fee; we don’t get any additional payments if you click on their sites or make a booking. Those fees pay for the upkeep of our site, so we can keep it current and reliable. See more about how we work.