Welcome to Visit Dorset Places
The Walkfo guide to things to do & explore in Dorset

Visit Dorset PlacesVisit Dorset places using Walkfo for free guided tours of the best Dorset places to visit. A unique way to experience Dorset’s places, Walkfo allows you to explore Dorset as you would a museum or art gallery with audio guides.

Visiting Dorset Walkfo Preview
Dorset is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast . The ceremonial county comprises the unitary authority areas of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and Dorset . Dorset has a varied landscape featuring broad elevated chalk downs, steep limestone ridges and low-lying clay valleys . It is the birthplace of Thomas Hardy, who used the county as the principal setting of his novels . When you visit Dorset, Walkfo brings Dorset places to life as you travel by foot, bike, bus or car with a mobile phone & headphones.


Dorset Places Overview: History, Culture & Facts about Dorset

Visit Dorset – Walkfo’s stats for the places to visit

With 12 audio plaques & Dorset places for you to explore in the Dorset area, Walkfo is the world’s largest heritage & history digital plaque provider. The AI continually learns & refines facts about the best Dorset places to visit from travel & tourism authorities (like Wikipedia), converting history into an interactive audio experience.

Dorset history

Early history

First human visitors to Dorset were Mesolithic hunters, from around 8000 BC . Bronze Age farmers cleared Dorset’s woodlands for agricultural use . Iron Age tribe known as the Durotriges established a series of hill forts across the county . Romans arrived in Dorset during their conquest of Britain in AD 43 . Viking attack on the British Isles took place in 789 on the Portland coast .

Modern history

Dorset Modern history photo

The dissolution of the monasteries (1536–1541) met little resistance in Dorset and many of the county’s abbeys, including Shaftesbury, Cerne and Milton, were sold to private owners . In 1642, at the commencement of the English Civil War, the Royalists took control of the entire county apart from Poole and Lyme Regis . The Dorsetshire Regiment were the first British unit to face a gas attack during the First World War (1914–1918)

Dorset culture & places

Dorset Culture photo

As a largely rural county, Dorset has fewer major cultural institutions than larger or more densely populated areas. Major venues for concerts and theatre include Poole’s Lighthouse arts centre, Bournemouth’s BIC, Pavilion Theatre and O2 Academy, and the Pavilion theatre in Weymouth. One of Dorset’s most noted cultural institutions is the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra which was founded in 1893. Based in Poole, the orchestra performs over 130 concerts across southern England each year. Dorset has more than 30 general and specialist museums. The Dorset County Museum in Dorchester was founded in 1846 and contains an extensive collection of exhibits covering the county’s history and environment. The Tank Museum at Bovington contains more than 300 tanks and armoured vehicles from 30 nations. The museum is the largest in Dorset and its collection has been designated of national importance. Other museums which reflect the cultural heritage of the county include The Keep Military Museum in Dorchester, the Russell-Cotes Museum in Bournemouth, the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre, Poole Museum, Portland Museum and Wareham Town Museum. Dorset contains 190 conservation areas, more than 1,500 scheduled monuments, over 30 registered parks and gardens and 12,850 listed buildings. Grade I listed buildings include: Portland Castle, a coastal fort commissioned by Henry VIII; a castle with more than a 1,000 years of history at Corfe; a Roman ruin described by English Heritage as the “only Roman town house visible in Britain”; Athelhampton, a Tudor manor house; Forde Abbey, a stately home and former Cistercian monastery; Christchurch Priory, the longest church in England; and St Edwold’s church, one of the smallest. Dorset hosts a number of annual festivals, fairs and events including the Great Dorset Steam Fair near Blandford, one of the largest events of its kind in Europe, and the Bournemouth Air Festival, a free air show that attracted 1.3 million visitors in 2009. The Spirit of the Seas is a maritime festival held in Weymouth and Portland. Launched in 2008, the festival features sporting activities, cultural events and local entertainers. The Dorset County Show, which was first held in 1841, is a celebration of Dorset’s agriculture. The two-day event exhibits local produce and livestock and attracts some 55,000 people. Inside Out Dorset is an outdoor arts festival that takes place every two years in rural and urban locations across Dorset. In addition to the smaller folk festivals held in towns such as Christchurch and Wimborne, Dorset holds several larger musical events such as Camp Bestival, End of the Road and the Larmer Tree Festival. Dorset’s only professional football club is AFC Bournemouth, which plays in the EFL Championship— the second highest division in the English football league system. Non-League semi-professional teams in the county include Southern Premier Division teams Dorchester Town F.C., Poole Town F.C. and Weymouth F.C.. Dorset County Cricket Club competes in the Minor Counties Cricket Championship and is based at Dean Park Cricket Ground in Bournemouth. Poole Stadium hosts regular greyhound racing and is the home to top-flight speedway team Poole Pirates. The county’s coastline, on the English Channel, is noted for its watersports (particularly sailing, gig racing, windsurfing, power boating and kayaking) which take advantage of the sheltered waters in the bays of Weymouth and Poole, and the harbours of Poole and Portland. Dorset hosted the sailing events at the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Paralympics at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. The venue was completed in May 2009 and was used by international sailing teams in preparation for the Games. Dorset is famed in literature for being the native county of author and poet Thomas Hardy, and many of the places he describes in his novels in the fictional Wessex are in Dorset, which he renamed South Wessex. The National Trust owns Thomas Hardy’s Cottage, in Higher Bockhampton, east of Dorchester; and Max Gate, his former house in Dorchester. Several other writers have called Dorset home, including Douglas Adams, who wrote much of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy while he lived in Stalbridge; John le Carré, author of espionage novels, was born in Poole; Tom Sharpe of Wilt fame lived in Bridport; John Fowles (The French Lieutenant’s Woman) lived in Lyme Regis before he died in late 2005; T.F. Powys lived in Chaldon Herring for over 20 years and used it as inspiration for the fictitious village of Folly Down in his novel Mr. Weston’s Good Wine; John Cowper Powys, his elder brother, also set a number of his works in Dorset, such as the novels Maiden Castle and Weymouth Sands. Children’s author Enid Blyton drew inspiration for many of her works from Dorset. The 19th-century poet William Barnes was born in Bagber and wrote many poems in his native Dorset dialect. Originating from the ancient Norse and Saxon languages, the dialect was prevalent across the Blackmore Vale but has fallen into disuse. Dorset’s flag, which is known as the Dorset Cross or St Wite’s Cross, was adopted in 2008 following a public competition organised by Dorset County Council. The winning design, which features a white cross with a red border on a golden background, attracted 54% of the vote. All three colours are used in Dorset County Council’s coat of arms and the red and white was used in recognition of the English flag. The golden colour represents Dorset’s sandy beaches and the Dorset landmarks of Golden Cap and Gold Hill. It is also a reference to the Wessex Dragon, a symbol of the Saxon Kingdom which Dorset once belonged to, and the gold wreath featured on the badge of the Dorset Regiment.

Dorset toponymy

Dorset derives its name from the town of Dorchester. The Romans established the settlement in the 1st century and named it Durnovaria. The Saxons named the town Dornwaraceaster. It is first mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in AD 845.

Why visit Dorset with Walkfo Travel Guide App?

Visit Dorset PlacesYou can visit Dorset places with Walkfo Dorset to hear history at Dorset’s places whilst walking around using the free digital tour app. Walkfo Dorset has 12 places to visit in our interactive Dorset map, with amazing history, culture & travel facts you can explore the same way you would at a museum or art gallery with information audio headset. With Walkfo, you can travel by foot, bike or bus throughout Dorset, being in the moment, without digital distraction or limits to a specific walking route. Our historic audio walks, National Trust interactive audio experiences, digital tour guides for English Heritage locations are available at Dorset places, with a AI tour guide to help you get the best from a visit to Dorset & the surrounding areas.

“Curated content for millions of locations across the UK, with 12 audio facts unique to Dorset places in an interactive Dorset map you can explore.”

Walkfo: Visit Dorset Places Map
12 tourist, history, culture & geography spots


  Dorset historic spots

  Dorset tourist destinations

  Dorset plaques

  Dorset geographic features

Walkfo Dorset tourism map key: places to see & visit like National Trust sites, Blue Plaques, English Heritage locations & top tourist destinations in Dorset


Best Dorset places to visit

Dorset has places to explore by foot, bike or bus. Below are a selection of the varied Dorset’s destinations you can visit with additional content available at the Walkfo Dorset’s information audio spots:

Dorset photo Dewlish House
Dewlish House is a Grade I Listed building in Dorset. It is a country house near Dewlish in the town of Dewlish.

Visit Dorset plaques

Dorset Plaques 0
Dorset has 0 physical plaques in tourist plaque schemes for you to explore via Walkfo Dorset plaques audio map when visiting. Plaques like National Heritage’s “Blue Plaques” provide visual geo-markers to highlight points-of-interest at the places where they happened – and Walkfo’s AI has researched additional, deeper content when you visit Dorset using the app. Experience the history of a location when Walkfo local tourist guide app triggers audio close to each Dorset plaque. Currently No Physical Plaques.