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Find cottages in DorchesterVisit Dorchester

On the banks of the River Frome sits Dorchester, the county town of Dorset. A popular and historic market town, Dorchester is nestled just South of the Dorset Downs and less than 8 miles away from the seaside town of Weymouth and the Dorset coast.

The busy town centre's focal point is the Town Pump and impressive clock tower surrounded by bars, restaurants and shops. There's a French Market that is held annually every August, which attracts locals and visitors alike and a number of historic walks that start off in the centre of town. The nearby Tank museum will be a guaranteed hit with the kids.

Dorchester has a long and rich history; being occupied since Roman times and contributing to its cultural identity over the years. Visitors can explore this history through the excellent themed walks around town, which tell a fascinating historical tale. Visit the Roman ruins of Maiden Castle, one of the most significant Roman sites in the UK and the Dinosaur Museum is an absolute must for children and adults alike. There are a number of other historical but fun sights and locations in the area that make the town a great choice for a family holiday, such as the Tutankhamen Exhibition.

To find accommodation in the area see our selection of holiday cottages in Dorchester and start planning your holiday now. Dorchester has an abundance of activities and sights for fun-filled family breaks, a week of exploring the history in the area, or an indulgent week of restaurant meals and shopping trips.

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Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
3
Bedrooms
2
Pets
2

"Greenwood Grange offers the ideal holiday combination - premium quality accommodation, fine facilities all within a family-run friendly and welcoming atmosphere, and it has achieved a Green Tourism Business Scheme Gold Award"

Set at Higher Bockhampton (which is Hardy’s ‘Upper Mellstock’), Greenwood Grange is a secret hideaway set in its own 4 acres of peaceful grounds and landscaped gardens. All the cottages have undergone a major refurbishment and offer the very highest quality accommodation and facilities, with each cottage having its own individually styled interior using natural and recycled materials where possible.
As well as offering plenty of space for strolling and relaxing, there are two en-tous-cas tennis courts, lawns for croquet and badminton, a children’s play area with swings and yurt (with toys and games) and a dogs’ exercise paddock, in addition to the organic vegetable garden and pick your own fruit area, with free range chickens providing eggs, to be enjoyed by all the family. There is also a magnificent Roman-style indoor heated swimming pool (complete with mural!) with full changing facilities, a large sauna and sitting area.
At the entrance of Greenwood Grange is Thorncombe Wood - a wildlife sanctuary from which a nature trail leads through magnificent chestnuts, beeches and oaks, and through 70 acres of black heath, furze, birch, holly, heather and rhododendrons. This is just one of many walks directly from the door over some of the most beautiful countryside in Dorset, perfect for healthy walks for dog lovers and all the family.
Those interested in the literary landscape can explore the locations of Hardy’s famous novels. Steeped in history, Greenwood Grange was built by Thomas Hardy’s father, whilst a short distance away is the thatched cottage where Hardy himself was born, built by his great-grandfather and little altered. At Lower Bockhampton, Hardy went to school and there is a lovely walk from there to the next village, Stinsford, where his heart is buried.
All around is a wealth of glorious National Trust countryside, pretty towns and villages as well as the beautiful coastline just 6 miles away. Excellent local village restaurants and pubs can be recommended. Kingston Maurward College with animal park, gardens, conference, function and education centre is within walking distance.
Dorchester (Roman Durnovaria and Hardy’s ‘Casterbridge’) is a pleasant walk away (2 miles) and a most attractive country town, with museums of the dinosaur and the military, swimming pool, golf (good golf can also be found at Weymouth and Charminster) and has plenty of good shops, restaurants and pubs. Also of interest is Prince Charles’s development at Poundbury, near Dorchester.
Weymouth is 8 miles with its Georgian seafront beach - ideal for castle building! It is overlooked by an elegant 3-mile level esplanade; there is swimming from the beach, and there are lots of traditional entertainments. Two nearby RSPB reserves are at Lodmoor and Radipole which has nature trails from which grebes, swans and warblers may be seen.
The beach at Ringstead Bay (6 miles) is known for its geology, fossils and the vegetation and wildlife of its undercliff; nearby can be seen the outlines of a village abandoned in the Middle Ages.
The Dorset World Heritage Coastal Path offers magnificent views and surprising sights, such as the natural arch of Durdle Door, and the almost circular cove of Lulworth, about 7 miles away.
Further west dotted along the coastline towards West Bay and the market town of Bridport are the ‘chocolate box’ villages of Burton Bradstock and Abbotsbury (famous for its swannery and gardens).
The area offers abundant river stretches for coarse or trout fishing, and sea angling from the coast.
Gardens flourish in the mild climate, and there are many to choose from: Mapperton Gardens, Kingston Lacey, Knowle Gardens, Compton Acres, Forde Abbey Gardens and the subtropical gardens at Abbotsbury are well worth an excursion. Shop 2 miles.

Set within the courtyard, with individually styled rooms. A ground floor cottage with open-plan living/dining room with contemporary electric fire and spacious kitchen area. Small double bedroom with LCD TV. Single bedroom. Bathroom with over-bath shower and toilet.

  • Ground floor facilities

  • Combined heating, electric, leisure facilities, bed linen and towels included
  • Travel cots and high chair by arrangement
  • Two TVs - with Freeview (one TV in DHR, three in DKG)
  • DVD
  • Microwave
  • Shared laundry room with freezer, washing machines and tumble dryers
  • Wi-fi
  • Garden furniture
  • Ample parking
  • Special welcome hampers by arrangement
  • NB: Pond in grounds

SUPERB INDOOR POOL AND SAUNA COMPLEX
Sensitively created in old stone to blend with the cottages, Greenwood Grange’s magnificent pool is open daily all the year round. For the exclusive use of visitors, it is spectacularly designed in Roman style, with a mural depicting an emperor and his hand-maidens.
* Fine 32-ft x 18-ft indoor heated swimming pool with full changing facilities (please bring own towels)
* Shallow ‘D’ end for young children’s supervised paddling
* Sitting area overlooking pool
* Six-person sauna
EXTENSIVE INDOOR AND OUTDOOR FACILITIES
Indoor Amenities (Games room closed November to March, except Christmas and New Year):
Set next to the pool building and sympathetically designed in stone and brick, the purpose-built leisure building has Freeview TVs and offers plenty of things to do, whatever the season.
* Table tennis, table football, bar billiards and full-sized pool table
* Fenced ‘under fives’ play area with play slide, play train and tot rocker
Outdoor amenities:
* Peaceful grounds extending to 4 acres
* Children’s play area with swings
* Two en-tout-cas tennis courts (or please bring your own racquets)
* Croquet lawn (equipment foc, or please bring your own)
* Badminton lawn (equipment foc, or please bring your own)
* Dogs’ exercise paddock

WAS
NOW
£328-£1019
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
6
Bedrooms
3
Pets
0
Milbury Cottage Ref: DAAF

Situated in a conservation area and an AONB, in the quaint village of Bradford Peverell, this delightful flint and brick adjoining holiday home for six has a sun room and main bedroom en-suite. Ideally located for exploring Dorchester, 3 miles, Weymouth, 8 miles, and the famous World Heritage Jurassic Coast, 8 miles. There is a wealth of attractions to visit, Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door Arch, The Tank Museum, Abbotsbury Swannery, Maiden Castle and glorious country walks, cycling and village pubs to wine and dine in. Shops
3 miles, pub 2 miles.

Large living room with open wood burning fire. Dining room. Well-equipped kitchen with tiled floor. Sun room. Separate toilet. First floor: Two double bedrooms, one with 5ft bed and en-suite wet room with toilet. Twin bedroom. Bathroom with toilet.

  • Open wood burning fire - initial fuel included, thereafter available at cost
  • Electricity, full oil central heating, bed linen and towels included
  • Travel cot
  • High chair
  • Two Freeview TVs
  • DVD
  • Radio/CD
  • Microwave
  • Washing machine
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge/freezer
  • Broadband connection
  • Enclosed lawned garden with patio and furniture
  • Barbecue
  • Carport (for 1 car); additional roadside parking
  • Secure cycle store
  • No smoking
  • Friday to Friday

WAS
NOW
£325-£1257
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
3
Bedrooms
2
Pets
0
The Old Smithy Ref: DZF

This delightful 18th-century detached cottage is set in the heart of Maiden Newton, near the county town of Dorchester and is a great base to discover West Dorset. Explore from Weymouth with its beach, shops and attractions, along the Chesil beach and famous World Heritage Jurassic Coast to Lyme Regis, taking in Abbotsbury, West Bay and many exciting venues, or simply enjoy superb country and walks, cycling and many traditional Dorset tea rooms. Shops 50 yards, pub 75 yards.

Large living room with wood-burning stove. Step to kitchen/dining room with tiled floor. Conservatory. First floor: Double bedroom. Single bedroom. Bathroom with over-bath shower and toilet.

  • Wood-burning stove - initial fuel included, thereafter available locally
  • Electricity, electricity oil-filled rad, electric central heating, bed linen and towels included
  • Freeview TV
  • Video
  • DVD (small library)
  • Radio/cassette/CD
  • Microwave
  • Washing machine
  • Fridge/freezer
  • Small enclosed garden with patio and furniture
  • Barbecue
  • Parking (for 1 car)
  • Secure cycle store
  • No children under 5 yrs except babies in arms
  • No smoking
  • Friday to Friday
  • NB: 4 steps in the garden

WAS
NOW
£399-£399
Shortlist
Grade 3 Star rating
Sleeps
5
Bedrooms
3
Pets
2
Mill Cottage Ref: 29080

In the village of Winterbourne Steepleton, only 3 miles from Dorchester with its many attractions, and within easy driving of the famous Chesil Beach and World Heritage Jurassic Coast, this detached holiday cottage is delightfully situated to explore West Dorset. Superb scenic coastal walking from West Bay, Bridport to Portland and Weymouth, and many family venues such as Monkey World, Tank Museum, Sea Life Museum and Deep Sea Adventure to enjoy. Shop ¾ mile, pub and restaurant 1½ miles.

Ground floor: Living room with beams. Dining room/kitchen. Bathroom with shower over bath and toilet. First floor: 3 bedrooms: 1 double (5ft), 1 twin, 1 single.

Multi-fuel burner in living room (initial fuel included). Gas central heating, gas, electricity, bed linen and towels included. High chair. Two Freeview TVs. DVDs. Stereo/CD. Gas cooker. Washing machine. Fridge/freezer. Wi-fi. Large, lawned garden with patio, sitting-out area and furniture. Barbecue. Parking (2 cars). Cycle store. Welcome pack. Pets free of charge. No smoking. Friday to Friday.

WAS
NOW
£243-£926
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
4
Bedrooms
2
Pets
0

"Greenwood Grange offers the ideal holiday combination - premium quality accommodation, fine facilities all within a family-run friendly and welcoming atmosphere, and it has achieved a Green Tourism Business Scheme Gold Award"

Set at Higher Bockhampton (which is Hardy’s ‘Upper Mellstock’), Greenwood Grange is a secret hideaway set in its own 4 acres of peaceful grounds and landscaped gardens. All the cottages have undergone a major refurbishment and offer the very highest quality accommodation and facilities, with each cottage having its own individually styled interior using natural and recycled materials where possible.
As well as offering plenty of space for strolling and relaxing, there are two en-tous-cas tennis courts, lawns for croquet and badminton, a children’s play area with swings and yurt (with toys and games) and a dogs’ exercise paddock, in addition to the organic vegetable garden and pick your own fruit area, with free range chickens providing eggs, to be enjoyed by all the family. There is also a magnificent Roman-style indoor heated swimming pool (complete with mural!) with full changing facilities, a large sauna and sitting area.
At the entrance of Greenwood Grange is Thorncombe Wood - a wildlife sanctuary from which a nature trail leads through magnificent chestnuts, beeches and oaks, and through 70 acres of black heath, furze, birch, holly, heather and rhododendrons. This is just one of many walks directly from the door over some of the most beautiful countryside in Dorset, perfect for healthy walks for dog lovers and all the family.
Those interested in the literary landscape can explore the locations of Hardy’s famous novels. Steeped in history, Greenwood Grange was built by Thomas Hardy’s father, whilst a short distance away is the thatched cottage where Hardy himself was born, built by his great-grandfather and little altered. At Lower Bockhampton, Hardy went to school and there is a lovely walk from there to the next village, Stinsford, where his heart is buried.
All around is a wealth of glorious National Trust countryside, pretty towns and villages as well as the beautiful coastline just 6 miles away. Excellent local village restaurants and pubs can be recommended. Kingston Maurward College with animal park, gardens, conference, function and education centre is within walking distance.
Dorchester (Roman Durnovaria and Hardy’s ‘Casterbridge’) is a pleasant walk away (2 miles) and a most attractive country town, with museums of the dinosaur and the military, swimming pool, golf (good golf can also be found at Weymouth and Charminster) and has plenty of good shops, restaurants and pubs. Also of interest is Prince Charles’s development at Poundbury, near Dorchester.
Weymouth is 8 miles with its Georgian seafront beach - ideal for castle building! It is overlooked by an elegant 3-mile level esplanade; there is swimming from the beach, and there are lots of traditional entertainments. Two nearby RSPB reserves are at Lodmoor and Radipole which has nature trails from which grebes, swans and warblers may be seen.
The beach at Ringstead Bay (6 miles) is known for its geology, fossils and the vegetation and wildlife of its undercliff; nearby can be seen the outlines of a village abandoned in the Middle Ages.
The Dorset World Heritage Coastal Path offers magnificent views and surprising sights, such as the natural arch of Durdle Door, and the almost circular cove of Lulworth, about 7 miles away.
Further west dotted along the coastline towards West Bay and the market town of Bridport are the ‘chocolate box’ villages of Burton Bradstock and Abbotsbury (famous for its swannery and gardens).
The area offers abundant river stretches for coarse or trout fishing, and sea angling from the coast.
Gardens flourish in the mild climate, and there are many to choose from: Mapperton Gardens, Kingston Lacey, Knowle Gardens, Compton Acres, Forde Abbey Gardens and the subtropical gardens at Abbotsbury are well worth an excursion. Shop 2 miles.

Set within the courtyard, with individually styled rooms. Comfortable living room with contemporary electric fire and French doors to patio. Modern fitted kitchen with dining area. First floor: Double bedroom with LCD TV. Twin bedroom (zip & link beds). Bathroom with over bath shower and toilet.

  • Dishwasher
  • Backs on to shared large enclosed lawned garden area
  • Patio
  • No smoking
  • Friday
    to Friday

  • Combined heating, electric, leisure facilities, bed linen and towels included
  • Travel cots and high chair by arrangement
  • Two TVs - with Freeview (one TV in DHR, three in DKG)
  • DVD
  • Microwave
  • Shared laundry room with freezer, washing machines and tumble dryers
  • Wi-fi
  • Garden furniture
  • Ample parking
  • Special welcome hampers by arrangement
  • NB: Pond in grounds

SUPERB INDOOR POOL AND SAUNA COMPLEX
Sensitively created in old stone to blend with the cottages, Greenwood Grange’s magnificent pool is open daily all the year round. For the exclusive use of visitors, it is spectacularly designed in Roman style, with a mural depicting an emperor and his hand-maidens.
* Fine 32-ft x 18-ft indoor heated swimming pool with full changing facilities (please bring own towels)
* Shallow ‘D’ end for young children’s supervised paddling
* Sitting area overlooking pool
* Six-person sauna
EXTENSIVE INDOOR AND OUTDOOR FACILITIES
Indoor Amenities (Games room closed November to March, except Christmas and New Year):
Set next to the pool building and sympathetically designed in stone and brick, the purpose-built leisure building has Freeview TVs and offers plenty of things to do, whatever the season.
* Table tennis, table football, bar billiards and full-sized pool table
* Fenced ‘under fives’ play area with play slide, play train and tot rocker
Outdoor amenities:
* Peaceful grounds extending to 4 acres
* Children’s play area with swings
* Two en-tout-cas tennis courts (or please bring your own racquets)
* Croquet lawn (equipment foc, or please bring your own)
* Badminton lawn (equipment foc, or please bring your own)
* Dogs’ exercise paddock

WAS
NOW
£412-£1265
Shortlist
Grade 3 Star rating
Sleeps
4
Bedrooms
2
Pets
1

"Idyllic Dorset Cottages with indoor heated pool, sauna and tennis court . . ."

Lying in the picturesque Piddle Valley in West Dorset are the twelve acres of glorious rolling countryside in which these holiday cottages are set. No longer a working farm, Doles Ash Farm now has an established vineyard producing English wines. The splendid range of barns here have been sympathetically converted to form a group of very comfortable cottages, interestingly clustered around a grass courtyard with the owners’ 18th-century house. Facilities include an indoor heated swimming pool, sauna, games barn with table tennis, snooker and table football, and tennis court.
Doles Ash Farm is the ideal venue for group get togethers, giving guests the benefit of families and friends being in the same place while still enjoying some personal space in individual cottages. Four of the holiday cottages have enclosed gardens, ideal for dogs, with the remaining four having individual patios. The indoor heated swimming pool is open daily all year round and the building has full changing facilities, as well as a coin-operated sauna. The tennis court is also available all year round. The cottages, facilities and grounds enjoy an outstandingly peaceful setting with magnificent walks on the doorstep. Riding, golf, clay-shooting and fishing are all available locally.
Good shops can be found 8 miles away in Dorchester and 10 miles away in Sherborne. There is a host of local attractions and a long sandy beach within a half hour’s drive at Weymouth. Studland beaches and Swanage are also firm favourites with visitors.
The Piddle Valley is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which boasts some of the prettiest villages in England and has a wealth of excellent family-friendly pubs to dine and relax in with the village of Godmanstone boasting the smallest pub in England. The beautiful village of Cerne Abbas, overseen by the legendary Cerne Giant, also lies just 3 miles from Doles Ash Farm. This is Thomas Hardy country with many of Hardy’s venues have changed little since his time. At Higher Bockhampton, standing among soaring beech trees, is the thatched cottage where the novelist was born.
Lovely cottages in a fabulous setting, what more could holidaymakers want. Shops 1 mile.

A pleasant ground floor conversion of the barn. Open-plan living/dining room with wood-burning stove and kitchen area. Two attractive bedrooms; one double and one twin. Bathroom with toilet.

  • Fuel charge (October - May) £25per week (£15 per short break)
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge/freezer
  • Patio with furniture
  • Friday to Friday

  • Wood-burning stove (except Keeper’s Cottage) – initial supply included, thereafter at cost
  • Electricity and full electric central heating (oil central heating in Keeper’s Cottage DFM) included (during October - May, a fuel charge applies - see individual cottage)
  • Bed linen and towels included
  • Travel cot and high chair by arrangement
  • TV
  • DVD
  • Microwave
  • Shared laundry room with washing machine and coin-operated tumble dryer
  • Wi-fi (£5 per week)
  • Payphone
  • Shared 12-acre grounds
  • Barbecue
  • Parking
  • Indoor heated swimming pool (36ft x 18ft) – available daily all year round
  • Sauna (coin-operated)
  • Shared games barn with table tennis, table football and small snooker table
  • Large grassed play area with swing, climbing frame, slide and badminton/volleyball net
  • Owners’ hard tennis court
  • NB: Fenced pond in grounds

Properties DGA, DGG, DFM, DFX, DGH, DGJ can be booked together for larger groups and family get-togethers. DGH & DGJ have interconnecting doors.

WAS
NOW
£315-£769
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
5
Bedrooms
2
Pets
2
Hammett Cottage Ref: 29682


This well-appointed, semi-detached, period, holiday cottage, dating back to the 1850s, is situated in the quiet historical village of Tolpuddle, home of the world-famous Martyrs, and is ideally located for exploring all that Dorset has to offer. The cottage is believed to have been the home of James Hammett, one of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. The golden sands of Studland and the National Trust’s Brownsea Island are a short drive away, as is the RSPB Nature Reserve near Poole Harbour. The UNESCO recognised Jurassic Coast – England’s only natural World Heritage Site is close by with Durlston, Lulworth and Durdle Door. There are lots of scenic coastal paths for walking and cycling. Attractions close by include Farmer Palmers, Monkey World, The Tank Museum, Tower Park and Tyneham Village. Beach 11 miles. Shop 3 miles, pub and restaurant 500 yards.

6 steps to entrance. Lower ground floor: Living room with beams, low ceiling and sofa bed. Steep, narrow stairs to upper ground floor: Dining room/kitchen with beams and wooden floor. Utility room. First floor: 2 bedrooms: 1 double, 1 twin. Bathroom with shower over bath and toilet.

Woodburner in living room (intial fuel included). Electricity, electric heaters, NSH, bed linen and towels included. Cot. High chair. Two Freeview TVs. DVD. Playstation. Stereo/CD. iPod dock. Electric range. Washing machine in utility room. Dishwasher. Freezer. Wi-fi. Small enclosed, stoned courtyard with sitting-out area and furniture. Parking (1 car). Cycle store. Welcome pack. Pets free of charge. No smoking. Friday to Friday. Couples and family bookings only. NB: Step in courtyard.

WAS
NOW
£211-£715
Shortlist
Grade 3 Star rating
Sleeps
4
Bedrooms
2
Pets
2
Meadow Views Ref: 26005


Meadow Views is a pretty, mid-terrace, Victorian cottage retaining a wealth of period features set in the hamlet of Lower Waterston, less than 2 miles from Puddletown. The interior is decorated with antiques and little touches which help to create a true ‘home away from home’ holiday experience so that guests can settle in quickly and relax. Whatever the season, there are stunning views over the gardens at the back to the nearby River Piddle and water meadows beyond. Finches, woodpeckers, house martins, pheasants, grouse, owls, bustards, rabbits, deer and badgers have all been seen from the upstairs windows. Guests invariably wake up to the sound of cattle lowing in the nearby fields. Many of Thomas Hardy’s novels such as ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ refer to places in the surrounding countryside. For example, Puddletown became Weatherby, and Hardy based Weatherby Farm on Waterston Manor to which this cottage is one of the three farm worker’s cottages built in 1885. The cottage lies 5 miles east of Dorchester with its many attractions and excellent facilities, yet is within easy reach of the coast and Lyme Regis, Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door, Chesil Beach and Weymouth. The area caters for a wide variety of interests locally. Popular pastimes are walking, bird-watching, visiting RSPB reserves, historic houses, museums, beautiful gardens and, of course, picturesque pubs serving excellent food. Family attractions include Monkey World, the Abbotsbury Swannery and Walking with Llamas. Shop and pub/restaurant 2 miles.

Ground floor: Living room. Dining room/kitchen with tiled floor. 1 deep step down to utility room with shower cubicle and toilet. Steep stairs to first floor: 2 bedrooms: 1 double, 1 twin (can be double on request). Bathroom with bath, shower attachment and toilet.

Gas central heating, electricity and bed linen included. Freesat TV. DVD. Electric cooker. Microwave. Washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher in utility. Fridge/freezer. Enclosed lawned garden with furniture. Parking (2 cars). No children under 4 years. No smoking.

WAS
NOW
£263-£847
Shortlist
Grade 5 Star rating
Sleeps
12
Bedrooms
4
Pets
2

"Greenwood Grange offers the ideal holiday combination - premium quality accommodation, fine facilities all within a family-run friendly and welcoming atmosphere, and it has achieved a Green Tourism Business Scheme Gold Award"

Set at Higher Bockhampton (which is Hardy’s ‘Upper Mellstock’), Greenwood Grange is a secret hideaway set in its own 4 acres of peaceful grounds and landscaped gardens. All the cottages have undergone a major refurbishment and offer the very highest quality accommodation and facilities, with each cottage having its own individually styled interior using natural and recycled materials where possible.
As well as offering plenty of space for strolling and relaxing, there are two en-tous-cas tennis courts, lawns for croquet and badminton, a children’s play area with swings and yurt (with toys and games) and a dogs’ exercise paddock, in addition to the organic vegetable garden and pick your own fruit area, with free range chickens providing eggs, to be enjoyed by all the family. There is also a magnificent Roman-style indoor heated swimming pool (complete with mural!) with full changing facilities, a large sauna and sitting area.
At the entrance of Greenwood Grange is Thorncombe Wood - a wildlife sanctuary from which a nature trail leads through magnificent chestnuts, beeches and oaks, and through 70 acres of black heath, furze, birch, holly, heather and rhododendrons. This is just one of many walks directly from the door over some of the most beautiful countryside in Dorset, perfect for healthy walks for dog lovers and all the family.
Those interested in the literary landscape can explore the locations of Hardy’s famous novels. Steeped in history, Greenwood Grange was built by Thomas Hardy’s father, whilst a short distance away is the thatched cottage where Hardy himself was born, built by his great-grandfather and little altered. At Lower Bockhampton, Hardy went to school and there is a lovely walk from there to the next village, Stinsford, where his heart is buried.
All around is a wealth of glorious National Trust countryside, pretty towns and villages as well as the beautiful coastline just 6 miles away. Excellent local village restaurants and pubs can be recommended. Kingston Maurward College with animal park, gardens, conference, function and education centre is within walking distance.
Dorchester (Roman Durnovaria and Hardy’s ‘Casterbridge’) is a pleasant walk away (2 miles) and a most attractive country town, with museums of the dinosaur and the military, swimming pool, golf (good golf can also be found at Weymouth and Charminster) and has plenty of good shops, restaurants and pubs. Also of interest is Prince Charles’s development at Poundbury, near Dorchester.
Weymouth is 8 miles with its Georgian seafront beach - ideal for castle building! It is overlooked by an elegant 3-mile level esplanade; there is swimming from the beach, and there are lots of traditional entertainments. Two nearby RSPB reserves are at Lodmoor and Radipole which has nature trails from which grebes, swans and warblers may be seen.
The beach at Ringstead Bay (6 miles) is known for its geology, fossils and the vegetation and wildlife of its undercliff; nearby can be seen the outlines of a village abandoned in the Middle Ages.
The Dorset World Heritage Coastal Path offers magnificent views and surprising sights, such as the natural arch of Durdle Door, and the almost circular cove of Lulworth, about 7 miles away.
Further west dotted along the coastline towards West Bay and the market town of Bridport are the ‘chocolate box’ villages of Burton Bradstock and Abbotsbury (famous for its swannery and gardens).
The area offers abundant river stretches for coarse or trout fishing, and sea angling from the coast.
Gardens flourish in the mild climate, and there are many to choose from: Mapperton Gardens, Kingston Lacey, Knowle Gardens, Compton Acres, Forde Abbey Gardens and the subtropical gardens at Abbotsbury are well worth an excursion. Shop 2 miles.

A very spacious ground floor property with its own large garden. Spacious beamed living/dining room with gas fire in ornamental fireplace, very high ceilings and Purbeck stone floor. Farmhouse-style kitchen. Two double bedrooms, one with en-suite bathroom with shower cubicle and toilet, one with en-suite shower room and toilet, each with TV. Double bedroom with TV and additional bunk beds (for +2). Twin bedroom (zip & link beds) with additional bunk beds (for +2) and TV. Bathroom with over-bath shower and toilet. Separate toilet.

  • Underfloor heating (except kitchen and one double bedroom, which have central heating)
  • Two cots
  • Widescreen TV
  • Stereo/CD
  • Double oven
  • Washer/dryer
  • Additional freezer
  • Additional fridge
  • Dishwasher
  • Large enclosed garden with patio and furniture
  • Charcoal barbecue
  • Ground floor facilities
  • Friday to Friday

  • Combined heating, electric, leisure facilities, bed linen and towels included
  • Travel cots and high chair by arrangement
  • Two TVs - with Freeview (one TV in DHR, three in DKG)
  • DVD
  • Microwave
  • Shared laundry room with freezer, washing machines and tumble dryers
  • Wi-fi
  • Garden furniture
  • Ample parking
  • Special welcome hampers by arrangement
  • NB: Pond in grounds

SUPERB INDOOR POOL AND SAUNA COMPLEX
Sensitively created in old stone to blend with the cottages, Greenwood Grange’s magnificent pool is open daily all the year round. For the exclusive use of visitors, it is spectacularly designed in Roman style, with a mural depicting an emperor and his hand-maidens.
* Fine 32-ft x 18-ft indoor heated swimming pool with full changing facilities (please bring own towels)
* Shallow ‘D’ end for young children’s supervised paddling
* Sitting area overlooking pool
* Six-person sauna
EXTENSIVE INDOOR AND OUTDOOR FACILITIES
Indoor Amenities (Games room closed November to March, except Christmas and New Year):
Set next to the pool building and sympathetically designed in stone and brick, the purpose-built leisure building has Freeview TVs and offers plenty of things to do, whatever the season.
* Table tennis, table football, bar billiards and full-sized pool table
* Fenced ‘under fives’ play area with play slide, play train and tot rocker
Outdoor amenities:
* Peaceful grounds extending to 4 acres
* Children’s play area with swings
* Two en-tout-cas tennis courts (or please bring your own racquets)
* Croquet lawn (equipment foc, or please bring your own)
* Badminton lawn (equipment foc, or please bring your own)
* Dogs’ exercise paddock

WAS
NOW
£1169-£3741
Shortlist
Grade 3 Star rating
Sleeps
4
Bedrooms
2
Pets
1

This picturesque 18th century thatched cottage nestles within the charming hamlet of Lower Bockhampton, the setting for Thomas Hardy’s novel ’Under the Greenwood Tree’. The cottage is full of historic character, with plenty of books to enjoy in the cosy living room. The kitchen/breakfast room looks over the pretty cottage garden. The River Frome meanders through the village which is home to a renowned restaurant, and you can walk along the meadows to the market town of Dorchester. The lake and gardens of Kingston Maurward are on the doorstep. Golf and fishing available nearby. Sandy beaches at Weymouth, 7 miles. Shop and pubs 2 miles.

Ground floor: Living room. Dining room. Kitchen. Bathroom with shower over bath and toilet. First floor: 2 bedrooms: 1 double, 1 twin.

Oil central heating, electricity and bed linen included. Stereo. Electric cooker. Microwave. Washer/dryer. Rear garden and furniture. Parking (1 car). Friday to Friday.

WAS
NOW
£270-£859
Shortlist
Grade 3 Star rating
Sleeps
6
Bedrooms
3
Pets
2
The Pavillion Ref: 30394


This single-storey holiday home is in a superb country location midway between Dorchester and Bridport in West Dorset and 3 miles from the scenic and beautiful Chesil Beach at Abbotsbury and the World Heritage Jurassic Coast. Adjacent to the owner’s home, it is styled in a Georgian Gothic period and offers a lovely home and location for 6. It is ideal for walking and cycling on the nearby Macmillan and Jubilee Trail, and some spectacular Dorset scenery can be found at Eggardon Hill Fort. Enjoy visiting the ever popular seaside resort of Lyme Regis, 18 miles, with its pretty harbour and Cobb, taking in some stunning coastal scenery and smaller seaside resorts of Charmouth, Eype and West Bay. Within easy driving distance, enjoy Abbotsbury Swannery and Sub Tropical Gardens, RSPB nature reserves at Radipole and Lodmoor, or Weymouth with its many family attractions, as well as the Time Walk, Sea Life and Deep Sea Adventure or slightly further on Monkey World and the Bovington Tank Museum. Cooking by a qualified chef is available by arrangement. Beach 3 miles. Shop 6 miles, pub and restaurant 2½ miles.

All on ground floor: Living/dining room/kitchen. 3 bedrooms: 2 double, one (5ft) with en-suite bathroom with shower attachment and toilet, one (6ft zip and link) with additional single (for alternative sleeping), 1 twin. Wet room with toilet.

Woodburner in living room (initial fuel included). Oil central heating included (£25per week October-April). Electricity, bed linen and towels included. Cot. High chair. Four Freeview TVs. DVDs. Gas hob. Electric oven. Washing machine. Tumble dryer. Dishwasher. Fridge/freezer. Wi-fi. Large, enclosed garden with patio, sitting-out area and furniture. Barbecue. Parking (2 cars). Cycle store. Natural water supply from spring. Welcome pack. Pets free of charge. No smoking. Friday to Friday. NB: 9 steps in garden.

WAS
NOW
£293-£980
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
6
Bedrooms
3
Pets
2
Rainbow Lodge Ref: 24753

Shared indoor heated swimming pool and many other on-site facilities

This lovely, detached holiday cabin is set in a quiet spot on the popular Warmwell Leisure Resort. The site is set in over 40 acres of woodland and offers many facilities (including shared indoor heated swimming pool) that can be enjoyed all year (except from end November to the week before Christmas). Set in the heart of Thomas Hardy country, just a short drive to the stunning Jurassic coastline and the seaside town of Weymouth with promenade and sandy beach. The Sealife Centre, Monkey World, Tank Museum and Abbotsbury Swannery are all nearby. The Purbeck Heritage coastline is a short drive, and includes the beaches at Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove, Studland and Warbarrow Bay. There are a number of charming villages such as Corfe with its medieval castle (NT). Swanage is a typical seaside town with its Blue Flag beach, boat trips, shops, pubs and restaurants and Durlston Country Park. It also boasts Swanage Steam Railway - the perfect way to enjoy the breathtaking scenery along the 6-mile track. The walled Saxon town of Wareham, with its weekly market, shops and quayside is also worth a visit. Shop, pub and restaurant on site.

All on ground floor: Living/dining room/kitchen. Utility room. 3 bedrooms: 1 double with en-suite shower room and toilet, 2 twin. Bathroom with shower over bath and toilet.

Gas central heating, gas, electricity, bed linen and towels included. DVD. Gas hob. Electric oven. Microwave. Washing machine. Dishwasher. Freezer. Decked area and furniture. Parking (3 cars). Indoor swimming pool. Golf facilities, sports complex, roller skating. Games room (£6 per person before 6pm, £20per week for adults, £10per week for children after 6pm). Dry-ski slope (available all year at cost). Fishing lake with two free passes and are available throughout the day. No smoking. Friday to Friday. NB: There are ponds, streams and a water feature in the grounds. The facilities, (except ski slope), games room, shop, pub and restaurant are not available from the end of November to the week before Christmas.

WAS
NOW
£428-£1660
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