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A rural and picturesque county in the south of England, Dorset is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with a timeless charm, pretty villages, country lanes and a fabulous stretch of 200 million year-old coastline known as The Jurassic Coast.

In fact The Jurassic Coast has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO due to its ancient geology and is of course a great place for wonderful views over the English Channel and cliff-top walks.

Dorset has wonderful walking country which is a great way to appreciate the unspoilt beauty of this region, or you could maybe take to the quiet country roads and off road cycle ways. It's a place to kick back and relax with lots of traditional country pubs and fine restaurants to discover.

The seaside towns of Bournemouth and Weymouth come highly recommended with lovely beaches and plenty of fresh sea air. You can reach the beach at Swanage via the heritage railway; it's one of the best ways to soak up your surrounds and ensure complete relaxation. With stops at Corfe Castle and the small sleepy oasis of Harman's Cross, it's also one of the best ways to get a unique perspective of Dorset's many attractions, and a true feel for its unspoiled beauty.

Also of note is Brownsea Island which offers a number of attractions for visitors, including lush woodland, an indigenous red squirrel population and a 16th century castle. For a great family day out visit Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre at Wareham where you'll find over 250 rescued monkeys and apes providing plenty of entertainment and education.

Dorset is renowned for its varied landscape and is suitable for all sorts of different holidays. Its long coastline is a perfect for cliff top walks and stunning sea views and the region's beaches are ideal for families who simply want to unwind on the sand or get active with surfing and sailing readily available; along with some expert tuition for those who fancy getting their feet wet! Then again, if you just want somewhere to relax and soak up the beautiful English countryside, you'll be equally well served by what a cottage holiday in Dorset has to offer.

Take a look at our selection of holiday cottages in Dorset.

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Date & Duration

Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
2
Bedrooms
1
Pets
2
A Twist of Lyme Ref: 29956


In a lovely position 3½ miles from the picturesque, seaside resort of Lyme Regis and the famous World Heritage Jurassic Coast, this well-equipped, semi-detached holiday cottage, adjacent to the owners’ home, offers a great location to explore west Dorset and into east Devon. Within easy driving distance, enjoy Lyme Regis with all its quaint shops, its wonderful scenic harbour and Cobb, the bustling town of Axminster, River Cottage, Forde Abbey and Gardens and Broadwindsor Craft Centre. Further afield, visit Beer, Branscombe and Seaton, and going east, West Bay, Bridport and onto Weymouth and Portland. There is much to do, including superb coastal and country walking, and village pubs for wining and dining. Shop, pub and restaurant ½ mile.

Ground floor: Living/dining room/kitchen. First floor: 1 twin bedroom (zip and link, can be 6ft double) with sloping ceiling. Bathroom with roll-top bath, shower cubicle, toilet and sloping ceiling.

Oil central heating, electricity, bed linen and towels included. Travel cot. High chair. Freeview TV. DVD and small library. Stereo/CD. Electric cooker. Microwave. Washer/dryer. Dishwasher. Fridge/freezer. Wi-fi. Enclosed gravelled patio with sitting-out area and furniture. Large shared garden. Barbecue. Parking (2 cars). Welcome pack. Pets free of charge. No smoking. Friday to Friday.

WAS
NOW
£181-£616
Shortlist
Grade 3 Star rating
Sleeps
4
Bedrooms
2
Pets
0
Gapple Gate Ref: 14331

This attractive semi-detached cottage of natural stone, built in the late 16th-century, nestles in the Dorset countryside in the quiet village of Sandford Orcas. The town of Sherborne, 2 miles, provides historic interest, with the castle ruins and 15th-century abbey. Well positioned for holidays exploring this area renowned for its country houses and gardens. Cycle lane runs through the village. Local shops 2 miles, pub ¼ mile.

Ground floor: Living room. Dining room. Kitchen. Bathroom with toilet. First floor: 2 bedrooms: 1 double with en-suite shower room, 1 twin. Bathroom with toilet.

NSH, electricity and bed linen included. Cot. High chair. Freeview TV. Electric cooker. Microwave. Washing machine. Dishwasher. Enclosed garden and furniture. Parking (2 cars). NB: Steps and small pond in garden.

WAS
NOW
£245-£605
Shortlist
Grade 3 Star rating
Sleeps
4
Bedrooms
2
Pets
2
Orchard View Ref: E3953

In an elevated setting, affording the most wonderful panoramic views from almost every window, this very comfortable single storey property makes an ideal base for exploring one of England’s loveliest counties. Cerne Abbas, with its famous chalk giant, Sparkford Motor Museum, the timeless thatched village of Milton Abbas, and miles of golden sands along the Jurassic coast are just some of the attractions within easy reach. Excellent walking, quad biking and fishing locally. Village shop and pub serving food 1.5 miles.

All on ground floor: Living room with French doors. Dining area/kitchen. Utility room. 2 bedrooms: 1 double, 1 twin. Bathroom with toilet.

Open fire in living room inc. Oil CH, elec, bed linen and towels inc. T/cot. H/chair. Video. DVD. Stereo/CD. M/wave. W/machine. T/dryer. D/washer. F/freezer. Tel-incoming calls only. Garden with patio and furniture. Garage. Parking. No smoking. Friday to Friday.

WAS
NOW
£368-£780
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
8
Bedrooms
5
Pets
0
Seagers Cottage Ref: 29561

Set in a picturesque National Trust village

This well-appointed and beautifully presented holiday home is set over three floors and offers a very good level of comfort with attention to detail. It is situated in the stunning NT village of Corfe Castle, which stands at the gateway to the Isle of Purbeck and is dominated by the ruined castle - a delight at any time of year. Family attractions include a model village and interactive exhibition, a steam railway and many interesting shops. Corfe Common is found at the edge of the village, with the Purbeck Way walking route passing through it to reach Chapman’s Pool and the South West Coastal Path. The village itself is constructed almost completely from the local grey Purbeck limestone and a small collection of shops, the post office, church and pubs cluster around the village square, which is just a stroll from the cottage. The Jurassic coastline is a short drive away, with famous Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door. The seaside town of Swanage with its boat trips, Durlston Country Park and steam railway, Monkey World and The Tank Museum are also close by. Beach 4 miles. Shop ½ mile, pub/restaurant ¼ mile.

Ground floor: Living room. Dining room/kitchen with laminate floor. Shower room with toilet. First floor: 3 bedrooms: 1 double, 1 twin, 1 single (4ft). Bathroom (no toilet). Separate toilet. Second floor: 2 bedrooms: 1 double, 1 single, both with Velux.

Gas central heating, electricity, bed linen and towels included. Travel cot. High chair. Satellite TV (basic package). DVD. CD. iPod dock. Gas hob. Electric oven. Microwave. Washing machine. Tumble dryer. Dishwasher. Fridge/freezer. Wi-fi. Enclosed, lawned garden with patio, sitting-out area, terrace and furniture. Children’s play area with swing, slide and rocker. Gas barbecue. Parking (3 cars). Cycle store. Welcome pack. No smoking. Friday to Friday. NB: 3 steps in garden.

WAS
NOW
£522-£1628
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
6
Bedrooms
3
Pets
1
Coach House Ref: DQC

Sympathetically converted, this lovely detached coach house stands within its own large garden, with views over the shared swimming pool from its open-plan living room. It enjoys use of the owners’ woodland grounds, with shady walks leading down to a river. Bournemouth and Poole (7 miles), with boat trips to the nature reserve island of Brownsea. Studland Bay nearby with sandy beach and ferries to the Channel Islands (summer only) and France. Corfe Castle, 6 miles. Wareham quay, ¼ mile. Bird-watching locally. Shops ¼ mile.

Living/dining room with wood-burning stove, farmhouse-style galley kitchen area with Butler sink and door to patio. Utility. Bathroom with shower cubicle and toilet. First floor: Three bedrooms with sloping ceilings; one beamed galleried double overlooking living room, and one further double, leading to twin bedroom. Separate toilet.

  • Wood-burning stove - fuel included October-April (reasonable usage)
  • Electricity, full gas central heating, bed linen and towels included
  • Travel cot
  • High chair
  • Two TVs
  • Video (small library)
  • DVD
  • Stereo/CD
  • Microwave
  • Washing machine
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge/freezer
  • Wi-fi
  • Large enclosed garden with patio and furniture
  • Barbecue
  • Parking
  • Shared outdoor heated swimming pool (30ft x 20ft, open 10am–7pm 27 April-27 September 2012, weather permitting)
  • No smoking
  • NB: River in owners grounds

WAS
NOW
£402-£1558
Shortlist
Grade 3 Star rating
Sleeps
6
Bedrooms
3
Pets
3

Just 2 miles from the Heritage coastline with spectacular coastal walks, this charming, adjoining, 18th-century former beer house (made from local stone) is now a cosy and highly individual holiday cottage. Its large garden has uninterrupted views over the Purbeck Hills and, in the distance, Corfe Castle (4 miles). Swanage, with sandy beach, 2 miles. Another excellent sandy beach at NT Studland, 8 miles. Poole and Bournemouth (via ferry), 10 miles. Shop ¼ mile, restaurants 2 miles, pub ½ mile.

Low ceilings/doorways in many places. Cosy living room with open fire in inglenook fireplace, flagstone floor. Dining room with range cooker. Kitchen with flagstone floor. Utility. Small step down to double bedroom, two steps up to en-suite toilet. Steep stairs to first floor: Double bedroom with four-poster bed, TV, two steps up to en-suite bathroom with roll-top bath, shower cubicle and toilet, shared with twin bedroom.

  • Open fire - initial fuel included, thereafter available locally
  • Electricity, full gas central heating, bed linen and towels included
  • Two TVs (Sky in living room, Freeview in bedroom)
  • DVD
  • Radio/CD
  • Range included
  • Microwave
  • Washing machine
  • Tumble dryer
  • Fridge/freezer
  • Large lawned garden, terrace and furniture
  • Parking (for 4 cars)
  • No smoking
  • NB: 2 sets of steps in garden

WAS
NOW
£328-£1196
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
2
Bedrooms
1
Pets
0

Just a 15-minute walk separates this conveniently placed, well furnished apartment from the Blue Flag beaches of Poole and Bournemouth. The holiday apartment has its own private secluded gardens which can be seen from all windows and occupies the first floor of the owner’s chalet-style property. Branksome Park is a very select area, and there are lovely level tree-lined walks all around. The town centre of Bournemouth with its pretty gardens and many shops, bars and restaurants can easily be reached on foot along the beach at the end of the road or by car. The quayside at Poole and NT Brownsea Island is 3 miles away. Foxhaven provides easy access to all the coastal resorts of Dorset including Swanage, Lulworth Cove and Weymorth. The New Forest with its wild ponies is a short drive away. Sandbanks is only 10 minutes’ drive. Shops and pubs 450 yards.

Short, straight, private staircase (rails both sides) to first floor entrance. Landing with seating area. Living room/dining room with fitted kitchen area. Good-sized double bedroom with seating area and TV. Well-appointed bathroom with toilet.

  • Full gas central heating included (October-April)
  • Electric heaters (both rooms)
  • Electricity by coin meter (first £5, hot water included)
  • Bed linen and towels included
  • Two digital TV/DVDs
  • Video/DVD/CD (small video/DVD library)
  • Microwave
  • Washer/dryer
  • Fridge/freezer
  • Large enclosed garden with furniture
  • Parking (1 car only)
  • No smoking
  • No children under 16 yrs

WAS
NOW
£279-£657
Shortlist
Grade 3 Star rating
Sleeps
2
Bedrooms
1
Pets
1

Set in the quaint village of Uploders, just 3 miles from the coast at West Bay, this hamstone terraced holiday cottage, adjoining the owner’s home, is ideally located for enjoying the famous World Heritage Jurassic Coast and Chesil Beach from Weymouth to Lyme Regis, with superb scenery and coastal walking. Take a visit to Bridport, Weymouth and Dorchester, or many attractions in this popular area, including Abbotsbury Swannery and Tropical Gardens, Forde Abbey and Gardens, and much more. Beach 3 miles. Shop 2 miles, pub and restaurant 30 yards.

Ground floor: Living/dining room with wooden floor. Kitchen. First floor: 1 double bedroom. Shower room with toilet.

Electric central heating, electricity, bed linen and towels included. Freeview TV. DVD. Electric cooker. Microwave. Broadband connection. Patio and furniture. Use of owner’s enclosed garden by arrangement. Barbecue. Parking (1 car). Cycle store. Welcome pack. No smoking. Friday to Friday. NB: 2 steps in garden.

WAS
NOW
£207-£562
Shortlist
Grade 5 Star rating
Sleeps
8
Bedrooms
4
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""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 comfortable cottage, with its own private entrance and garden. Full of character, it has been very well furnished and equipped. Entrance into charming, beamed open-plan sitting/dining room with rugs on flagstone floor, inglenook fireplace with wood-burning stove and kitchen area with range (for cooking) and Belfast sink. One small step down to twin bedroom (zip & link beds). Bathroom with toilet. Shower room with toilet. First floor: Master double bedroom with 5ft sleigh bed, sitting area with contemporary electric fire, LCD TV and designer hand wash basin. Step down to double bedroom with LCD TV. Further step down to twin bedroom (zip & link beds). Shower room with toilet.

  • Wood-burning stove – logs included
  • Electricity fire included
  • Range included
  • Washing machine
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Fridge/freezer
  • Garden with furniture and barbecue

  • 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
£880-£2749
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
8
Bedrooms
4
Pets
0
Ivy Cottage Ref: DXZ

This Grade II listed thatched holiday cottage dates back to the 1600s and sits on the village road which leads to the sea and Lulworth Cove. Retaining many original features, with beams, inglenook fireplaces and wood-burning stove. West Lulworth has a village store and the local inn is next door. Surrounded by the Purbeck Hills and close to the Dorset Coastal Path, it is ideal for walks and bird watching. Shop 200 yards.

Large beamed living room with wood-burning stove in inglenook fireplace. Beamed dining room with inglenook fireplace. Kitchen. Steep stairs to first floor: One step up to double bedroom with 5ft bed, en-suite shower room and toilet. Beamed double bedroom with basin and sloping ceiling. Twin bedroom with basin. Bathroom with over-bath shower and toilet. Annexe: Twin bedroom (zip & link) with en-suite shower room and toilet. Low doorways throughout.

  • Wood-burning stove - initial fuel incl, thereafter available locally
  • Electricity, full LPG central heating, bed linen and towels included
  • Satellite TV
  • Microwave
  • Washing machine
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge/freezer
  • Wi-fi
  • Shared garden with furniture
  • Parking (for 1 car); additional roadside parking
  • No smoking
  • Sunday to Sunday

WAS
NOW
£556-£1455
Shortlist
Grade 5 Star rating
Sleeps
3
Bedrooms
2
Pets
0
13 Maritime House Ref: 19400

Ideal base to explore

In the fishing port and popular seaside resort of West Bay near Bridport on the famous Chesil Beach and World Heritage Jurassic Coastline, this third floor holiday apartment (with lift), has been tastefully furnished and equipped for three, and is in an excellent holiday location to explore this popular area. Enjoy the pretty harbour, beach, many attractions nearby or memorable days out walking along this stunning coastline, perhaps even up Golden Cap. Can be booked with 19399 to accommodate 6 guests. Shop, pub and restaurant within 250 yards.

All on third floor (with lift): Living/dining room/kitchen. 2 bedrooms: 1 double (5ft) with en-suite shower room and toilet, 1 single. Bathroom with shower over bath and toilet.

Electric central heating, electricity, bed linen and towels included. DVD. Electric cooker. Microwave. Washing machine. Dishwasher. Fridge/freezer. Parking (1 car). No smoking. Friday to Friday. No children under 10 years.

WAS
NOW
£200-£719
Shortlist
Grade 5 Star rating
Sleeps
4
Bedrooms
2
Pets
0
Chestnut Mews Ref: 25884

Set in the heart of the seaside town of Swanage with a level walk to the shops and beach, this holiday apartment has been finished to a good standard and offers good comfortable accommodation. Swanage has much to offer with its award winning sandy beach, individual shops, restaurants and cafes and ever popular Swanage Steam Railway which you can hear from the property. The town is surrounded by beautiful Dorset countryside and World Heritage coastline. Nearby is NT Corfe Castle and Studland, The Tank Museum and Monkey World. Shop, pub and restaurant 150 yards.

All on ground floor: Living room/dining area. Dining room/kitchen with tiled floor. 2 bedrooms: 1 double, 1 single with additional single (2ft 6in for child). Bathroom with shower over bath and toilet. Separate toilet.

Gas central heating, gas, electricity, bed linen and towels included. DVD. CD. Gas hob. Electric oven. Microwave. Washing machine. Dishwasher. Fridge/freezer. Parking (1 car). No smoking.

WAS
NOW
£292-£825
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Grade Shortlist
FULL DETAILS £000.00