The Prettiest Places in Dorset 

With spring now in full swing, Dorset Coastal Cottages highlight the most picturesque places in Dorset. Wander these coastal and country treats, take in the fresh sea, relax and watch the world go by.

From pretty seaside towns with picture-postcard views to an island paradise, Dorset is a wonderful place to visit as the weather gets warmer.

Below, Catherine Coad, Regional Brand Manager at Dorset Coastal Cottages explores some of the prettiest places in Dorset for some quality time away.

Durdle Door

Durdle Door is one of Dorset’s most photographed and iconic landmarks. It is part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and is an extremely popular beauty spot too. It was created when the sea pierced through the limestone around 10,000 years ago. 

Corfe Castle

The dramatic ruins of Corfe Castle are situated halfway between Wareham and Swanage and no trip to the Isle of Purbeck would be complete without a visit to this picturesque village. Corfe Castle stands on a natural hill overlooking the village and guarding the main route through the Purbeck Hills; it can be seen from miles around from all directions.

Lulworth Cove

Lulworth Cove is world famous for its beautiful beach and clear blue water, surrounded by unique geology and landforms including Lulworth Crumple and Stair Hole. Whilst here, a visit to the Lulworth Cove visitor centre is worthwhile for a better appreciation of the outstanding geology.

Highcliffe Castle

Located just 3 miles from Christchurch, Highcliffe Castle has been described as arguably the most important surviving house of the Romantic and Picturesque style of architecture, which flourished towards the end of the 18th century. 

Old Harry Rocks

Old Harry Rocks are brilliant chalk-white arches, stacks and stumps, jutting out into the sea and running along the ocean on Handfast Point, at the southern end of Studland Bay. Although the whole area is known as Old Harry Rocks, Old Harry refers to the single stack of chalk standing furthest out to sea.


Located near the Wiltshire border, Shaftesbury is a small market town with a fascinating history going back to the Saxon times. The town is the home of Gold Hill, a steep cobbled street lined with pretty cottages (made famous by the Hovis bread advert) and has magnificent views over Thomas Hardy’s Blackmore Vale. 

Brownsea Island

Brownsea Island can be found inside Poole Harbour – which is one of the largest natural harbours in the world – and is only accessible via boat from either Poole Quay or Sandbanks. Brownsea Island is a nature reserve owned by the National Trust, and one of the only places in the UK where you can spot red squirrels, which are very scarce and endangered on the mainland.

Kingston Lacy

Kingston Lacy is an elegant 17th-century Italianate mansion, set in attractive formal gardens and extensive parkland, now owned by the National Trust. The Kingston Lacy Estate stretches for 8,500 acres and takes in Holt Heath National Nature Reserve and Badbury Rings. There are 12 way-marked footpaths around the estate and the National Trust runs regular guided walks.

To discover more pretty places in Dorset, please visit:

Eve Crabtree

Eve Crabtree is a journalist with a passion for interior design. She keeps up to date with the latest trends in the interior industry and regularly tests her hand at crafting and redecorating during her spare time.