Holiday Homes in Dorset

Home to some of the best coastal gems in South West England, Dorset is perfect for outdoor lovers. Rugged coastlines, sweeping sandy beaches and picturesque towns and villages make Dorset a must-see holiday destination that, on a scorching summer's day, feels like it could belong somewhere far more further afield.

Popular with families, couples, and groups, our Dorset holiday cottages have it all. Whether you're seeking to do some walking and hiking in the region or looking for a romantic escape, the region is bursting with exciting possibilities. Step outside of your beachfront cottage and be immediately greeted by an unforgettable view. You'll find your perfect escape in Dorset.

Why visit?

  • The Jurassic Coast makes for some incredible opportunities for exploration and an impressive amount of adventure activities.
    • Perfect for families, Dorset is the ultimate child-friendly getaway. Choose from swimming, hiking, kayaking, cycling, and allow your little ones to experiences the great outdoors.
    • The region is rich in culture, popular with fossil hunters and eager historians, with loads of museums to pick from too.

    Read the Dorset Travel Guide

    Why stay with us?

    Style and character are everything at Oliver’s Travels, and our collection of handpicked Dorset holiday cottages have this in spades.

    We have destination experts who know the ins and outs of all our regions, picking villas that aren’t only unique, but also in the best locations. What's more, our villas are 100% family-friendly, and have the ‘wow’ factor.

    Our helpful concierge team are on-hand to make your stay extra special. Whether you want a fully-stocked fridge, a local in-house chef to cook your meals, housekeeping or any other extra service – consider them your holiday genie, who will happily grant your wishes.

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    Holiday Homes in Dorset: Our Top Picks

    Why visit Dorset

    Dorset is one of the hottest holiday destinations in the UK, and for good reason. The Jurassic Coast is home to some of the most interesting rock formations and spectacular beaches in the country, making activities such as surfing, paddleboarding, and coasteering fantastic choices for an outdoor adventure in the region. Family holidays in Dorset are popular too - grab the little ones and explore the various coastal walks and epic clifftop hikes. Foodies will also love the range of fresh seafood the county boasts. Relax on the beach, enjoying glorious sea views and waves of sunshine, from your Dorset holiday cottage.

    Bring Your Pet

    Holidaying in the UK with your four-legged pal has never been easier. With a range of dog-friendly Dorset cottages to pick from, there’s no reason why your pet can’t enjoy the sun, sand, and sea too. Get ready to take your pooch on the most exciting walk of his life!

    Food and drink

    There’s more to Dorset than fish and chips - though of course we recommend this classic! The region is home to some of the freshest seafood in the country, and there’s even an annual Dorset Seafood Festival. Lesser known delicacies include the Dorset Apple Cake (as delicious as it sounds), a pungent cheese called the Dorset Blue Vinney, and for meat lovers, there’s the Dorset Horn or Jugged Steak.

    Best beaches

    If you’re looking for unforgettable beaches, Dorset certainly does not disappoint. The Jurassic Coast boasts a plethora of stunning beaches that are great for exploring, either by land or sea.

    Grab your swimsuit and take a dip in the idyllic blue waters - the various coves in the area are perfect for a relaxing swim or gentle paddle. Those seeking a more adrenaline fuelled experience can take advantage of the coasteering options in the area, or even rent kayaks or jet skis to witness the epic coast from the water.

    Our Dorset beach cottages mean you won’t have to travel far to enjoy the coastal delights, with many of the homes being just a stone's throw away from the sand. When the sea is glistening under the glorious sun, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you are, in fact, somewhere far more exotic. Who needs to hop on a plane when beaches like this are right on your doorstep?

    Things to do

    Whether you’re looking for a relaxing escape or seeking slightly more adventurous activities, Dorset is home to a host of unique experiences.

    The ITV crime drama Broadchurch is actually filmed in Dorset, specifically West Bay in Bridport. The dramatic cliffs will be instantly recognisable to any fans of the show.

    Explore the seas or stay closer to land - the location of Dorset allows for a varied and exciting holiday. History buffs and culture lovers will enjoy the rich stories this area of England offers, with castles and historic walks dotted across the land.

    Animal lover? Go on a unique beach or forest horse ride across Dorset - an experience you won't forget in a hurry.  

    Check out our blog of the top 10 things to do in Dorset to get some inspiration for your next trip.

    Corfe Castle

    Why it's perfect for families

    • Ideal for babies: Dorset is a family-friendly destination, with enough to do to keep even the smallest entertained. Choose from wildlife parks and soft play areas, and of course there's the many beaches too.
    • Ideal for kids: Introduce your kids to the history of Dorset, with various museums, historic buildings, and marine life centres. There's so much to learn! 
    • Ideal for teens: Older children and teens will love the chance to take part in some watersports activities in Dorset. Kayaking, surfing, jet skis and paddleboarding - the region has it all!

    Top tips

    • Avoid disappointment and make your bar/restaurant reservations in advance. Dorset is a UK holiday hot-spot, especially during the peak summer months.
    • Visit a local market to experience a slice of coastal living and pick up some homegrown treats. We recommend Bridport, a charming town with a welcoming atmosphere.
    • Don't leave without trying Black Cow Vodka - the world's only pure milk vodka! A unique beverage that is made entirely from the milk of grass grazed cows.

    What Oliver loves

    It's so easy to explore the region by bike or foot. Dorset is home to some of the best coastal and countryside walking paths - this really is the ultimate way to experience the county. Stumble across hidden gems and secluded spots as your discover more about the Jurassic Coast along the famed South West Coastal Path. Many of our Dorset holiday cottages are near these popular walking and hiking trails.

    Dorset towns and villages

    Dorset is home to picture-perfect towns and villages that will make any holiday feel like a world away from your everyday life.

    From bustling beachside retreats to idyllic countryside hideaways, it’s no wonder that Dorset remains one of the most popular vacation spots in the UK.

    Each town and village holds its own unique charm - travel just a handful of miles, and you’ll quickly encounter new local delicacies and fun things to do.

    Whether you’re holidaying as a family, couple, or group of friends, Dorset has a destination fit for everyone, whatever kind of trip you’re after.

    Oliver’s Hidden Gem

    Tucked away in the Isle of Purbeck, Chapman's Cove is a great place to spend a quiet few hours away from the crowds. There's no shops or facilities and is only reachable via walking, but the scenery and peaceful atmosphere are more than worth it.

    Head to the hilltop town of Shaftesbury, a Saxon town that is rich in local history. Most famous for Gold Hill, the street made known by the 1937 Hovis advert, Boy on the Bike, the location is perfect for keen walkers.

    This West Dorset town is known for much more than its sweeping golden beach. A key stop along the Jurassic Coast, Lyme Regis is popular with fossil hunters and Jane Austen and Broadchurch fans. So much to see and do!

    Like something out of a fairytale, visiting the village of Milton Abbas is like stepping back in time. Wander along cottage-lined streets and (if you visit at the right time) take part in a traditional village celebration.

    Thanks to its range of activities and bustling energy, Weymouth is a great pick for a family holiday in Dorset. Colourful beach huts line the shore, and fish and chip shops are a-plenty, too!

    Grab of a snap of the famed Cerne Abbas Giant - a 55m high nude figure of male that is shrouded in mystery. No one knows when or why the figure was built, but you’re sure to have a lot of fun exploring it.

    Ashmore is the highest village in Dorset, making it the spot to go to for spectacular views of the surrounding country. The village itself is beautiful too - think thatched cottages, and pretty historic buildings.

    Dorset Travel: Getting there and around

    Whether you're driving down from London, or looking to explore the area via bike, Dorset is actually suprisingly easy to reach and navigate. The chocolate-box villages are connected by winding country roads, and the famed South West Coastal Path means you can tick off some bucket list items in just a single day. Much nicer than tackling airport crowds, that's for sure! 

    By car

    Dorset is most easily reachable by car, with straightforward routes from London and Manchester. Though long, the drive is simple to navigate, and once you arrive in your holiday you’ll be rewarded with fantastic scenery.

    By train

    You can reach Dorset from London by train in just a few hours, with popular stations including Weymouth, Bournemouth, Wareham, Wool, and Poole. It’s also easy to travel to these destinations from Bristol and Bath, and Plymouth and Exeter too.

    By boat

    Take a boat trip to explore Dorset and its spectacular coast. See impressive rock formations, secluded coves, and enjoy the gentle waves while you sail along the idyllic blue sea.

    By bicycle

    Rent a bike and explore Dorset on two wheels. The region is full of cycling routes that will take you all around the county and many of its most famous natural attractions, offering impressive views. Many of our Dorset cottages are located within walking distance of popular cycle paths, too.

    South West Coast Path

    The South West Coast Path the UK's longest National Trail, spanning a huge 630 miles.

    The path starts (or finishes) in Stutland, Dorset, making the region a popular place for avid walkers.

    There are various walks that encompass the Dorset section of the South West Coast Path. One popuar route takes hikers from Durdle Door to White Nothe (around seven miles), guiding you through Lulworth Cove and offering fantastic views of the famous 'door'.

    For those just wanting a taste of the trail, try walking around Hive Beach (1.9 miles). Take in Burton Cliff, a dramatic tower of Bridport Sands.

    From the blog...