Dorchester as a base

Times given are estimates from Google maps. Once you've explored Dorchester, this page shows some of the great visits you can make using Dorchester as a base for exploring the surrounding area.

Kingston Maurward

Opening times

Jan 5 - Dec 21 every day; 10-5.30/dusk

Admission

Adults £5 - 60+ £4.50
Child £3 Group (10 or more) £4.50 pp
Gp guided tour £6 (booked in advance)
Season Ticket Single £17, Double £30
Season ticket for Family £40

Details

Now an Agricultural College but the gardens and grounds are open to the public. Ideal for picnics, admiring the ducks and swans and leisurely walks around the lake. Look out for special events like the Lambing weekends in March.

Features

  • Shop and cafe

Maiden Castle

Maiden Castle is one of the largest Iron Age hillforts in Europe. The multiple ramparts enclose a huge area capable of sheltering several hundred people. Excavations have shown the site to date back to 4,000 BC and revealed human remains which linked the site to the Roman invasion in AD 43.

More information about Visiting Maiden Castle

Details

Maiden Castle from Poundbury
Maiden Castle from Poundbury

Cerne Abbas

No trip to Dorchester is complete without viewing the at times rather chilly Cerne Giant - a club wielding figure carved in the hillside. Drive almost through Cerne on the A352 and you will see a car park and viewing area on the right.

More information about Visiting Cerne Abbas and the Giant

12 minutes away

Dorchester
Google route to Cerne Abbas

Details

Cerne Abbas village
The charming village of Cerne

Sculpture by the Lakes

Pallington Lakes
Pallington
Dorset, DT2 8QU

Opening times

11am-5.00pm
Summer Apr1 - Sep30 Mon-Sun
Winter Oct1 - Mar31 Mon-Sat

Admission

Admission: £10
No concessions
No under 14s or dogs

Details

Enjoy peace and tranquility in this beautifully landscaped 26 acre site featuring 4 lakes and the sculpture of internationally famous artist Simon Gudgeon.

Numbers are limited to ensure a peaceful visit. Book online at Sculpture By The Lakes

Features

Kingston Lacey (NT)

Opening times

HOUSE
14 Mar-1 Nov 11-5 Wed-Sun
GARDEN/PARK
6 Feb-8 Mar 10:30-4 Fri-Sun
13 Mar-1 Nov 10:30-6 Every day
6 Nov-20 Dec 10:30-4 Fri-Sun

Admission - House

Gift Aid Admission (Standard Admission)
Adults £10 (£9)
Child £5 (£4.50)
Family £25 (£22.70)
Group £8

Details

Kingston Lacey is one of the treasures of the National Trust which describes it as an elegant country mansion with important collections, set in attractive formal gardens and extensive parkland. Old Master paintings, with works by Van Dyck, Titian and Brueghel.

Admission - Park/Garden

Adults £5 (£4.50)
Child £2.50 (£2.20)
Family £12.50 (£11.30)

Features

  • Shop and cafe

Portland

Try this inspiring walk. Once you are on Southwell Road leave the car at the Cheyney Wears clifftop parking area on the left. Walk along the road another 200 metres and turn left on a track. This takes you through the old quarries all the way to the Bill. Allow 2 hours for the walking but there is a cafe with seats outside at the Bill.

More information about Visiting Portland and Portland Bill

Details

Wave watching on Portland
Wave watching on Portland

New Forest

Yes, that's just an hour to the New Forest! So if you've never visited, even a half day trip will give you a flavour of this National Park now famous for its free roaming ponies! Ideal for walks and cycle rides through the woods and heathlands. The directions take you to the road where this photo was taken.

More information about Visiting The New Forest

Details

The New Forest
The New Forest