Sunset on Eggardon Hill in Dorset

Compare the best Dorset hotels

Dorset has been a seaside family holiday destination for decades. It offers a wealth of attractions, hotels in pleasant towns and breath-taking countryside.

Why go?

Find the best hotels in Dorset with TravelSupermarket and start planning your British break in this wondrous seaside county...

The undulating hills and jigsaw coastline of Dorset, in southern England, are home to some of the nation's most pleasing yet under-rated attractions. Far from shining neon lights on its best bits, Dorset quietly revels in its absolute beauty and bevy of brilliant destinations. There are seaside hotspots, such as Lyme Regis in the west, central Weymouth, and Bournemouth, in the east of the county. There are charming towns, such as Dorchester and Beaminster.

You'll discover family attractions, and not only at the beach. While down by the water's edge the amazing power of nature has shaped a truly unique landscape. Whatever you dream of seeing in Dorset, and wherever you wish to stay, there are many unforgettable memories just waiting to be made.

The National Trust site Brownsea Island, a short boat trip from Poole Quay, is the birthplace of the scouting movement, as well as having a large population of tame red squirrels that tolerate visitors quite happily. Another popular destination is the Upton Country Park, which has excellent bird watching spots and pleasant woodland walks.

For those seeking a little culture on their visit, Bournemouth offers the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, which the Victorians loved for its eccentric and eclectic interior decoration. The collection includes Japanese artefacts that were widely collected in the Victorian era and offers free admission.

The Deep Sea Adventure, Sea Life Park and Marine Sanctuary in Weymouth lets visitors get close to marine life and is always popular with families. Bournemouth offers attractions for all the family, including the Bournemouth Eye and Oceanarium.

The historic Brewer's Quay is situated in Weymouth's Old Harbour, and this Victorian brewery has now been developed to include a speciality shopping village.

Book Dorset hotels as far in advance of your stay as possible to ensure the best rates. Read on to find out more about where to stay and then book your Dorset accommodation using the search tool on TravelSupermarket.

Where to stay?

Whether you want to book cheap hotels in Dorset or you are looking for five-star luxury, we compare prices on the best available hotels...

Dorset is a beautiful county and has been a popular tourist destination for both British and overseas visitors for decades.

Visitors flock to the hotels in Dorset's seaside towns in their thousands. One of the great pleasures of staying in Dorset is the setting of some of the hotels. Visitors will find plenty of seaside hotels right in the centre of towns such as Poole, Bournemouth and Weymouth, but can also locate hotels in more peaceful rural settings.

In Poole, much of the action centres on Poole Quay. There are a number of pubs, restaurants and hotels in Poole and visitors have plenty to see. Poole Harbour is the second largest in the world and a beautiful sight.

Many lovely Victorian buildings are now used to house hotels in Bournemouth, many of which offer excellent value for money. Some of these hotels sit overlooking the beautiful gold sand beaches and Bournemouth Pier, where a variety of amusements can be enjoyed by all.

Weymouth has a multitude of lovely Georgian properties on the Esplanade that are run as guest houses and hotels. Prices can vary enormously and a small amount of research can make a real difference to the price paid for hotels in Weymouth.

At some times of the year, especially during the summer months, hotels can be extremely busy and booking early is recommended.

What to see?

Monkey around in Dorset before witnessing nature's majesty at some of these tourism highlights...

Top five attractions

Durdle Door
The limestone arch is an icon of the Dorset coast. Part of the Jurassic Coast, Durdle Door should not be missed on your trip to Dorset. Set up camp for the day on the shingle beach and enjoy this stunning scene.

Lulworth Cove
Not far from Durdle Door is this naturally formed cove. When you've spent some time here, walk to Durdle Door or Mupe Bay and Fossil Forest, or jump aboard a boat to see the coast from the water.

Jurassic Coast
You don't have to have an interest in geology to be simply astounded by this important part of the country, where nearly 200m years of history are revealed in the cliffs. Find fossils on the beaches, learn more in museums and visitor centres, or just wander along and marvel at planet Earth. The Dorset stretch of the Jurassic Coast runs from Old Harry Rocks on Purbeck and into the west, where it continues across the Devon border.

Monkey World
Have a family day out in Wareham at this primate rescue centre. There are activities for children and talks about the centre's resident animals throughout the day.

Corfe Castle
Like something from a film set, the haunting remains of Corfe Castle loom high above a village within the Purbeck Hills. Run by the National Trust, the castle's captivating history can be explored almost every day of the year.

What's on?

Robin Hood of course features on Nottingham's list of annual events, alongside many other festivals of culture and all-out family fun!


Lyme Regis Fossil Festival; April/May:
Dig a little deeper and find out everything you wanted to know about fossils, palaeontology and the Jurassic Coast at this annual event.

Great Dorset Steam Fair; August: Journey back to the age of steam when you travel to Tarrant Hinton, near Blandford Forum. This popular event, one of the biggest of its kind, brings thousands of visitors to see steam engines, shire horses and plenty of craft stalls.

Dorset County Show; September: The Dorchester Showground hosts this annual feast of diverse family fun. From motorbike stunt teams and dog shows, to winning vegetables and robots - this show has it all!