Dorset’s long and varied history can be seen in the plethora of museums and country houses you can visit. How has the history of Dorset, influenced the landscape that attracts thousands of visitors each year?
If you are planning a trip in the UK and not sure where to spend quality time with your family; why not plan a trip to Dorset on the South Coast. The stunning landscape, forged over a millennia is popular with families and couples who enjoy the seaside and countryside.
But what makes Dorset so special? What makes it stand out, with all the West Country has to offer? Why is Dorset the best place for a UK holiday in 2016? How does it differ from its West Country neighbours? We will sum all the advantages of staying in Dorset and planning your holiday in this English haven.
Dorset History & Landscape
Much of the Dorset countryside has been left untouched by history. The wild heathland on the Isle of Purbeck is peaceful, still and resonates a time gone by. Ancient hill forts have been protected by organisations such as the National Trust, you can still walk the earth ramparts on Hod Hill and imagine how imposing this site would have been to invaders.
Dorset is blessed with an abundance of natural resources. Most of the coast is chalk or slate but further inland you will find a healthy supply of clay, which for hundreds of years has been mined by the English China Clay company. In their wake they have left some stunning former quarrys, which nature has reclaimed, the fine clay lies in suspension in the water and defracts the light, giving of a stunning blue colour. One fine example if The Blue Pool near Wareham.
Dorset is also famous for quarrying another unique material – stone. The quarries on Portland and Purbeck produce namesake stone that is highly sought after and found in some historic, famous monument, houses and public buildings throughout the UK. The stones of Portland and Purbeck are very similar, but it is perhaps the Portland stone that is most famous being used in both Buckingham Palace and St Pauls Cathedral.
Dorset is the gateway to the Jurassic Coast, and a paleontologists heaven. It is the must visit on any student archaeologists itinerary. The coast is very unusual as the rocks of a millenia are exposed for you to explore. The area is fossil rich and is the site of many dinosaur discoveries as well as natural marvels such as Lulworth Cove.
Dorset is famous for its rolling, lush countryside and ancient hillforts, which includes Maiden Castle (the largest in the UK) as well as National Trust’s Hambledon Hill and Hod Hill. Today these ancient hill tops have been used as the site for the Jubilee beacons. Visitors to the area can explore miles of peaceful footpaths, where you will spot buzzards, deer and if you are lucky a barn owl.
As the landscape has shaped history, so has it shaped the economy. Dorset is blessed with a strong rural economy and community spirit, which offers a more laid back pace of life. Visitors to the area enjoy traditional summer fete’s, dog shows, country fayres, flower shows, horses shows, music festivals as well as the larger organised events. Farming is a way of life for many, so large swathes of Dorset have escaped development, you will still find small villages with a village pub and shop, where generations of the same family have lived and worked the land.
Dorset is unique, its geology and geography are uniquely varied, from mythical heathland, to ancient hill forts to long golden sandy beaches. Dorset invites the explorer to try coasteering on the Jurassic coast or para-gliding from ancient Hill forts but it also charms visitors with its relaxing sandy beaches, laid back lifestyle and rural traditions.
If you want to visit Dorset and find out about events and places to stay visit www.dhcottages.co.uk