Welcome to Dorset. Below is a map of the County locating all of our cottages. Below the map you will find details on local transport and journey times.
From London – Dorset is approximately two hours.
From Exeter – Dorset is approximately one hour.
Southampton – Dorset is approximately one hour.
Bristol – – Dorset is approximately two hours.
Oxford – Dorset is approximately two and a half hours.
Most long-distance express coaches are operated by National Express. The main Dorset hub is Bournemouth Travel Interchange adjacent to Bournemouth Railway Station. From there coaches leave hourly for London (services 032 & 035). Some of these also serve Poole, Wareham, Swanage, Dorchester & Weymouth. There are also frequent services to Heathrow Airport (205) and Gatwick Airport (206). There are daily services also to Bristol, Manchester & Blackpool (333) and to Oxford, Birmingham & Liverpool (304). There’s also a daily service (539) to Oxford, Stratford-on-Avon, Birmingham, Carlisle and Edinburgh.
There’s a daily service (315) that travels between Cornwall and Sussex stopping at several Dorset towns along the south coast. In the north of Dorset there’s a daily service to London from Sherborne & Shaftesbury (033).
You can now check the real-time departure/arrival of any coach on the COACH TRACKER website.
There’s also a cheap way to travel from Bournemouth and Poole to the Midlands and North combining coach and train. You purchase a through ticket which combines train from Bournemouth/Poole to Southampton Airport Parkway, where you transfer to a coach for the journey northwards. Journey times are reasonably fast (eg Bournemouth-Coventry 4 hours) and cheap (from £8 single Poole-Birmingham). Book online MEGABUSPLUS
There are regular buses in the main towns and also between towns. In the Bournemouth/Poole/Christchurch conurbation the principal bus operators are More (Wilts & Dorset), Yellow Buses and Bournemouth University.
In the rural areas the principal bus companies are Damory Coaches, More Bus Company and First Dorset. There are a number of smaller operators including South-West Coaches (Weymouth/ and Yeovil), and Shaftesbury & District in the north of the county around Gillingham and Shaftesbury. Dolphin Coaches operate The Rossmore Flyer in Poole. Gardbus operate services on the Dorset/Wiltshire/Hampshire border. Dorset Community Transport also operate small vehicles in the rural areas.
English Bus Passes are usually valid from 09.30 to 23.00 on Mondays to Fridays, but there are exceptions. They’re valid anytime at weekends.
A complete list of all bus timetables in Dorset is available on the Travel Dorset website (Dorset County Council)
One of the most interesting bus services in Dorset is route 50 Purbeck Breezer operated by Wilts & Dorset (More). It operates regularly between Bournemouth Rail Station, Sandbanks and Swanage. It is one of the few bus routes in England that travels on a ferry (between Sandbanks and Studland)! It runs all-year round and is usually a double-deck open-top bus. More information on our DAYS OUT page.
Another interesting bus is the X53 Jurassic Coaster operated by First Dorset which runs all the way from Poole to Exeter. Much of the route is along the scenic Jurassic Coast. The full journey takes around four and a half hours and is one of the longest bus journeys in England.
There’s a regular chain ferry across Poole Harbour entrance between Sandbanks and Shell Bay. This carries buses, cars and pedestrians.
Condor Ferries operates a year-round service to the Channel Islands and St. Malo in France. Their main base is Weymouth but they also operate some sailings from Poole.
Brittany Ferries operates the popular ship Barfleur from Poole to Cherbourg in France. It leaves Poole each day at 08.30 returning from Cherbourg at 18.45 (22.15 most Tuesdays and Wednesdays). There are no sailings most of January, February and March. These times allow for day trips which are reasonably priced.
LD Lines operate the Norman Asturias twice weekly between Poole and Santander/Gijon in Spain.
Compare ferry fares worldwide, find the best deals and special offers, read genuine reviews of all ferries and book on-line at Aferry.co.uk
There are numerous summer boat cruises and ferry services from Bournemouth Pier, Poole Quay, Swanage and Weymouth.
An increasing number of CRUISE ships are now including Portland as a port of call in their itineraries. The cruise terminal facilities there are being developed to take some of the world’s largest ships. The benefits of a call into Dorset are great, with the possibility of day excursions along the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and to other attractions like Stonehenge and Bath.
The ships usually arrive around breakfast time and leave in the evening, and make a lovely sight as they sail past Portland breakwater into Weymouth Bay. A list of this year’s ships and dates is HERE.
The main railway line running through Dorset from London Waterloo to Weymouth has comfortable electric trains with a maximum of 3 services an hour to Bournemouth/Poole and two services an hour to Weymouth on weekdays. These are operated by South-West Trains. Also operating on this line as far as Bournemouth is Cross-Country Trains. They run hourly through services from Newcastle and Manchester and intermediate stations.
In the north of Dorset South-West Trains operate an hourly diesel service from London Waterloo to Gillingham, Templecombe and Sherborne which continues into Devon as far as Exeter.
For cheap railway tickets from Weymouth, Poole, Bournemouth and Yeovil Junction to London Waterloo try Megatrain who offer seats on certain off-peak South-West trains at very low fares.
There’s a third line from Bristol to Dorchester and Weymouth that has a diesel service approximately every two hours on weekdays. This is known as “The Heart of Wessex” line and is operated by First Great Western trains.
We recommend using the First Great Western website to book (and plan) all your rail journeys. It is one of the few not to levy any charges for credit card payments.
The Swanage Railway operates a daily steam-hauled service from Easter to the end of October from Norden Park and Ride station to Corfe Castle & Swanage. There is a parking charge, currently £3.00 for the whole day – exact money in the machine. Recently funding has been guaranteed to allow the operation of a regular diesel train service from Wareham to Swanage. Hopefully this will start in 2015. Work has started on the infrastructure needed at Wareham and Worgret Junction to enable a regular service from the main line.
Dorset’s airport is Bournemouth, situated at Hurn, near Christchurch. It mainly caters for charter holiday flights, though low-cost carriers Ryanair and Easy-Jet have regular services. Aer Lingus fly to Dublin with onward connections to the United States. During the winter these flights are on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.
There’s an hourly bus link from Bournemouth Rail Station and Town Centre. Journey time from Bournemouth Rail Station is just 15 minutes. Bus TIMETABLE
There are nearby airports at Southampton, with direct trains from Dorset, and Exeter in Devon. Both these airports have many daily flights to destinations in the UK and Europe operated by FlyBe