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With warmer than average weather, glorious beaches and breathtaking countryside, it will come as no surprise that Dorset is one of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations. But there a few interesting, historical facts that you may not be aware of. From hot chillies to the invention of the internet, read this post to discover what Dorset is famous for.

1. Britain’s first fossil shop

What is Devon Famous For - mary anning - first fossil shop - jurrasic coast fossils

It may come as no surprise that Britain’s first fossil shop was located in Dorset along the Jurassic Coast. As a child, Mary Anning and her family unearthed fossils from the nearby cliffs and sold them to holidaymakers to create additional money. In 1826, at the age of 27, Mary Anning opened a fossil shop in Lyme Regis. Mary would later become an expert in her field and was visited by the king of Saxony, geologists and enthusiasts wanting to add to their collections.

Mary Anning’s story was the inspiration for the tongue twister: “she sells sea-shells on the sea-shore…” – try and say it really quick!

2. Dorset gave birth to Trivial Pursuit1

What is Devon Famous For - trivial pursuit

Some argue that Trivial Pursuit was born in Dorset as many of the questions for the original game were researched in Weymouth’s public library. Released in 1982, the game has been played by millions of people across the world.

3. One of the world’s hottest chillis2

What is Devon Famous For - the hottest chilli in the world

The Dorset Naga is commonly regarded as one of the hottest chillis in the world. The Dorset Naga is a substrain of the Bhut jolokia, also known as the Ghost Pepper. The In 2006, Dorset briefly laid claim to growing the hottest chilli in the world after an American laboratory recorded the Dorset Naga being almost 70% hotter than the current Guinness World Record holder.

4. Oldest postbox in England3

What is Devon Famous For - oldest post box in england - Holywell

If you’re still a fan of sending the traditional postcard whilst on holiday, then, on your next trip to Holywell, you may want to pop it into England’s oldest postbox. Built in 1853, this postbox has been in use for over 160 years.

5. Largest natural harbour in Britain4

What is Devon Famous For - poole harbour - largest natural harbour in Britain

Poole Harbour is the largest naturally formed harbour in Britain and some claim it is the second largest in the world. It was formed towards the end of the last ice age and is extremely shallow, resulting in ferries and boats having to navigate especially dredged channels.

 6. The world’s earliest radio station5

What is Devon Famous For - oldest radio station in the world

Guglielmo Marconi is regarded as the ‘Father of Wireless’ and the inventor of the radio. He was captivated by the idea of ‘transmitting messages through space by means of etheric waves’ and in 1897 the first radio transmission was sent and received, with one of the three locations being Bournemouth.

7. Most expensive place to live6

What is Devon Famous For - sandbanks the most expensive place to live in europe - britain

This small spit of land crossing the mouth of Poole Harbour is regarded as Britain’s most expensive place to buy a property. The average house price of £664,051, it will come as no surprise that the area is very popular with celebrities.

8. The invention of the World Wide Web7

What is Devon Famous For - Tim Berners-Lee invented the internet - world wide web

Many people know that Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee is accepted as being the inventor of the internet when he established communication between a computer and a server in 1989. But did you know that he worked and lived in Dorset when he invented the technology that made this possible? Berners-Lee moved to Dorset from London after he graduated in 1978.

9. First Natural World Heritage site in England8

What is Devon Famous For - First Natural World Heritage site in England - Jurassic Coast

The Jurassic Coast was the first natural site in England to make it onto the World Heritage List as selected by UNESCO. The Jurassic Coast received this status due to the variety of geological periods that it depicts; Jurassic, Cretaceous and Triassic.


  1. “R2D2 Lives in Preston…”

Photo Credits: Ozzy Delany, Stephen TrainLuciano Roth Coelho and Lex McKee

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