Dorset Cottage Holidays
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Welcome to the rural county of Dorset and our charming Dorset cottages, offering a wonderful blend of coast and countryside, plus lots to see and do. Below is a selection of our self catering holiday cottages in Dorset. Here you will find cottages along the coast of Dorset and throughout the county of Dorset, including in Christchurch, Dorchester, Lulworth Cove, Shaftesbury, Sherborne and many other towns and villages.
Attractions near your Dorset cottage
Gaze in awe at giant Cerne Abbas, an extraordinary fertility symbol carved in chalk high on a hillside. Enjoy a daytrip to the seaside town of Weymouth. Explore Corfe Castle, an imposing medieval monument with neighbouring historic village. Walk with dinosaurs along the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site of exceptional natural beauty. Experience close encounters with apes at Monkey World. Cycle through enchanted woodlands in the Moors Valley Country Park. Listen to the bells of Sherborne Abbey. Discover Christchurch's Priory Church and Highcliffe Castle. Made iconic in 1973 by Hovis bread's award-winning TV advert, climb the steep, cobbled street of Shaftesbury's Gold Hill. Also, browse the backwaters of Wimborne and Lyme Regis, a delightful harbour-front town with famous Cobb. And for literary fans, trace the steps of Blyton, Austen and Hardy.
A large part of your Dorset cottage holiday may well be spent relaxing on the coast. Find yourself a sunny spot on a Blue Flag beach or go beachcombing for fossils. For invigorating exercise with breathtaking views, walk the South West Coastal Path.
Head inland to glorious countryside dotted with thatched villages, market towns and ancient sites galore. Much of the region is protected and home to all kinds of wildlife, including otters, kingfishers and lizards. Cycle way-marked trails, tour leisurely by car or hop aboard a vintage train.
And although we can't make promises, it's worth a mention that the sun shines here on a regular basis - even more reason to browse our Dorset cottages!
For more holiday inspiration, browse our Dorset Inspire Me pages for a host of ideas for making the most of your holiday, including where to stay, things to do, places to dine and drink at and much more.
If you already know where in Dorset you would like to stay, please click on the appropriate area of the map to find holiday cottages in that location.
Great holiday accommodation in Dorset
This ancient, quintessentially English county features some lovely Dorset holiday rentals - each one hand-picked for its quality and comfort. Pick one deep in the countryside and pack your favourite Hardy novel to read in the middle of a flower-filled meadow or stretched out on the sofa of your welcoming Dorset holiday let. Or find one close to the sea along the legendary Jurassic Coast, where fossils await in the centuries-old cliffs and dramatic paths weave across the cliff-tops - if you're into walking, a holiday rental in Dorset is a dream come true. And remember, opting for self-catering accommodation in Dorset over hotel rooms guarantees total freedom and no fussy dress codes. Check live availability of our holiday lets in Dorset and book online, or speak to one of our friendly holiday advisers and discuss our range of Dorset accommodation in more detail. The choice is always yours when you book with Sykes Cottages!
A wonderful county waiting to be explored
In the rush westwards, to the well-known holiday hotspots of Devon and Cornwall , beautiful Dorset can often be missed. But this lovely region is a fabulous location for an English cottage holiday break. It has all the key attributes in abundance, and for it to be eclipsed by its busier neighbours is to do it a gross injustice. A Dorset cottage holiday is your ticket to some superb beaches, such as those around Bournemouth and Lyme Regis, to Britain's only coastal World Heritage Site in the Jurassic coast, to county towns brim-full of history, such as Georgian Blandford Forum, Roman Dorchester and Saxon Christchurch. In the Chalk Downlands of North Dorset, your deep-country retreat unlocks the door to the ancient, mystical sites of our earliest ancestors, to picturesque stone villages seemingly untouched by the hands of time and to historic country homes with sumptuous gardens. Add to that excellent family attractions, sporting and outdoor opportunities in abundance, fine food and refreshing West Country ales, and you'll begin to see why a Dorset holiday cottage stakes a valid claim to be your holiday destination of choice.
Dorset's rural heartland is perfect for exploring on foot or two wheels. A North Dorset cottage is the ideal place to slow the pace and uncover sources of ancient history. Marvel at the towering Giant of Cerne Abbas or the mystical Maumbury Rings near Dorchester. Let yourself to be seduced by the beauty of picturesque villages with cob and thatch cottages that nestle among gently undulating hills or rich farmland. Discover a rural idyll in the land of ancient Wessex, a far cry from famous son Hardy's 'Madding Crowd'. Explore delightful villages such as Evershot, Milton Abbas, Sherbourne with it's crowning castle or hilly, cobbled Shaftesbury, where a sense of by-gone charm and innocence was immortalised in those feel-good Hovis bread adverts. This is Dorset where the pace is slow and sleepy, but if you're after something a little livelier or more nautical, then head for a Dorset cottage near the coastal resorts of Lyme Regis, Bournemouth or Weymouth. Bournemouth has seven miles of award-winning sandy beach; visit Poole, famed for its pottery, upmarket Sandbanks and the nearby nature reserve of Chesil Beach.
A Dorset cottage holiday combines seaside fun with a wealth of family attractions. The stunning Jurassic coastline around Lyme Regis will keep kids busy fossil hunting for hours and Dinosaur museums at Dorchester and in Lyme will enchant younger visitors. The Tank Museum is a popular day out; take a walk on Brownsea Island near Poole, a scenic ride on the Swanage Steam Railway, a journey through a miniature world at Corfe Castle or a trip to Swanage's Coast Watch Project or Weymouth's Sealife Park, and marvel at the dolphins, porpoises and the other surprisingly varied residents of our coastal waters. In Dorset you'll find museums dedicated to all manners of subjects, from Teddy bears to Tutankhamun and from Tanks to Terracotta warriors, but if gardens, country houses or ancient abbeys are more your thing, then a Dorset holiday cottage will not disappoint. Shaftsebury Abbey and Gardens, Abbotsbury Swannery and Gardens and Kingston Maurwood all make for great days out. Nature lovers too will find their niche, a Dorset cottage holiday near Weymouth opens up a host of RSPB sites, including the unique natural habitats of Portland Bill and Chesil Beach.
For activity holidays, a Dorset cottage can be your springboard to thrills, spills and high adventure or your relaxing home from home and the key to a gentler pace of life, depending on your energy levels. Surfers will relish the challenge of the new reef at Boscombe Bay near Bournemouth, and sailing, windsurfing, deep-sea fishing and pleasure cruising are all readily found on the Dorset coastline. The South West Coastal Path offers superbly scenic long distance walking, whilst the quiet country lanes inland or the rural idyll of the New Forest lend themselves to unhurried exploration on foot, horseback or by bike. Lovers of fine food will find plenty to tempt their taste buds, from traditional cream teas, famous cheddar cheese or locally brewed West Country ales, such as Badger Beer and Palmer's. Farmer's markets up and down the county provide the perfect opportunity to pick up some fresh local produce.
Whichever part of the region you choose for your Dorset cottage break, you'll be close to some great places to visit. And should you manage to exhaust the delights of Dorset, nearby Somerset has great family attractions too, such as Wookey Hole and the Cheddar Gorge, and iconic places of interest, such Wells Cathedral or Glastonbury. If your Dorset cottage is closer to Devon, then fabulous beaches, smugglers' coves and picturesque fishing villages, such as Beer or Sidmouth, are within easy reach. So, whether you're after regatta time in buzzing Weymouth, on the hunt for fossilised Tyrannosaurus Rex in Lyme Regis, or fancy checking out Sturminster Newton's annual Cheese Festival, these Dorset cottages will provide the ideal setting for a memorable West Country holiday. Just trust Sykes to find your perfect Dorset cottage!