A delightful selection of Dorset holiday cottages for families and friends can be found in one of England's most beautiful counties. Dorset's appeal is that it offers holidaymakers a choice of self-catering holidays by the sea or inland in wonderfully-named, idyllic and sleepy villages such as Compton Abbas, Gussage All Saints and Lytchett Matravers. Whether for a weekend break in a secluded country cottage in Beaminster, a luxury holiday home in Sherborne or Dorset coast cottages for leisurely summer holidays in quaint seaside cottages from Swanage to Lyme Regis, you will fall in love with the fresh air and slow way of life in Dorset.
Situated on a working organic Dorset farm in a peaceful rural location, Threshers Barn near Beaminster is a Grade 2 listed 16th-century flint barn, beautifully restored to provide cosy, bright and airy accommodation with original features such as old beams and windows. Pets welcome.
Magna Cottage is a 300-year-old thatched cottage with a thatched roof and abundant character, as well as a large mature garden and many homely comforts. The pet-friendly cottage in a secluded corner of Dorset near Shaftesbury boasts an inglenook fireplace, contemporary style and beautiful views.
The Compass is a stylish one-bedroom apartment in the heart of the resort town of Swanage, Dorset, a romantic flat within a pleasant courtyard that makes a cosy holiday escape for couples, with private parking space, fully fitted kitchen, breakfast bar, tiled bathroom, and comfy sitting area.
Situated in the desirable Dorset village of Burton Bradstock is Dormouse Cottage, a stone-built cottage with thatched roof and character. The pet-friendly cottage sits near the beach and offers a lovely courtyard, exposed beams, an inglenook fireplace and cottage style kitchen, plus modern elegance.
Rampisham Hill Farm Barn sits in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on a working sheep farm near Hooke in Dorset, & the rural cottage promises beautiful views, spacious outdoor areas, an open fire, fresh farm eggs, contemporary comfort, open-plan design, serenity & access to the Jurassic Coast.
Millers Cottage, converted from old dairy units at Bakers Mill, is a lovely countryside cottage in Dorset sleeping 3. Old beams feature in this otherwise modern Beaminster cottage with large enclosed garden. Situated in a courtyard setting with 5 other cottages sleeping 21 in total. Pets welcome.
Boasting water frontage and urban chic is The Beach House, a sophisticated coastal cottage in Weymouth Harbour, Dorset. Multiple patios and balconies are spread across the five storeys and offer wonderful water views, while the cottage promises a games area and a short stroll to the beach.
Manor Farmhouse is a pretty and beautifully presented period thatched house, with expansive rural views and a river frontage, and situated in a peaceful and idyllic location.
North End's large listed Farmhouse is available for Doret holiday lets all year. Situated in a spectacular countryside setting, on the Jurassic Coast, between the lively market towns of Bridport and Lyme Regis with easy access to beaches, culture, pubs and walks. Pets welcome.
The Old Cricket Pavilion is situated in a picturesque rural location at North End Farm near Bridport. It has a small enclosed lawned garden and panoramic Dorset countryside views. An ideal for a romantic retreat for two or a small family. Pets welcome.
The Old Tack Room is a child-friendly Dorset country cottage in lovely and peaceful setting near Sturminster Newton, this converted tack room on the grounds of a working farm is a holiday delight. Up to four guests can enjoy this great, fully modernized dog-friendly Dorset holiday cottage.
Once an 18th-century farmhouse lovingly transformed into a riverside holiday cottage boasting views of the village of Dittisham, Devon, and the River Dart estuary, Dower House sleeps up to 10 guests in four spacious bedrooms and features a secluded orchard garden, two fireplaces, and exposed beams.
Harbour Lights is a sophisticated coastal cottage boasting contemporary comforts and expansive views to Bridport and the ocean. The pet-friendly Dorset cottage offers a generous furnished terrace perfect for entertaining, and the interior features Corian work surfaces and marble and wooden floors.
Located in the Dorset village of Frampton and surrounded by countryside, this dog-friendly rural cottage is the perfect rural retreat for exploring the East Dorset coast and countryside.
Lilliput is tucked away in the quiet Dorset coastal village of Shipton Gorge a mile or two from Bridport and the Jurassic Coast at Burton Bradstock. This well-maintained holiday cottage will particularly appeal to those seeking lovely walks close to hand and also welcomes pets. nicely
A luxury cottage for four in a quiet rural location, this converted chapel features an open plan living area overlooked by a galleried landing, timbered walls, and exposed beams to create a truly unique holiday experience. A countryside escape in Dorset close to many great locations.
Duck Street Cottage is a cosy cottage situated in Dorset, ideal for couples or friends. Perfectly located in Symondsbury Village, within walking distance to the village pub, café and handful of artisan shops. Includes a traditional inglenook fireplace, perfect for resting after a day of exploring!
The Brambles is a single bedroom cottage ideal for couples or lone travelers set in stunning farmland which overlooks the Dorset Coast and the Chesil Beach. Fantastic walks straight from the door of the cottage. Situated between the seaside town of Weymouth and Abbotsbury, famous for its swans.
The Creamery is a spacious, stylishly furnished character cottage within a short walk of Dorchester's historic centre yet within easy reach of Weymouth and other Jurassic Coast resorts. This dog-friendly Dorset holiday cottage welcomes families, sleeping up to 5 guests in 3 bedrooms
This comfortable family cottage on a working farm near Beaminster sleeps six in two bedrooms. It has a sunny conservatory and cosy spaces as well as farm fresh eggs and an open fire. The farm lies on the borders of Dorset and Somerset, within easy reach of Beaminster and the Jurassic Coast.
Situated on a beautiful farm overlooking the Jurassic Coast in West Dorset, The Swallows is one of 7 holiday cottages at Character Farm Cottages near Weymouth. 4-star rated by Visit England, it comfortably sleeps 4. It is extremely well appointed and open throughout the year. Pets welcome.
Harbourside Haven Apartment 3 is a luxurious seaside apartment perched above the marina in Weymouth, Dorset. Enjoying beautiful views and a soft sea breeze from its balcony and open-plan living area, the sophisticated property places guests in the centre of the coastal resort and the coastline.
The Mill is a well-equipped coastal holiday cottage with Wi-Fi available all-year-round. It sleeps 6 and is set in 7.5-acres of Dorset countryside. The Mill is only a short walk from the village pub and short drive to the Market town of Bridport / West Bay famous as the location for 'Broadchurch'.
It's not just the tranquil charm of its quaint holiday cottages in Dorset that attracts visitors to the county - it's their location too. Dorset also offers its visitors a wide choice of lovely beaches. Find coastal cottages in Dorset from the seaside resort of Weymouth in the east along the South West Coast Path to the Regency town of Lyme Regis. There's a splendid choice of Dorset coast cottages, including the long shingle banks of Chesil Beach (taking in the world-famous Swannery at Abbotsbury), Studland Bay, Burton Bradstock, peaceful Charmouth and picturesque Lulworth Cove. Just think of a day spent both fishing in rock pools on a beach for minute sea creatures (Kimmeridge Bay is particularly recommended), and then turning to the cliffs on this famous Jurassic coastline. Here, winter rockfalls often reveal fossils (although you're no longer allowed to go digging for them).
There's an equally appealing choice of attractions to enjoy away from Dorset's south coast beaches. Why not spend an afternoon viewing the Purbeck countryside from the windows of a heritage steam train on the Swanage Railway. Catch your train at Corfe and while there, visit the magnificent ruins of Corfe Castle high on the hill above the town. Head west to Bovington where you'll find the (seriously) best and most entertaining of tank museums or the nearby Monkey World which is as educational as its primates are adorable.
In the far west of Dorset lie the attractive little coastal towns of Bridport, West Bay, with its fantastic fish restaurant and Lyme Regis.
Inland Dorset is as pretty as the names of its villages imply. How can you resist a holiday in a county with place names such as Fifehead Magdalen, Purse Caundle, Hazelbury Bryan, Piddletrenthide, Sixpenny Handley, Toller Fratrum and Tolpuddle (home of the Tolpuddle Martyrs).
Many of its towns boast splendid vernacular architecture (usually accompanied by quaint tea rooms) as visitors to Blandford Forum or Gold Hill in Shaftesbury will readily testify. The latter is the location for a famous Hovis Bread advert in the '70s.
Other attractions well worth a visit include the Model Town at Wimbourne and, at the end of August, the Great Dorset Steam Fair near Blandford Forum. The Steam Fair is so large you'll need more than one day to work your way around it. Of course, this shouldn't be a problem if you are staying in a Dorset holiday cottage!