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.
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.
Jurassica House is a stunning eco-sustainable townhouse featuring crisp modern lines, a relaxing garden and sweeping views of the ocean. Situated in the heart of Portland, large Weymouth holiday cottage is within reach of many aquatic activities, beautiful beaches and the attractions of Dorset.
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'.
Oak Tree Cottage is a sophisticated rural cottage in Batcombe offering beautiful panoramic views of the Dorset countryside. The pet-friendly cottage boasts a neutral palette and ample windows which embrace the views, and the property features an open fire, spacious grounds and seclusion.
Canford Dairy is a Large Luxury Dorset holiday cottage with a private heated indoor pool near Wimborne Minster. This accessible holiday cottage sleeps up to 20 guests in an idyllic rural location with great pubs and the coast nearby Pets welcome by agreement.
Axen Lodge sleeps 8 over 4 bedrooms. This large shooting lodge is located in Dorset with peaceful rural views in a secluded location, only a short walk to Symondsbury. This property accommodates a large garden with hot tub, trampoline and gas BBQ. Dogs are welcome.
The Barn at Saxon Maybank has been lovingly converted to create a stylish and comfortable holiday cottage with a private hot tub, surrounded by fields in the heart of the Dorset countryside near Bradford Abbas. This child and pet friendly property sleeps 4 guests in 2 bedrooms with 2 bathrooms.
Escape to the Isle of Purbeck countryside with a stay at The Old Forge, a rural child-friendly cottage nestled in the small “chocolate box” village of Kingston, Dorset, boasting original beamed ceilings, stone floors, wood-burner stove, three airy bedrooms, and expansive views.
Holiday on a working farm with the whole family at this large Dorset countryside cottage in Pimperne near Blandford Forum. Play in the shared games room, relax in the spacious sitting room, take in the rural views on the patio and enjoy a restful slumber in the comfortable bedrooms. Pets welcome.
Crepe Farm Cottage is a pet-friendly detached cottage, a short walk to Symondsbury Village. Sleeping 7 over 4 bedrooms, this property has 2 log burners, a hot tub and a large private garden with outstanding views of Colmers Hill!
Bower Cottage is a stylish detached barn conversion which offers generous accommodation with bright contemporary furnishings situated in an Area of Outstanding National Beauty nestled within the West Dorset countryside.
Champernhayes Barn, one of six charming 15th Century restored farm buildings situated on the gentle slope of a West Dorset hillside, a real Jurassic Park! Awarded 5 stars by Visit Britain.
Rowena Cottage occupies a unique position inside a converted lighthouse and enjoys superb ocean views from Anvil Point. The pet-friendly cottage features ample grounds in which to soak up the views of the Dorset coastline and boasts luxury, proximity to Swanage and a rare chance to truly escape.
Foxditch Barn at Chisel Farm is a new self-catering barn conversion on a working farm in a peaceful rural location near Blandford Forum in Dorset. This pet friendly holiday property offering beautiful rural views over the Stour valley sleeps 4 in 2 bedrooms. Stabling for guest's horses available.
9 Sidon Mews is a light and airy seaside cottage offering sleek stylish design and a log burning stove as well as views to Portland Harbour. The modern cottage in Portland also boasts a sun-drenched courtyard and proximity to Portland and the coast of Dorset, making it ideal for family getaways.
Crepe Farmhouse is a large luxury farmhouse located in Symondsbury surrounded by stunning scenery. Guests have exclusive access to the swimming pool, sauna, games room, cinema room and large garden. Ideal for extended families, celebrations and large groups. Dogs welcome.
For a peaceful getaway to the Dorset countryside, Belview Cottage immerses you deep in its picturesque greens and boundless hills. Based in the hamlet of Blackmore Vale, the two-bedroom cottage is a cosy base for exploring the Dorset countryside and its Jurassic Coast.
Chideock Cottage is a well-equipped holiday cottage which is available all-year-round. Situated in the village of Chideock with stunning views of the hills and just a 20 minute walk to the beach at Seatown. Lovely foodie pub just over the road too!
Alpaca is a gorgeously rustic romantic cabin hidden in the woods near Dorchester in Dorset. The pet-friendly cottage spoils guest with seclusion and a lovely garden as well as a wooden exterior housing a character-laden conversion with exposed beams, lovely views and immaculate presentation.
Rose Cottage in Weymouth is a splendid little family-friendly coastal cottage a short stroll from Newton's Cove, the beautiful Nothe Gardens and the harbourside in this classic English seaside resort. This Victorian holiday cottage comfortably sleeps 5 in 3 bedrooms.
Azure is a luxury seaside apartment close to the beach in the vibrant Dorset coastal resort of Weymouth. This very upmarket holiday property has its own parking space and is perfect for a small family or two couples seeking stylish self-catering accommodation with en-suite bathrooms.
A luxury coastal cottage within the exclusive Sandbanks resort, Harbour Lodge is a large 4-bedroom Hampshire holiday home. Facilities include a cinema room, glass-clad sun terraces and a hot tub. This large holiday house sleeps 8 within easy reach of lovely beaches and south coast attractions.
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 wonderful 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 70's.
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!