Dorset is Thomas Hardy’s county, with the ancient cities of Dorchester (Hardy’s Casterbridge) with its Roman remains and hill top Shaftesbury (Hardy’s Shaston).
In Cerne Abbas the infamous 180ft high Chalk Giant looks down on the village. There are other prehistoric earthworks and chalk horses carved into hillsides in the area. Dorset also has the extraordinary Jurassic Coast, stretching from Lyme Regis to Portland Bill, and including Chesil Beach, a 40ft bank of shingle stretching for ten miles. Largest town is Bournemouth, an entertainment centre with a well known symphony orchestra, 2000 acres of parks and gardens, two piers and a great favourite for foreign language students. Also reputedly the most expensive town in Britain to buy fresh fruit and produce.
We help you find the finest hotels in Dorset. Look for the 'Green Plaque' to guarantee a Signpost premier hotel.
In Dorset the La Fleur de Lys was formally a girls' boarding house, then a b&b and 19 years ago David, Mary and Marc took it over and turned it into a small Restaurant with Rooms. Each of the seven comfortable bedrooms is named after a wine, Sauvignon, Pinot Noir etc. Each is different and comes with bathrobes, luxury toiletries and there is free WIFI throughout. The AA Restaurant in Dorset has built up a fine reputation using best quality ingredients to be found locally and from further afield. There is a private dining room for small groups, parties and wedding receptions.
Shaftesbury is in the heart of Thomas Hardy country and was Shaston in his novels. This hotel in Dorset is built on the edge of a 700-ft plateau. Ancient buildings include the stone built Mitre Inn and tiled and thatched cottages on the cobbled Gold Hill. It is on the edge of the Cranbourne Chase.