Dorchester Local Information: 10 top things to know... more
Dorchester was originally called Durnovaria by the Romans, and tree-lined walks around the town follow the route of the original Roman town’s walls. This is known as the Durnovaria Town Walk. The Roman Town House, excavated in the North West corner of the town, also attracts many visitors. The Fordington area of Dorchester has a rich history containing stories of Alfred the ...Read more
Dorchester sits on the banks of the River Frome and is a traditional market town and the county town of Dorset. There are plenty of historic buildings and monuments to be seen in the town, as well as many modern attractions.
The Dorset County Show takes place over two days in September at the Dorchester Showground. This popular agricultural show includes a list of attractions as well as competitions and displays. Dorchester Carnival takes place in June and includes a day of fun and entertainment as well as the main carnival procession. A street fair and party in the park are among the attractions ...Read more
Maiden Castle is the site of an Iron Age hillfort, and is maintained by English Heritage. The site is free to visit and includes information panels detailing its 4,000-year history. Dorset County Museum contains different galleries covering subjects such as natural sciences, geology, art, history and literature. The galleries include video displays, interactive exhibits and ac...Read more
5. Things To Do
The gardens of privately owned Miterne House are open to visitors and include a great selection of plants and trees all year round, as well as lakes, streams and a wooded valley. Henley Hillbillies, in nearby Buckland Newton, offers visitors a chance to ride a quad bike, shoot a clay pigeon, accelerate a mini out of the bends of a dirt track, fly a hovercraft and more. There ...Read more
A busy and popular market takes place in the town every Wednesday and a farmers’ market is held on the first Saturday of every month. A country market is held every Friday in the Corn Exchange. The town centre includes a good mix of popular high street names and independent specialist stores, cafes and restaurants. Visitors travel here from across the region.
By car, the A37 is the main road running north of the town. The A35 runs to the east and west and the A354 runs to the south. The nearest airport to Dorchester is Bournemouth Airport, which is about 26 miles away and has international flights. Exeter International Airport is 43 miles away and Bristol Airport is 48 miles away. Train services are good from Dorchester to the res...Read more
Many live events take place in the town’s Corn Exchange, including dance, comedy and music. Dorchester Arts Centre has a varied programme of live entertainment, including theatre, dance and visual arts.
9. Famous Landmarks
St George’s Church sits at the top of a hill in the Fordington area of Dorchester. Its tower dates back to the 15th century and the church contains the treasure of an engraved Roman stone. Author Thomas Hardy was once a member of the church’s restoration committee.
10. Interesting Fact
Author Thomas Hardy was born and grew up in Dorchester and the town was the setting for many of his novels, including The Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Under the Greewood Tree and Far from The Madding Crowd.
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More young people in Dorchester can be taught the vital skill of swimming thanks to a generous donation of equipment. The donation of essential floats and armbands have been donated to the Natterjacks Swimming Club in Dorchester by the Rotary Club...
Quick-thinking builder Martin Turner saved the life of a pensioner just weeks after taking a first aid course. Mr Turner, 40, from Puddletown, carried out CPR on 84-year-old Roy Hardy after he saw him collapsed on a chip shop...
An Olympic flame was transported by limousine as part of its journey around schools in Dorchester. Schools in the Dorchester Area Schools Partnership are transporting their own Olympic flame to each other in as many different and unusual ways...
A rare piece of time is on display at the Dorset County Museum. The 14th century timepiece, worth more than £200,000, is on display at the Dorchester museum and is one of only four of its kind in the world. The gilt brass...
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