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Dorchester is an excellent town to visit whilst staying at our holiday park in Charmouth. This historic county town has plenty of things to see and do, including walking around the ancient Roman amphitheatre of Maumbury Rings, visiting the fantastic Dorset Museum or finding a treasured antique in the Dorchester Curiosity Centre.

Historic Sites of Interest

Dorchester is one of the oldest towns in Dorset - its history can be traced as far back as the Iron Age! Dorchester was arguably made most famous by the Romans who built the town here in 43 AD. Here are a selection of historic sites to visit in Dorchester if you are interested in this town’s remarkable past.

Maiden Castle

Maiden Castle is an ancient Iron Age hillfort and one of the best-preserved remaining in Europe. We highly recommend walking across this ancient site whilst visiting Dorchester. Despite being the size of roughly fifty football pitches, the walk around this settlement roughly takes up to forty-five minutes and is the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon.

Please note that there will sometimes be sheep roaming around Maiden Castle, so, we please ask that dogs remain on the lead at all times.

Photo Credit - Flickr - Andy Lamb

The Dorset Museum

The Dorset Museum is a fantastic museum to visit to gain a greater understanding of the rich history this county has on offer. This local museum explores the past 250million years of Dorset’s history, ranging from dinosaurs discovered in Charmouth and along the Jurassic coast, to Roman invaders all the way to the famous Dorchester-local and world-famous author, Thomas Hardy. Tickets for The Dorset Museum can be booked online or can be bought upon arrival however, under 26s can enter the museum free of charge on weekends.


Poundbury is a unique town worth visiting on the outskirts of Dorchester. This beautiful town is best known for it's traditional Georgian architecture, well-kept gardens, and brightly coloured buildings. This area was built and designed by the once Prince of Wales, now King Charles III, with sustainability in mind. We highly encourage those visiting to walk around this charming town, rather than drive, as it has been designed with accessibility in mind. Although Poundbury is mainly housing, you will many independent cafes and shops dotted throughout the town as well as plenty of green spaces, such as the Woodlands Crescent Play Area and The Great Field.

Restaurants and Cafes

Dorchester has a wide range of cafes and restaurants to choose from. The hotspot for restaurants in Dorchester is Brewery Square, which is home to multiple chain restaurants and cafes including Wagamama, Pizza Express, Luciano’s, Hubbox, Côte, Vivo Lounge and Costa Coffee. Alternatively, there are many fantastic independent restaurants and cafes dotted throughout Dorchester town - our top recommendations are the ‘Kao San’ which is a brilliant Thai restaurant on High East Street,  or even ‘Al Molo’ which is a fantastic Italian restaurant that has recently relocated to Dorchester from Weymouth.


Dorchester has plenty of shops to browse, from health food shops, weekly markets, clothing boutiques to jewellers, and homeware to candle shops. To help you decide which shops to visit, here are our top recommendations for Dorchester’s unique retail offerings.

Photo Credit - Flickr - Marilyn Peddle


The Rhubarb Candle Company

3 Canford Street, Poundbury, Dorchester, DT1 3EG

The Rhubarb Candle Company is an absolutely delightful shop to explore when visiting Dorchester. Located in Poundbury, The rhubarb Candle Company was founded by a husband-and-wife team who handmake bespoke candles inspired by the seasons and local Dorset landscape. We highly recommend visiting this charming shop for gifts or memorable souvenirs to help you remember the beauty of Dorset.


Dorchester Curiosity Centre

The Old Bus Depot, Grove Trading Estate, DT1 1ST

If you’re looking to buy something unique whilst visiting Dorchester, we highly recommend visiting the Dorchester Curiosity Centre. The Dorchester Curiosity Centre is a large warehouse with multiple stalls which belong to traders selling a whole range of interesting antiques and handmade objects, ranging from the weird to wonderful. The Dorchester Curiosity Centre also has a small café inside, which serves homemade cakes and light snacks for visitors to enjoy.

Getting to Dorchester

Getting to Dorchester from Newlands Holiday Park in Charmouth is relatively easy. The drive to Dorchester town centre roughly takes thirty-five minutes via the A35. Once in Dorchester town centre, there are plenty of places to park such as Top O’ Town Coach & Car Park or the Old Market Car Park.

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