Jurassic Safari. In the south-west, a number of small rivers run into the sea along the Dorset coastline; most notable of these are the Char, Brit, Bride and Wey. The southwest county's dramatic coastline is an outdoor sculpture gallery with arches, stacks and coves carved by  Towns received 56% of Dorset's day trippers, 27% went to the coast and 17% to the countryside.  A small section to the west comes under the Diocese of Bath and Wells and to the east Christchurch and much of Bournemouth—both historically part of Hampshire—belong to the Diocese of Winchester. Dorset became a two-tier non-metropolitan county after a reorganisation of local government in 1974 and its border was extended eastwards to incorporate the former Hampshire towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch. Shop for unique and unusual gifts, decorations, handmade trinkets, fantastic local produce, and enjoy entertainment and activities to really get you in the Christmas spirit. (2001) "Historic parishes of England and Wales: Electronic Map - Gazetteer - Metadata", Colchester: History Data Service.  The A303, which connects the West Country to London via the M3, clips the north-west of the county.  In the far west of the county and along the coast there are frequent changes in rock strata, which appear in a less obviously sequential way compared to the landscapes of the chalk and the heath.  Excluding fowl, sheep are the most common animal stock in the county; between 1989 and 2006 their numbers fell from 252,189 to 193,500.  From the late 18th century onwards, churches in Dorset tended towards a Gothic Revival style. Dorset, administrative, geographic, and historic county of southwestern England.  The soils created from these deposits support a heathland habitat which sustains all six native British reptile species. ", "Election 2010: Which are the safest seats in Britain? Some 2,000 of these rebels offered battle to Lord Fairfax's Parliamentary army at Hambledon Hill but they were easily routed. , The dissolution of the monasteries (1536–1541) met little resistance in Dorset and many of the county's abbeys, including Shaftesbury, Cerne and Milton, were sold to private owners. , Four of the county's five largest towns contain a further education college: Weymouth College, Kingston Maurward College in Dorchester and Bournemouth and Poole College which is one of the largest in the UK. Within the administrative county between 1995 and 2003, GVA for primary industry (largely agriculture, fishing and quarrying) declined from £229 million to £188 million—7.1% to 4.0%.  In August 2007 work began on a £32 million expansion programme which includes enlargement of the terminal building and an increase in parking.  The suburb, which is expected to be fully completed by 2025, was designed to integrate residential and retail buildings and counter the growth of dormitory towns and car-oriented development. , Dorset is famed in literature for being the native county of author and poet Thomas Hardy, and many of the places he describes in his novels in the fictional Wessex are in Dorset, which he renamed South Wessex. In the north of the county, you will find acres upon acres of tranquil, unspoilt countryside as most of the area falls into a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; it is easy to see how so many authors and artists were compelled to base their works on this region.  Agriculture has become less profitable and the industry has declined further. Running along the southern edge of the country, South Dorset is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coast Path and natural beauty spots like Durdle Door and the picturesque Lulworth Cove. Dorset is in the South West of England on the English Channel coast and borders the four counties of Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire.  Poole, since the dredging of the main channel in 2008, and Portland harbours are capable of taking cruise liners.  The harbour, and the chalk and limestone hills of the Isle of Purbeck to the south, lie atop Western Europe's largest onshore oil field. Most of the Dorset County Council area operates a two-tier comprehensive system whereby pupils attend a primary school before completing their education at secondary school but Corfe Mullen, Dorchester, Ferndown and West Moors maintain a three-tier system (first, middle and high school). During the Second World War, Dorset was heavily involved in the preparations for the invasion of Normandy, and the large harbours of Portland and Poole were two of the main embarkation points.  The Roman Catholic Diocese of Plymouth incorporates most of Dorset with the exception of Christchurch and a portion of Bournemouth which belongs to the Diocese of Portsmouth.  Bokerley Dyke, a large defensive ditch built by the county's post-Roman inhabitants near the border with modern-day Hampshire, delayed the advance of the Saxons into Dorset for almost 150 years.  The Frome and Piddle are chalk streams but the Stour, which rises in Wiltshire to the north, has its origins in clay soil. , Other major employers in the county include: BAE Systems, Sunseeker International, J.P. Morgan, Cobham plc and Bournemouth University.  Dorset elects 82 councillors representing six three-councillor wards, 18 two-councillor wards and 28 single-councillor wards - 52 wards in total.  The average GVA for the 16 regions of South West England was £4,693 million. An historic market town, Dorchester is on the banks of the River Frome to the south of the Dorset Downs and north of the South Dorset Ridgeway that separates the area from Weymouth, 7 miles (11 km) to the south. It became a higher education institute in 2001 and was given degree-awarding powers in 2008. This is a very nice beach a place ideal for all ages step into the …  Poole recorded an above average Progress 8 score and 54% of pupils achieved Grade 5 or above in English and maths GCSEs. Bournemouth University has facilities across Bournemouth and Poole and over 17,000 students.  St Candida and Holy Cross at Whitchurch Canonicorum is the only church in the country, besides Westminster Abbey, to have a shrine that contains the relics of a saint.  The Romans established the settlement in the 1st century and named it Durnovaria which was a Latinised version of a Common Brittonic word possibly meaning "place with fist-sized pebbles".  The rivers Axe and Yeo, which principally drain the counties of Devon and Somerset respectively, have their sources in the north-west of the county. Dorset has a varied landscape featuring broad elevated chalk downs, steep limestone ridges and low-lying clay valleys. While there were a number of filming locations over the three seasons Broadchurch aired, the majority of the scenes people think of in connection with Broadchurch were filmed in Dorset. , Local government in Dorset consists of two unitary authorities (UA); Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council, which governs the major conurbation comprising the three towns, and Dorset Council which serves the more rural remainder of the county. Dorset has seen much civil unrest: in the English Civil War, an uprising of vigilantes was crushed by Oliver Cromwell's forces in a pitched battle near Shaftesbury; the doomed Monmouth Rebellion began at Lyme Regis; and a group of farm labourers from Tolpuddle were instrumental in the formation of the trade union movement.  Farming has always been central to the economy of Dorset and the county became the birthplace of the modern trade union movement when, in 1834, six farm labourers formed a union to protest against falling wages.  However, by the end of the 7th century Dorset had fallen under Saxon control and been incorporated into the Kingdom of Wessex.  The winning design, which features a white cross with a red border on a golden background, attracted 54% of the vote. The historic town of Dorchester, in the south, is the county seat. Covering an area of 2,653 square kilometres (1,024 sq mi), Dorset borders Devon to the west, Somerset to the north-west, Wiltshire to the north-east, and Hampshire to the east. [Note 2] Following a review by the Local Government Commission for England, Bournemouth and Poole each became administratively independent single-tier unitary authorities in 1997. St Dunstan's Church (formerly St Osmund's) in Poole is one of a small number of 20th-century churches in Dorset. The ceremonial county comprises the unitary authority areas of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and Dorset. , A former river valley flooded by rising sea levels 6,000 years ago, Poole Harbour is one of the largest natural harbours in the world. For further information on the towns and villages within Dorset please contact one of Dorset’s Tourist Information Centres who will be happy to help. Use our map of Dorset above to discover the perfect location for your holiday in Dorset. , For representation in Parliament Dorset is divided into eight Parliamentary constituencies—five county constituencies and three borough constituencies.  The A35 crosses the county in a west–east direction from Honiton in Devon, via Bridport, Dorchester, Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch, to Southampton in Hampshire. Arguably the most exclusive area of Dorset is found at Sandbanks, a small spit that sits at the mouth of Poole Harbour just between Bournemouth and the Isle of Purbeck. , Dorset's diverse geography ensures it has an assortment of rivers, although a moderate annual rainfall coupled with rolling hills, means most are typically lowland in nature.  Bournemouth was ranked as average and 47.8% of pupils achieved Grade 5 or above in English and maths GCSEs. However, within three years their gains had been almost entirely reversed by the Parliamentarians.  Based in Poole, the orchestra performs over 130 concerts across southern England each year. 2013 figures are mid year estimates produced by the ONS. We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us.  For the BCP council, voters choose 76 councillors from 33 wards, with ten wards returning three candidates apiece and 23 wards, two. Other towns in Dorset include Bournemouth, Poole, Weymouth, Christchurch, Ferndown, Wimborne Minster, Bridport, Verwood, and Blandford Forum. It consists of the seaside resort of Bournemouth, the historic port and borough of Poole, the towns of Christchurch and Ferndown plus many surrounding villages. Popular towns in West Dorset include; Lyme Regis, Bridport, Charmouth, Portland and West Bay. The A37 travels north-west from Dorchester to Yeovil in Somerset. The World’s largest gravesite collection. Districts  South-east Dorset, including the lower Frome valley and around Poole and Bournemouth, comprises younger Eocene deposits, mainly sands and clays of poor agricultural quality. Dorset is currently placed in tier 2 and therefore things may still be a little different to normal as we abide by national restrictions and follow government guidance, we would therefore encourage you to plan ahead and know before you go. Perhaps unsurprisingly for a county so rich in history and natural … The ceremonial county comprises the unitary authority areas of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and Dorset. Maiden Castle was captured by a Roman legion under the command of Vespasian, and the Roman settlement of Durnovaria was established nearby.  Dorset's three ports, Poole, Weymouth and Portland, and the smaller harbours of Christchurch, Swanage, Lyme Regis, Wareham and West Bay generate a substantial amount of international trade and tourism. "An amazing way to see a beautiful county.. Gary is brilliant, full of …  Poole, the second largest settlement (once the largest town in the county), adjoins Bournemouth to the west and contains the suburb of Sandbanks which has some of the highest land values by area in the world. and Weymouth F.C.. Dorset County Cricket Club competes in the Minor Counties Cricket Championship and is based at Dean Park Cricket Ground in Bournemouth. The map may have originally been drawn in connection with the 1539-40 invasion scare caused by the alliance against England of France and Spain.  The primary sector produced 2.03% of GVA, the secondary sector produced 22.44% and 75.53% came from the tertiary sector. This atlas was first published as a whole in 1579.  Map of Dorset area hotels: Locate Dorset hotels on a map based on popularity, price, or availability, and see Tripadvisor reviews, photos, and deals. After the reorganisation of local government in 1974, the county's border was extended eastward to incorporate the Hampshire towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch. Due to this, South Dorset is the perfect holiday destination for fossil hunting, or simply to explore the fascinating history of the area.  Poole and Bournemouth are two of a minority of local authorities in England to maintain selective education, each containing two single-sex grammar schools which select pupils on the basis of an eleven-plus examination. Dean Court is situated 2 miles northeast of Bournemouth. Much of the area falls into the stunning area of the River Stour Valley, which is called the Blackmoor Vale. It was completed in 1789. The ceremonial county comprises the unitary authority areas of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and Dorset. Around half of the population lives in the South East Dorset conurbation, while the rest of the county is largely rural with a low population density.  The military presence has had a mixed effect on the local economy, bringing additional employment for civilians, but on occasion having a negative impact on the tourist trade, particularly when popular areas are closed for military manoeuvres. Interestingly, West Dorset is where Britain’s only dinosaur bone was found. , Christianity was introduced to Dorset by the Romans.  Under construction on the western edge of Dorchester is the experimental new town of Poundbury commissioned and co-designed by Prince Charles. The Travel Chapter Limited, trading as holidaycottages.co.uk | The Travel Chapter Limited is registered in England and Wales.  Excluding hills such as the Dorset Downs, the average annual temperature of the county is 9.8 to 12 °C (49.6 to 53.6 °F).  George III gave permission to erect the building on the condition that it resembled a garden mausoleum rather than a church. Powys lived in Chaldon Herring for over 20 years and used it as inspiration for the fictitious village of Folly Down in his novel Mr. Weston's Good Wine; John Cowper Powys, his elder brother, also set a number of his works in Dorset, such as the novels Maiden Castle and Weymouth Sands. The county has a variety of museums, theatres and festivals, and is host to the Great Dorset Steam Fair, one of the biggest events of its kind in Europe. Bournemouth, which plays in the EFL Championship— the second highest division in the English football league system.  Several other writers have called Dorset home, including Douglas Adams, who wrote much of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy while he lived in Stalbridge; John le Carré, author of espionage novels, was born in Poole; Tom Sharpe of Wilt fame lived in Bridport; John Fowles (The French Lieutenant's Woman) lived in Lyme Regis before he died in late 2005; T.F. It is expected that this will continue to have a positive effect on local businesses and tourism.  In both authorities, elections for the entire council occur every four years.  The seat was won by Chris Loder in the 2019 general election.  However, Dorset was devastated by the bubonic plague in 1348 which arrived in Melcombe Regis on a ship from Gascony. Over half the county is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  The South West Coast Path, National Trail, begins at South Haven Point at the entrance to Poole Harbour. The A354 also connects to Salisbury after travelling north-east from Weymouth in the south of the county. Brittany Ferries and Condor Ferries, operate out of Poole Harbour; Brittany Ferries provide access to Cherbourg in France and Condor Ferries sail a seasonal service to the Channel Islands and St Malo, France.  The Normans consolidated their control over the area by constructing castles at Corfe, Wareham and Dorchester in the early part of the 12th century. There are plenty of different Christmas markets and events across the county and we have listed a few of our favourites below.  Morebus and Damory share a county wide network with frequent services linking major towns, including Bournemouth, Poole and Wimborne, and a varied service in further rural locations. After the reorganisation of local government in 1974, the county's border was extended eastward to incorporate t… Find out where some of classic and underground films were made on your holiday to Dorset.  More than half of the county's residents live in the Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch conurbation. The third most southerly county in the UK, Dorset is less affected by the more intense Atlantic winds than Cornwall and Devon.  These vales are dotted with small villages, farms and coppices, and include the Blackmore Vale (Stour valley) and Frome valley.  The museum is the largest in Dorset and its collection has been designated of national importance. Learn how to create your own. Contribute, create and discover gravesites from all over the world. You can find your own Jurassic Park on beaches sprinkled with fossils and smuggler's caves or trace Thomas Hardy novels on open heaths and vales.  Portland and Purbeck stone are of national importance as a building material and for restoring some of Britain's most famous landmarks.  In 1642, at the commencement of the English Civil War, the Royalists took control of the entire county apart from Poole and Lyme Regis. , Dorset's population has a high proportion of older people and a lower than average proportion of young people: According to 2013 mid-year estimates,[Note 1] 23.6% are over 65 years of age, higher than the England and Wales average of 17.4%, and 18.6% are less than 17 years old, lower than the England and Wales average of 21.3%. Other main roads in the county include the A338, A354, A37 and A350.  The Saxons established a diocese at Sherborne and Dorset was made a shire—an administrative district of Wessex and predecessor to the English county system—with borders that have changed little since.  The field, operated by Perenco from Wytch Farm, has the world's oldest continuously pumping well at Kimmeridge which has been producing oil since the early 1960s. Map of places in Dorset compiled from this list. 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