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Explore prehistoric ruins, ancient amphitheaters and literary locations in cultural Dorchester. Founded by the Romans in a land previously inhabited by Stone Age farmers, this town still displays the heritage of these two distinct groups. Walk through the town and surrounding area to see the lasting impact of Dorchester's colorful history.
Orient yourself by finding the centrally located obelisk, which was once the town pump. Learn about the region's past at the Dorset County Museum, which houses local archaeological findings, Tudor paintings and manuscripts from local writer Thomas Hardy. Many of the exhibits relate to Dorchester's most famous sights.
Travel farther back in time at the Tutankhamun Exhibition, featuring recreations of Egypt's most famous mummy. Discover different facets of history at the Keep Military Museum, the Dinosaur Museum and the Terracotta Warriors Museum.
Continue your journey into history outdoors, stopping at the Maumbury Rings. This ancient circle, a short walk from the town center, is made of three different layers dating from the Neolithic, Roman and English Civil War eras. Find out how Romans lived at the remains of a Roman Town House and relax in the green Borough Gardens which hosts many of the town's cultural events.
Outside the city limits, discover even more area stories. Marvel at the mysterious Cerne Abbas Giant, Britain's largest chalk drawing. Historians disagree on the origins and purpose of the famous naked figure. View the drawing from afar for the whole picture or stroll around it to see pleasant scenery and local wildlife.
South of town lies Maiden Castle, a hill fort about 5,000 years old. Examine the Roman temple and Neolithic defenses and admire spectacular views over the town. The ancient settlement is free to visit and open year-round.
Dorchester has two railway stations, both 5-minute walks from the town center. Trains from London regularly head to Dorchester South. Arrange to visit in spring or summer to thoroughly appreciate the outdoor attractions that make the town such a fascinating destination.
Accommodation in Dorchester
Dorchester has numerous hotels and short stay apartments to suit both families and individuals. With our lodging guide visitors can take their pick from 19 Dorchester accommodation options.
Dorchester's more up-market accommodation choices such as the Lantern House, at 19 Cornwall Road, and the Coach & Horses Inn, at Winterbourne Abbas are sure to please even the fussiest travelers. The Churchview Guest House and the Brace of Pheasants - Inn are recommended hotels too.
Situated in a rural location, this cottage is 2.7 mi (4.4 km) from Max Gate and within 6 mi (10 km) of Terracotta Warriors Museum and Dorset Teddy Bear Museum. Dinosaur Museum and Maumbury Rings are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Located in the heart of Dorchester, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from Tutankhamun: The Exhibition and The Keep Military Museum. Borough Gardens and Roman Town House are also within 5 minutes.
Located in the heart of Dorchester, this hotel is steps from Dinosaur Museum, Dorset Teddy Bear Museum, and Terracotta Warriors Museum. Tutankhamun: The Exhibition and The Keep Military Museum are also within 10 minutes.
Located in Frome Saint Quinton, this hotel is 5.8 mi (9.4 km) from Cerne Abbas Giant and within 12 mi (20 km) of Mapperton Gardens and The Keep Military Museum. Tutankhamun: The Exhibition and Roman Town House are also within 12 mi (20 km).
Situated in Dorchester, this inn is within 9 mi (15 km) of Cerne Abbas Giant, Dorset Teddy Bear Museum, and Terracotta Warriors Museum. Dinosaur Museum and Tutankhamun: The Exhibition are also within 9 mi (15 km).
Situated in Dorchester, this inn is 2.9 mi (4.6 km) from Cerne Abbas Giant and within 12 mi (20 km) of The Keep Military Museum and Tutankhamun: The Exhibition. Roman Town House and Borough Gardens are also within 12 mi (20 km).
Situated in Dorchester, this bed & breakfast is within a 15-minute walk of Dinosaur Museum, Max Gate, and Terracotta Warriors Museum. Dorset Teddy Bear Museum and Maumbury Rings are also within 1 mi (2 km).
Situated in Cerne Abbas, this luxury inn is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Cerne Abbas Giant and within 9 mi (15 km) of The Keep Military Museum and Tutankhamun: The Exhibition. Roman Town House and Borough Gardens are also within 9 mi (15 km).