The best corner of Dorset and what to do there

The Dorset countryside and coast between Bournemouth and Weymouth is full of varied landscapes ripe for adventure.

The Pearl: Bring your binoculars to spot all the wildlife. Dolphins, puffins, deer, red squirrels and more call Dorset their home.

The Grit: Dorset can get very busy. Try to do the opposite of the crowd to enjoy it – head to the beach on grey days, then into the countryside when its sunny!

With its long sandy beach, Bournemouth draws tourists and locals alike. Nearby Compton Acres gardens are worth a visit for their exquisite planting.

Hop on the ferry to Studland to access walks across wild heaths to Agglestone Rock and Old Harry Rocks, formed over thousands of years.

Further along the coast you’ll come across Swanage, a lovely town full of independent boutiques. Geologically noteworthy Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door and Dancing Ledge are great for puffin spotting.

Weymouth is charming if a bit dilapidated, protected by pebbly Chesil Beach. Drive to Portland Bill lighthouse for dolphin watching.

Inland villages are postcard perfect, such as Abbotsbury which has surprising subtropical gardens. Stop at the viewpoint at Hardy’s Monument and ruins of Corfe Castle on your way to RSPB Arne, a nature reserve full of wildlife.

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