Dorset Visual Arts is a not for profit organisation developing and promoting a variety of...

In 1642, just before the English Civil War, Hugh Green, a Catholic chaplain was executed here. After his execution, Puritans played football with his head.[13] The town was heavily defended against the Royalists in the civil war.

Dorchester Tourist Information Centre Antelope Walk, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 1BE Tel: 01305 267992 Email:

Delicious dishes range from grill favourites alongside the restaurant’s signature blue lobster chowder and an extensive sweet soufflé menu.

A warm welcome is guaranteed at Dorchester Tourist Information Centre whether you contact us before your visit or call in to the office as you explore the town.

The Keep is the Military Museum of Devon and Dorset. Housed in an extraordinary castle-like...

Exuding 1930s Art Deco glamour, The Dorchester Spa brings an exclusive pampering destination to London.

The Dorchester 53 Park Lane, Mayfair, London W1K 1QA

The historic, county town of Dorset has much to offer its visitor, boasting a wide range of family attractions, independent retailers and delicious eateries. This thriving market town has famous connections with Thomas Hardy, the Tolpuddle Martyrs and Roman Britain and makes for a fantastic stay or day out.

Dorchester is very fortunate in having no less than 8 museums, leafy riverside walks near the centre, dialect trails through the town's shops and cafes and the largest Iron Age hillfort in Europe. More under EXPERIENCE and VISIT

At the start of the Legacy Trail, the Lorton Meadows Reserve has fantastic views down the Lorton...

By 864, the area around Durnovaria was dominated by the Saxons who referred to themselves as Dorsaetas, 'People of the Dor' - Durnovaria. The town became known as Dornwaraceaster or Dornwaracester, combining the original name Dor/Dorn from the Latin and Celtic languages with cester, Old English for walled town[8] and the name changed over time to Dorncester/Dornceaster and Dorchester.

Dorchester Dorset played a significant part in the Monmouthshire Rebellion and many of those arrested were executed in the town in 1685 following the infamous Bloody Assizes, which was presided over by ‘Hanging’ Judge Jeffreys.

A monument erected in c1844, in memory of Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, flag captain of...

The only museum outside China exclusively dedicated to the amazing Terracotta Warriors. Unique...

There are many things to do in an around Dorchester. VIllage life is rich, there is plenty to see and do and our history is rich...

Book a room or suite at The Dorchester for three or more consecutive nights and the third is complimentary.

A permanent military presence was established in the town with the completion of the Depot Barracks in 1881.[22]

In the 2011 census Dorchester civil parish had 8,996 dwellings,[42] 8,449 households and a population of 19,060, with 48.35% of residents being male and 51.65% being female.[43] 17% of residents were under the age of 16 (compared to 18.9% for England as a whole), and 22.4% of residents were age 65 or older (compared to 16.4% for England as a whole).[44]

Save money and buy a Senior, Disabled or Young Person Travel Card for £10.00 and save 30% on all your journeys.

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Dorchester was the home and inspiration of the author Thomas Hardy, whose novel The Mayor of Casterbridge uses a fictionalised version of Dorchester as its setting.

Family Coachcards available and allows kids to travel free!

Dorchester was an important town in Roman times (when it was called Durnovaria), then became a thriving Saxon mint during the 10th century, before becoming a Roundhead stronghold during the English Civil War. Much of the town was destroyed by fire in the 17th and 18th centuries and most of the buildings visible today date from Georgian times.

Dorchester Town F.C., the town's football team currently play in the Southern League Premier Division. Harry Redknapp and former England players Graham Roberts and Martin Chivers represented 'The Magpies' in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The club is based on Weymouth Avenue in the south of the town after moving from its old ground also on Weymouth Avenue. The club moved to the purpose-built 5,000 capacity Avenue Stadium on Duchy of Cornwall land in the early 1990s.[63]

Read more about one of the most historical and established hotels in the world.


We are agents for local coach companies including Bluebird, Coach House Travel and Crossways Travel.

An Artists view by Anna Dillon

Dorchester's roots stem back to prehistoric times. The earliest settlements were about 2 miles (3.2 km) southwest of the modern town centre in the vicinity of Maiden Castle, a large Iron Age hill fort that was one of the most powerful settlements in pre-Roman Britain. Different tribes lived there from 4000 BC. The Durotriges were likely to have been there when the Romans arrived in Britain in 43 AD.

Dorchester is served by two local radio stations: Wessex FM and BBC Radio Solent. The county hospital has its own station named 'Ridgeway Radio'. Local television news coverage is by South Today or Spotlight (BBC News). ITV coverage is by Meridian or, in some parts, ITV West Country. Dorchester's regular print media comprise Dorset Echo and a free weekly periodical.

Dorchester is rich in places to eat out, whether in the day time or the evening. Some of our restaurants have won awards for their food too...

Award winning Dorchester Tourist Information Centre is located in Antelope Walk in the heart of the historic town centre.

The remains of the Roman walls that surrounded the town can still be seen today. The majority have been replaced by pathways that form a square inside modern Dorchester known as 'The Walks'. A small segment of the original wall still remains near the Top 'o Town roundabout.

In 2012 there were 17,500 people working in Dorchester, 51% of whom were working full-time. 57% of jobs were in public administration, education and health, 18% were in professional and market services (including finance and ICT), 17% were in distribution, accommodation and food, 4% were in production and 2% in construction. The unemployment rate in July 2014 was 0.9% of residents aged 16–64.[37]

William Barnes, the West Country dialect poet, was Rector of Winterborne Came, a hamlet near Dorchester, for 24 years until his death in 1886,[51] and ran a school in the town. There are statues of both Barnes and Hardy in the town centre; Barnes outside St. Peter's Church and Hardy's beside the Top o' Town crossroads.

In 1833, the Tolpuddle Martyrs founded the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers. Trade unions were legal but because the members swore an oath of allegiance, they were arrested and tried in the Shire Hall. Beneath the courtroom are cells where the prisoners were held while waiting trial. Dorchester Prison was constructed in the town during the 19th century and was used for holding convicted and remanded inmates from the local courts until it closed in December 2013.

The town has two railway stations. Dorchester South is on the South Western Main Line to Bournemouth, Southampton and London is operated by South West Trains; Dorchester West, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, is on the Heart of Wessex Line, operated by GWR and connects with Yeovil, Bath and Bristol. As part of the regeneration at the Brewery Site in the town centre, Dorchester South railway station will become the first solar powered railway station in the UK.

Many homes in Dorchester have access to fibre broadband services provided by private companies.[45] The town is also part of the second phase of Superfast Dorset, a project to increase fibre broadband availability within the county, which is scheduled for completion in 2016.[46]

Visitors find a town with one foot in the past and another firmly in the future, with some of this countrys best preserved Roman ruins moments away from a thriving high street and one of the most exciting current retail and residential re-development projects in the UK at Brewery Square.

Poundbury is the western extension of the town, constructed since 1993 according to urban village principles on Duchy of Cornwall land owned by Prince Charles. Being developed over 25 years in four phases, it will eventually have 2,500 dwellings and a population of about 6,000. Prince Charles was involved with the development's design. Since 2008, Poundbury has housed the Dorset Fire and Rescue Service headquarters and Dorchester Fire Station.