Dorset Regional Information

Here is a synopsis of what property in Dorset has to offer: the Jurassic Coast, Villages, Market towns, Communications, Properties, Economy, Schools and Leisure. For more details on all these subjects try clicking the links.

Dorset’s Jurassic Coast stretches from Christchurch to the Exe estuary. There are sandy and pebbly beaches, cliffs, stacks, coves, rocks. All wonderfully dramatic. From the East, Christchurch is the first town in Dorset, with a harbour, sailing, beach huts and a river winding through a busy town with a good range of shops.

Next, in Bournemouth , Poole and Christchurch, live half the county’s total population of 775,000. This area is divided into more than a dozen localities, of which the most desirable are Boscombe, Westbourne, Canford Cliffs, Branksome Park,  Parkstone, and of course, the famously swish millionaire’s row which is Sandbanks, owner of the blue flag award for 26 years running.  Bournemouth has 7 miles of sandy beaches, and Poole has one of the biggest and most interesting harbours in the world.

Sailing out of Poole and turning South across Studland Bay brings you to the quiet charm of Swanage and its Bay. From there the coast sweeps West past the Purbeck Hills and delightful Lulworth Cove to the  holiday heaven that is Weymouth (another long sandy beach, but also a safe harbour with a good marina and plenty of visitors moorings).

South again past Portland harbour to the “Isle” of Portland itself, jutting into the Channel.

North West from Portland Bill along the 18 miles of Chesil Beach to the large village of Abbotsbury and thence to Bridport, a bustling energetic, foody town and Lyme Regis, the Western bookend of Dorset’s Jurassic Coast.

Scattered across the county like dew on a web are a host of towns with regular markets, interesting shops, quiet alleys, old houses. They range from Sherborne, possibly the prettiest, to Bridport, arguably the busiest. In between are Wareham, Blandford Forum, Wimborne, Beaminster, Shaftesbury and our county capital Dorchester. As you can see from this far from comprehensive list, you would struggle to find a house 10 miles from a market town.

To my mind, these, and the open countryside between are Dorset’s crown jewels. The famous ones are Cerne Abbas for the giant, Abbotsbury for the swans, Askerswell for the song and Tolpuddle for the martyrs. However there are many that have no fame, which are chocolate box pretty, wonderfully named or both. Bradpole, Long Bredy, Fontmell Magna, Iwerne Minster, Powerstock, Ryme Intrinseca, Sydling St. Nicholas and Piddletrenthide to name but a few.

Many have the three things that all decent villages should have – old stone houses, a church and a pub. Some have a shop and an active community, and almost all are within easy reach of a town.

Dorset’s countryside provides lovely walks almost everywhere and there are good bridle paths in some areas. Many villages have websites, so it is always worth Googling the name.

The A31 and A35 link Dorset with Hampshire and Devon. The A354 heads North East towards Salisbury, the A350 due North, and the A37 North West, all providing links to the M27, A303 and M5 trunk roads connecting us with the rest of the country.

The county is surprisingly well served by the railways, with two lines to Waterloo. From Weymouth via Bournemouth in the South and from Gillingham in the North.  There is a third line that heads North from Weymouth, via Dorchester to Bristol.

Bournemouth, Bristol and Exeter all have international airports with a growing choice of routes. Between them they service most European countries and UK destinations.

The Ferry port in Poole serves Cherbourg, St Malo, Guernsey and Jersey. Weymouth’s newly refurbished terminal has fast ferries to France and the Channel Islands.

All you need to know about transport in Dorset – airport, ferries, trains, coaches – can be found on the excellent Dorset Transport website.

Throughout the county, there are interesting houses of every sort, from ancient manors and rectories to fashionable 20th and 21st century houses and apartment buildings. Many properties have wonderful views – the modern ones by design, the older ones by default. Click on a link to discover more.

Tourism, farming and food are the most widespread industries in such a pretty county. However, there is every sort of business large and small. The surprises on the list range from a good selection of engineering and metal bashing, to our very own oil field at Wytch Farm. An interesting list of Dorset industries can be found by clicking here.

Schools. There are some really good schools in and around Dorset. A full and searchable list, can be found at the Good Schools Guide who also provide advice.

The major independent senior schools can be found in two geographical groups. The Blandford Forum group has Clayesmore, Bryanston and Milton Abbey. The Sherborne cluster includes Leweston School (for girls) Sherborne School, Sherborne Girls and The International College at Sherborne School (which eases non English speaking children into the British education system).

Winchester, King’s Bruton and Blundells can be found in neighbouring Counties, whereas it is scarcely possible to be more than 15 miles from a prep. school once you live here.

Good state secondary schools are to be found near all the larger towns – also listed with the Guide.

Sailing, walking, riding are the obvious activities. But there are interesting niche sports to be found – such as a real tennis, gliding, eventing, polo and fencing, with clubs and venues scattered about the county. There is even a surf reef off Bournemouth.

The county is also a haven for foodies, with award winning restaurants, farmers markets, delicatessens, wine merchants and vineyards to suit all tastes.

Specialising in the Dorset Region


Bournemouth is hip. Lots going on, many wealthy people, not much crime. Place where you live, shops, clubs, pubs and restaurants in easy reach.

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Christchurch is almost as watery as Venice with the confluence of the rivers Stour and Avon at the NW end of the harbour and the Mude joining in further East.

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Dorset Coastal

The coast of Dorset is as varied; from the spit of Sandbanks, jutting out into Poole Harbour, to the sandy beaches of the Isle of Purbeck, and around to the coves and harbour at Weymouth

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Poole lives and dies by its harbour, and as everyone knows, “there is nothing, simply nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats”.

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Call James Law to discuss what you are looking for.
Tel: 01300 348100 / 07990 880 164

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