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A Weekend Break in Dorchester

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

It’s that time of year again when the nights grow dark and the weather grows cold, and it’s easy to get fed up at home and start yearning for a holiday. While you may not have the time or the money so close to Christmas for a big getaway, a weekend break may be just the thing, and so this week’s blog looks at how to have the perfect weekend away in Dorchester.

Hotels in Dorchester

The town is blessed with many fabulous hotels and B&Bs, many of which are steeped in history and offer superb levels of comfort and service. To make things easy for you, we have listed some of the best ones here on the DBID website, along with their addresses and contact details.

Several of our most popular hotels are located on the High Street right in the centre of town, including the luxurious King’s Arms and the lovely family-run Casterbridge Hotel.

Local Attractions

Probably the biggest draw for visitors coming to Dorchester is the town’s historical attractions. It has some of the best preserved Roman ruins in the country, including the only fully exposed example of a Roman town house.

Just outside the town is Maiden Castle, an Iron Age hill fort that was home to the Celtic tribes who settled the area before the arrival of the Romans in Dorchester. It’s a great place to go for a walk, with great views of Dorchester from the top. It can get windy up there though, so make sure you wrap up warm!


A weekend in Dorchester is also a great opportunity for some early Christmas shopping. The town has a tremendous number of independent shops, selling unique and interesting products that you simply won’t find in the usual high street chains.

For handmade jewellery and accessories, you could head to Every Cloud in Napper’s Court, which offers wonderful fair trade and locally designed products that make ideal Christmas gifts. Meanwhile, many attractive yet practical gifts can be found in the fine selection of contemporary kitchenware and gadgets at On The Table in South Street.

Where to Eat

You’ll probably want to break up a busy day’s shopping or sightseeing with a bite to eat for lunch. The Rajpoot offers gourmet Indian dishes full of flavour and flair, while Taste* has a varied and ever-changing lunch menu with all sorts of salads, sandwiches, soups and other exciting dishes.

For an evening meal, the Sienna restaurant in the High Street is a must for foodies. It’s West Dorset’s only Michelin starred restaurant, and while small in size it has gained a big reputation as one of the finest dining experiences the county has to offer.

The DBID website has listings for many of the best restaurants in Dorchester.

If you would like to book a weekend break in Dorchester and have any specific questions about things to do or places to go, feel free to tweet us at @DorchesterBID. Alternatively you can leave us a comment below.

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