The treasures of the Jurassic Coast could tempt you to do little in Dorset beyond discover its coastal offerings. After all, an offshore island gives explorers the chance to see the magnificent red squirrel, the famous Sandbanks delivers a glimpse into glitzier lifestyles and Durdle Door is a geological charmer we just can’t take enough photographs of. But when you’re done mercilessly papping the coastline, turn your lens inland. Country walks lead you through wildflower meadows, woodlands and river-side paths. Museums hold everything from ancient shark teeth to colossal tanks and bookworms can wander through locations that Thomas Hardy peppered through his novels.
Escaping the crowds, madding or otherwise, is easier in Dorset than it might appear. Skip the Cerne Abbas Giant for a pub walk that affords you the opportunity to see the Dorset few might chance upon. Plot map points that lead you to tiny villages and scour the South West Coast Path for steps that lead to secret beaches. When you’re done, the animal sanctuaries and castles will be waiting for you.