A Day Out in Dorchester

Things to do in Dorchester, Dorset

Just a short trip outside of Weymouth along the Jurassic Coast you’ll find our beautiful, historic neighbouring town of Dorchester. 

There’s lots to see and plenty of things to do in Dorchester and its easy to travel there from Weymouth, making it the perfect destination for a day out. Here are a few of our top picks, for more information visit https://www.dorchesterdorset.com/index.php

Maiden Castle

One of the largest Iron Age hillforts in Europe, Maiden Castle has a fascinating and somewhat gruesome history. It is believed that the site was home to several hundred people in the Iron Age (800 BC–AD 43). It was later the site of a Roman Temple; many battle-scarred remains have been found during various excavations! 

Roman Town House

Discovered in the grounds of Colliton Park in 1937, the Roman Town House is an amazing sight and is said to be the only fully exposed Roma house in the UK. One of the most fascinating features is the beautiful coloured mosaic tiles. The town house is free to view and open to the public year-round. 

Maumbury Rings

Maumbury Rings is a large, Neolithic henge made up of huge circular earthwork measuring 85 metres in diameter. During the Roman period, it was remodelled and used as an amphitheatre. Today Maumbury rings is home to many events including open-air concerts and festivals. 

Borough Gardens

Just a stone’s throw from the town centre you’ll find the picturesque Borough Gardens. It’s the perfect place to take some time out, enjoy a picnic on the grass or simply take in the beautiful surroundings. The garden includes a clocktower, bandstand, fountain, outdoor gym equipment, children’s play area, refreshments kiosk and public toilets.

Thomas Hardy

Visit the birthplace of novelist and poet Thomas Hardy.  For who wants to walk in Hardy’s footsteps and visit some of the iconic landmarks around Dorset, trails and tours are available, please visit:  https://www.dorchesterdorset.com/thomas-hardy.php 

Judge Jefferies

Sent to the West Country to trial and punish those involved in the Monmouth Rebellion – now known as The Bloody Assizes, Judge Jefferies is believed to have been on of the most feared and hated men in England. What once was the famous courtroom used in the trials is now a traditional tea room called The Oak Room. To find out more about Judge Jefferies visit: https://www.dorchesterdorset.com/judgejeffreys.php

Dorset County Museum – Coming in 2021!

This exciting new redevelopment will include new galleries, a learning centre, collections storage, a library and visitor facilities. https://dorsetcountymuseum.org/

More Things to do in Dorchester

Other attractions include The Dinosaur Museum and Tutankhamun Museum based in the centre of Dorchester. Both attractions are currently closed due to Covid-19 but please check their websites for the latest updates.

For a spot of lunch and shopping why not visit latest developments on Brewery Square, the original site of the Eldridge Pope brewery is now a bustling centre of activity that includes a hotel, luxury apartments, shops, restaurants, bars, a cinema.

Getting there

Weymouth Train Station

Car Parks in Dorchester – Dorchester is approximately 7 miles from Weymouth
There are plenty of car parks in Dorchester, the closest long stay car park to town is Fairfield and costs £4 for the day. For more parking information, please visit: https://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/parking/find-a-carpark/fairfield-long-stay-car-park-dorchester.aspx

Dorchester Bus Routes – 10/10A bus from Kings Statue, Weymouth (K3) 
For bus timetables, please visit: https://www.firstgroup.com/wessex-dorset-south-somerset/plan-journey/timetables/?operator=7&page=1&redirect=no

Dorchester Train Stations – Dorchester South train station in only a few minutes’ walk from Brewery Square and the town Centre. Trains from Weymouth are regular and take approximately 15 minutes. For train times, please visit: https://www.southwesternrailway.com/travelling-with-us/at-the-station/dorchester-south