Dorset may be known primarily as a summer destination for visitors, but the county also has plenty to offer in the winter months, especially for anyone with an interest in the natural world. Here are the top reasons to visit Dorset during the winter:
Avoiding the Crowds
Dorset is brimming with unique and popular attractions both natural and man-made. This makes it a great place to visit, but also means it can get quite busy with tourists at certain times of the year! Each summer the beaches, stately homes, museums and other attractions in the county teem with visitors and the roads become congested and slow.
The simple solution to this problem is to visit Dorset in winter instead. Okay, so you may not have the beautiful sunshine and the thirty degree heat, but you will be able to wander round historic buildings like Athelhampton house and Hardy’s cottage almost alone, and photograph iconic landmarks like Durdle Door without having to worry about other people walking in and out of your shot.
If you like your holidays slow and relaxing, then choosing the quieter winter months over the hustle and bustle of the peak season makes an awful lot of sense.
Exploring the Countryside
The Dorset Countryside really comes into its own in winter. For many people the very essence of Dorset is seeing the rolling green countryside lightly covered in frost, glistening in the morning sunshine. Snow is relatively rare in the county, but if you are lucky enough to catch it you get to see stunning sights like thatched cottages and ruined abbeys blanketed in snow, the kind of beautiful images that you will not forget in a hurry!
One caveat about exploring the countryside in winter is that it is sensible to restrict yourself to the National Trust paths, particularly if you are on the coast. Cliff erosion occurs especially in winter, and it can make certain coastal areas dangerous for walkers.
Christmas and Seasonal Events
At its heart, Dorset is a traditional place, it is still one of the best locations to experience a sense of history and old-time values. This is never more true than during December, when several towns including Bournemouth and Dorchester hold big family events to mark the switching on of the Christmas lights. German-style market stalls are set up, costumes are worn and you can snack on traditional festive fare such as mulled wine and minced pies.
New Year is also celebrated in style in Dorset. The seaside town of Weymouth is famous nationwide and attracts visitors from all over the country for its New Year festivities, in which everyone attempts to outdo each other with the wildest and wackiest fancy dress costumes!
Whatever your interests, Dorset in the winter months has something for absolutely everyone. And to top it all off, you will have the county almost to yourself. What could be better than that?