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Dorset UK

Information about the county of Dorset with Dorchester Swanage and Lyme Regis

cliffs of dorset The county of Dorset is well known as the birthplace of the famous novelist Thomas Hardy. His novels are all based in the landscapes of Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire which he referred to as Wessex. The most well-known tales are 'Far from the Madding Crowd'. 'Jude the Obscure', 'The Mayor of Casterbridge' and 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles' all written at the end of the 19th century. Dorset is also famous for its Portland Stone, from which much of London was built.

Dorchester is the attractive County town of Dorset and its history goes back toswanage prehistoric and Roman times. Maiden Castle, on the outskirts of the town, is the first pre-historic hill fort in England. It has many interesting museums and an historic market every Wednesday. It was this market that Hardy refers to in the Mayor of Casterbridge. The County Museum has a lot of interesting artefacts and information regarding their famous son, Thomas Hardy. Other fascinating museums are the wonderful recreation of ancient Egypt at the Tutankhamun Exhibition. which both children and adults will find enthralling. Children will also enjoy the Dinosaur Museum and the Teddy Bear House Exhibition.

dorset coastOn the coast of Dorset is the pretty towns of Swanage and Lyme Regis. The whole area is renowned for the fossils that can still be found on its beaches, especially on the foreshore. Lyme Regis is part of the Jurassic Heritage Coastline. Whether you are interested in fossils or not, the town is a lovely place to visit, with its steep narrow streets that run down to the sea, its Georgian architecture, pretty sea front gardens and its ancient artificial harbour, the Cobb, built from Portland stone. It is not surprising that it was the setting for John Fowles famous novel 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' as well as some of the works of Jane Austen.

Not far from Lyme Regis is the wonderful coastline and extremely beautiful sandy beach of Lulworth Cove, perfect for children and adults alike. Take a boat trip from Lulworth along the coast to Gad Cliff . Visit too, the pretty Lulworth Castle. Just along the coastal path from Lulworth coast is Durdle Door, a incredible rock arch carved from the movement of the sea and a world famous geological wonder.

 

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