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Your tour will take you along the southernmost part of the county, beginning at Lyme Regis, the town at Dorset’s western boundary, following the famous Jurassic shoreline but making detours off-route to explore some of the lesser-known places along the way. You will discover old industries and visit towns which were small coastal ports until they reinvented themselves as seaside resorts in the 18th and 19th centuries, including Weymouth, the quintessential seaside town.
You will see abbeys, castles, fine houses and deserted villages; view chalk hill-carvings, quarries, local industries and lost railways. Portland’s stone and Bridport’s rope-making are among industries featured and no story of the area would be complete without a visit to the coastal villages where less law-abiding citizens profited from shipwrecks and smuggling.
Step onto the steeply shelving shingle of Chesil Beach, the extraordinary age-old barrier against the sea, without which much of the Dorset coast would have been eroded away, and visit the popular resort of Swanage, before finally arriving at the mouth of Poole Harbour with Millionaire’s Row at Sandbanks in view.
The county’s history, literary heritage, legends, personalities and unrivalled scenery are all reflected, in Discovering Dorset.