10 reasons why you should live in Dorset

1 Its natural beauty

In fact, over half the county is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. So the chances are, you’ll either be living in an officially designated area of natural beauty, or you’ll be very close by to one.

Dorset’s amazing natural features include Durdle Door, Pulpit Rock, Golden Cap, Lulworth Cove and Chesil Beach, not to mention Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, voted as Britain’s favourite nature reserve in 2013.

Work, rest and play

2 Its beaches and harbours

Dorset has nearly 100 miles of coastline with award-winning, golden sandy beaches at Bournemouth, Sandbanks, Christchurch, Swanage and Weymouth.

Meanwhile, the harbours of Poole, Portland and Christchurch offer a great variety of watersports, from kite surfing to paddle boarding. And if you’re looking to get your heart racing, you could always try high speed RIB rides, rock climbing, coasteering, or even the zip wire that runs off the end of Bournemouth Pier!

3 Its bustling modern cities and historic market towns

Bournemouth is the most vibrant city in the county, with a nightlife that’s second to none and a popular destination for hen and stag parties. The city is equally popular with day-trippers, drawn to its family atmosphere and traditional seaside setting.

Meanwhile the historic market towns of Dorchester, Weymouth and Lyme Regis are bursting with places to eat, drink and shop, combining historic architecture with contemporary art and culture, as well as that unique blend of special Dorset charm.

4 Its weather

We all know that sunshine makes us happy, and Dorset has 364 more hours of it throughout the year in comparison to the UK average. So little wonder Dorset frequently tops the charts as one of the happiest places to live in the UK. Just don’t forget to apply the sunscreen!


Here comes the sun

Total average sunshine hours per year
1,492 UK
1,855 Dorset

24% more sunshine than the UK average


More time to enjoy the Great Outdoors (without a brolly)

Total number of days of rain per year
133 UK
105 Dorset

28 days less rain per year than the UK average


Don’t worry, we’re happy!

Bridport – Happiest place to live in UK, 2015 survey
Dorset – 2nd best county for pensioner well-being, 2015 survey
Dorchester – 9th happiest town to live, 2012 survey
Bournemouth – Happiest place to live in UK, 2007 survey

Dorset as a place to live frequently tops the UK Happiness Charts

More 'me' time

5 Its long-living residents

If we’re happy, it usually means we live longer. And Dorset tops the tables for the highest life expectancy in Britain. According to the Office for National Statistics, if you live in Dorset you can expect to live for almost four years longer than the national average.

This is helped in no small part by the wide range of leisure and outdoor pursuits available across the region. The New Forest National Park is just a short journey across the border into Hampshire, offering an ideal environment for cycling, horse riding and Nordic walking. 

6 Its travel connections

The relaxed pace of life in Dorset can make you forget that London is only just over two hours away, by car or by train. France, Guernsey and Jersey are all just a short hop away on the ferries from Poole, whilst Bournemouth International Airport offers flights all over the world.

7 Its Jurassic coastline

Strolling along The Jurassic Coast is like taking a walk back in time, with it’s rocks and fossils uncovering stories from our ancient past. The Jurassic Coast is the only natural World Heritage Site in England and provides rich pickings for avid fossil hunters.

8 Its inspiration for the arts

Over the centuries, artists and writers of all disciplines have drawn inspiration from the Dorset landscape. The list of literary masters includes Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen and Enid Blyton. This trend has followed through into popular culture, notably so when West Bay provided the backdrop to the award-winning TV drama ‘Broadchurch’.

9 Its Olympic legacy

Dorset truly had a summer to remember in 2012, with Weymouth and Portland hosting the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic sailing events. The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy hosts international events and offers world-class facilities for training the sailing stars for the future.

10 Its festivals

Dorset is full of festivals. Take your pick from Dorset knob throwing, nettle eating, fossils, kites, waistcoats, arts, film, literary, walking, food, drink, music, flowers, hats, Christmas trees, Tolpuddle Martyrs and Camp Bestival. And if you’re feeling energetic, you could even join the Bournemouth Marathon Festival!

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