Thomas Hardy's "Casterbridge" is still the thriving market town he knew in his youth, and later evoked in his fiction and poetry. The town is a very rewarding destination for a day out, with great shopping and many family attractions. Amongst these is the award winning Dorset County Museum ("...charmingly instructive. You'll be sure to stay till you get quite hungry" - The Mayor of Casterbridge). Other great family attractions include The Keep Military Museum and museums featuring Teddy Bears, Dinosaurs and Tutankhamun!
There is useful information about this part of Dorset on www.westdorset.com, including a good PDF map of Dorchester on the page about Dorchester TIC, who can also be phoned on 01305 267992.
Dorchester was also once a Roman town, and tree lined walks around the town follow the line of the old Roman Wall, a section of which can still be seen on the right near the Top of Town roundabout. A wonderful discovery made in the late thirties has become one of the most exciting features of the town - the 4th Century AD Roman Town House. It is considered to be Britain's most complete and best-preserved example of its kind. The grounds are open every day and admission is free. For more information and an events programme visit www.romantownhouse.org
The Friends of Dorchester West keep the station looking attractive by clearing weeds and helping to keep the platforms free of litter. The station has been transformed since they got together for the first time in 2010 to adopt the station, and they have plenty of ideas for the future. This group was formed with substantial help from the Dorchester Area Partnership.