The scenic railway from Bristol to Weymouth


Thomas Hardy’s “Casterbridge” is still the thriving market town he knew in his youth, and later evoked in his fiction and poetry. Amongst the many attractions of Dorchester for a day out are the magnificent Dorset County Museum, The Keep Military Museum, home of the regiments of Devon & Dorset, and great themed attractions featuring Dinosaurs, the Terracotta Warriors, Tutankhamen and Teddy Bears!  Together with a great range of cafés, pubs and restaurants, this has to be a top contender along our line for a lovely day out with the family.

Dorchester was once a Roman settlement, 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. There’s an  extensive market on Wednesdays just a few minutes’ walk from the station, and the magnificent iron age hill fort of Maiden Castle with its great views is about 1½ miles walk from the station.

About a mile from Dorchester West station is Poundbury, a fascinating new urban extension on Duchy of Cornwall land, a vision of  Prince Charles who has remained intimately associated with its development.  Find a personal recommendation for a visit  – “Terry’s Tour of Poundbury” – here.

Dorset County Museum, particularly renowned for its focus on the Jurassic Coast, was selected as the first venue for the national tour of the Natural History Museum’s Diplodocus skeleton cast known as Dippy. Click on the banner to find out more.