Dorset is known for its beautiful landscapes, and with over half the county being designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty it's not much of a surprise.

Additionally, three-quarters of its coastline is part of the Jurassic Coast Natural World Heritage Site and it is home to many notable places such as Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove.

Taking that all into account there are plenty of great places to visit in the county, and we've listed 25 of the best you should see, whether you already live here or plan to visit.

These places are based on the rankings made by reviewers on the Tripadvisor site.

25 of the best places you need to visit in Dorset

Brownsea Island

Bournemouth Echo: Red squirrels can be found on Brownsea IslandRed squirrels can be found on Brownsea Island (Image: Tripadvisor)

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 2,510 reviews)

The National Trust site is located out in Poole Harbour and is described as a "unique haven for wildlife" making it a great day out.

You can find rare red squirrels here alongside and a variety of birds, including dunlin, kingfishers, common and sandwich terns and oystercatchers.

Poole Harbour

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 2,038 reviews)

Poole Harbour offers a great deal of activities, as well as places to eat and drink, along with its boat yard and being close to Brownsea Island.

If you like you can take a boat trip out to the water, or enjoy a bit of bird spotting.

Sandbanks Beach

Bournemouth Echo: Sandbanks Beach Sandbanks Beach (Image: Tripadvisor)

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 1,874 reviews)

Sandbanks Beach has been designated by the European Commission as one of the few areas in the United Kingdom which has achieved the highest standard of cleanliness.

As a result, it has held the highly coveted international Blue Flag for the past 30 years.

Alongside the beach itself, there is crazy golf, a children's play area, and a beach cafe and equipment can be hired out from the beach office.

Sculpture by the Lakes

Bournemouth Echo: One of the sculptures in the parkOne of the sculptures in the park (Image: Tripadvisor)

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 1,481 reviews)

Located in Dorchester, Sculpture by the Lakes is a park which describes itself as an "oasis for art lovers and collectors alike".

Created by Simon Gudgeon and his wife Monique the park contains many sculptures which would make for a peaceful day out.

The park also has its own gallery, featuring a collection of international artists and a cafe.

Weymouth Beach

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 5,952 reviews)

A common sight on this list will be beaches, and Weymouth will be one of many to be showcased.

Reviewers on Tripadvisor describe it as great for children with its fine sand and calm waters.

Old Harry Rocks

Bournemouth Echo: Old Harry RocksOld Harry Rocks (Image: Tripadvisor)

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 896 reviews)

One of Dorset's most famous landmarks is the Old Harry Rocks which are part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

The chalk formations are popularly known as Old Harry Rocks, but the name Old Harry actually refers to the single stack of chalk standing furthest out to sea, Visit Dorset says.

The Cobb

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 1,171 reviews)

The Cobb is the name of Lyme Regis's harbour wall, with it being built as a breakwater to protect ships and the town. 

It's a good spot for a walk, offering great views of the surrounding area.

Hengistbury Head Beach

Bournemouth Echo: Hengistbury Head BeachHengistbury Head Beach (Image: Tripadvisor)

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 2,314 reviews)

The sandy beach at Hengistbury Head would be great for a warm summer day out, with it likely being a bit quieter than the nearby Bournemouth Beach.

It has sections of shingle and is backed by sand dunes and sandy cliffs towards the end.

Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door

Bournemouth Echo: Durdle DoorDurdle Door (Image: Tripadvisor)

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 4,176 reviews)

Durdle Door is undoubtedly one of Dorset's most iconic landmarks and is part of the uniquely geological Lulworth Cove

Visit Dorset says the natural limestone arch of Durdle Door was formed when the power of the waves eroded the rock and forged a hole through the middle.

Durdle Door has its own beach, and other landforms in the area include the Lulworth Crumple and Stair Hole.

Bournemouth Beach

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 8,875 reviews)

A very popular beach in the county, Bournemouth Beach provides a great opportunity for a day out.

Its sandy beaches stretch out providing plenty of space, and its Pier has plenty on it with an arcade, cafe and even a zip wire.

Swanage Railway

Bournemouth Echo: Swanage RailwaySwanage Railway (Image: Tripadvisor)

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 3,176 reviews)

The heritage railway attraction operates full-size steam and diesel passenger trains, which can take you down to Swanage beach.

Additionally, you can book experiences, such as on-train dining, which can provide a lot of variety.

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Weymouth Harbour

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 2,545 reviews)

Weymouth Harbour lies at the heart of the Heritage Coast site and is said to provide a great atmosphere.

Some reviewers on Tripadvisor have described the views out of the harbour as "beautiful" and it provides access to a whole range of shops in the town.

Portland Bill Lighthouse

Bournemouth Echo: Portland Bill lighthousePortland Bill lighthouse (Image: Tripadvisor)

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 1,549 reviews)

The lighthouse on Portland Bill has stood for nearly 300 years guiding vessels into Weymouth and Portland and is a place that people can visit too.

Tours are available to see inside the lighthouse and a heritage centre is nearby too.

Christchurch Priory Church

Bournemouth Echo: Christchurch Priory ChurchChristchurch Priory Church (Image: Tripadvisor)

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 947 reviews)

If you want to take in a bit of local Dorset history, then the Christchurch Priory Church might be the one for you.

Reviewers have described the church as "stunning" and there's also a cafe to enjoy a bit of cake and a hot drink on your visit.

Kingston Lacy

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 1,923)

The National Trust site contains a family home re-imagined as a Venetian Palace, a classic English garden and acres of parkland.

Nothe Fort

Bournemouth Echo: Nothe FortNothe Fort (Image: Tripadvisor)

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 2,007 reviews)

Describing itself as "Weymouth’s No. 1 heritage attraction" on its Tripadvisor page, Nothe Fort offers great views of Dorset's Jurassic Coast.

Additionally, it has a maze of underground tunnels to explore, a nuclear shelter, a parade ground, a museum and large guns positioned on the ramparts to see.

Castletown D-Day Centre

Tripadvisor rating: 5/5 (from 471 reviews)

Castledown D-Day Centre is a family-friendly interactive World War II museum on the Isle of Portland.

It tells the story of the thousands of US military personnel who in June 1944 sailed from Dorset to the beaches of Normandy. It

There you can see an array of original World War II artefacts, weapons and wartime vehicles, including a full-size replica Spitfire, a Bofors 40mm gun and a restored Sherman tank.

Mudeford Quay

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 1,328 reviews)

A small part of Christchurch, Mudeford Quay offers "beautiful scenery" alongside plenty of small shops and a pub.

Additionally, it has a nearby sandbank and grassy area perfect for picnics.

Corfe Castle

Bournemouth Echo: Corfe CastleCorfe Castle (Image: Tripadvisor)

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 2,983 reviews)

Another iconic landmark is Corfe Castle, which also serves as a great historical day out in the county.

As well as exploring the site, the surrounding village also offers a great number of small shops, cafes and pubs to enjoy.

Monmouth Beach

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 285 reviews)

This sand and pebble beach is known as a great spot to look for fossils, so it could likely be a great place to spend an afternoon.

Lyme Regis is not too far away either if you fancy heading that way afterwards.

Compton Acres

Bournemouth Echo: Compton AcresCompton Acres (Image: Tripadvisor)

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 1,056 reviews)

Located in Poole, Compton Acres describes itself as "one of the finest privately owned gardens in England".

There are more than 10 acres to explore, as well as a cafe and tea rooms.

Studland Beach

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 1,350 reviews)

Studland Beach also acts as a Nature Reserve, with a four-mile stretch of white sand backed by dunes.

Bournemouth Aviation Museum

Bournemouth Echo: Bournemouth Aviation MuseumBournemouth Aviation Museum (Image: Tripadvisor)

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 375 reviews)

Opposite Bournemouth Airport there is the Bournemouth Aviation Museum, which could provide a great day out.

Described as a "hands-on" museum there are plenty of activities to try out and of course, many different aircraft to see.

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Chesil Beach

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 980 reviews)

Chesil Beach is an 18-mile-long shingle barrier beach stretching from West Bay to Portland and is described as a "quieter" beach to go to than nearby Weymouth.

Durlston Country Park

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 1,196 reviews)

Durlston Country Park is described as the "perfect place" to explore the Jurassic Coast.

It has acres of wildflower meadows, sea cliffs, woodland, "superb" coastal walking and "spectacular" views.