Ian Newman, Blue Badge Guide for South West England, shares his favourite spots which groups should consider when visiting his favourite county of Dorset.

Durdle Door

Durdle Door on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset is popular with visitors all year round.

It is my very good fortune to be a Blue Badge Guide for the South West of England. There is truly something for all tastes; spectacular coasts, wild moors and heathland, idyllic villages and fishing harbours, a rich history and heritage and a strong regional pride and identity.

Ian Newman, Blue Badge Guide South West England

Ian Newman.

One county that provides all of this and more is Dorset. The birthplace of poet and novelist Thomas Hardy and the heart of his ‘Wessex’, Dorset is awash with history - Roman, Saxon and Norman. Handsome market towns with 17th century architecture are linked by vast areas of rolling hills and ‘blasted heathland’ dotted with medieval villages.

The real jewel in Dorset’s crown is the UNESCO world heritage Jurassic Coast - hundreds of millions of years of geology on show with magnificent headlands, smugglers coves, fishing villages and sweeping beaches. And it’s all accessible along the England Coast Path.

Corfe Castle, Dorset

The ruins of Corfe Castle are a must-see, according to Ian.

My personal favourite is the Purbeck peninsula, almost an island, at the eastern end of the Jurassic Coast.

The pretty village of Corfe Castle boasts an atmospheric castle ruin and the scene of a ‘royal murder’, the Victorian resort of Swanage has a wonderful historic pier to stroll and Arne Nature Reserve is home to the newly returned White Tailed Fish Eagle.

My own personal heaven is to sit on Swyre Head, near Kingston, looking over the rugged coast stretching into the distance, eye to eye with birds of prey riding the thermals rising from the steep wooded valley below. Never the same view twice. Perfection.

Ian offers several guided tour options in the region. For more information, call 07739 667543, email ian@bbhtours.co.uk or visit www.bbhtours.co.uk.

This column was first published in the 2024 Coaching Venues & Excursions Guide, offering GTOs and coach operators top tips and inspiration for the best coach visits. You can read this publication by clicking here.