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Dorset – The launching point of the “Black Death” in 1348

It is believed that the first human visitors appeared in Dorset around 10,000 years ago, but more permanent settlements did not take place until around 3000 BC, which were mainly in coastal areas.

Like most places in Britain, Dorset was occupied by the Romans and later by the Saxons, although their arrival was delayed considerably due to the Bokerley Dyke. However, towards the end of the 7th century Dorset became part of the Saxon kingdom of Wessex. During the 14th century Melcombe Regis was a busy port and it was the arrival of a ship at this port in 1348 that brought with it the bubonic plague (also known as the “Black Death”). This plague spread throughout the country and was responsible for killing a third of the population.

Dorset has witnessed many battles and rebellions in its history and played an important part in the first and second World Wars.

Reasons to visit Dorset

Although agriculture was a major factor in Dorset’s economy in the past, this has now been replaced by tourism. The area is popular for its beaches, scenic areas and historic landmarks, so it is easy to see why tourists visit this county.

Some of the attractions to see include the many castles, although not all of these match our traditional image of a castle. However, you may enjoy the following: Corfe Castle (11th century), Lulworth Castle (mock castle recently restored), Portland Castle and Sherborne Castle (16th-century Tudor mansion). There are many other Abbeys, Hills, Houses and Museums to see, and of course plenty of beaches and bays (more than 30).

Entertainment and Dining in Dorset

Theatres provide good entertainment, along with an ample supply of cinemas, nightclubs and pubs. There is no shortage of places to eat, offering a wide variety of cuisines such as L’Assiette in Bournemouth (French and English food), Harry Tates in Lyme Regis (Seafood) and Hamiltons in Weymouth (Italian).

Accommodation in Dorset

There are hundreds of Guest Houses, B&Bs, self-catering apartments and camping sites in the county, including hotels like the Premier Inn in Bournemouth, Birkin House in Dorchester and The Priory Hotel in Wareham.