Top tips for booking a last-minute holiday to Dorset

Are you wondering how to book a last-minute holiday in Dorset?

last minute trips to the dorset countrysideDorset is one of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations. The region also popular with tourists from around the world. Some of Dorset’s biggest draws include Durdle Door, Poole Harbour, the Isle of Portland, Brown Sea Island, and Old Harry Rocks.

In this guide, we’ll talk more about Dorset’s finest attractions and let you know how to find great last-minute deals on trips to the county, how to find pet-friendly accommodation, how to find cheap rail tickets, what to do if you need to cancel and how to put together the perfect Dorset holiday itinerary.

We all need to escape the rat race now and then and get a fantastic change of scenery. If you have some free time coming up, it makes perfect sense to plan a last-minute holiday to Dorset. There are so many fun activities to suit all the family and planning a last-minute trip doesn’t need to be as daunting as you might expect.

Read on for top tips on booking a last-minute holiday to Dorset….

Why Dorset is the perfect destination for a last-minute holiday

Dorset is a great destination for a last-minute holiday for many reasons. One of these reasons is the fact that you will find a whole host of fantastic things to do once you reach the region even if you haven’t spent much time planning your trip in advance. A quick Google search will generate a sizeable list of fun, entertaining and informative things to do when you’re in Dorset.

last minute trip to a dorset beachThe county is well-known for its better than average weather, putting many UK coastal resorts in the shade. It’s also able to boast a rich history, being the home of the UK’s first-ever fossil shop. The game Trivial Pursuit was partially devised in Dorset, with many of the original questions having been researched in Weymouth library. It also has the oldest postbox in England, which dates back to 1853. Poole also plays host to Britain’s largest natural harbour. It’s even been claimed that it’s the second-largest anywhere.

Over half of the county has Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty status. Some of the most picturesque locations in Dorset include Lulworth Cove, Golden Cap, Durdle Door, Pulpit Rock and Chesil Beach.

Dorset is easy to reach from various parts of the UK. There’s a direct line taking you from Waterloo Station in London to Weymouth, with the train stopping at Bournemouth, Poole, Wareham and Dorchester. You can also get the ferry to Poole and Weymouth.

The cuisine is one of many reasons so many people flock to Dorset not only from across the UK but from further afield too. The region is noted for its outstanding local produce, which you can consume at eateries throughout Dorset. In Bournemouth alone, 2,000 ice creams are served up each day during the summer months, and some of the local ice cream parlours have been dishing out sweet treats for generations. Like many British coastal areas, Dorset is renowned for its fish and chips restaurants, with fresh fish being delivered to local eateries each morning.

Dorset is famous for its high living standards and has Britain’s highest life expectancy, with men living to 82 and women surviving until 86 years of age on average. This is nearly four years longer than the UK average.

Dorset has also been a big source of inspiration for some of the creative world’s most legendary figures. These include Jane Austen, Paul Nash, Thomas Hardy and Enid Blyton. Offering 95 miles of coastline, the region is home to some of the most cherished beaches in Britain, and many of the harbours have been unspoilt by the advent of tourism. Many visitors spend hours watching the local fisherman carrying out their daily duties.

Let’s take a look at a few more of the most popular attractions in Dorset. The Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens is home to not only palm trees but some of the world’s rarest and most exotic plants, offering spectacular coastal views.

Lyme Regis is a famous seaside town in Dorset that plays host to a well-known two-day food festival each year. Shaftesbury is home to the iconic Gold Hill, also known as Hovis Hill. This area looks particularly spectacular during the summer months, with the market town dating back to the 12th century.

trips to brownsea islandBrownsea Island offers woodland as well as sea and sand. Species that have made Brownsea Island their home include red squirrel, peacocks, butterflies and dragonflies. The remains of Corfe Castle are located in the Isle of Purbeck and apparently inspired Blyton’s Five on a Treasure Island in which it was renamed ‘Kirin Castle’. You can even catch a steam train from Corfe Castle to Swanage, a charming, welcoming coastal town.

The county’s calendar is packed with exciting annual events, with festivals dedicated to food, drink, art and flowers taking place throughout the year. The festivals are just one of many reasons to visit Dorset for your next last-minute break. If magical events, idyllic beaches, delicious food and clean fresh air sound good to you, why not place a booking today?

Find last-minute holiday deals at Dorset Holiday Cottages

A great way to get cheap last-minute holiday deals is to visit the Dorset Holiday Cottages website. This site takes the stress and strain out of finding last-minute deals at the right price. When you use the site, you can gain access to deals that suit all requirements, preferences and budgets. Whether you’re on a tight budget or have more to spend, you should be able to find a suitable deal at Dorset Holiday Cottages.

The team at Dorset Holiday Cottages know the region inside out and are always on hand to advise you if you do need help with finding the perfect cottage for your specific needs. Each cottage in the database has been specially chosen for its excellent facilities, comfort and luxury. The team can also provide in-depth advice on making the most of your stay in the area, recommending the best attractions, events, pubs, bars and restaurants.

More and more people are deciding to spend their breaks in the UK as part of the ‘staycation’ boom. It’s increasingly common for people to remain in the UK to explore some of the country’s most scenic locations even when heading abroad is a viable option. Dorset has avoided major development over the decades, which means it has been able to retain much of its classic charm. It’s also famed for its laidback, relaxed way of life.

The Jurassic Coast has World Heritage Status, and areas like Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove are known around the world. Popular activities amongst Dorset’s residents and visitors include fossil hunting, sunbathing, rock pooling, fishing, and swimming. When you’re not spending time on the beach, you can instead explore the glorious countryside and the many idyllic and picturesque villages, warmly-welcoming pubs and inns located in Dorset. Some of Dorset’s best-kept secrets include villages including Langton Matravers, Worth Matravers and Wareham.

If you’re seeking accommodation with facilities like open fires, four-poster beds and panoramic sea views, Dorset Holiday Cottages is the site for you. The site offers accommodation for groups, families, couples and solo travellers, and pet-friendly cottages are also available. Whether you’re planning a summer break or a spring, autumn or winter visit to Dorset, you shouldn’t struggle to find something that meets your needs. Why not start looking for accommodation on Dorset Holiday Cottages right now?

Be flexible

If you are ready to book a last-minute trip to Dorset, it’s best to be flexible. Spontaneous trips to Dorset can be incredible fun but try not to be picky as this may restrict your options too much. Everyone has dealbreakers but keep an open mind once you have decided what these are. Flexibility is the key to getting amazing last-minute holiday deals.

Choose pet-friendly cottages

There’s no need to miss out on getting a great last-minute holiday deal just because you don’t want to leave your beloved pet at home. There’s more dog-friendly accommodation than you might think in Dorset. Many Dorset cottages are perfectly located near to walking trails and offer sizeable gardens for exercise. If you bring your dog with you to Dorset, you don’t need to pay someone to care for them whilst you are away, which means you’ll have more to spend when you’re enjoying your last-minute break. What’s also great about holidaying in Dorset with your dog is that many of the local pubs and restaurants are also pet friendly.

Find group accommodation

holiday cottage for large parties last minuteA great way to cut the cost of a last-minute trip to Dorset is to book accommodation as a group. This will not only save you money but give you the chance to enjoy a fantastic catch-up with friends or family members in one of the UK’s most picturesque settings. Some Dorset cottages offer multiple rooms, and this makes them perfect for groups of friends and family get-togethers.

Make a plan of action

Your last-minute break in Dorset is more likely to be a success if you think about the things that you want to do before you arrive. Even if you’re booking just a day or two before you leave home, you’ll still have time to make a list of all the things you want to see and do whilst you’re in Dorset. It’s also a wise move to purchase a quality local map so you can find your bearings quickly once you’re in the area. Create a bucket list of the most important places to visit and things to do during your last-minute Dorset break. Even if you don’t have time to fit everything in, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to enjoy a varied, fun-packed Dorset break booked just days in advance.

Look online for discount codes

Discount codes are fantastic for those that want to cut the cost of holidaying in Dorset. Sites like Groupon can help you find amazing savings at Dorset restaurants, shops, health and fitness venues, spas and other local attractions. If you’ve never used discount code sites before or haven’t for a long time, you may be highly impressed by the savings on offer. Holidays can be expensive, so it makes perfect sense to carry out a bit of research and how you could cut costs whilst making the most of your last-minute break.

Consider your cancellation options

There’s always a chance that you might need to cancel, so it’s best to read up on what your rights are if you can’t head out for your trip for any reason. If something comes up at the last minute, it’s always good to know you can get at least some of your money back. Before you go ahead and book your accommodation, take a look around the site to see what the cancellations policy is. You may be able to cancel for free up to two days before you’re due to arrive. This takes the financial risk out of booking a trip to Dorset.

Find cheap train fares

Catching the train is a great way to get to Dorset from across the country, especially London. Booking your train tickets can save you money as operators would rather offer the seats at discounted prices rather than having them left empty. If you travel at off-peak times, you may be able to save a considerable sum of money, which is particularly great news for families.

Popular sources for cheap last-minute train fares include,, and

Why wait any longer to seek out last-minute holiday deals in Dorset? To get started, head to Dorset Holiday Cottages and simply choose your location, your check-in and check-out dates, your number of guests and whether you’re seeking pet-friendly accommodation. You’ll also see a great deal of information on the best things to do on the site, including details on beaches, walks, gardens, museums, outdoor pursuits, eating out, and much more.

You can reach the Dorset Holiday Cottages team by giving them a call on +44 1929 481547 or by sending a message to