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9 Most Unusual and Quirky Places to Stay in Dorset (updated for 2022)

Best Places to Stay in Dorset: UK Staycation

If you’re looking for inspiration for a UK staycation, then look no further than these quirky and unusual best places to stay in Dorset.

Dorset has beautiful beaches, charming villages and lush English countryside waiting for your visit. It is the perfect place to visit for a well-needed break.

Do you fancy staying in a shepherd’s hut or maybe a lighthouse cottage, or how about a yacht moored in the Poole Harbour! I have selected ten unusual and quirky places in Dorset for your next staycation.

If you see something that takes your fancy, you can book directly through the blue links provided.

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Keets at Middle Acre in Dorchester #1

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Middle Acre is near the size of a football pitch, with Chestnut trees, fruit trees, flowers and a polytunnel, whilst beyond the hut’s gate, a gentle wander will lead to the beehives, kitchen garden and V E Garden, where you’ll meet the free-range chickens, ducks, bantams and friendly farm collie Bea.

Rates and Availability for Keets Shepherds Hut

18th Century Grade ll Listed Thatched Cottage in Evershot #2

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Laundry Cottage
Photo copyright @Dorset Hideaways

Laundry Cottage sits in the sleepy village of Evershot in Dorset with its village shop, bakery and traditional 16th-century pub, The Acorn.

There are still original features, such as the open fireplace, that add to the charm of this residence.

The main town of Dorchester is a short drive away (9 miles), where you will find a supermarket, cafes, restaurants and attractions.

Visit The Tutankhamen Exhibition in Dorchester.

Take a stroll through the deer park at Melbury Park.

Discover the sandy beach at West Bay.

Rates and Availability for Laundry Cottage

Woodland Pod in Swanage #3

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woodland pod
photo copyright @airbnb

Lifton Pod is a cosy Dorset Staycation for two hidden in private woodland for those who want to disappear for a few days.

Relax, unwind & connect with nature in a new handcrafted pod in the heart of the wild Purbeck Jurassic coastline. With easy access to the Corfe Hills, this is the perfect spot for anyone who wants a bit of tranquillity & incredible walking routes nearby. Immerse yourself with peace and quiet of a woodland overlooking beautiful fields with local wildlife as your neighbours.

Rates and Availability for Lifton Pod

Luxury Motor Cruiser in Poole Harbour #4

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Luxury Motor Cruiser
photo copyright @airbnb

What could be more unique than a stay in Dorset than a Luxury Motor Cruiser! Moored in Poole Harbour, you can spend a few days or longer living life like a jet setter aboard this beautiful cruiser.

This luxury motor cruiser was designed with space and comfort in mind. Her unique position in Poole Quay Marina, offer’s peaceful panoramic views of Brownsea Island and Poole harbour. A short walk takes you to the hustle and bustle of Poole quay.

Rates and Availability for the Luxury Motor Cruiser

Way’s Forge in Piddlehinton #5

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Way’s Forge sleeps three guests and is the perfect Dorset Staycation spot set in the charming rural village of Piddlehinton. This original 1830s renovated blacksmith’s workshop was a working forge run by five generations of the Way family. Its location means that it is accessible to the neighbouring counties of Hampshire and Wiltshire.

There are many tracks on the hills around the village where you can walk your dogs. Typical of many village blacksmiths Way’s Forge lies in the heart of Piddlehinton on the main street, a two-minute walk from the award-winning Thimble Inn.

Rates and Availability for Way’s Forge

Shepherd’s Huts in Sherbourne #6

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Shepherds Huts
photo copyright @Dorset Hideaways

This cosy shepherd’s hut is lovingly called Apple and can sleep two guests. The hut has been handmade and has a beautifully styled interior with heating and a fully functional shower cubicle and WC. No midnight trips to the outside toilets at this premier location! The cabin is on the grounds of Stockbridge Farm Barn just outside of Sherbourne.

Apple is the ideal base to enjoy lazy breakfasts overlooking the countryside or to wrap up warm on a winter’s evening and do a spot of stargazing. If you are travelling with another couple, there is another hut called Blossom that visitors can book simultaneously. Quaint villages, market towns and the stunning Jurassic coast are easily accessible.

Rates and Availability for Apple

Cosy Hideaway with Hot Tub in Blandford Forum #7

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copyright @airbnb

This charming woodland studio has been designed and decorated to the highest standards for your Dorset Staycation.

Wake to birdsong and fall asleep to the breeze through the trees at a dreamy, pastel-hued hideaway nestled in the grounds of Downwood Vineyard. This idyllic spot is home to a fire pit for snuggling up and stargazing and calming cream interiors.

Rates and Availability for Woodland Studio

Stable Conversion in Cerne Abbas #8

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Beauvoir Court Stables is a beautiful conversion of the stables in Cerne Abbey.  A beautifully styled interior mixes modern and antique touches with stunning results.

Beauvoir is the ideal base for enjoying the walking and cycling paths that lead through the countryside or relaxing on the terrace with a chilled glass of wine.

Pretty villages and the countryside are all easily accessible.

Visit the seaside resort of Weymouth (35 mins drive)

Combine two attractions in one day at Abbotsbury Swannery and sub-tropical gardens.

Rates and Availability for Beauvoir Stables

Log Cabin in the New Forest #9

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photo copyright @airbnb

Tiny House is located in Ringwood on the edge of the New Forest and is reminiscent of a dwelling from the wild west!

Handcrafted from solid oak, this is a beautiful place to enjoy a glass of something special with your loved one.

Bikes are available for you to explore the surrounding area.

Tiny House is on the edge of the New Forest. Perfect for bike riding, walking and horse riding. There are many country pubs nearby, Bournemouth beach is a 20-minute drive. Mudeford beach is a 15-minute drive where crabbing is popular!

Rates and Availability for Tiny House

Love the UK? Check out these other beautiful locations to spend your holiday.

8 Beautiful Cottages in the Cotswolds for Your UK Staycation
8 Unique Suffolk Cottages for your Next Getaway
Best Yorkshire Accommodation for a Stunning 7-Day Yorkshire Road Trip
8 Most Beautiful Holiday Homes in Cornwall for Groups
8 Most Quirky and Unique Hideaways in Cornwall for Couples
About Author

Angela Price

Angie is a full-time travel writer with over 30 years of travel experience. She has always had a passion for travel, and after a 3-month world trip with her 18-year-old son, she created her popular travel blog to share her adventures with a wider audience. When Angie is at home in the UK, she enjoys exploring the English countryside, visiting castles and gardens and planning her next big adventure. Her motto is "Live Life Wandering not Wondering".

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1 year ago

Great post and some really unique places to stay. I particularly liked Veronica Cottage – beautiful inside and out. Thank you for the inspiration.

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