Explore Dorset

Our Experts

Meet our Dorset Experts

David Vincent

Senior Regional Manager for Dorset, cottages.com

Despite having lived in the area for nearly 20 years, David still enjoys what can only be described as a permanent holiday feeling during his daily life in West Dorset. He fell in love with the region’s beautiful countryside and Jurassic Coast and, in his role as regional manager for cottages.com, feels extremely fortunate to cover a stunning area spanning Lyme Regis, Bridport, Portland, Weymouth and up to Sherborne. If not enjoying his job meeting potential holiday home owners, he will be found on a tennis court indulging his love of the game.

Cara Buckley

Head of Primates, Monkey World

Cara started her animal career at Dublin Zoo, working with a wide range of animals including big cats and elephants, before travelling to Borneo to study gibbons and work with orangutans. She joined the Dorset team at Monkey World more than a decade ago, and is now head of primates. When she’s not working with the monkeys, she enjoys spending time at the coast.

Emily Cowper-Coles

Jurassic Coast Ambassador

Emily recently graduated in natural sciences, and lives on her family’s beautiful farm in Axminster. She is a dedicated volunteer Jurassic Coast Ambassador, who has spoken to hundreds of visitors about the unique nature and story of the coast. Her favourite childhood place in Dorset is Charmouth Beach, for its bevy of beautiful fossils.

Katie Davies

Communications Ranger, Moors Valley Country Park and Forest

Originally from the North West, Katie moved to Dorset to teach school children about the special wildlife, rocks and fossils of the Jurassic Coastline. She instantly fell in love with the county and now lives on its eastern edge working at Moors Valley – a large country park providing a space for play, recreation and education, as well as a home for wildlife. In her spare time she loves to explore the region’s wild rivers, national trails, hidden beaches and rural pubs, whether enjoying a coastal walk or on regular kayaking trips in the area.

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Andy Farrer

Landscape Photographer

A born and raised Purbeckian, the Dorset landscape has always been a source of inspiration for Andy’s photography. The chalk cliffs and interesting geology of the coast, as well as the rich diversity of wildlife mean there’s no shortage of subject matter to point a lens at! He can be found on the Jurassic Coast at sunrise and sunset during the autumn and winter months, while he takes to the woodlands during spring and summer. In his spare time he enjoys relaxing in the garden and at the beach in Swanage.

Jessica Matthews

Tourism Marketing Office, Visit Dorset Tourism Partnership

Jessica has been working in tourism since 2009 and enjoys nothing more than promoting Dorset’s magnificent coast and countryside to visitors. Based in Dorchester, when not in the office you’ll either find her adventuring across Dorset’s scenic network of footpaths and bridleways (taking in a tearoom or two!) or performing on the stage.

Exploring Dorset - 2 Day Journal


Day 1:


We choose the delights of West Dorset for our minibreak, in an area stretching from Lyme Regis to Weymouth and Portland. This wonderful part of the world is home to some of Dorset’s finest unspoilt countryside, immortalised in part thanks to Thomas Hardy, who was inspired by his surroundings and celebrated the local scenery by using it as the setting for his works of classic literature. Fortunately, the vast expanses of countryside we encounter during our travels are largely unchanged from the view he would have experienced as a resident of Dorset more than a century ago.

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Day 2:


On our second day in West Dorset, we set out to visit some of the region’s many fun-filled family attractions. We start our morning at Abbotsbury Swannery, and the adjacent Sub Tropical Gardens. The swannery is the world’s only managed colony of nesting mute swans, and visitors might also recognise it as a location in the Harry Potter films! A nature trail, nesting areas and lots of family activities are in store. We enjoy getting lost in Dorset’s largest willow maze, swan-shaped of course, and stayed to see one of the attraction’s best spectacles, the hand-feeding session. Taking place at 12 noon daily (and again at 4pm for those visiting a little later on), more than 600 swans descend the fleet lagoon to feed, in what is an impressive sight and unique brush with nature.


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