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Location Map ( geo)
Dorset county flag.png
Cameraicon.png View gallery (116)
Primary Destinations
Blandford Forum • Dorchester • Poole • Weymouth
Other Important Destinations
Bere Regis • Swanage • Wimborne Minster
Current Highway Authorities
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council • Dorset Council
Devon • Hampshire • Somerset • Wiltshire
National Highways Roads
A31 • A35 • A303
This article is about the county.
For the Highway Authority, see Dorset Council

Dorset is a traditional county on the South Coast. The county name, occasionally given as Dorsetshire, is derived from the county town of Dorchester.

Geography & Economy

The county has a varied coastline, which is longer than expected as it incorporates the Isle of Portland and Poole Harbour. The coast is known for its rock features and fossils. There are a few wide river valleys in the county, for example the Frome and Stour, with surrounding areas being undulating, although hills never get particularly high. The majority of the county is rural, with a few larger settlements in the south. Sandbanks, on the edge of Poole, has some of the most expensive property in the world.

Dorset is well known for quarried stone, particularly from Purbeck and Portland, although quarrying is no longer as widespread due to depletion of stock. The county has two large harbours at Poole and Portland, with Brownsea Island in the former having a role in the foundation of the Scouting movement. Agriculture was once the main industry in the county but tourism now plays a major part, primarily due to the beaches. Other tourist attractions include the mediaeval Corfe Castle and Maiden Castle, an Iron Age hillfort.


The Ferry Bridge to Portland

The south of the county has a good road network radiating from Dorchester or Poole, although there are fewer roads in the north. One road reaches Portland, whilst Purbeck can be reached by road or ferry from Poole; taking the latter will require the driver to follow the Studland Motor Road, the country's first road specifically only for the use of motor vehicles.

Most non-trunk roads within the historic county are maintained by Dorset Council whilst the Poole area in the east of the historic county is managed by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, and tiny areas in the west are managed by Devon and Somerset County Councils. National Highways maintain the A31/A35 route across the south of the county and the A303 which just crosses the county boundary in the north. See also: Dorset Turnpikes.

Dorset is known for its fingerposts at road junctions, which have a dial at the top with the name of the junction and the grid reference. See Category:Dorset Traditional Fingerpost Junctions.

Route From To Length


A30 Hounslow Land's End 284 miles View
A31 Guildford Bere Regis 86.8 miles View
A35 Honiton Swaythling, Southampton 97 miles View
A37 Bristol Dorchester 60 miles View
A303 Popham Upottery 95 miles View
A338 Bournemouth Bessels Leigh 90.4 miles View
A341 Kinson Merley 5.1 miles View
A347 Ferndown Bournemouth 6.7 miles View
A348 Trickett's Cross Mountbatten Arms roundabout, Poole 5.1 miles View
A349 Merley Poole 4.4 miles View
A350 Stanton St Quintin Lower Hamworthy 68.1 miles View
A351 Lytchett Minster Swanage 14.9 miles View
A352 Wareham Sherborne 36.7 miles View
A353 Broadwey Warmwell 5.8 miles View
A354 Salisbury Easton, Portland 53.2 miles View
A355 Sherborne Durweston 18.1 miles View
A356 Bower Hinton Grimstone 21.8 miles View
A357 Wincanton Durweston 19.5 miles View
A3030 Lydlinch Sherborne 6.9 miles View
A3030 Ringwood Road Alder Road 1.6 miles View
A3031 Parkstone Poole 0.7 miles View
A3032 High Street Maumbury Road 0.5 miles View
A3036 South Petherton Stonehenge 48.1 miles View
A3040 Wallisdown Branksome 1.5 miles View
A3049 Poole Boscombe 8.6 miles View
A3052 Charmouth Clyst St Mary 27.0 miles View
A3066 Haselbury Plucknett Bridport 13.6 miles View
A3070 Raymond's Hill Lyme Regis 3.3 miles View  
B341 Oakley Canford Magna 1.5 miles View
B3061 Alder Road, Branksome Dorset Way, Canford Heath 2.8 miles View
B3061 Boscombe West Howe 5.0 miles View
B3065 The Avenue Shore Road 2.5 miles View
B3067 Upton Lytchett Minster 1.9 miles View
B3068 Upton Bypass Alderney 5.5 miles View
B3069 Corfe Castle Langton Matravers 4.4 miles View
B3070 Wareham Lulworth Cove 9.0 miles View
B3071 Wool Lulworth Camp 3.6 miles View
B3072 Ferndown Verwood 6.8 miles View
B3073 Christchurch Wimborne Minster 11.8 miles View
B3074 near Sleight Canford Heath 5.1 miles View
B3075 Stoborough Green Spetisbury 11.4 miles View
B3076 Almer Spetisbury 1.7 miles View
B3078 Brook Pamphill, Wimborne Minster 26.6 miles View
B3081 Ashley Prestleigh 45.2 miles View
B3082 Wimborne Minster North of Blandford Forum 10.7 miles View
B3083 East Street Milldown Road 0.4 miles View
B3090 Ilchester Stonehenge 42.4 miles View
B3090 Wimbourne Road Ringwood Road 0.8 miles View
B3091 Shaftesbury Sturminster Newton 8.4 miles View
B3093 The George roundabout, Poole Oakdale 0.8 miles View
B3093 Prestleigh Shaftesbury 19.2 miles View
B3094 Mere Milton-on-Stour 2.4 miles View
B3142 Puddletown Higher Waterston 2.4 miles View
B3143 Stock Gaylard Estate Dorchester (E) 16.4 miles View
B3144 Max Gate Bridport Road 1.7 miles View
B3145 Lattiford Sherborne 9.8 miles View
B3146 Holnest Duntish 3.2 miles View
B3147 Dorchester (North) Dorchester (South) 2.2 miles View
B3147 Blackmarsh Farm South Street 1.0 mile View
B3148 Marston Magna Sherborne 4.3 miles View
B3150 Stinsford Hill Poundbury 2.7 miles View
B3153 Rodwell, Weymouth Wyke Regis 0.9 miles View
B3154 Charlestown, Weymouth Rodwell, Weymouth 1.2 miles View
B3154 Fortuneswell Easton 1.2 miles View
B3155 Weymouth Preston 2.9 miles View
B3155 Wyke Regis Westham 0.5 miles View
B3156 Wyke Regis Charlestown 1.8 miles View
B3156 Wyke Regis Weymouth 0.9 miles View
B3157 Weymouth West Bay 18.5 miles View
B3158 Wessex Roundabout, Weymouth Lanehouse 0.9 miles View
B3158 The Esplanade, Weymouth Weymouth railway stations 0.16 miles View
B3159 Weymouth Winterbourne Abbas 8.9 miles View
B3160 Bridport West Bay 1.7 miles View
B3161 Bridport Haselbury Plucknett 13.9 miles View
B3162 Bridport By Pass Chard 17.9 miles View
B3163 Toller Down Gate Broadwindsor 6.4 miles View
B3164 Whetley Cross Birdsmoorgate 5.2 miles View
B3165 Somerton Lyme Regis 30.5 miles View
B3166 Monkton Wyld Cross Red Cross 0.5 miles View
B3351 Corfe Castle Studland 5.7 miles View
B3368 Westbourne Sandbanks 2.6 miles View
B3369 Poole Civic Centre Sandbanks Ferry 3.6 miles View
B3390 Affpuddle Warmwell 7.7 miles View    
C12 Dorchester A352 10.3 miles View
T8 London Penzance View
T37 Folkestone Honiton View


Primary Route
Non Primary Route
Former Motorway
Defunct Route
E Road
Future Motorway
Future Primary
Future Non Primary
Historical Route
Tourist Route
Roman Road
Unbuilt Motorway
Unbuilt Primary
Unbuilt Non Primary
National Cycle Network
Cycle Route
Eurovelo Cycle Route


Main Article: Dorset Turnpikes


Main Article: Junctions in Dorset

Dorset is also known for its traditional fingerpost junctions, many of which still exist.

Main Article: Dorset/Traditional Fingerpost Junctions

Bridges, Tunnels, and other Crossings

Main Article: Crossings in Dorset

NCN2 • A30 • A30/history • A30/Sandbox • A31 • A35 • A37 • A303 • A338 • A341 • A347 • A348 • A349 • A350 • A351 • A352 • A353 • A354 • A355 (Sherborne - Durweston) • A356 • A357 • A3030 • A3030 (Poole) • A3031 (Poole) • A3032 (Dorchester) • A3036 (South Petherton - Stonehenge) • A3040 • A3049 • A3052 • A3066 • A3070 • B341 • B3061 • B3061 (Bournemouth) • B3065 • B3067 • B3068 • B3069 • B3070 • B3071 • B3072 • B3073 • B3074 • B3075 • B3076 (Dorset) • B3078 • B3081 • B3082 • B3083 (Blandford) • B3090 (Ilchester - Stonehenge) • B3090 (Poole) • B3091 • B3093 • B3093 (Evercreech - Shaftesbury) • B3094 (Mere) • B3142 • B3143 • B3144 • B3145 • B3146 • B3147 • B3147 (Sherborne) • B3148 • B3150 • B3153 (Weymouth) • B3154 • B3154 (Portland) • B3155 • B3155 (Wyke Regis - Westham) • B3156 • B3156 (Wyke Regis - Weymouth) • B3157 • B3158 • B3158 (Weymouth Station) • B3159 • B3160 • B3161 (Bridport - Crewkerne) • B3162 • B3163 • B3164 • B3165 (Somerset) • B3166 (Dorset) • B3351 • B3368 (Poole) • B3369 • B3390 • C12 (Dorset) • Harroway • Jurassic Coast Road • NCN25 • RM4 • RM46 • RM47 • Studland Motor Road • T8 (Britain) • T37 (Britain)
Related Pictures
View gallery (116)
Milestone at Miles Cross on the A35 - Geograph - 365124.jpgAlderholt- Bonfire Hill finger-post - Geograph - 1741261.jpgCharminster- detail of finger-post finial - Geograph - 1785109.jpgWest Knighton- signpost at Tenantrees - Geograph - 1094243.jpgBroadwindsor- Bernards Place signpost - Geograph - 1383087.jpg
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