Local Radio Day 2019 #ProperLocalRadio

a to z of dorset header

We love our part of the world.

We're proud to be Dorset's local radio station, broadcasting from our studios in Dorchester, covering the county town, Weymouth, Portland, Bridport, and all of the amazing villages in between.

We've devised our own A-Z of the county.



A picturesque village steeped in history. Best known from its sub-tropical gardens and swannery. Abbotsbury Swanney is home to the only colony of nesting swans in the world that visitors are able to walk through.  Legend has it the arrival of the first cygnet heralds the start of summer.


This market town has been dubbed the Notting Hill of Dorset, with an impressive number of independent shops. Bridport also hosts one of the county’s most quirky events – The Hat Festival.  

Corfe Castle

Built by William The Conqueror, Corfe Castle and partially demolished in 1646 – the ruin of Corfe Castle are today looked after by the National Trust.

Durdle Door

This limestone arch is a world famous geological wonder, set along the Jurassic Coast at Lulworth. Popular with locals and tourists and it’s also been the setting for several music videos including “Shout” by Tears for Fears and Cliff Richard’s “Saviour’s Day.”

Eggardon Hill

If you climb this Iron Age Hill Fort on a clear day you’ll be able to see right across Lyme Bay to South Devon. Other tells of strange sightings at Eggardon include ghostly apparitions of Ronan Legions and even UFO’s.



There are plenty of festivals in Dorset, with a plethora of live music events including Fayre In The Square in Weymouth, Jurassic Fields in Bridport, and the Warm Festival in Dorchester.  The Seafood Festival grows more popular every year, with both sides of the habour packed with visitors enjoying food and entertainment, and there's the ever popular Hat Festival in Bridport every summer.


George III

Weymouth owes much of it's popularity as a holiday destination to King George III, and a statue stands in his honour on the seafront.  The White Horse at Osmington was also created for him.  He came to Weymouth fourteen times, taking to the water in bathing machine!

Hardy and Hardye

Writer and author Thomas Hardy famous for ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ and ‘Far from the madding crowd’ isn’t Dorset’s only well-known Thomas Hardy. There is his almost names sake, Thomas Hardye, with the surname spelt H- a- r- d- y- e of whom the school is named after in Dorchester. And then there’s Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, born in Kingston Russell, known better as Vice Admiral Hardy… He was Lord Nelson’s right hand man and confidant. It is this Hardy that Hardy’s monument at Portesham, the place of his former home is in honour of.

Isle of Portland

Dating back to the Mesolithic times, Portland is famous for its views of the Jurassic Coast over Chesil Beach, one of the worlds natural wonders. It’s most famous for it’s pure, chalky white Portland Stone, used to construct some of the most famous buildings in the world and in Britain. Including the Palace of Westminster and the Tower of London.

Jesty (Benjamin)

Benjamin Jesty was a farmer from Yetminster, who in early experiments found that dosing smallpox sufferers with cowpox gave them immunity from the disease. Benjamin kept his finding unpublished until Edward Jenner came along some 20 years later and developed the vaccine further that saved countless lives.  


Kimmeridge village and Kimmeridge bay might be a small stretch of the Dorset coastline, but it boasts some pretty big accolades as a ‘World Heritage Site’ on the Jurassic Coast. It is also an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ and ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’ due to its importance as a rich Geological spot.   


In the shadow of the Ridgeway is Littlemoor, a community that’s grown considerably from just a few streets in the 70’s. During World War I the Anzacs were stationed here, which is why the roads have an Australian theme, as in Brisbane Rd and Canberra Crescent.


Mapperton House near Beaminster is one of the country’s finest Jacobean properties and is mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086. It is presently home to the Earl and Countess of Sandwich, boasting impressive gardens of differing styles and themes. The site has attracted Hollywood on many occasions, not least for the 2015 remake of Hardy’s ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’.     

Nothe Fort

The Nothe Fort sits at the mouth of Weymouth harbour today as one of the country’s best preserved military forts of its time. The foundations were first erected in 1860 and first soldiers stationed in 1872. After decades of different occupations, and uses, the fort fell into dereliction after declassification in 1961. It wasn’t until 1980 that it passed to the Weymouth Civic society who with sheer dedication and volunteers set about slowly restoring it into the thriving tourist attraction it is today.  

Osmington White Horse

It was thanks to King George III making Weymouth his choice of holiday location in the late 1700’s that Weymouth became a popular seaside resort. The famous horse on the hill depicts King George III on horse-back and is one of the area’s most recognisable landmarks.


The Piddle Valley is an area of outstanding natural beauty and includes Alton Pancras, Piddletrenthide, Plush and Piddlehinton. It’s only right to mention the village that dare not speak its name, also in the Piddle Valley and forever a source of amusement due to its name, Shitterton. Residents of the village clubbed together to buy a marble slab featuring the villages name which has become a top photo opportunity for visitors to pose next too.


No trip to the Isle of Portland is complete without a visit to the famous quarries which produce the world-famous Portland Stone and to see how good it looks, you’ve only to walk around St Pauls Cathedral in London. Instead you could visit Buckingham Palace also made of Portland Stone. The Quarries are great places to explore and popular with families and fossil hunters.

Radipole Lake

Featuring viewing points and nature trails, the popular Radipole Lake is a favourite with visitors keen to get in touch with nature. It attracts many different types of birds all year round and has guided walks on offer or you can take things at your own pace.

Steam Fair

The Great Dorset Steam Fair is ‘The World’s largest heritage and cultural event showcasing Great Britain’s national industrial, agricultural and leisure history’. It features a variety of steam based attractions, plenty to eat and drink and lots of live music as well. The popular event is a firm favourite with families looking for a fun, exciting and safe experience.


The Oak Room in Dorchester is now a popular Tea Room and is perhaps the closest you’ll get to a traditional English tea room including the uniformed staff. The room itself has something of a dark history as it was from this very room that Judge Jefferies sentenced 74 people to death. In more recent times a series of hidden tunnels have been discovered linking The Oak Room in Antelope Walk back to his lodgings on High West Street. It’s thought the “hanging judge” preferred to move from home to work away from the possibly angry people walking above on ground level.

Upwey Wishing Well

Featuring Ornamental Water Gardens, a popular tea room and of course the wishing well which is in fact a natural spring. Legend has it that the water has healing properties. King George III was said to drink water from the well and each year there is The Upwey Well Dressing which helps raise money for charitable causes.


Weymouth plays host to one of the largest beach volleyball eventsin the UK every summer, culminating in the RAF Careers Beach Classic, and including the charity tournament where local companies put in a team. 



With it's glorious sands and Georgian architecture around the seafront, Weymouth remains one of the most popular seaside resorts in the country.  The beach was recently rated the best in the country by users of Tripadvisor.  Once the smaller cousin of Melcombe Regis, the two merged into one town in 1571.  Sir Christopher Wren served as MP for Weymouth. It was a favourite destination of King George III, and a statue stands in his honour on the seafront.  Another royal link is the Jubilee Clock, built in 1887 to mark the 50th year of Queen Victoria's reign.

X Marks The Spot

Where did the pirates bury their treasure in Dorset?  Perhaps we'll never know, but you'll find the tombs of pirates around the ruins of St Andrews Church, over Church Ope Cove, on Portland.  Many of the headstones are only inscribed with a skull and crossbones.  Did you know that Old Harry Rocks at Purbeck is named after the notorious Dorset pirate Harry Paye?


Look off the Dorset coast on a sunny day, and you'll probably see yachts, boats, windsurfers, jetskis, and more!  Portland is home to the National Sailing Academy, which hosted the sailing events at the 2012 Olympic Games.


Winterborne Zelston

With the church of St Mary's at it's heart, and the River Winterborne running through the village, Winterborne Zelston is one of the picture perfect places in Dorset.  The river only runs above ground during the winter, hence the name.