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“Wonderful for all the family - must visit if holidaying here!”

Dorset County Museum
Ranked #5 of 40 things to do in Dorchester
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Discover 200 million years of Dorset's fascinating history in this beautiful Grade 11 Listed building which is much bigger on the inside than it looks! Collections include fine art, geology, archaeology, literature, the history of the world heritage site Jurassic Coast and natural history. There are evening talks and events, plus children's activities and trails. See the website for details. Open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm April to October, closing at 4pm November to March. Open Sundays in school summer holidays. Something for everyone, come rain or shine. We're a self-funding independent museum and registered charity. Money raised from your entry ticket enables us to look after our historic building and Dorset's precious past.
Useful Information: Lockers / storage, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children, Baby buggy parking, Bathroom facilities, Stairs / lift
Swansea
Level Contributor
47 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Wonderful for all the family - must visit if holidaying here!”
Reviewed 29 August 2014 via mobile

This museum was such a lovely surprise with its beautiful Victorian gallery and fascinating archaeology gallery.
Its displays and interpretive information fulfilled the needs of all the family, inspiring the children and providing a depth of information for adults.
We thought the archaeology gallery was extremely well set out with done fascinating artefacts. My 8 year old son became so inspired he bought a book about the Romans in Wessex at the museum shop and precised it.
All staff were friendly and it had a tea room with lovely staff serving home-made cakes etc...highly recommended.

Visited March 2014
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Thank Cartiger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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292 reviews from our community

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Congleton
Level Contributor
74 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Great for Hardy fans”
Reviewed 26 August 2014 via mobile

There's a lot to like about this museum. There was loads of varied exhibits from Jurassic to 20th century.
And the piece de resistance is Thomas Hardy's study, which is truly fascinating even though it is kept behind a glass screen. Also, there was lots of great info about Hardy, so if you're a fan then this museum is a must.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank ATF1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bridport, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Brilliant displays”
Reviewed 22 August 2014

The staff here could not have been more welcoming or helpful. Pleanty to interest all age ranges from tinies to adults. The interactive aspect of the dinosaur section was so well done and the children with us learnt a large amount.

Visited August 2014
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Thank DiDeFinch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England
Level Contributor
86 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Something for everyone”
Reviewed 22 August 2014

An oddity, like many country museums, and not cheap (adult £7) but worthwhile nevertheless. It Roman and other archaeology (eg. collection of mosaics, Mortimer Wheeler's Maiden Castle finds), local fossils & dinosaurs, Thomas Hardy, some local art (perhaps not well-enough explained) and other local cultural/ethno-stuff - no doubt fast-disappearing so worth capturing. Their exhibition space - and this is the summer's MUST SEE - the Mabel Stobart exhibition (see comments below); it's an alternative view of the Great War through the life and eyes of a remarkable and largely un-celebrated indomitable individual: an inspiring story.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank The_Lunch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A Must See!”
Reviewed 12 August 2014

Visited today with wife and teenage daughter following Trip Advisor reviews and would highly recommend. Kept finding new sections on everything from brewery history to archaeology and Thomas Hardy to dinosaurs. When we were there the ground floor of the main building was full of happy children making mosaics out of Lego - a paid for activity sold out for the rest of the summer, but they were enthralled and impressively quiet. Even our daughter wanted to know what the picture would be. The section on Dorset writers and an exhibition on a remarkable Dorset woman in WW1 (see previous reviews) were exceptional. We finished our visit in the tea room after about 2 hours. Very glad we read the previous reviews and made this the centre of our visit to Dorchester.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Peter S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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