Dorchester is the bustling county town of Dorset, 17 miles from Blandford Forum.
It was a Roman town which retains their street pattern, and the line of the Roman walls are now laid out as tree lined walks. There is a Roman town house open to view.
Thomas Hardy lived in Dorchester, and worked in the town as an architect. His famous novels are set in the county, and "The Mayor of Casterbridge" particularly depicts Dorchester.
The trial of the Tolpuddle Martyrs and some of the Bloody Assizes of Judge Jeffries were held in Dorchester.
Close to the town is Maumbury Rings, a Neolithic henge which the Romans remodelled as an amphitheatre, and a little further out Maiden Castle is the country`s largest Iron Age hillfort.
There are several museums, including ones specialising in dinosaurs, teddy bears and Tutankhamun.
Near the top of the High Street is a statue of Thomas Hardy.
Coterminous with the town is the village of Fordington, and Prince Charles` Poundbury is on the outskirts.
Among those born in Dorchester are the actor Maurice Evans; and surgeon Frederick Treves.
Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby is available to lead Guided Walks around Dorchester for groups.