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Dorchester student guide

Dorchester is a historic market town in the county of Dorset, located in the south of England.

It is approximately 8 miles (20 minute drive) from the coastal town of Weymouth and is on a direct train route to Poole, Bournemouth and London.

The town is steeped in history and boasts a number of local attractions as well as places eat, drink and shop.

Grab a bite

Whether you fancy a quick snack or some posh nosh, there’s plenty of places you can grab a bite to eat.

Brewery Square in the centre of Dorchester hosts a variety of restaurants and is conveniently situated next to the train station.

Some of the places you can enjoy a meal at include:

  • Pizza Express
  • Carluccios
  • Nandos
  • Wagamama
  • Zizzi
  • Vivo Lounge

There’s a number of independent cafes in town too. Students recommend the Walnut Grove on Durngate Street and Napper’s Mite on South Street, as well as Costa Coffee and Wetherspoons.

Transport Tips

Dorchester has two train stations, Dorchester South and Dorchester West, as well as regular bus services.

Dorchester South Train Station is a 10-15min walk to Dorset County Hospital.

South West Trains run regular services from this station to Weymouth, Poole, Bournemouth and London.

When you are not on placement you will have your lectures, seminars and skills sessions at the Lansdowne campus in Bournemouth. The train takes about 45 minutes to get to Bournemouth from Dorchester, and the Lansdowne campus is a short 10 minute walk from Bournemouth train station.

There are regular bus services from both Dorset County Hospital and Dorchester South Train Station, served by bus companies First in Wessex, Dorset & South Somerset and Damory.

We recognise the financial commitment you will make travelling to Bournemouth to study; therefore Bournemouth University contributes to your cost of travel, paid in three installments at the beginning of each semester.

Things to do

When you want to take a break from your studies there’s lots to do in Dorchester and the surrounding areas.

The local Plaza cinema is only £2.50 each Monday-Friday, and £3.50 on Saturday and Sunday. It shows new releases and has two 3D screens. There’s also an Odeon in Brewery Square.

For shopping, the Dorchester town centre hosts high-street names such as Newlook, Fat Face, Saltrock, and White Stuff. There’s also a weekly market every Wednesday in Weymouth Avenue where traders sell their local produce.

For more shopping options Weymouth is only a 20 minute drive or 10-15 minutes journey by train. Weymouth offers more than just shopping as it is a sea-side town with a long sandy beach and thriving nightlife.

Local attractions include the Teddy Bear, Tutankhamen and Dinosaur museums in Dorchester; the Sea Life Adventure Park in Weymouth and Monkey World in Wareham.

If you like beautiful scenery, a trip to Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove is well worth a visit.

If you're the sporty type, Dorchester Sports Centre offers a range of classes and has a 25metre swimming pool.

Accommodation

Accommodation at Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is located in a development called Albany Court, which is made up of four-bedroom cluster houses. It is located just a short walk from the hospital, as well as being within easy reach of Dorchester town centre.

You can find more information about Albany Court here.