Dorset is a maritime county in southwestern England, bounded on the north by Wiltshire
, on the east by Hampshire
, south by the English Channel
, west by Devon
, and northwest by Somerset
. It covers an area of 973 square miles.
Along the county's northern border is Cranborne Chase, the last remnant of Britain's oldest forest. On the south, Poole Harbor and Weymouth and Lyme bays break the rocky coastline. A line of chalk hills called the South Downs traverses the county.
Dorset has three notable churches. Sherborn Abbey with tombs of Wessex kings, Winborne Minster, and the Gothic Milton Abbey. Roman remains are numerous.
Dorchester on the Frome River is the county town. The chief ports are Poole, Weymouth, Swanage, Bridgeport, and Lyme Regis.