Dorset Post Codes & Zip Codes List
MAPS & LOCATION
The county of Dorset is located in southwestern England, right on the shores of the English Channel. Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole, and Dorset are all part of the unitary authorities that make up the ceremonial county. Dorset, which encompasses 2,653 square kilometers (1,024 square miles), is bounded by Devon to the west, Somerset to the north-west, Wiltshire to the north-east, and Hampshire to the east. South of Boston, in Dorchester, is the county seat. The cities of Bournemouth and Christchurch in Hampshire were added to the county after it was reorganized in 1974, bringing it further to the east. Half of Dorset's residents live in the county's only major urban area, while the rest of the county is primarily rural and sparsely populated.
People have been living in the county since the Neolithic period. Dorset's native Celtic tribe was conquered by the Romans, and by the Early Middle Ages, Saxons had settled the area, creating Dorset as a shire in the 7th century. Dorset was the site of the first Viking attack on the British Isles in the eighth century, and Melcombe Regis was the entry point for the Black Death into England in 1348. During the English Civil War, a group of vigilantes rose up and were defeated by Oliver Cromwell's forces in a pitched battle near Shaftesbury; the doomed Monmouth Rebellion got its start in Lyme Regis; and a group of farm laborers from Tolpuddle were crucial in the formation of the trade union movement. The large ports of Portland and Poole in Dorset were two of the main embarkation points for the invasion of Normandy during World War II. The former hosted the Olympic sailing competition in 2012, and both offer sailing, Cornish pilot gig rowing, sea kayaking, and powerboating at either their own facilities or for hire.
In Dorset, you can find everything from broad elevated chalk downs to steep limestone ridges and low-lying clay valleys. An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covers more than half of the county. Due to its geological and palaeontological significance, three-quarters of its shoreline is included in the Jurassic Coast Natural World Heritage Site. Famous landmarks like Lulworth Cove, the Isle of Portland, Chesil Beach, and Durdle Door can be found there. Dorset has long relied on agriculture for its economy, but that sector is in decline as tourism grows. Dorset may be lacking in freeways, but it is well connected by A highways and has two train lines that head straight to the capital city of London. Poole, Weymouth, and Portland are all ports in Dorset, and there's a major airport at Bournemouth. The county is home to numerous cultural institutions, including museums, theaters, and festivals, as well as the massive Great Dorset Steam Fair. It is the birthplace of both Thomas Hardy, whose novels were set mostly in the county, and William Barnes, whose poetry praises the ancient Dorset dialect.
Dorset's varied topography can be attributed in part to the county's varied geology, which spans an extent of 2,653 square kilometers (1,024 square miles). Sixty-six percent of the county consists of chalk, clay, or a combination of sand and gravel. Portland and Purbeck stone, along with other types of limestone, calcareous clays, and shale, make up the remainder, which is more complicated. As a building material and for the restoration of some of Britain's most iconic landmarks, Portland and Purbeck stone are of national importance. It is possible to find almost any type of rock from the earliest Jurassic to the latest Eocene in this county.
In Dorset, you'll find a number of ridges made of limestone, and these are typically farmland or sheep-grazing calcareous grassland. Limestone regions span the county from north to south, with one broad band of Cretaceous chalk encompassing Cranborne Chase and the Dorset Downs and another narrow band spanning the county from west to east and including the Purbeck Hills. Large, open valleys and flood plains can be found among the chalk hills. Blackmore Vale (Stour valley) and Frome valley are two examples of these vales, both of which are dotted with small villages, farms, and coppices. The Blackmore Vale has long been a hub for dairy farming and is made up of clays and limestones from the Jurassic period. The younger Eocene deposits in south-east Dorset, particularly the lower Frome river and the area around Poole and Bournemouth, are primarily composed of sands and clays with little agricultural potential. All six of Britain's native reptile species can be found flourishing in the heathland habitat made possible by these deposits. The majority of Dorset's heathland is protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), while three separate parts are recognized as Ramsar sites for their international significance. There are frequent variations in rock layers in the county's far west and along the coast, although they don't occur in a clearly sequential way like the chalk and heath do elsewhere. This creates a hilly, characterful environment in the western part of the county, much like its neighboring county of Devon. The two highest hills in Dorset, Lewesdon Hill (279 m/915 ft) and Pilsdon Pen (277 m/925 ft), are located to the south of Marshwood Vale, a valley of Lower Lias clay at the western tip of the county (909 ft)
Dorset's varied landscape provides the county with a wide range of rivers, albeit the county's average annual precipitation and gently undulating topography mean that the vast majority are lowland in character. Frome, Piddle, and Stour are three rivers that carry runoff from much of the county to the sea to the south-east. While the Frome and Piddle originate in chalk, the Stour originates in clay in northern Wiltshire. Near its terminus in Christchurch Harbour, the River Avon enters Dorset from the neighboring counties of Wiltshire and Hampshire. The northwestern part of the county is where you'll find the headwaters of the rivers Axe and Yeo, which flow south to drain the counties of Devon and Somerset. Several small rivers, including the Char, Brit, Bride, and Wey, empty into the sea along the Dorset coast in the southwest.
The Jurassic Coast, which includes most of Dorset's coastline and spans for 155 km/96 mi between Studland and Exmouth in Devon, is a World Heritage Site. This coastline is famous for its geological landforms and is used as a time capsule throughout the whole Mesozoic Era, from the Triassic to the Cretaceous. Important fossils, such as Jurassic trees and the first complete Ichthyosaur, were found in the Dorset region by Mary Anning at Lyme Regis in 1811. There are a few prominent coastal landforms in the county, including a cove (Lulworth Cove), a natural arch (Durdle Door), and some chalk stacks (Old Harry Rocks) The Isle of Portland is a limestone outcrop in the English Channel, located about in the middle of Dorset's coast. It is connected to the mainland by Chesil Beach, a shingle barrier beach that is 27 kilometers (17 miles) long and protects Britain's largest tidal lagoon.
Dorset's economy previously relied heavily on agriculture. Since the middle of the 19th century, however, when mechanization drastically cut the number of people needed, it has not been the main employer. As a result, agriculture is now a less lucrative industry overall. Primary industry (mostly agriculture, fishing, and quarrying) contributed £229 million (or 7.1%) to the county's GVA in 1995, but only £188 million (or 4.0%) by 2003. Agricultural use increased from 1989 (when it occupied 1,986 km2) to 2007 (when it occupied 2,039 km2), however this was primarily attributable to an increase in permanent grass and land preservation. In contrast, farmable land went down from 993 to 916 km2 throughout that time (383 to 354 sq mi) Sheep, excluding poultry, are the most frequent livestock in the county, with a decrease from 252,189 to 193,500 between 1989 and 2006. We can see a parallel reduction in the number of cattle (from 240,413 to 170,700) and pigs (from 169,636 to 72,700) farmed over the same time period.
In 2009, Dorset was home to 2,340 members of the armed forces, many of whom were stationed at Bovington Armory, Blandford Signals, and Poole Marines. While the military has helped the local economy by creating new jobs, it has also hurt it by limiting access to popular tourist destinations during military drills.
Besides Bournemouth University and the city of Bournemouth itself, other important employers in the county include BAE Systems, Sunseeker International, J.P. Morgan, Cobham plc, and the county government. Poole, Weymouth, and Portland are the largest ports in Dorset, but the lesser harbors of Christchurch, Swanage, Lyme Regis, Wareham, and West Bay also contribute significantly to the county's economy. There are over 230 fishing vessels stationed out of Dorset's ports, and they primarily capture crab and lobster. After the sailing events at the 2012 Summer Olympics were awarded to the waters near Weymouth and Portland, the region saw a surge in infrastructure investment and a blossoming maritime leisure industry. The economy and tourist sector of the area are likely to benefit from this development.
England, UK Description
England is the UK's largest constituent unit, occupying more than half of the island. Despite its political, economic, and cultural legacy, England is no longer a governmental or political unit.
With its rich soil and crisscrossing network of rivers and streams, England has been and remains a thriving agricultural economy. England became the epicenter of the global Industrial Revolution in the early 1800s, quickly rising to the top of the global industrialization rankings. Manufacturing industries in Manchester, Birmingham, and Liverpool turned raw materials into finished goods for export. London, the country's capital, became one of the world's most important cities, a hub for a global political economy. The London metropolitan area continues to be Europe's financial center and a hotbed of innovation, particularly in the fields of popular culture.
One of the most fundamental features of the English language is its diversity within a limited compass. Even England's most remote regions are accessible by car or train within a day's drive or train ride of London. Many English people identify with the regions or shires from which they are descended—for example, Yorkshire, the West Country, or the Midlands—and maintain strong ties to those regions even if they live in other parts of the country. Some differences exist, but many more, especially as England transitioned from a rural to an urban society, began to fade after 1945. The country's island location has shaped the English character, which values social harmony, social harmony, and good manners that ensure orderly relations in a densely populated landscape, among other characteristics.
During the dismantling of Britain's vast overseas empire in the mid-20th century, England suffered an identity crisis, and much attention has been paid to discussions of "Englishness"—that is, what it means to be English in a country that now has large immigrant populations from many former colonies and is far more cosmopolitan than insular. Although influenced by other cultures, English culture is distinct and difficult to define. The Lion and the Unicorn by George Orwell, a self-described "revolutionary patriot" who chronicled politics and society in the 1930s and 1940s, makes this observation.
Geographical Description of England
Except for Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire in the east, England's topography is low-lying but rarely flat. The area has many rolling hillsides, with the highest elevations in the north, north-west, and southwest. Intricate underlying structures have resulted in intricate patterns in the landscape. The oldest sedimentary rocks and some igneous rocks (found in isolated granite hills) are found in Cornwall and Devon, while the most recent alluvial soils are found in the Fens of Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, and Norfolk. Both the sandstone and limestone bands that separate these two regions date from prehistoric times when large sections of central and southern England were submerged under warm seas. Geological forces lifted and folded some of these rocks, forming northern England's spine. Scafell Pike, England's highest point, stands at 3,210 feet (978 metres) and is part of the world's highest mountain range. The northern mountains are mostly slate, while the southern mountains are mostly lava flows. Mountain ranges have developed from the North Downs at 965 feet (294 meters) to the Cotswolds at 1,083 feet (330 meters).
The Chiltern Hills, North Yorkshire Moors, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Wolds, and Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Wolds were rounded into distinctive plateaus with west-facing escarpments during the Pleistocene Epoch (about 2,600,000 to 11,700 years ago). A land bridge connecting Britain to the rest of Europe was engulfed as the last glacial sheet melted. The retreating glaciers left behind gravel, sand, and glacial mud, further altering the land surface. Rain, rivers, and tides, as well as subsidence, have shaped the hills and coastline of eastern England. Limestone, gritstone, and carboniferous strata plateaus are associated with major coalfields, some visible as surface outcrops.
A great example of England's geologic complexity is its cliff structure. The chalk cliffs of Dover are made up of a series of sedimentary rocks of varying ages that start at Land's End in the far southwest and end at the Isle of Wight. The English coastline is dotted with cliffs, bays, and river estuaries that add to the overall beauty of the landscape.
England's weather is as varied as its topography. The average temperature in England, like other temperate maritime zones, is moderate, ranging from around 35 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) in January to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius) in July in the Thames river valley (32 degrees Celsius). Tacitus, the Roman historian, described it as "unpleasant" with "frequent rains and mists but no extreme cold." However, the higher elevations of England receive snow for roughly 50 days out of the year. In fact, the northwest and southwest of England are particularly "wet". These areas receive less than 30 inches (750 mm) of rain per year and are frequently subject to severe drought. Rainfall averages only 20 inches in parts of the southeast (500 mm). The weather has influenced English art and literature not only seasonally but also day-to-day and even hour-to-hour. The bumbershoot's moniker as the stereotypical English gentleman's walking stick is not accidental.
The Economy of England
In the 18th and 19th centuries, England's economy was primarily agricultural until the Industrial Revolution transformed it into a highly urbanized and industrialized region as a result of the Industrial Revolution. A result of the close proximity of coal and iron ore deposits, heavy industries (iron and steel, textiles, and shipbuilding) sprang up in the north-eastern counties, and they continue to thrive today. During the 1930s, the Great Depression and foreign competition both contributed to a decline in manufactured goods production and an increase in unemployment in the industrial north, which contributed to the Great Depression. Residents of these northern counties who were out of work were forced to relocate south to London and its environs. Because of urbanization and industrialization, the southeast has become dominated by industries such as automotive, chemical, electrical, and machine tool manufacturing. Despite the fact that population growth and urbanization significantly reduced farmland in England during the twentieth century, the geographical counties of Cornwall, Devon, Kent, Lincolnshire, Somerset, and North Yorkshire have retained a significant proportion of their agricultural land.
Another period of industrial decline occurred in the late twentieth century, during which coal mining was virtually phased out and job losses in industries such as iron and steel production, shipbuilding, and textile manufacturing were particularly severe. The decline of these industries had a disproportionately negative impact on the economies of the north and the Midlands, while the economies of the south remained relatively prosperous. By the turn of the twenty-first century, the service sector had taken over as the dominant sector of the English economy, with banking and other financial services, retail, distribution, media and entertainment, education, health care, and hotels and restaurants among the leading sectors.