Boats and houses on the Dorset Coast

Relocating to Dorset


Jurassic Coastline, beautiful beaches, outdoor pursuits, historic castles, Thomas Hardy, Monkey World, host of the sailing events in the 2012 Olympics; Dorset is a county that probably means different things to different people. It is often overlooked by lawyers looking to relocate in favour of its more fashionable neighbours, Devon and Cornwall. For those wanting to escape stressful city life and embrace a slower pace of living, Dorset could provide everything you’re looking for. According to the Office For National Statistics, the number of people moving to Dorset is growing and whilst the latest numbers are yet to be published, this is a trend we can only see continuing. Chadwick Nott has actively assisted candidates with moves either within the region and those who are looking to relocate to the area for almost three decades.

Below we look at some of the reasons why candidates might relocate to Dorset:


House prices — The average house price in Dorset is around £385,000 (according to Rightmove). This allows many candidates relocating to the region to get on the property ladder, or to significantly upgrade their family home. The most expensive area within the region is Sandbanks and it only takes a quick Google image search to realise why! However, there are plenty of beautiful locations within the county that are more affordable. For many, the idea of increasing outdoor living space or having beaches on the doorstep is a huge attraction and this is something that is easily attainable in the region.


Infrastructure — The region lies on several main line railways, with regular trains and direct links to London. There is a passenger airport in Bournemouth and another in Southampton, as well as ferry links to France and the Channel Islands.


Schools — There are numerous well-regarded private and state primary and secondary schools throughout the region, many of which are rated outstanding by Ofsted. Dorset has 11 private schools (most are co-ed, but there are also four girls-only schools and one boys-only school). There are also Montessori and Steiner schools in the region. In addition, there are around 30 colleges and 2 universities in Dorset.

Entertainment — Whilst the longer-term impact of Coronavirus on our social lives has yet to be seen, having good options on your doorstep is still important and moving to the South West doesn’t mean the end of finding nice places to eat and drink. There are several good independent restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes. Whilst Dorset is probably best known for activities such as walking and sailing, there is no shortage of opportunities to get involved in other outdoor activities and sports. Imagine being able to cycle in the Purbecks after work or go for a quick dip in the sea every morning before you start…

Town & countryside – The region is the perfect balance of town and countryside, boasting the best of both worlds! It has no cities, but lots of beautiful towns including Blandford Forum, Bournemouth, Bridport, Christchurch, Dorchester, Gillingham, Lyme Regis, Poole, Shaftesbury, Sherborne, Stalbridge, Swanage, Wareham, Weymouth and Wimborne. Just over 40% of the county is covered by the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


The Dorset and East Devon coast was England’s first natural UNESCO World Heritage Site when it was inscribed in 2001. It’s more commonly known as the Jurassic coast, is 96 miles long and is known globally for its geology. The region has miles and miles of coastline including the two natural landmarks of Durdle Door and the layered cliffs at Lulworth Cove. It is well known for its variety of lovely beaches, including the sandy beaches of Bournemouth, Poole, Weymouth and Swanage, the pebbly beaches of Chesil, and the fossil hunters paradise around the Charmouth/Lyme Regis area and further east around Kimmeridge Bay.


Career — The last 18 months or so has moved on the flexible working piece at a pace and it is now theoretically possible to live in Dorset and work elsewhere, although you may be looking to live and also work more locally. Working in the regions certainly doesn’t mean compromising on the quality of client work. In fact, host to large national and international firms, specialised boutique practices, and smaller high street firms, Dorset and the wider South West region offers many exciting prospects for solicitors of all levels and disciplines. For many smaller teams in the regions, it can often mean greater visibility to senior management and swifter career progression.


Lastly, if you need that final push to actually make the move, then it’s worth remembering that Dorset has 364 more hours of sunny weather compared to other counties across the UK with an average of 7.7 hours per day in summer. It also has the highest life expectancy in Great Britain!

If you are thinking about moving to Dorset and would like to arrange a confidential chat to find out more about current opportunities and how regional work could suit you, please contact Cathryn Holmes at Chadwick Nott.

(t) 0117 9171854

(m) 07795107815



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