Dorchester has been said to be two towns in one: a bustling country town as well as Thomas Hardy’s fictional Casterbridge. The writer was born just outside of here, and many of the locations in his books can be found in town. The Hardy collection in the Dorcet County Museum is the biggest in the world and offers great insight into his creative process. The Museum also has an impressive collection of fossils from the Jurassic Coast, including a huge ichthyosaur on one wall. Hardy was also a trained architect, and he designed Max Gate, where he lived from 1885 until he died in 1928. The small cob-and-thatch Hardy’s Cottage is the site where the author was born. Dorchester was once a thriving Roman settlement, and you can see evidence of this in the remains of a 1st century Roman villa located behind the town hall. Finally, the Tutankhamen Museum recreates the sights and sounds of ancient Egypt in a mock-up of the pharoah’s tomb.