A FAMILY friendly guide designed to celebrate Dorchester’s rich history has been launched.

The ‘Let’s Explore Dorchester’ guide aimed at children and families contains fascinating information about the town’s past as well as activities and a map to guide people round.

The brochure has been funded by the Dorchester Heritage Committee with former mayor and local history expert Kate Hebditch.

She said: “Dorchester has got so much rich heritage and there is not a great deal to tell people about it in terms of guide books and things.

“So we thought we would make a family guide book.

“Look around at other guide books there are very few that are actually written for the families and children.”

Kate stressed that the guide could be enjoyed by both visitors to the town and local families, with plenty for them to discover and interest them no matter how familiar they are with the town.

She said: “We thought this was an opportunity to encourage families to go out and explore the town they live in or are on holiday in.”

The idea was to inspire children to want to find out more about the amazing history that lies around every corner in Dorchester and the publication offers an interactive way for them to begin the voyage of discovery.

Nick Morris from the Wallis Agency has designed the guide and Lyme Regis illustrator Margaret Chamberlain has created the friendly mice figures that lead the reader through the fun and informative pages.

From the Romans, to the Great Fire of Dorchester and from Judge Jeffreys to Thomas Hardy, the publication looks in a fun way at the county town’s rich and varied history. Chairman of the Dorchester Heritage Committee Andy Canning said: “We are very excited to back this project completely.

“Any opportunity to tell Dorchester’s story is really welcome.”

The Let’s Explore Dorchester guide will be available at the Tourist Information Centre, the Dorset County Museum, the Keep Military Museum, the Post Office and Dorchester Town Council’s offices in North Square.