END the half-term in style in the county town. Dorchester was a wealth of innovative museums and historic establishments ripe for exploring.

They include the Dinosaur Museum, the Tutankhamun Exhibition, Dorset County Museum, The Teddy Bear Museum, The Keep Military Museum, The Terracotta Warriors Museum, the Roman Town House and Thomas Hardy’s former home, Max Gate The Dinosaur Museum recently took delivery of a new life-sized reconstruction of a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

The giant new exhibit is part of the museum’s 30th anniversary celebrations and joins ‘Tricky’ the triceratops, pictured inset, in the yard outside the attraction.

Dorset County Museum’s newest exhibition opens today commemorating the centenary of the start of the First World War. The exhibition will focus on the story of one Dorset woman, Mabel St Clair Stobart, exploring her life and the role she played during the epic retreat of the Serbian army in 1915.

The Museum has a collection of unique photographs recording Mabel Stobart’s experiences in Serbia. They trace her journey from the tented field hospital she established near the front line and the 250-mile trek through the Albanian mountains.

Max Gate was the home of Dorset’s most famous author and poet Thomas Hardy. Hardy, who designed the house in 1885, wanted to reflect his position as a successful writer and enable him to enter polite society. The house was named after a nearby tollgate keeper called Mack.

The National Trust has furnished the rooms for you to enjoy the spaces he created. He wrote some of his most famous novels here, including Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure, as well as much of his poetry.