A study by the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts [RSA] in 2016 concludes that the landscape and natural environment, built and cultural heritage of the Dorset National Park area are among the very best England has to offer. The survey of all English local authorities on a range of criteria ranked Portland/Weymouth in the top 4% nationally, Purbeck in the top 5% and West Dorset in the top 9%. Such ratings give well-deserved recognition to the National Park area's exceptional quality.
The government agency English Heritage thinks the National Park's heritage is Gold Standard. With wonderful sites like the Maiden Castle Iron Age hill fort [one of around 60 Iron Age hill forts in the National park area,] the hundreds of Bronze Age barrows along Dorset's ancient ridge-ways, Purbeck's astonishing Corfe Castle, and the rich industrial, commercial and farming heritage of Portland and Dorset's market towns, visitors and local people would agree with the experts' appreciation of Dorset's heritage.