We have elderly parents and can truly say from our own experience that round here there is something for everyone.
We are deep in Thomas Hardy country, in the heart of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the nearby World Heritage Site Jurassic Coast - including Chesil Beach - is ideal for all ages, whether for walking, messing on beaches, fossil hunting, bird watching or beach fishing.
The whole of West Dorset is littered with footpaths, from national trails such as the Wessex Ridgeway (right on our doorstep) for the serious, to smaller market trails guaranteed to keep the children enthralled. There is also golf, fishing, horse riding and go-karting nearby.
There are many beautiful houses and gardens, museums and wildlife parks. The famous Cerne Abbas Giant is well worth a visit, as are the many historic Iron Age hill forts round about. In fact we are fairly certain that the view from Eggardon Hill is one of the best in England (we think perhaps you should come and see for yourself, just to be sure).
Dorchester, Weymouth, Bridport, Lyme Regis and Sherborne are all close by and well worthy of exploration with everything from Roman remains to converted wharves and TV locations.
All the local towns have the usual range of supermarkets, but just two miles from the cottages is the thriving village of Maiden Newton where you can pick up most things you need. There is a newsagent/coffee shop, a well-stocked village store, post office, garage, chip shop, pub, restaurant and coffee shop.