Dorset is a gorgeous little corner of Southern England. There are so many things to do in Dorset, as well as amazing places to eat, all set in stunning, natural beauty.
You should head to the beach and explore the famous Jurassic coastline which earned its name through the sheer number of fossils discovered there. You can try your hand at hunting for fossils, Charmouth is the best place to explore. Though finding fossils takes a bit of time and a streak of good luck so if you’d rather skip the leg work: head to Lyme Regis where you’ll find the fossil museum and you can learn all about these amazing little chunks of history.
If you love animals then Dorset has some great places for you to visit. Monkey World – Ape Rescue Centre is a fascinating day out for the whole family and the centre has over 250 rescued monkeys and apes for you to meet. If you still want to see more animals then look no further than Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park where you can see penguins, crocodiles and seals, to name just a few. To learn even more about the sea go on a RNLI College Discovery Tour where you’ll learn what it takes to work on a lifeboat and see all the high tech training facilities they have available.
Bournemouth, Poole, Weymouth and Dorchester: what do they all have in common? Excellent shopping. You can find little vintage stores as well as big name brands on the high streets. Don’t overlook Dorchester or Wimborne markets either, there are all sort of bargains to be found for those with a keen eye.
Dorset has a lot of unspoilt countryside for you to explore and one of the best ways to do that is on your bike. Bike rental is available throughout Dorset and there are plenty of trails to try, whether you want a nice smooth journey or some rough and ready dirt trails, Dorset has got you covered. Sometimes it’s easier to enjoy things at a slower pace, you can hike some really lovely routes and get back to nature by enjoying rolling hills, quiet woodland and dramatic cliffs. There are companies that offer walking tours but it’s just as easy to grab a map and get moving.
These are just a few suggestions for an exciting holiday, whatever you choose Dorset will inspire you to do more.
Recommended Things To Do In Dorset
Dorset is a beautiful county in the southwest of England. Discover the Jurassic coast and stunning natural landmarks including Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove. Visit the county for a memorable holiday with friends and family. Spend your days on the beach, exploring coastal towns and much more. There is plenty to see and do in Dorset to suit visitors of all ages and interests.
Located on the Jurassic Coast near Lulworth, Durdle Door is a natural arch. Made out of limestone, it is one of Dorset’s most iconic landmarks. Visitors can walk along the beach and take photos of the magnificent natural rock landmark that arches out over the sea. It is privately owned by a family but is open to the public. As part of the Lulworth Estate, this is a must-see landmark in Dorset and can be combined with a visit to Lulworth Cove and a walk along the Jurassic Coast.
The Jurassic Coast is one of the big draws for people visiting the South West of England. It is named the Jurassic Coast because of rocks and fossils that can be found along the pathway that date back to over 185 million years ago including the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. It stretches over 95 miles of stunning coastline from Devon to Dorset offering spectacular views across the coastline along the way. Visitors to Dorset can stop at a number of must-see landmarks along the Jurassic Coast whilst also discovering all of the villages, towns and Bays spread throughout.
Visit the Compton Acres for over 10 acres of beautiful gardens to explore. Ideal for an afternoon out with the whole family, especially in summer, the Compton Acres is an excellent attraction in Dorset. It is one of the first privately owned gardens located in the South of England and has lots of gardens for visitors to explore. Gardens include The Italian Garden, The Wooded Valley, The Japanese Garden, The Heather Garden and many more. There is a fantastic range of trees, flowers and plants for visitors to enjoy, ideal for garden enthusiasts. Also at the gardens, there is a tea room, plant centre, gift shop and kids activities, providing something for every family member.
If you’re planning to visit some of the towns and villages in the county of Dorset, Shaftesbury town is definitely one of the most popular towns. Shaftesbury is a small market town and the only hilltop settlement within the county, sitting at around 215 meters above sea levels. As it is situated on a hill, on the edge of Cranborne Chase, the town offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Spend your day exploring the cobbled streets including the famous Gold Hill which has been described as one of the most romantic views in the world. The town is full of thatched roof buildings and quaint shops, cafes and pubs.
Brownsea Island is an Island off the coast of Dorset. It is the largest of the islands that are in the Poole Harbour and attracts tourists all year round. A perfect day out for nature enthusiasts, walkers, tourists and families, the island has plenty to keep everyone entertained. Accessible via ferry, visitors can explore the island by following the walking trails. There are plenty of places to stop and soak up the stunning views or do a spot of bird watching. The island has lots of woodland, lagoons and wildlife including a great variety of birds and squirrels. Before leaving, learn more about the history in the Visitor Centre as well as enjoying plenty of family-friendly activities including walks, talks, play area, buggy tours and of course, a cafe and gift shop.
A popular landmark with hikers, Colmer’s Hill is an impressive natural hill in Dorset. Start at the car park and walk up the footpath of 417 feet for breath-taking views of the sea and surrounding coastline. It takes the average person around 30 to 40 minutes to climb to the top. It offers stunning views and postcard-worthy photos both at the top of the hill and from a distance. At the top of the hill, there is a cluster of trees which offers spectacular photos and a great memory after climbing to the top. Anyone would tell you that the views at the top are definitely worth the hike. So make sure you add Colmer’s Hill to your itinerary when on holiday in Dorset.
If you and your family and big fans of animals then Monkey World is definitely worth a visit. Monkey World is an ape rescue centre in Dorset. It is open to the general public where they can visit and learn more about chimpanzees as well as the importance of rescue and rehabilitation. There are 54 chimpanzees at Monkey World which have been rescued from around the world. Visitors can take guided tours of Monkey World as well as listen to keeper talks to learn more from the professionals. There is also a play area for the little ones, and cafes and kiosks serving food and drinks.
For the ultimate family day at the beach, Weymouth has everything you could ask for. The seaside town has a beautiful golden sandy beach with colourful beach huts and a stunning Jurassic coastline. Spend some time relaxing on the beach, paddling in the sea and building sandcastles before exploring the town. Visit the sealife centre, walk along the seafront and stop for some fish and chips or cream tea. And make sure you go up the Jurassic Skyline, an observation tower on Weymouth Pier offering panoramic views of the coastline. There is plenty to do for the whole family to do in Weymouth.
Located just off the English channel coast between Bridport and Charmouth in the county of Dorset, Golden Cap is a flat-topped hill. It is made from two ancient rocks, one from the Jurassic period and one from the Cretaceous period. It is a high hill and cliff that has a flat top and is the highest point on the South Coast of England. It is one of the must-see natural landmarks on the coastline and has lots for visitors to see and do around it including trail walks, sculptures and coastlines views.
Dorset Adventure Park
If you’re looking for some fun and thrill with the whole family, Dorset Adventure Park can definitely provide that. Rated as one of the best things to do in Dorset, the adventure park has an inflatable aqua park, total wipeout water experience, and mud trail assault course which has over 50 obstacles suitable for adults and children. If you think you and your family or friends are up for the challenge then make sure you visit the Dorset Adventure Park on your next holiday. Surrounded by beautiful countryside, you can bring a picnic, walk around and soak up the views after going wild on the mud trails and assault courses.