High 10 issues to see and do in Dorset, England

Dorset with its lengthy swathes of Jurassic shoreline has all the time been one in all South West England’s hottest seaside locations. It varieties a part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage website.

The county can be identified for its fairly, rural villages (there are greater than 300) that provide stunning walks and quaint native pubs serving correct English cider and scrumptious home-cooked meals.

But Dorset isn’t solely about picturesque views and seaside frolics. There are such a lot of enjoyable issues to see and do right here, and when you like the nice open air you’ll by no means get bored. I ought to know – I grew up right here!

Right here’s a round-up of a few of my favorite actions.

Discover the Jurassic Coast

Worth Matravers Sunset

Sundown at Value Matravers (c) Andrew Moss

Keep away from the chance of overcrowding on the likes of Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door and head to one in all Dorset’s much less well-known spots alongside the Jurassic Coast. Considered one of my private favourites is Kimmeridge Bay close to Wareham, which is a improbable place for fossil recognizing (simply don’t take them residence with you).

Kimmeridge Fossil

Fossil at Kimmeridge Bay (c) Lucy Woods

Kimmeridge Fossil 2

Superb ammonite (c) Julia Woods

The shoreline close to Value Matravers provides enjoyable, difficult walks and dramatic views of crashing waves and jagged cliffs. Head to the Anvil Level Lighthouse and stroll alongside the coastal path to Winspit Quarry for some good quaint exploration.

The disused quarry is stuffed with eerie caves and is a good spot for a picnic. Exploring each Kimmeridge and Value Matravers would profit from good strolling boots and trekking poles – even when you’re younger and match.

Marvel on the dramatic ruins of Corfe Fort

Corfe Castle

Corfe Fort (c) Lucy Woods

Only a 15-minute drive from the Jurassic Coast is one in all England’s iconic ruins: Corfe Fort. Perched upon a hilltop overlooking the quaint village of the identical identify, the fort was constructed over a thousand years in the past. The fort maintain was constructed for King Henry I, William the Conqueror’s son and witnessed centuries of battle, treachery and even treason earlier than being partially demolished within the 17th century by the Parliamentarians.

There are some beautiful trails that loop across the website. Sit down and chill out on one of many benches and admire the fort from afar as sheep graze cheerfully on the steep hill.

Corfe Fort additionally has a Nationwide Belief store, an 18th-century tea rooms with a backyard and a customer centre.

Take a stroll from Bournemouth Pier to Boscombe

Bournemouth (c) England's Coasts

View over Bournemouth and Boscombe Pier (c) England’s Coast

The 2-mile seaside stroll from Bournemouth Pier to Boscombe Park is a delight, particularly because the solar units on a heat summer time night. The white, sandy seaside is about as shut as Britain will get to the French Riviera, and the calm waters appear to stretch to the top of the world. As you make your method to Boscombe Pier, you’ll see lengthy rows of cute multi-coloured seaside huts, which will be rented by the day.

At Boscombe Pier, you’ll see just a little roundabout and you’ll take the left path to Boscombe Gardens, which has a playground for kiddies and mini-golf as properly. In any other case, head straight previous the pier and there’s a few boulders on the seaside for teenagers and adults to climb on. In case you’re feeling peckish, City Reef is a good sea-front restaurant. 

Attempt your hand at browsing or paddleboarding


Paddleboarding (c) Kent Wang

The world round Bournemouth Pier is one in all Dorset’s hottest browsing spots, because the shelter from the pier creates some improbable swells. It’s an exhilarating sport and means that you can join with nature. In case you have by no means tried browsing earlier than, you possibly can be taught with Surf Steps, which is positioned about 500m from close by Boscombe Pier. All instructors on the browsing faculty are accredited skilled instructors and all tools (together with surfboards and wetsuits) is included within the value.

If browsing sounds a bit hardcore, you too can check out paddleboarding, the surfboard’s chilled-out cousin. Paddleboards are wider and simpler to face up on, and you utilize a paddle to propel you throughout the calm water. it’s a enjoyable, enjoyable exercise for a calming summer time’s day. 

Go to Dorset’s solely operational lighthouse open to the general public

Portland Bill Lighthouse (c) Elliott Brown

Portland Invoice Lighthouse (c) Elliott Brown

Portland Invoice Lighthouse has been safeguarding the marina on the Isle of Portland for greater than 500 years. The lighthouse is striped like a sweet cane and stands at 41 metres (135 ft).

On the customer centre, you possibly can be taught all concerning the lighthouse and its keepers. On the exhilarating “Into The Darkish” zone, you’ll encounter the stormy seas of the English Channel. Then climb the 153 steps to the “lantern room” on the high of the lighthouse and take within the gorgeous views of the Jurassic Coast.

Watch the sundown aboard a Dorset gin cruise

Artisan Gin Tasting with Dorset Cruises

Artisan Gin Tasting with Dorset Cruises (c) David Harding of Crusing Scenes

What higher manner is there to benefit from the Dorset coast than floating alongside the calm waters of Poole Harbour whereas sipping on a G&T and nibbling a scrumptious canapé?

Hop aboard Dorset Cruise’s 1938 classic motor yacht for a three-hour journey round Poole Harbour. You’ll catch a glimpse of Brownsea Island, residence of the pink squirrels, and get to observe because the solar units over the harbour. VIP company will likely be given a bottle of artisan gin to share with their desk together with 12 mixers from Double Dutch and a few tasty canapés.

Go to the Nice Apes at Monkey World

Monkey World

Monkey World (c) Carine06

If, like me, you’ve gotten spent a few of the lockdown watching daytime TV, you could have come throughout Monkey Life: the documentary sequence that follows the rescue and rehabilitation of abused primates who dwell at Monkey World.

Situated close to the historic market city of Wareham, only a 20-minute drive to the Jurassic Coast, Monkey World is residence to over 250 primates, most of whom had been rescued from dire circumstances, both abused as pets or used to entertain vacationers having been poached from the wild.

The rehabilitation centre homes chimpanzees, orang-utans (my private favourites), gibbons and smaller species of monkeys reminiscent of marmosets, lemurs and spider monkeys in giant enclosures. It’s a joyous place to stroll round and an amazing studying expertise for each children and adults. 

I extremely suggest you additionally go to The Tank Museum in Bovington, a four-minute drive down the street, which reveals virtually 300 automobiles together with WW1 and WW2 fight tanks.

Channel your interior ape at Moors Valley

This treetop journey course at Go Ape in Moors Valley has a excessive ropes journey course with obstacles which might be as much as 11 metres (greater than 35ft) from the bottom. Zip wires and Tarzan swings provide high notch adrenaline-pumping enjoyable.

There’s additionally a straightforward course for youthful youngsters. In case you’re not so eager on heights, Moors Valley is packed filled with mountain climbing and biking trails to maintain you grounded whereas your nearest and dearest fling themselves by way of the bushes.

Discover Dorset by bicycle

Cycling Wareham Forest

Biking in Wareham Forest (c) Lucy Woods

Dorset has some glorious cycle routes that may take you on a journey alongside Dorset’s dazzling shoreline, previous historic castles and thru huge, wild moors. Considered one of my favorite routes is to cycle to Sandbanks and cross over on the ferry (it prices simply £1) to Studland.

Take a while to cycle round this stunning coastal space, or when you’re feeling courageous climb the epic, rolling hills that result in Corfe Fort (slightly below 7 miles a method) and luxuriate in a well-deserved cuppa or a pint of cider at one of many native pubs or cafés.

In case you have a mountain bike or hybrid, then I extremely suggest a visit to Wareham Forest. Situated by the Moredon Lavatory Nationwide Nature Reserve, one of many largest valley mire habitats in England, Wareham Forest incorporates quite a few signposted trails for each cyclists and walkers. On a sunny day, it’s possible you’ll really feel like you’re biking by way of the mountain ranges of Italy or San Francisco Peaks.

Uncover Dorset’s fabulous festivals

Teddy Rocks Festival

Teddy Rocks Competition (c) Will Bailey

Dorset hosts an eclectic mixture of festivals all year long together with the Wimborne Folks Competition (significantly when you like Morris dancers – they barely terrify me), Teddy Rocks Music Competition (learn my competition overview right here) and the Nyetimber Dorset Seafood Competition in Weymouth, which will likely be happening on the 11 and 12 September this yr.

Additionally try Dorset Knob Throwing Competition. The web site describes the knob as a “onerous biscuit which makes a high quality missile for aggressive hurling” (simply in case you had been questioning).

For extra data and suggestions on actions alongside Dorset’s shoreline go to England’s Coast.

Disclaimer: This text was sponsored by Englands’s Coast.

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