One of the most beautiful seasons to walk in the countryside is autumn. The warmth of magnificent autumn colours...
Dorset is packed full of things to do for the whole Family. From theme parks to castles and forts, from beach days to animals, nature and adventure farms, Dorset has it all. Below are some of our favourites for family fun.
A day at a theme park is fun filled, adrenaline fuelled and hot dog packed and is a fabulous way to spend the day with the whole family. For the slightly older members, it can be a leisurely sit down day with cups of tea watching the grandchildren have fun!
Dorset has a plethora of theme parks to choose from, all offering as much fun as you can possibly fit into your day!
Adventure Wonderland is suitably packed with rides, attractions, animals and fun fairy tale entertainment for children throughout the day. There are nice and gentle Flying Elephants and speedy adrenaline filled varieties such as Wild Bill’s Runaway Train. There is also a huge indoor soft play centre ‘Wild Thing’ with three tube slides and a super-fast piranha slide.
Visit the Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park and experience a fantastic adventure above and below the ocean. With over 1000 fascinating creatures to observe, an underground sea world, attractions and rides, the whole family will be completely entertained in this lovely traditional seaside town. The Jurassic Skyline is a viewing capsule, 53m above ground with panoramic views across the Jurassic Coastline and Dorset countryside.
Tower Park is a never ending galaxy of entertainment. You could spend days in there and still not do everything! Perfect for the family come rain or shine, there is a Splashdown Water Park and swimming pool, Empire Cinema, Bowlplex tenpin bowling, kids soft play, Bingo and a range of restaurants.
Perfect for any weather, Farmer Palmers is great for kids to run around the indoor or outdoor play areas and explore the farm park. Visit all the animals, go on a deer safari, watch the pigs racing or take a woodland walk. There are bouncy castles, water play, sand pits. Fantastic day out, particularly suited if you have under eights in your family.
An absolute must! A lovely heart melter for the whole family. This is the largest monkey and ape rescue centre in Europe. The monkeys and apes are rescued from all around the world and brought back to monkey world, given so much space and love and lead happy lives. With a large adventure playground for the kids once they have visited all the animals, this is a fantastic day out for the whole family.
Oh my, this is not to be missed. Badger Watch Dorset is an unforgettable experience which is sure to delight every member of your family. Sit in the hides at night and watch all the animals that pass by in their natural environment. Take some food if you wish to stay until dawn. The area is floodlit so you have perfect vision of all the badgers and other visitors such as owls, foxes, rabbits and bats. Wrap up warm and take a torch for your walk from the carpark to the hide.
Putlake Adventure Farm is a real working farm, replete with animals, tractor rides, outdoor play, indoor soft play, pedal go-karts, trampolines, birds, a pet centre and tea and cake!
This fantastic Oceanarium is really great for all members of the family. You will always be excited at being face-to-face with a shark, no matter what age you are! Visit the penguins, reef sharks, stingrays, little Nemo Clown fish, crocodiles and turtles. As a family, take part in the Adventure Trail and then relax with a coffee while the kids play in the Play Zone.
Beautiful gardens and an animal park. What could be more perfect for a family day out! Kingston Maurward Gardens and Animal Park is a stunning setting for a day amongst nature. The gardens were created between 1915 and 1922. They are beautiful and intimate with lovely defined sections with their own features within. Set within the rolling hills of the unspoilt Dorset countryside, the gardens feature a lake and canals and pretty water features. When you have finished strolling leisurely through the gardens, you can visit the animals in the animal park. Feed the sheep, alpacas, chickens and goats. Meet the cute piglets, miniature Shetland ponies and giant rabbits! Finish with a bite to eat in the café then head back to your cottage and relax!
Abbotsbury Tourism literally pack the year out with amazing family events. Whichever month you are renting one of our sumptuous Dream Cottages, there will always be a lovely family event to attend in Abbotsbury. Abbotsbury Sub-Tropical Gardens are described by Alan Titchmarsh as being one of the finest gardens he has ever visited. Perfect for a beautiful walk and a picnic on the grass, amongst the rare and exotic plants from all around the world. The Abbotsbury Children’s Farm is fantastic for little ones. They can meet the animals, give them a cuddle and get involved with feeding. There is a lovely play area, tractors and ponies to ride and a bouncy castle to get them really exhausted before bed back at the cottage. Abbotsbury Swannery is the only managed colony of nesting mute swans. You can walk through all the darling cygnets and watch them being fed. A beautiful way to spend the afternoon!
Walk down the famous harbour Cobb and pay a visit to the Lyme Regis Marine Aquarium. Get close to the local fish and marine life of the Jurassic Coast. The kids can hand feed the mullet, hold the starfish and stroke a lobster. Then wash your hands and head for fish and chips on the seafront!
Check out Sandworld in Weymouth. Sandworld is Weymouth’s first sand sculpture festival, and one of only a handful ever held in the UK. Suitable for the whole family, Sandworld is packed full of amazing sculptures so why not pop along?
Dorset is steeped in wonderful history. It was the home of some superbly talented writers, Thomas Hardy and T.E Lawrence, to name a few, and it was also home to dinosaurs just 65 million years ago! If you rent one of our Dorset cottages this year, be sure to visit one of the fantastic museums. Here we have chosen our favourite 10 but there are so many more!
Life-sized reconstructions of dinosaurs from fossils and dinosaur skeletons found along the Jurassic Coast will fascinate the young and old. Team that with real hands-on learning about dinosaurs that roamed the land around 65 million years ago and you have the makings of a perfect educational but fun day out at The Dinosaur Museum!
Learn about the story of tanks from 1915 to present day. Experience driving a tank and watch a tank display. Fill your day with everything tanks! A sure winner for the kids! There is a lovely restaurant, indoor play area and picnic area for the lesser tank obsessed!
Visit the cottage where Thomas Hardy was born in 1840. Built from cob and thatch by his grandfather, the cottage has barely been altered since the family left. See how it would have been for Hardy to live there in the 19th century, with cold stone floors, small windows and open hearths. Pretty roses adorn the door of this lovely enchanting cottage. A joy to visit at any time of the year.
Blandford Fashion Museum showcases fashions from the 18th century to the 1970’s. Set in the beautiful Georgian Lime Tree House, built by the Basted brothers after the great fire of Blandford Forum. There are lots of great collections and exhibitions and a lovely tearoom where you can finish your day with a Dorset cream tea.
Clouds Hill was the rural retreat of T.E Lawrence. ‘I’ve a hut in a wood near camp wherein I spend my spare evenings’. The austere rooms are just as he left them and with no electric light, it may be best to time your visit according to when it is the brightest outside! There are also intimate events put on at the cottage so it is worth checking if one falls whilst you are staying in your Dream Dorset cottage.
White Mill is a corn mill with original wooden machinery in a peaceful riverside setting. You can take a guided tour around the mill and follow it with a walk over White Mill Bridge or simply relax in the garden and soak up the beautiful setting alongside the River Stour.
The Weymouth Museum galleries are open from Easter to October on selected days so be sure to check before you visit. Discover the history of Weymouth from as early as pre-historic times. Since Weymouth was a favoured holiday destination of King George III, Weymouth was transformed into an elegant and particularly fashionable resort. All to be revealed throughout the exhibition!
The Town Mill in Lyme Regis is such a lovely place to visit. It is perfectly situated near the sea, down a lovely cobbled courtyard and includes a working flour mill, a pottery, a silversmith, seamstress, art galleries, Courtyard Café, Lyme Bay Brewery and the Town Hill Cheesemonger.
The Teddy Bear Museum is an enchanting day out for all the family. Discover the earliest antique teddy bears to today’s TV favourites. It also includes the best and most charming teddy bear shop in the south of England!
An engaging museum where you can see fossils found on the Jurassic Coast. The gallery includes a partial skeleton of a plesiosaur discovered at Golden Cap in 2004. Learn about the people of Bridport from time gone by and the industry they all worked in, rope and net. They also feature different exhibitions so it is worth calling up before your visit to see what is showing.