Keep the kids entertained at half term with one of these half-term activities in Dorset. There is so much...
1. A picnic on the beach facing Durdle Door – Good old fashioned, inexpensive fun!
Voted as Britain’s perfect picnic spot, alfresco eating with views over Durdle Door will make for a lunch to remember! Kids will be entertained the old fashioned way as they skim the waves with flat stones that are plentiful along the beach, or go on scavenger hunts, picking up rocks, shells and even dinosaur fossils, since this part of the coast forms the Jurassic coastline and is over 185 million years old. They could even pretend to be pirates and hunt for buried treasure, since the area is steeped in history of famous smugglers, you never know what they might find! Flying a kite is fun on a windy day and for hot summer days, why not try snorkelling through Durdle Door? Or you could spend a day relaxing at the beach at beautiful Lulworth Cove, which is just a short walk away. It is the perfect place to entertain your nippers, whatever the weather!
For the more adventurous, Jurassic Kayak Tours offer arguably one of the best ways to see the natural beauty of Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door. Spend an unforgettable day paddling through the crystal clear waters and exploring the fascinating inlets and caves.
2. A truly nostalgic day at the perfectly English seaside town of Weymouth
Donkey rides, sticks of rock, a ride on the carousel, a walk along the promenade, fish and chips, Punch and Judy shows on the beach. An absolutely perfect day at the seaside. A beautiful town loved by King George III, who famously spent his holidays here.
3. Monkey World, Ape Rescue Centre
An absolute must! If this doesn’t melt your heart then nothing will. These monkeys are rescued from all around the world and brought back to monkey world, given so much space and love and go on to lead happy lives. You can even adopt a primate through the primate adoption scheme, which includes free admission to the park for a year, as well as a photo of your chosen primate!
4. Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park and Jurassic Skyline
From sharks and sea turtles to crabs and octopus, Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park is an underground sea world with attractions, rides and over 1000 incredible creatures.
The Jurassic Skyline is a viewing capsule, 53m above ground with panoramic views across the Jurassic Coastline and Dorset countryside.
5. The Dinosaur Museum in Dorchester
What child, or adult is not fascinated by the history of dinosaurs? The Dinosaur Museum is one of those places where you take your children but really you just want to go yourself! You will find life-sized reconstructions of dinosaurs, with fossils and dinosaur skeletons all collected from the Jurassic Coastline.
6. The Lyme Regis Treasure Hunt
Beginning at the Tourist Information Centre, this walk takes you along the seafront to The Cobb, through beautiful gardens and then through the mill and back to where you started. 1.6 miles long and taking around 2 hours to complete, this treasure hunt is great for kids to learn about the local area by answering clues on local landmarks but is made extra special with the knowledge that smugglers are famously reported to have buried actual treasure around the area!
7. Sherborne Castle
Take the kids to Sherborne Castle and soak up over 400 years of English history. They will love the suits of armour as they walk freely through the castle and when they are full to the brim with history, they can head outside to the toy barn and have a race around the go-kart track. A visit to the castle and gardens is £11 for adults and free for children up to 15.
8. Kingston Maurward Gardens and Animal Park
Grade II listed gardens are set around a large Georgian English Country House. A beautiful place with lots of room for the kids to play while you picnic in the gardens. The animal park is home to so many cute animals including piglets, miniature Shetland ponies and giant rabbits.
9. Bridport and West Bay
This is such a pretty and bustling town and there is plenty to do to fill your day and entertain yourselves and your children. Walk around the street market (held every Wednesday and Saturday) and eat lovely food from the stalls. A visit to the free museum is good and certain older children will love to see the original hangman’s noose. Maybe not all children! There is a fun nine-hole pitch and putt course at the Bridport Golf Club or at West Bay you can take a fishing trip. All rounded off with fish and chips and ice-cream.
10. Fossil hunting at Kimmeridge Bay
A little piece of paradise! There is a car park on the cliff and walking down from there to the bay is simply breath taking. The rocks at Kimmeridge bay were once the bottom of deep tropical sea rich in pre-historic life. They formed in the Jurassic period more than 155 million years ago. You will find all sorts of fossils along the sea edge or you can safely snorkel in the bay on a hot day.
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