Set in its own microclimate in a woodland valley, the dreamy Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens flourish with rare and exotic plants from all over the world, including eucalyptus and banana plants. Bring your dog along on a lead and admire blissful views of the Jurassic Coast from the top of Magnolia Avenue and ramble along palm tree-lined pathways.
Get ready for a food-fuelled weekend in September in the charming seaside town of Lyme Regis. Cooked up by celebrity chef and Lyme Regis native, the two-day festival celebrates food producers from the South West and also features seafood supper clubs hosted by Hix and demos and masterclasses by foodie experts.
Please note that Food Rocks has been postponed until 2022.
For true Instagram perfection, head for Shaftesbury’s Gold Hill (AKA Hovis Hill) which is picture-perfect in any season but takes on a golden hue in the summer sun. Head along the Park Walk for views over the 12th-century market town and across Dorset’s Blackmore Vale.
With a mix of habitats including woodland, heathland, lagoon and seaside, Brownsea Island, in the middle of Poole Harbour, is an ideal setting for wildlife like the red squirrel, sika deer, peacocks along with common lizards, dragonflies and butterflies in the summer months.
Stay in one of 15 stylish beach lodges lining the waterfront on Bournemouth beach. Sleeping up to five adults (or two adults and two children), the pretty cottages have direct access to one of Britain’s best beaches, and they’re pet-friendly too.
The ruins of Corfe Castle on the Isle of Purbeck are thought to have been inspiration for Enid Blyton's Five on a Treasure Island. Visit the dramatic ruins of Corfe Castle – renamed Kirin Castle for Blyton’s series – and, from there, hop on the steam train to the super cute coastal town of Swanage.
Drop your bags off at this chic hotel in Burton Bradstock overlooking the glorious Lyme Bay. Here, you can dine on an abundant of local fare, including Bridport smoked kippers and organic bacon for breakfast, or a crab sandwich wrapped in greaseproof paper if you’d rather make a beeline for the beach.
For a meal with a lovely view of the deep blue, head to Rick Stein’s restaurant in Sandbanks, near Poole. Feast on local seafood while looking out over the marina and towards Brownsea Island in the distance.
One of the most impressive sights along the UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coast, the huge natural stone arch called Durdle Door is definitely bucket list material. A walk or swim there can take in other lovely spots such as Lulworth Cove and Man of War Beach.