Places to visit in Dorset

Bring the family for a day out and step behind the scenes of a Hollywood movie or bestselling novel in stunning Dorset. You can find your own Jurassic Park on beaches sprinkled with fossils and smuggler's caves or trace Thomas Hardy novels on open heaths and vales. The southwest county's dramatic coastline is an outdoor sculpture gallery with arches, stacks and coves carved by Mother Nature herself, a must-see attraction in Dorset. Casual amblers and serious ramblers alike can trek ridgeways between Bronze Age burial mounds and castle ruins. With so many incredible places to visit in Dorset you’ll leave knowing exactly why this county is incredibly popular for vacations and staycations alike.

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Make friends at Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre

Home to over 250 rescued and endangered primates, this sanctuary lets you get up close and personal with all kinds of monkeys, gorillas and apes.

Location: Wareham, Dorset

 

Have yourself a Famous Five adventure

Follow in the footsteps of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five with some castle capers and a seaside adventure by steam railway.

Location: Corfe Castle, Dorset

 

Visit the world’s best collection of tanks

Heroes big or small can find fun at The Tank Museum.

Location: Wareham, Dorset

 

Take to the slopes in Dorset

The Snowtrax alpine activity centre will transport you to the mountains for the day.

Location: Christchurch, Dorset

 

Enjoy high-wire and two-wheeled adventure in the Moors Valley

Enjoy adrenaline-fuelled activities for all the family in Moors Valley Country Park in the lovely Dorset countryside.

Location: Ashley Heath, Dorset

 

Explore an island of discovery

Explore Portland’s rugged landscape and breathtaking views and discover its history, heritage and natural assets.

Location: Portland, Dorset

 

A botanical treasure trove on the Jurassic Coast

Sniff your way around the award-winning Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, a coastal haven filled with rare and exotic plants from all over the world.

Location: Abbotsbury, Dorset

 

August events: Grab a beach spot for the Bournemouth Air Festival

The world's biggest airshow brings together the thrill of gravity-defying plane displays and an abundance of family entertainment on the ground - all for free!

Location: Bournemouth, Dorset

 

Dive into the deep blue sea at Oceanarium

Bournemouth's Oceanarium is a great indoor attraction that allows you to discover the secrets of the deep.

Location: Bournemouth, Dorset

 

See Dorset from two wheels on a Jurassic Cycle Trail

The Jurassic Coast Cycle Trails are 3 family-friendly routes designed to help you take in the splendors of the Weymouth and Portland coastline.

Location: Weymouth, Dorset

 

Enjoy family fun and meals by the fire at Norburton Hall

Celebrate a special occasion, or just enjoy having the whole family round for dinner on this Dorset estate.

Location: Burton Bradstock, Dorset

 

Take the family pet along on a dog friendly break in Dorset

Thanks to Dorset’s dog friendly places, there’s no need to leave your favourite canine companion at home on a family holiday.

Location: Dorset

 

Travel back through the centuries on a coastal break in Dorset

Explore Dorset’s eclectic range of castles, country houses and forts and journey back in time on a steam train.

Location: Dorset

 

Take a family escape to the golden sands of Weymouth

Dig your toes in the sand, paddle in the waves and make memories with the kids at this spectacular seaside town.

Location: Weymouth, Dorset

 

All the fun of the fair with Dorset’s summer festivals

Dorset entertains the whole family all summer long hosting an array of amazing events and festivals that are unique, nostalgic or just plain fun!

Location: Dorset

 

October events: Be wowed by Abbotsbury's Enchanted Illuminations

Discover an illuminated wonderland and Halloween display between 19 October and 3 November, at one of Dorset’s finest annual events.

Location: Abbotsbury, Dorset

 

December events: Meet Santa on a steam train

Take a trip on Swanage Railway in the run up to Christmas and get the chance to meet Santa. It's fun for all the family and each child gets their own present!

Location: Swanage, Dorset

 

Tour the West Dorset countryside by electric bike

Explore an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) by electric bike in West Dorset.

Location: Morcombelake, Dorset

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