coastal holidays UK

Coastal Holidays in Dorset

With its stunning countryside and dramatic coastline, Dorset is the place to be when it comes to fantastic family holidays.

Dorset offers brilliant family fun, no matter what time of year you visit. With 200 million years of history, it’s no wonder why people flock here for their holidays.

There is just so much to see and do, and if you love the great outdoors you’ll think you’re in heaven here, in Dorset the fun never ends.

Dorset really is great if you want to explore the beautiful countryside that is all around this very special place, or discover the stunning scenery of its coast.

The breathtaking Jurassic coast is England’s first natural world heritage site and stretches about 95 miles, from East Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset. The Jurassic coast is one of the wonders of the natural world, with outstanding geology and 185 million years of history.

Here you can enjoy spectacular views and a range of activities to enjoy. Dorset’s coastline is world famous for fossil hunting (great fun for all). The beaches around Charmouth and Lyme Regis are the best ones for discovering fossils.

You will discover ammonites, belemnites and bones from ichthyosaurs are often recovered. Just recently a 2.4m sea monsters skull was found and dated back 150 million years. Go on a guided fossil hunt and walk from the Charmouth heritage coast centre, or you can also see them in The Lyme Regis museum (if fossil hunting really isn’t your thing). If you travel east from Lulworth cove you will discover the ancient fossil forest, where you can see dinosaur footprints and trackways.

You must also visit Dorset county museum which is full information.

There are many fantastic beaches in Dorset, great fun for all the family with many sea side resorts offering all the amusements and attractions you would expect to see from a good resort. Why not sit back and relax on a golden sandy beach, build sandcastles in the sun, or take a gentle stroll and have a little paddle in the warm sea?

You must visit Chesil beach, which has 17 miles of pebbles and shingle, a fantastic place to visit, Chesil beach and the fleet lagoon behind it is an extremely beautiful place and here you will see wildlife thrive. Situated at the end of Chesil beach you will see the “Isle” of Portland, which boasts fantastic views of Weymouth and beyond, here you will also see the Portland Bill lighthouse. Other great places to see include Weymouth beach, The Weymouth and Portland national sailing academy and the tank museum.

Another must see in Dorset is Stair Hole which is the perfect horseshoe shaped Lulworth Cove, and the stunning arch that is Durdle door.

Why not rest you legs for a while and take a ride on the Jurassic coast bus? Or you could take a boat trip out from most harbours, just sit back and enjoy the ride, as you take in all that Dorset has to offer.

If you’re planning on taking your pooch on holiday with you then don’t worry because dogs are allowed on the beaches. If you want to stay along the Jurassic Coast there are many places for you to stay, you will be spoilt for choice.

If it’s beaches you want then look no further than Dorset, here there are many stunning beaches to choose from including, Weymouth, Greenhill, Bowleaze, Ringstead beach, Hive beach, West Bay, Charmouth, Lyme Regis, Swanage, Christchurch, Durdle Door, Man o war bay, Bournemouth and Poole.

Christchurch is a lovely place to see and is very close to the New Forest national park, Swanage and Purbeck is where coast meets country, Weymouth is a beautiful place with a fantastic beach with golden sand, Poole with its own natural harbour is definitely a must for all of you who love water sports and sailing and is home to the world famous Sandbanks beach.

Bournemouth is Dorset’s largest resort and has 7 miles of glorious sandy beaches, with bars, bistros, cafes, restaurants, fantastic shops and quality accommodation.

Whatever type of accommodation you need Dorset has them all, so if it’s a luxury hotel you’re looking for, Dorset will not let you down, B and Bs are also extremely popular here and there are many to choose from, there is also a great range of holiday parks if you’re taking the whole family and maybe even the family pooch, or if you want to go self catering there is a wide range of self catering cottages that you can hire for a few days or a few weeks.

Step away from the coast and you will discover rural Dorset with its miles of rolling countryside, with many charming villages and market towns.

Most of Dorset’s countryside is protected and has been designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty and is home to many species of wildlife, in rural Dorset you will discover downlands, tranquil river valleys, water meadows, heathlands and woodlands.

Many musicians, writers, film makers and artists have all been inspired by the beauty of Dorset.

Many TV shows have been filmed in Dorset because of its rolling countryside and dramatic coastline, along with its spectacular historic houses and gardens, including Nanny Mc Phee, Mansfield Park and Emma, just to name a  few.

If your legs get too tired then just hop onto a steam train and admire the stunning countryside all around you. There are many lovely towns in Dorset each packed with their own charm and character including, Blandford Forum, Bridport, Christchurch, Dorchester, Lyme Regis, Portland, Purbeck, Shaftesbury and Gillingham, Sherborne, Sturminster, Swanage, Wareham, Weymouth and Wimborne Minster, all well worth a visit as you make your way through rural Dorset.

If you love walking you must follow the Sika trail that runs through Wareham forest.

If you love wildlife then you must visit these fascinating places, The Moors valley Country Park, the protected heathlands in Purbeck, the ancient Kingcombe meadows, the RSBP nature reserve in Weymouth and Durlston Country Park.

If you love stately homes and gardens you have got to see, Lulworth castle and park and Kingston Lacy house and gardens, Mapperton house and gardens, Sherborne castle, Forde abbey and gardens, Kingston mourward gardens and Animal Park, Bennetts water gardens and many more.

The castles in Dorset are stunning and are well worth visiting, and they include, Corfe castle, Portland castle and Highcliffe castle.

Minterne Gardens is a beautiful place to see and has lovely, peaceful wooded gardens with waterfalls and lakes, perfect for the entire family.

Other great places to see in Dorset include museums, art galleries, theatres, ancient sites, Weymouth Sea Life Park and marine sanctuary, monkey world, Swanage railway, Honeybrook Farm, Adventure Wonderland and so many more.

If you love your outdoor activities, then Dorset is an absolute must for you, there is just so much to do, whether on the coast or in the country, just watch that you don’t tire yourself out with all the excitement.

Dorset is a walker’s paradise and there are miles and miles of footpaths and bridleways all over this stunning place, whether you like walking short distances, middle distances or long distances, Dorset caters for all abilities.

The South West Coast Path (Dorset section) starts in Lyme Regis and continues on to Poole Harbour which is about 138km in distance, with stunning views to be enjoyed as you walk along, there really is no place more beautiful.

You can also discover many of Dorset’s coastal landmarks including, Golden Cap which is the highest point along the South Coast and Chesil beach which stretches from West Bay to Portland.

You can also walk the Purbeck Way, a really beautiful walk with breathtaking views.

The Railway walk which stretches from Weymouth to Portland is a 6 mile walk and takes the route of all the disused railways, this walk was featured on BBCs “Railway Walks with Julia Bradbury.”

If you would rather go on a guided walk then that’s fine there are many in Dorset to choose from whether you prefer country, coastal, towns, villages, wildlife, history and many more, Dorset has a walk for everyone.

If you want some accommodation as you walk along Dorset, there are many to choose from, which are part of the Walkers welcome scheme, with everything you could possibly want after a long walk (perfect)

Cycling is another great way to explore what Dorset has to offer, with many off road tracks and long distance routes if you want something more challenging.

If golf is your game, there are many beautiful courses for you to choose from along with crazy golf and pitch and putt (both great family fun)

Horse riding is very popular also and no matter what your ability Dorset caters for all.

If extreme sports are your thing, Dorset will please, here you can go, quad biking, paintballing, abseiling, rock climbing, clay pigeon shooting, zorbing, where you roll down a hill in a giant inflatable ball (um, I think I’ll give that one a miss) great for all you adrenaline junkies though!

If you want to give fishing a go, but aren’t that experienced you can take a boat out around the bay and fish for mackerel with an experienced fisherman (great fun for all the family), or if you know your stuff you can go coarse fishing and deep sea fishing, whilst meeting and greeting the local fishermen.

There are many well stocked lakes and reservoirs if you just want to sit and relax while you fish.

Rock pooling is great fun for kids (and adults), there are many places you can go rock pooling in Dorset.

Watersports have got to be one of the top reasons why people visit Dorset here you can go surfing, kitesurfing, powerkiting, sailing, windsurfing, diving and many, many more (If that lot wasn’t quite enough for you)

Dorset has the most delicious and finest food around, with freshly caught fish and organic blue cheeses, to make your mouth water, Dorset’s food is sure to delight.

You must try the specialist breads, local ales, handmade chocolates and the local icecream that is home in Dorset (superb)

With many pubs offering hearty meals along with luxury restaurants, cafes, tearooms, bars and bistros there is something for all tastes here.

You must try Dorset’s cream teas made with fresh homemade scones, farmhouse clotted cream and local jam (is your mouth watering yet?)

Dorset is one of those places you have to see with your very own eyes, before you can even begin to believe how stunning this special place is, but once you have discovered Dorset, this beautiful place will always hold a special place in your heart.

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