Delightful Dorset

Dorset has all the key ingredients for a fantastic touring break

WHILE OTHER southwest counties shout about their numerous attributes, Dorset quietly sits back and keeps doing what it does best: offering hundreds of great attractions and days out for all.

Bournemouth is Dorset’s largest town and a gem of a seaside destination. With its seven miles of beaches and stunning gardens, it’s worth a day of anybody’s time. After a morning on the sands, head to the Upper, Central and Lower Gardens, which wind their way, along with the River Bourne, for two miles through the town centre. The gardens are a beautiful place to spend a summer’s afternoon, with perfectly manicured lawns and vivid flower beds. The Lower Gardens are home to mini-golf, a bandstand and a helium balloon ride. Yes… from Easter until September, you can take off in the Bournemouth Balloon. Christchurch, the most easterly coastal town in Dorset, is another of Britain’s most beautiful seaside spots. Christchurch Priory Church and Highcliffe Castle supply the heritage interest, while Highcliffe, Avon and Mudeford deliver the beaches – the latter is a particular delight with its cafés and fresh fish shacks. The Jurassic Coast gets more than enough promotion, and Durdle Door arch and beach really is worth a visit. We also love Bennetts Water Gardens – eight acres of Monet-esque waterscapes near Weymouth. Grass paths meander between the pretty lake and ponds where flora and fauna flourish. Take a camera. Finally, Sandworld Sculpture Park features super-sized sand sculptures, and the theme for 2019 is Film & TV.

Make your stay better

May and June 2020

Swan Hatching

Abbotsbury Swannery, New Barn Road, Abbotsbury DT3 4JG

T: 01305 871858

W: abbotsbury-tourism.co.uk

Price: Adult £8.50 Child 5-15 £5.50 Conc £8
(Note: prices may change)

The only place in the world where you can walk through the middle of a nesting mute swan colony without causing offence! Watch rare swan hatchings from mid-May to late-June.


June 2020

Beaminster Festival of Music & Arts

Various venues, Beaminster, Dorset

T: 01308 862943

W: beaminsterfestival.com

Price: Some art events are free

This pretty little town is set amid West Dorset’s rolling hills, and is home to this eclectic arts and music festival. Theatre and literature feature heavily, too, including a number of star performers.


Late-June 2020

Folk on the Quay

Poole Quay, Poole BH15 1HJ

T: 01308 862943

W: folkonthequay.co.uk

Price: Free

Immerse yourself in a day of music and dance on Poole’s photgenic quayside. Music stages, a ceilidh and over 20 Morris dancing groups. Four local pubs: The Jolly Sailor, The Stable, Drift Micro Bar and The Rope & Anchor host life music and excellent food and beer throughout the event.

Places of Interest

  • Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park

    Lodmoor Country Park, Weymouth DT4 7SX
    W visitsealife.com/weymouth
    T 01305 76107
    Price From £11.35 (online saver)

  • Bennetts Water Gardens

    Putton Lane, Chickerell DT3 4AF
    W bennettswatergardens.com
    T 01305 785150
    Price Adult £10, Child 4-16 £4.50 (high season)

  • SandWorld

    Lodmoor Country Park, Weymouth DT4 7SX
    W sandworld.co.uk
    T 07411 387529
    Price Adult £5.75, Child 5-16 £3.75, Conc £4.75 (in advance)