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Top 10 Things to do in Dorset

Whatever the weather, Dorset is a beautiful county all year round. With rolling hills and top rated beaches, Dorset makes for an unforgettable getaway for the whole family. Get the most out of your holiday in Dorset by visiting the best Dorset has to offer. We’ve included lots of things to do with the kids or as a couple; what you can be sure of is making many
memories with your loved ones.


Located right on Bournemouth seafront, the Oceanarium offers many aquatic creatures for the whole family to discover, including the Blacktip Reef Shark, Clownfish, Lion Fish, Turtles, Crocodiles, Otters and a brand new penguin enclosure. This can be a great way to spend a day with the family, and as it’s right next to Bournemouth beach it’s an excellent opportunity to grab some sunshine, splash about in the sea and challenge the family to a grand sandcastle competition.


Moors Valley Country Park is great for all the family, with deep woodland, perfect for a stroll or cycle through the forest. The forest features a play trail for the children to enjoy, so you can explore the ‘giant ants’ nest’, run through ‘crocodiles crossing’, and explore the fallen forest of ‘timber’. There’s also a Go Ape activity course so you can climb high into the treetops! The trail is a mile long and there’s plenty of picnic benches if you want a break halfway through, making for a thrilling afternoon. Best of all, entry to the park is free all year round.


Lulworth Cove was formed around 10,000 years ago by the sea waves eroding the shore and leaving a cove that’s still one of Dorset’s top attractions to date! You can find Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door in Lulworth Estate in the South of Dorset. Durdle Door is a completely natural limestone arch formed 140 million years ago by waves eroding a hole in the middle.

Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door stand as two of Dorset’s most photographed landmarks, which isn’t surprising due to their beauty. Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door are both free to see and dogs are always welcome as they’ll love the hike and the large fields!

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Adventure Wonderland is a family theme park full of rides and attractions aimed at families with young children. Much of the character of the theme park takes inspiration from the novel Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Throughout the day there are appearances and theatre shows from Alice, Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, and Mr Rabbit. The park also hosts special character days for events like Halloween and Christmas. When visiting Adventure Wonderland make sure you check out the huge hedge maze. Made up of 5,200 bushes and is the third largest maze in the UK!


With approximately 180,000 visitors a year, Splashdown Water Park is a seriously popular attraction to experience for the day and is indoors so is perfect all year round. Splashdown has 8 indoor water slides which operate all year round and 5 outside rides which operate only in the summer season. There is also a wet play area and small training pool for youngsters.

With more flumes than anyone in the South West, you and your family are in for a great day - and not to worry if you’re not confident in water, many of the rides are shallow and there are even some relaxing, slower rides too.


Farmer Palmers is excellent for the little ones on your trip to Dorset. A fun park with indoor and outdoor play areas, farm animals and woodland trails too. The animals at Farmer Palmers are very used to their little visitors every day and very calm around children. They have a donkey, guinea pigs, goats, alpacas, chickens and ducks, deer, cows, sheep, lambs, ponies, and pigs. Many of which you can pet, and feed. Truly an experience your little one won’t forget!


Brownsea Island is a small isle just a short boat trip out from Poole Harbour. Renowned for the red squirrels that have inhabited the land, you can hop on a boat and explore the island, with plenty of squirrels, deer and birds to spot! Being only a mile long and just under a mile wide it’s a nice easy walk for the family to enjoy on their day out. Spend a day enjoying nature at its finest on Brownsea Island.


Old Harry Rocks is a chalk formation on the coast of Swanage, but the name really refers to the single stack of chalk standing furthest out to the sea. Until 1896 there was another stack known as Old Harry’s Wife, but due to erosion she tumbled into the sea - leaving just a stump. This is an excellent spot for breath-taking views across Bournemouth Bay. From the clifftop you can see all the way from Swanage and Wareham to Bournemouth. A beautiful circular walk that the dog and the little ones can enjoy.


The New Forest is a very special place that everyone must experience while in Dorset. There are tonnes of activities suitable for the whole family like great cycle paths, Go Ape, horse riding, archery and even more.

It’s also extremely rich in history and can be quite an interesting educational spot to spend the day. Did you know Alice Liddell, Lewis Carroll’s inspiration for Alice In Wonderland, is buried in the churchyard in Lyndhurst? The New Forest is also home to Burley, a spooky village renowned for witchcraft and ghosts! For hundreds of years The New Forest has been a go-to spot for many famous names, like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (the creator and author of Sherlock Holmes). The most famous nurse in history, Florence Nightingale, lived in Embley Park from 1825 to 1910.

To top it all off this outstanding location in Dorset is rich in nature and wildlife. It’s a spot that families and dogs love to roam around and with so many animals to find you’ll have a great day!


Paultons Park is the home of Peppa Pig world, located just over the Dorset border. This theme park has 70 rides and attractions to guarantee a fun day out for the whole family. There is a separate area in the theme park called the Lost Kingdom which has 27 animatronic dinosaurs to let you grab a few great family photos, so you can remember your day a Paultons Park for years.

If your little one is a fan of Peppa Pig this is definitely the place to go to blow their minds. You’ll be able to meet Peppa Pig herself and all her friends, and of course take plenty of pictures to remember your special day out!


Dorset is a beautiful area for a holiday. Easy to get to and the perfect blend of countryside and coastlines, it makes for  a memorable holiday. Our Dorset Holiday Park, Hoburne Park, is close to Avon Beach and the market town of Christchurch, as well as the New Forest and all of our top 10 places!

Whether you’re looking for a few quiet nights for two with the added luxury of a hot tub, or an adventure-filled family holiday, Hoburne has something for you – it’s no wonder our guests come back time and time again! Our self catering holidays are highly rated, for families, couples and dog friendly too. Book your Dorset holiday today!

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