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Discover Family-Friendly Fun In Dorset

Families come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing that binds them together is the desire to have fun. Here in Dorset, there are plenty of great attractions to explore with your family – from days out on the beach to hot air ballooning.

In this article, we’ll give you plenty of ideas for family-friendly fun in Dorset. From thrilling rides to hands-on experiences, there’s something for everyone!

So let’s get started and find out which attractions will make your next family vacation extra special.

Beaches And Coastal Activities

Dorset is a beautiful county with many stunning beaches and coastal activities that are perfect for family bonding.

From the dramatic Jurassic Coast and golden sandy shores of Bournemouth to the picturesque coves of Purbeck, there’s something for everyone when it comes to enjoying time together by the sea.

If you’re looking for fun in the sun, why not try beachcombing? Whether it’s searching for shells or making sandcastles on Weymouth Beach, your kids will be sure to have an unforgettable experience.

If you fancy exploring further afield, take a boat trip from Poole Harbour – here you may spot whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals!

Take to the water in a kayak or, for something more thrill-inducing you can jet-ski around the iconic Durdle Door (children from 10+ are permitted as passengers)!

Or get up close to nature at Durlston Country Park; explore its cliff-top trails which offer spectacular views over Swanage Bay.

From the historic Lyme Regis to charming Highcliffe, Dorset’s 142-km (88-mile) coastline is brimming with coastal activities that will delight the whole family!

Outdoor Adventures

Delve into the heart of Dorset’s adventure with a mix of family-friendly outdoor activities that cater to thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts alike. Here are just a few examples to spark your imagination:

Get behind the wheel on superb race tracks with a go-kart driving experience, suitable for teens (14+) and adults. Then, trade wheels for hooves and explore the undulating countryside on horseback, an idyllic pastime that both beginners and seasoned riders can enjoy.

Challenge your limits with a climbing excursion at the renowned Cheddar Gorge. The limestone cliffs present an exciting climbing environment for novices and experts, with the opportunity to abseil into the heart of Dorset’s natural beauty.

Trade solid ground for a breathtaking hot air balloon ride, from where you can behold the English countryside in all its panoramic glory. Depending on the provider, children aged 7+ accompanied by an adult are allowed!

Put on your hiking boots and venture out on countryside walks that span coastal, cliff, hill, and woodland paths. Or, cycle through serene routes to discover Dorset’s beauty as a family at your own pace.

Find tranquility by the water with a fishing expedition. Whether casting into the sea from a luxury yacht or angling on the shore of a quiet lakeside or meandering river, your day can be as exhilarating or peaceful as you wish.

Dorset’s outdoor canvas offers a variety of adventures that turn a family vacation into a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences!

Museums And Historic Houses

Dorset is home to a number of fascinating museums and historic houses, offering plenty of family-friendly attractions to explore. Here are just a few great examples:

Dinosaurland Fossil Museum in Lyme Regis is a great place to learn about dinosaurs and the Jurassic Coast. There are interactive exhibits, a vast collection of fossil finds, and even guided fossil hunts.

Dorset Museum in Dorchester is a great place to learn about the history of Dorset – and all children under the age of 17 now get free entry! There are exhibits on everything from dinosaurs to the Roman occupation. There is also a children’s gallery with interactive exhibits.

The Museum of Somerset in Taunton is the ideal place to learn about the county’s history, with artefacts ranging from ancient Roman coins to medieval pottery. Its interactive displays are an exciting way for children and adults alike to uncover Dorset’s past.

Montacute House in Somerset is another great option for families with children. This Elizabethan manor house is considered one of the finest examples of its kind in England. The house is full of beautiful rooms and hallways, and there are fun activities for the whole family including games on the lawn, longbow archery and wood crafting workshops.

Red House Museum and Gardens in Christchurch is a beautiful arts and crafts house with stunning gardens. There are interactive exhibits for kids, as well as a chance to explore the house and gardens. Plus, it’s free to visit!

Each venue has its own unique character, making each must-visit destinations on any trip around this scenic region.

With so much variety available there really is something for everyone when it comes to family bonding activities in Dorset!

Theme Parks And Zoos

Continuing our exploration of family-friendly fun in Dorset, let’s turn to the thrills and spills of just a few theme parks and zoos in the vicinity:

For rollercoaster enthusiasts, there’s Adventure Wonderland – a park full of rides for all ages, from gentle carousels to high-speed flumes. With plenty of animal experiences too, visitors can meet meerkats, otters and even lemurs!

Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park is an aquarium with over 1,000 animals from the sea. There are a number of different exhibits, including a shark tank, a turtle tank, and a penguin pool. There are also a number of interactive exhibits, and the aquarium offers a variety of educational programs.

Dorset Adventure Park is a water park with inflatables floating on two lakes. It also has an obstacle course, a climbing wall, and a zip line. The park is open from April to October.

Meanwhile, Monkey World is not actually a zoo – it’s a sanctuary that specialises in the rescue and rehabilitation of primates. It’s home to over 1,400 monkeys, apes, and lemurs. There are also a number of educational exhibits, and the zoo offers a variety of conservation programs.

The spectacular Longleat Safari Park is not far away, in neighbouring county Wiltshire. Here you can see wild animals roaming free around their enclosures. From zebras and giraffes to lions and tigers – there’s lots of fun to be had spotting the big cats on safari drives or seeing cheeky monkeys at play in Monkey Temple!

So why not take your family down to Dorset this summer? There are so many exciting things awaiting discovery – it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Any Family-Friendly Attractions That Are Free Or Low Cost?

Absolutely! There’s plenty to do in Dorset without having to break the bank. From exploring historic sites such the many ancient castles in the area to picnicking in boundless natural beauty spots, there’s something for everyone – no matter what your budget!

Many fabulous attractions and events offer free entry to children under the age of 12, and in some cases even teens and adults go free.

With so many options available, it won’t be difficult to find an activity suitable for the whole family.

Are There Any Attractions That Are Suitable For Children Of All Ages?

When it comes to family-friendly attractions, you want to make sure that there’s something suitable for all ages.

Fortunately, in Dorset, there are plenty of options which cater to children of any age – whether they’re toddlers or teenagers!

From interactive museums and art galleries to outdoor activities like cycling and horse riding, families will be spoilt for choice when visiting the county.

Are There Any Attractions That Are Accessible For Wheelchair Users?

Dorset boasts several attractions noted for their accessibility and inclusivity. The following have recently been commended by the prestigious Dorset Tourism Awards for the accessibility they offer:

The 2020 VisitEngland winner for access and inclusivity, Durlston Country Park National Nature Reserve in Swanage, is a beautiful spot to visit.

Meanwhile, the fascinating Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum in Dorchester is a historic building providing an interactive, educational experience.

Families will appreciate Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre near Wareham, a sanctuary for primates with interactive exhibits.

Nature lovers will find tranquility at Moors Valley Country Park and Forest near Ringwood, perfect for a day out.

Tank enthusiasts should visit The Tank Museum, home to the world’s finest collection of tanks, with some quiet mornings and sensory backpacks for children.

This is just a tiny cross section of the many attractions offering accessibility in Dorset! Always remember to check the specific accessibility guide of each location for the most up-to-date information on their facilities.

Are There Any Family-Friendly Attractions That Are Open Year Round?

When it comes to family-friendly attractions in Dorset, there are plenty of options that remain open all year round.

Whether you’re looking for a beachside activity or an indoor activity like a museum visit, there’s something for everyone.

For example, the Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park has activities and exhibits suitable for both adults and children alike throughout the whole year.

The park also features wheelchair access so that everybody can join in on the fun.

Family-Friendly Fun In Dorset: Final Word

It’s clear that Dorset has plenty of family-friendly attractions to choose from, no matter the budget or interest. From water parks and zoos to museums and castles, there is something for everyone in this beautiful county.

With careful planning and research, you’re sure to discover family-friendly fun in Dorset that will bring your family even closer together.

After all, nothing beats precious time spent with loved ones – so why not make the most of it while exploring everything Dorset has to offer?


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