A large group holiday in the West Country is a good opportunity to spend time discovering Dorset. What you’ll find is a world of plenty, a land that has something for everyone. There’s the spectacular countryside of course, the gently rolling hills, wide open fields and high clifftops where you can walk the South West Coast Path. Go and see the enormous giant carved into the chalk hillside at Cerne Abbas, explore the heaths that are the setting for many of Thomas Hardy’s novels; stop at Higher Brockhampton to see the charming cottage where he was born, then drive on to Dorchester to see his home at Max Gate.  

Dorchester is Dorset’s county town and is great for a day out, with excellent family attractions, among them The Teddy Bear Museum, The Dinosaur Museum, The Terracotta Warriors Museum and the County Museum. See the remains of the Roman Town House and the ancient hill fort at Maiden Castle where the views are incredible. In fact, there’s no shortage of ideas for days out in Dorset – at Abbotsbury Swannery you can watch swans hatching, stroll through the Subtropical Gardens nearby, head over to Corfe Castle to wander the ramparts, catch the chain ferry over to Brownsea Island where you can spot red squirrels, get up close to birds of prey at Dorset Falconry Park. If you take a trip to Weymouth you can spend an afternoon on the beach and learn about the multitude of marine creatures at the Sea Life Centre; further along the coast is Bournemouth with five Blue Flag beaches and  its fascinating Oceanarium.

That’s the other thing about Dorset – the coastline is both diverse and beautiful; go to Portland Bill to see the famous lighthouse, hunt for fossils at Charmouth, see the natural limestone arch at Durdle Door, go mackerel fishing at Lyme Regis. If you prefer a quieter scene you’ll love places like Seatown, Cogden Beach and Burton Bradstock where you can have lunch at Hive Beach Café.

Dorset has peaceful market towns that are a pleasure to browse; Bridport has a very lively street market twice a week, and an eclectic Vintage Quarter, Shaftesbury has its tranquil abbey and Sherborne is well worth a visit to see the abbey known as ‘the cathedral of Dorset’ and Sherborne Castle, where Sir Walter Raleigh once lived. If you’re a shopaholic, Poole will suit you well and whilst you’re there you can soak up the maritime vibe with a leisurely cruise around the bay.

There is so much to see and do in Dorset, for all tastes and all ages; there are adventure trails and activities like Go Ape Moors Valley and The Tunnel Tree Tops, you can go rock climbing, go-karting, kayaking and paddle boarding – you can do it all in Dorset! Wherever you choose to go, allow the time to pootle about the winding lanes and find a cosy country pub to stop off at for hearty homemade food and a taste of the local brew. Take photos, make memories.

All information correct at the time of writing

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