Days out in Dorset: Day trip inspiration

There are so many things to discover during your cottage break in Dorset. From fun days out with the kids to breathtaking walks off the beaten track, and everything in between, you’ll have no trouble filling your days. In fact, with so much choice, you may find it hard to pick exactly what to do!

If you’re looking for a few ideas, we’ve picked some of our favourite days out for everyone to enjoy in Dorset. Which will catch your eye?

Visit Durlston Country Park and National Nature Reserve

Durlston Country Park is a mile south of Swanage, and is made up of 320 acres of glorious countryside. Established by the County Council in the 1970s, it’s been carefully conserved and managed over the years to create a precious and protected environment for the local wildlife. The park has over 250 species of bird, 33 kinds of breeding butterfly and much more; the wonderful combination of geography and geology means that there are several nationally important habitats here. There’s plenty to do during your visit, from guided walks and events to clearly marked walking trails and the recently refurbished Durlston Castle. Find out more on their website.

Durdle Door in Dorset

Durdle Door is one of Dorset’s most iconic landmarks and a must-see during your visit. Located on the Lulworth Estate, it’s a magnificent limestone arch formed by coastal erosion. In fact, the name ‘Durdle’ is from the word ‘Durl’, meaning to pierce, bore or drill. If you want to make a day of it, you can also access the beach via a footpath and steps. It’s a pleasant, dog-friendly pebble beach which is popular with families. There are also several lovely walks in the area, taking in the best views of the spectacular arch and surrounding coastline.

Lulworth Castle open air cinema

Lulworth Castle is a fantastic day out at any time of year. But if you’re after a truly memorable experience, why not pay a visit to one of their open air cinema events, held every summer? During these events, the castle lawn becomes a sea of blankets, picnics and deck chairs as a blockbuster film is screened under the stars. From family favourites to indie classics, there’s something to suit everyone’s taste. Find more information here.

Swanage Coastal Paths

On the edge of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, Swanage is a fantastic place to get out and explore. The area is rich in cultural and geographical history, with stunning white cliffs, ancient historical sites and beautiful scenery, as well as plenty of walking routes for all abilities. Find some great information on the local walking trails here.

Lulworth Cove in Dorset

Lulworth Cove is iconic for its unique landforms, which include Durdle Door, Lulworth Crumple and Stair hole. It’s also well known for its Fossil Forest, where you can see fossilised trees that grew on this very spot millions of years ago. Every year, thousands of people come to enjoy the amazing views of this famous stretch of coastline. You can find something for everyone, from long country walks to mountain biking and even water sports and coasteering. There’s also a good range of facilities, including parking, shops and cafes.

Kayak the Jurassic coast

If you’re the kind of person who enjoys life on the open waves, then a kayak tour could be the perfect way for you to experience Dorset’s wonderful coastline. Under the supervision of a local, fully-qualified guide, you’ll get to see the county’s famous rock formations and cliffs from a completely different perspective. Kayaks are the only craft suitable for entering many of the coast’s caves and arches, including Durdle Door and Stair Hole. You can also experience marine life in its natural habitat, and spend some truly special moments with the people you love. Find out some more information about kayaking with Jurassic Coast Activities here.

Corfe Castle in Dorset

Corfe Castle has been a crucial part of the Purbeck landscape for over a thousand years. It was previously home to royalty, but today it is owned by the National Trust and welcomes visitors from across the world. The castle has seen more than its fair share of action over the centuries, having survived the English Civil war, and the rich history of the building can be found within the secret passageways and carefully maintained features. Corfe Castle is bursting with stories, including exciting tales of treason and treachery. Like many National Trust properties, it has a good range of facilities, including a shop, tearoom and car park. Dogs are also welcome.

Fossil hunt in Lyme Regis

Fossil hunting is a crucial part of a Dorser break, and Lyme Regis is perhaps the best place to give it a try. Sat right on the Jurassic Coast, the town is a popular place for discovering relics dating all the way back to the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.The best way to discover your own fossils is to join a guided walk, held regularly by the Lyme Regis Museum. You can find out more in our Lyme Regis blog.

And this is just the start! Every town and village in Dorset has its own attractions, walks and days out, so you’re bound to find something within easy reach of your holiday cottage. In fact, with so much to do and discover, you’ll almost certainly want to come back again and again!

Book your Dorset holiday cottage today.


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