Fun facts on Dorset
- Dorset is famous for its stunning coastline, which is often termed as the Jurassic Coast
- Dorset boasts many rolling hills, breathtaking countryside, quaint villages and sandy beaches and the Jurassic coastline
- Charles 2nd escaped to France in the 17th Century
- Corfe Castle was ruined in the Civil War (17th Century)
- Abbotsbury Swannery was part of a Benedictine Monastry built in the
- 1040s and the monks farmed the swans to produce food – the Swannery is also the only place in the world where you are able to walk through the heart of a colony of nesting Mute Swans.
- The Bouncing Bomb designed by Barnes Wallis was tested on the Fleet in the Second World War (1942).
- Dorset has several Iron Age Hill Forts (Hayley mentioned Maiden Castle – others include Badbury Rings, Hambledon Hill, Egardon Hill
Places to see in Dorset
New Barn Road, Abbotsbury, Nr Weymouth, Dorset DT3 4JG
Adventure Wonderland near Christchurch
So if you’re a would-be Pirate, an intrepid Explorer, a Mad Hatter or just a plain old fashioned Fun Lover, then you and your family have got a real treat in store!
Merritown Lane, Hurn, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 6BA
Boat trip to Brownsea Island to see the red squirrels
Brownsea Island offers a varied and beautiful landscape for enjoying the wonders of nature; from the patchworks of woodland, heath and grassy fields in the peaceful and secluded interior, to the cliffs and beaches of the coastline, which offer breathtaking views across the harbour to the Purbeck Hills.
Brownsea, home to BBC’s Autumnwatch in 2008, is described by Bill Oddie ‘as the best place for seeing wildlife in Dorset.’ The island is home to a thriving population of the scarce and threatened red squirrel and offers winter shelter to a quarter of the UK’s winter population of avocets; a black and white bird with a long, curved beak.
Brownsea Island, Poole Harbour, Dorset BH13 7EE
Guarded the route through the Purbeck Hills, the dramatic ruins stand on a natural hill. The first castle was built of wood and later rebuilt in stone by William the Conquerer.
The Square, Corfe, Wareham, BH20 5EZ
Corfe Castle Model Village
- Giant Games for all the family
- Croquet lawn
- Village punishment area for scoundrels, with working stocks and pillories
- Fossil corner
- Enchanted fairy garden
- Wildlife garden with hide and bird feeding station
- The Potting shed miniature museum and information centre
- Life size civil war soldiers, guarding our castle
- Terrace for refreshments with sweeping views of the surrounding hills and castle.
The Square, Corfe Castle Dorset BH20 5EZ
The only museum on mainland Britain dedicated to dinosaurs, the award-winning Dinosaur Museum is a treat, especially for children. The museum combines life-sized reconstructions of dinosaurs with fossils and skeletons to create an exciting hands-on experience. Multimedia displays tell the story of the giant prehistoric animals and their enthralling world millions of years ago. Life-size dinosaur reconstructions – including Tyrannosaurus rex, Stegosaurus and Triceratops – beg to be touched by by little hands – that´s encouraged.
Icen Way, Dorchester, DT1 1EW
Durlston Country Park
Durlston Country Park, Lighthouse Road, Swanage, Dorset, BH19 2JL
An award winning and great value day for children 8 years & under. There’s “hands-on” animal events every half hour, outdoor play, indoor soft play areas, delicious traditional meals & great attention to detail making it a must-visit as your children will have a fun day out whatever the weather!
Wareham Road, Organford, Poole Dorset BH16 6EU
Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre
A great day out for all the family, Monkey World near Wareham in Dorset is internationally acclaimed for its rescue work and home to over 160 rescued or endangered apes and monkeys. Monkey World adds to the fun with children´s adventure play area, woodland walk, keepers talks, cafes,
Wool, Wareham, BH20 6HH
Moors Valley Country Park near Wimborne
whether you want to enjoy a peaceful walk or cycle ride through the Forest, experience a ride on an authentic narrow-gauge steam train or even go on a high wire adventure swinging through the tree tops…
Horton Road, Ashley Heath, Nr Ringwood, Dorset, BH24 2ET
Putlake Adventure Farm
• Large indoor heated soft play zone
• Outdoor play area
• Bottle feeding lambs and goats
• Tractor trailer rides
• Many rare breeds of animals
Putlake Farm, Langton Matravers, Swanage, Dorset, BH19 3EU
Sea Life Centre (Weymouth)
Unique amongst Seal Life centres, in that its numerous marine life exhibitions are housed – not under one roof – but in separate pods within a landscape that also hosts a number of other outdoor features. The latter includes otter and seal sanctuaries, and the Park’s resident colony of Humboldt penguins. Indoor displays include the Tropical Shark Nursery, teeming with black-tip, bonnet head and other species of sharks; the spectacular Turtle Sanctuary with its walkthrough underwater tunnel; and one of the first National Seahorse Breeding and Conservation Centres.
Lodmoor Country Park, Weymouth, DT4 7SX
Sika trail in Wareham Forest
A standard gauge preserved steam railway. It currently operates on the six miles of track between Swanage and Norden, through the beautiful Isle of Purbeck, passing the magnificent ruins of Corfe Castle.
Station House, Swanage, BH19 1HB