Make the most of September (when the weather is often at its best!) with our shortlist of top Dorset Coast picnic spots before the short days and cooler weather take hold. Be sure to pack some spare tupperware because the blackberries are out in force!
Who wouldn’t love to enjoy a picnic with the backdrop of one of Dorset’s most famous historic sites? At Corfe Castle, wherever you choose to throw down your blanket you can soak up over 700 years of history (as well as being a Royal Palace for 600 years, the ruined castle was also the inspiration for Enid Blyton’s Kirren Castle in the Famous Five) and breathtaking views. Full visitor information is provided by The National Trust.
One of our absolute favourites, Moreton is both picturesque and steeped in history. The pretty village is best known for being the final resting place of T.E. Lawrence (better known as Lawrence of Arabia) and St. Nicholas Church with its beautiful glass engraved windows is a must see. The ford, with its shallow river, bridge and little islands, is ideal for children and an absolute gem of a location for picnics, dog walks and general relaxing. There is a pub and a highly rated tearooms in the village for refreshments. Download The Lawrence of Arabia Trail map for more information including directions.
Cerne Abbas Giant
You can ogle the giant from a distance, but the area around the Cerne Abbas Giant is best explored on a walk followed by a picnic lunch or afternoon tea. Standing at 180ft tall, this is Britain’s largest chalk hill figure. It is also our most controversial and there are numerous theories as to when and why the giant was created. The Surrounding countryside is notable for its butterflies and beautiful views and there is an extensive range of public footpaths and bridleways throughout the village with walks to suit every taste. The circular walk is well signposted but the Cerne Valley Leaflet provides some history of the trail, wildlife information and a map of the route. Directions and visitor information is provided by The National Trust.
The Golden Cap Estate, made up of rolling hills, pastoral fields, ancient hedgerows and dramatic coastline, is a top spot for blackberrying, walking and picnics. Stonebarrow Hill is a great starting point for the surrounding 25 miles of footpaths. Park at the top of the lane in the designated car park where an old radar station houses a National Trust information point, shop, toilets and a basecamp. If you feel like treating yourself why not try a bespoke luxury picnic hamper from Home-Cooked Hampers. All their produce is fresh from local Dorset producers, and can be delivered in beautiful packaging direct to your cottage before you set out.
Lyme Regis Area
Lyme Regis Beaches
Although the beaches in the East of the county are the most popular, the picturesque setting and famous Cobb of Lyme Regis make it one of our favourite spots to enjoy a day out and a picnic lunch. The sandy beach on one side of the historic cobb is perfect for families with beautifully clear water, easy swimming and rock pools while the stony Monmouth beach on the other side is a good spot for fossil hunting. Both beaches have beach huts for hire, toilets, refreshments and a large car park in between. Lyme Regis itself is a classic old-fashioned seaside town with narrow winding streets and immense character.There is a wide selection of shops, pubs as well as a cinema and theatre.