Holidaying in Dorset this year?
If so there are many great things to do and see during your stay. Some are aimed at the older members of the family and others at the younger members – so there is something for everyone!
Moving to Dorset some 12 years ago I have been fortunate enough to take a look at the county as a visitor would. Recently it had me thinking of creating a bucket list of things to do – or what would a visitor want to do?
The biggest struggle is to have a definitive list that is not too long. It seems as soon as you think it is finished then more great things to do appear! Having debated for a while I have created two bucket lists – ‘By the sea’ and ‘Rural’ Dorset! Hopefully, this will make the bucket list more manageable and give choices for the whole family. Following is my by the sea list, you can find the rural Dorset bucket list here.
By the sea bucket list
Visiting the Jurassic Coast is a must do – in fact it’s hard not to do when visiting Dorset as nearly the entire coastline is the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site. A wonderful tick in the box but there is so much more to this part of the world. Here is a taster of some great things to do just to whet your appetite…
1. First off fossil hunting. The best fossil hunting can be found at Charmouth – visit the Heritage Centre for details on fossil walks and what to look for.
2. Check out the pebbles on Chesil Beach. Starting at West Bay, running right along to Fortuneswell, Portland some 18 miles further East. The pebbles start off the size of peas in the West getting as large as a good size baking potato in the East. Please do not remove any of the pebbles – together they afford protection to a great deal of the coastline.
3. Get on the sea and take a fast blast or a leisurely cruise along the coast with Lyme Bay Rib Charters. You will get a totally different perspective of the coastline as well as getting the adrenaline running – you may even be lucky enough to see some dolphins, which is a real treat.
4. Enjoy the best sandcastle sand anywhere. Weymouth Beach has just brilliant sand for sandcastles and sculptures. Try making your own or take a look at the display on the promenade – additional sculptures can be found at Sandworld. Weymouth Beach also has the added benefit of being a wonderful place for enjoying the sea – gently shelving and sandy – perfect for a trip out on a pedalo or sea canoe.
5. Walk to Durdle Door and see the great rock arch. Now is the time you wished you had paid attention in geography/geology lessons at school – your kids will no doubt be asking “how was it made?” Picnic on the beach and amble back. Follow this walk with an ice cream at the beautiful Lulworth Cove.
6. Snorkel in the shallow waters of Kimmeridge Bay – and get into the rock pools for some amazing discoveries. As part of the Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve, this is an opportunity not to be missed. While here take a walk up to Clavell Tower for some spectacular scenery and views across the bay.
7. Stroll along the 4 miles of sandy beach of Studland Bay. The gently shelving beach is just perfect for bathing and offers exceptional views of Old Harry’s Rock and the Isle of Wight. To the rear of the beach is National Nature Reserve – which is a haven for British wildlife including all 6 species of British reptiles. The paths through the dunes allow you to explore and don’t forget to keep a lookout for deer, birds, insects and wild-flowers.
8. Sea fishing – catch and eat your very own supper. Be it fishing from the beach, a one-hour mackerel trip or a longer deep sea adventure, the Jurassic Coast provides you with some great opportunities to catch your own fish supper.
9. Durlston Country Park gives all the family the opportunity to take in some spectacular views, enjoy a wild walk and take in the sights and sounds of the coast and countryside.
10. Finally, for the coast, it has got to be sailing. With Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy being host to the 2012 Olympics, it would be churlish to ignore sailing as an activity well worth taking part in. With many national and international events being held throughout the year there is still the opportunity to get on the water and try for yourself this brilliant sport.