Visiting Dorset in the Winter months will provide you with deserted beaches with only the sound of waves and cries of the seagulls to disturb the beautiful scenery. It is an ideal time to head for the coast and recharge your batteries. Many attractions stay open throughout the year for all the family be it leisure centres who offer sports facilities and swimming pools; nature reserves and other sites of outstanding natural beauty waiting to be explored. Many beaches now have full dog access – at this time of year.
There are many hill forts in Dorset including Maiden Castle – situated 2 miles south of Dorchester. It is among the largest and most complex of Iron Age hill forts in Europe, Maiden Castle’s huge multiple ramparts; once protected several hundred residents. There are information panels which will guide you around the fort’s 4000 year history.
As the roads are quieter during winter it is easier to get around and a visit to Cerne Abbas to see a huge chalk figure of a man carved into the chalk of the hillside. Officially known as the Cerne Giant but nicknamed “the rude man of Cerne” the figure is believed locally to be an ancient fertility symbol!
A trip to West Dorset – visit the Jurassic Coast and scenes that have been made familiar by Broadchurch – a walk along Chesil Beach where the pebbles near West Bay are smaller than those at the Portland end of the beach – this bit of local knowledge assisted smugglers to know where they were when they came ashore in the dead of night with their contraband!
Now for a family day out why not take a visit to Durlston Country Park which is located just one mile from Swanage where the whole family can have a great day out. At Durlston Castle there are many interactive displays, live wildlife cameras, a fossil room, and family-friendly exhibitions. Outside there are over 280 acres of countryside, which is full of exciting wildlife and lovely walks to Anvil Point Lighthouse.
For those of you who want to explore deeper you can hire a Family Explorer Rucksack from the castle – these are jam-packed with fun activities for all the family, along the Woodland Trail.