Family Days Out

There are loads of great family days out in Dorset to experience. The county has so much to offer with all different types of fun days out for the family or you and your partner.

If the sun is shining visit some of the wonderful Manor Houses and Gardens in the local area or if the weather isn’t great there is plenty available to do inside like a guided tour of Palmers Brewery or the Teddy Bear Museum.

If you’re wanting to get out on the water there are lots of outdoor adventure companies which we can recommend. Take in the beauty of the Jurassic Coastline from the sea with a trip out on a kayak or stand up paddleboard tour. Or if you have a head for heights experience the thrill of a coasteering expedition.

For younger visitors who are after a memorable family day out in Dorset, head to one of the great local animal park. The cheeky chaps at Monkey World are always a favourite.

Dorset has something for everyone to see and do, if you need any advice our holiday park receptionists will be more than happy to advise and give directions.

Snapper Charters

Based in Weymouth harbour, Snapper Charters run deep sea fishing trips for both beginners and experienced anglers. With a range of trips on offer, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you are looking for a mackerel trip, half day or evening fishing trip with the family, skipper Luke will ensure a brilliant day is had by all. All tackle and bait can be provided and Luke will be on hand to help if you've never done it before. Snapper also offers full day inshore, wrecking and shark fishing trips.

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Aerial view of Old Harry Rocks, Studland.

Old Harry Rocks

Old Harry Rocks in Dorset stand at the tip of a chalk headland between the bays of Studland and Swanage. Chalk is made up of the fossilised remains of single-celled organisms which lived in the sea. Over thousands of years, millions of fossils became compressed to form the rock. As sea levels fell, the chalk became exposed. Old Harry Rocks form a headland as the chalk is more resistant to erosion than the surrounding clays.

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Land & Wave Adventures

Land & Wave is all about amazing adventures in the great outdoors. Fresh air, stunning locations and exciting outdoor activities are the perfect combination for an incredible experience. Try your hand at a variety of activities both Land & Wave including, coasteering, sea kayaking, bushcraft and paddle boarding. Land & Wave is renowned for its excellent instructors, top-notch kit and a passion for the Great Outdoors.

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Jurassic Electric Bikes

The best way to explore the spectacular landscapes of West Dorset is by electric bike and Jurassic Electric Bikes have a selection of guided tours to help you discover this beautiful area. Tours are tailored around the needs of the group and can begin and various locations around the county. Their amazing bikes enable everyone to enjoy this beautiful part of the country with ease.

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Jurassic Coast Activities

Enjoy kayaking and coasteering tours between Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door with Jurassic Coast Activities expert guides. Take in the natural wonders of this dramatic landscape from safe and stable sit on kayaks as you explore the coastline from the sea. This is the perfect adrenaline filled activity if you're looking to try something out of the ordinary during a trip to Dorset!

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Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park

Falmer Palmer's Farm Park offers a fun filled day out for all the family. Children will love the range of activities on offer from go carting and toy tractor driving to getting wet in the splash zone! There are lots of animals to learn about at the park, including guinea pigs, goats and even red deer. With plenty to offer under cover, Falmer Palmers is a great rainy day activity in a safe and welcoming environment.

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Monkey World

Enjoy a fun-filled, fascinating day out for all the family at Monkey World – Ape Rescue Centre in Wareham. The 65-acre park provides sanctuary for over 240 rescued and endangered primates from around the world. You may recognise many of the chimps as stars of the 'Monkey Life' TV show. Children will love seeing the monkeys playing in their enclosures and they can play too in the huge outdoor play area.

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The Tank Museum near Sandyholme Holiday Park

The Tank Museum

Located near Bovington, The Tank Museum is the world's biggest collection of tanks with over 600 vehicles plus incredible true stories. The Museum brings the history of tanks to life and action packed live displays throughout the year provide entertainment for all the family. Children can follow a trail around the museum and there are picnic spots and a play area to unwind after a busy day exploring the exhibitions.

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Portland Bill Lighthouse

Portland Bill Lighthouse guides vessels heading for Portland and Weymouth through the hazardous waters. During a visit to the visitor centre you can engage in a number of interactive displays that give insight into the lighthouses purpose and history. It is also possible to climb the steps to the top of the lighthouse where you can enjoy far reaching views of the Jurassic Coast and over the English Channel.

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Weymouth Sealife Park

Weymouth Sealife Park is a must see when visiting Weymouth! With over 1,000 incredible creatures from sharks and sea turtles to giant spider crabs and octopus, there is something for all ages to enjoy. Kids will love Caribbean Cove, the centres brand new adventure playground, which features a ship climbing frame as well as slides and other obstacles!

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Abbotsbury Swannery

Abbotsbury Swannery is the only place in the world where you are able to walk through the heart of a colony of nesting Mute Swans. Feeding time is a spectacle not to be missed, and with more than 600 hungry mouths to feed visitors are encouraged to help! Children can run around the huge swan maze to their hearts content and will love the swinging nests in the play park. Abbotsbury swannery also boasts excellent scenery and views of the Fleet lagoon and Chesil Beach from its fantastic position on the Jurassic Coast.

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abbotsbury childrens farm

Abbotsbury Children’s Farm

Abbotsbury Children’s Farm is a great place for a young family looking for an action packed day in Dorset! With family fun There are lots of animals for the children to meet, pet and feed including goats, guinea pigs, donkeys and horses. The Tithe Barn offers fun for the little ones regardless of weather, with its soft play area, inflatables and table top games. Outside the fun continues and children can enjoy pony rides, trampolines and even drive toy tractors! Throughout the summer months there are a number of exciting events taking place, including regular owl flying demonstrations and ferret racing. Under 5's go free!

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Abbotsbury Sub-Tropical Gardens

Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, established in 1765, was described by Alan Titchmarsh as "one of the finest Gardens I have ever visited." It has been featured on TV regularly, most recently in Gardeners' World and the Great British Garden Revival series on Tropical Gardens. The garden is famed for its collection of Camellia's and Magnolias and boasts a wide variety of plants from all over the world. During your visit you can take one of the well signposted walks around the gardens, exploring each of the sections in turn. As you wander around this beautiful attraction you can enjoy absolute peace and tranquility in this quiet corner of Dorset.

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Dorchester Teddy Bear Museum

The Dorset Teddy Bear Museum is Dorchester's unmissable family museum. The museum houses a collection of bears from antiques to television family favourites. With bears of all shapes and sizes little ones will love making their way round each of the exhibits, which is set out as a traditional victorian home. The shop has a wide variety of bears to purchase in their on site shop, including vintage limited editions and exclusive designs.

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The Dinosaur Museum

The award winning Dinosaur Museum is the only museum on mainland Britain dedicated to dinosaurs. Take a step back in time and enter a prehistoric world, where you can see dinosaur bones and life sized reconstructions. Little ones will enjoy the interactive displays where they can touch fossils and real teeth if they're brave! There's also a excavation pit, where children can make their own discoveries!

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Tutankhamun Exhibition

The Tutankhamun Exhibition features The Golden Mask of Tutankhamun amongst many other wonderful treasures and is popular with visitors from around the world. The chamber and tomb have been painstakingly recreated to allow you to experience for yourself how Howard Carter felt when he discovered the tomb in 1922.

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Athelhampton House and Gardens

Athelhampton House & Gardens

Athelhampton House and Gardens is a spectacular 15th century manor house and grounds 5 miles east of the Dorset town of Dorchester. The house is adorned with opulent furnishings and contains The West Wing Gallery, which showcases artwork by Marevna. Outside the stunning gardens are a real spectacle, with water features and manicured lawns to explore. Athelhampton provides an excellent historical experience, and with an on-site shop and restaurants, an excellent day out for all ages.

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Henley Hillbillies

If you are looking for an action packed, fun filled day, Henley Hillbillies is the places to go! At Dorset's premier outdoor centre, you can ride a quad bike, shoot a clay pigeon, fly a hovercraft and much more. Open all year round, there is plenty of opportunity for fun whatever the weather!

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Lyme Bay RIB Charter

Multi award winning Lyme Bay RIB Charter are based in West Bay, in the centre of Lyme Bay, Dorset, which affords excellent and immediate access to the beautiful ‘Jurassic Coast’. From a quick RIB Blast along the coast with the family to a sunset cruise, Stags & Hens, Birthday Parties, Special Occasions, the experience team are happy to tailor a specific activity to meet your personal requirements.

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Palmers Brewery Tour

Take a fascinating guided tour of Palmers Brewery, the only thatched brewery in the United Kingdom. As you explore the historic building you will learn each the different stages that are needed to create the perfect beer. Finish the tour with a spot of beer tasting and a Palmers glass to take home. Tours start at 11.00am on every weekday (excl. bank holidays) and lasts for about 2 hours.

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Mapperton House & Gardens

Mapperton Gardens is a romantic valley garden deep into a lost Dorset combe among hills and unspoiled countryside. There are 3 gardens to explore; the Valley Gardens with a perfectly manicured lawn, the Italianate garden with beautiful ornaments and the wild gardens adorned with mature shrubs and trees. It is also possible to partake in a guided tour of Mapperton House to learn about its rich history.

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Forde Abbey & Gardens

Forde Abbey in Dorset is a treasure in an area already known for its outstanding beauty. Forde Abbey was once home to Cistercian monks and much of the medieval monastery remains in tact today. History lovers can marvel at the Mortlake Tapestries depicting Raphael cartoons, or if gardening is more your thing, a walk around the extensive gardens is a sight to behold. No trip to Forde Abbey is complete with out a stop in the Tearooms, which serve up a host of delicious and locally sourced delights!

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Seaton Tramway

Seaton Tramway operates narrow gauge heritage trams between Seaton, Colyford and Colyton. The historic trams travel along the Axe Estuary, where you will see a variety of birdlife wading in the waters of the nature reserve. In the warm weather you can enjoy a ride in an open top carriage and there's also a cafe at Colyton station, perfect for a quick pit stop on the journey!

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Pecorama

Steam Trains, Gardens, Model Railway Exhibition and Indoor & Outdoor Play Areas

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Beer Quarry Caves

Beer Quarry Caves

Many of us marvel at the intricacy of stonemasons' work on numerous stately buildings, cathedrals and churches. But do we ever stop to consider where the stone came from and the history of the excavation behind it? Beer Quarry Caves offer the opportunity to do just that, with hour long guided tours through a labyrinth of underground caverns and caves, which have been quarried by hand since the roman times. If you're lucky you might even spot one of the horseshoe bats that call these caves their home!

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The Donkey Sanctuary

The Donkey Sanctuary is an international animal welfare charity, based in the UK, working to protect and care for donkeys and mules. Visit the Sanctuary in the Devon town of Sidmouth and you can meet some of the residents, who have been rescued from mistreatment and now enjoy the safe environment of the sanctuary. Learn more about the charities tireless work in the exhibition barn, or enjoy a spot to eat at the on site cafe.

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Fleet Air Arm Museum

The Fleet Air Arm Museum is home to aircraft belonging to the Royal Navy past and present. With four exhibition halls, over ninety aircraft, 2 million records and 30 thousand artefacts it is the largest Navy museum dedicated to aviation in Europe. As you wonder around the exhibitions you will be able to able to explore some of the planes, learning how they have been used throughout history. There is also a play area and cafe to enjoy.

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Haynes Motor Museum

Haynes Motor Museum is the UK's largest exhibition of the greatest cars from around the world. With over 400 amazing cars and bikes on site, visitors will gain an understanding of how motor industry has evolved through time. From the earliest models to supercars and TV favourites, a trip to Haynes is a car lovers dream! Not restricted to motoring enthusiasts, there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained, including go carts and climbing frames.

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