Winter Breaks in Dorset
10 reasons to visit Dorset in winter
There’s no reason to hibernate in the winter! Though there are many more, here are our top 10 reasons to enjoy winter breaks in Dorset…
Exhilarating coastal walks
The UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coast is dramatic and impressive on a warm summers day, so just imagine it during winter storms! Wrap up warm and enjoy winter walks along the spectacular South West Coast Path and watch the waves crash along the shoreline.
Crisp winter days
There’s nothing better than a cold, clear winter day to explore the coast and countryside, recharge the batteries and blow away the cobwebs. This is the perfect time to get your camera out and keep an eye out for the wildlife, such as robins, deer, herons and owls.
The golden hour
Sunrises and sunsets are even more spectacular in winter. Head to river valleys or the nearby Marshwood Vale to see magical displays of frost and mist on cold winter mornings and for striking sunsets, clifftops such as Golden Cap, West Bay and Portland Bill are great viewpoints.
Winter is the perfect opportunity for fossil hunting and where better to try it than at some of the best locations anywhere in the world. The world class Jurassic Coast boasts incredible fossil hunting opportunities, showcasing over 185 million years of the earth’s history. Visit the beach between Charmouth and Lyme Regis where winter storms wash fossils right onto the beach – be safe on the coastline, make yourself aware of the tide times and follow the fossil hunting code.
Starry night skies
The night skies in Dorset are some of the best in the country and there is little light pollution from towns and cities to interrupt your viewing. In summer, the nights are short and the extra moisture in the air can reduce the contrast and clarity of the skies. In the winter however, the air is colder and drier with longer nights meaning more uninterrupted viewing hours so grab a blanket, a coat and a thermos of hot chocolate to help you stay warm. All the best starscapes can be seen in winter, such as Orion’s Belt and The Plough. If you get the timing right, a meteor shower can be an incredible spectacle. Find out more about stargazing at our Holiday Parks.
Avoid the crowds
With some of the best unspoiled countryside and iconic coastal landmarks in the country, Dorset is becoming an increasingly popular destination for holiday makers and day trippers. The main advantage of winter, of course, is to avoid the crowds and enjoy the space and solitude of these beautiful places at your own pace. Enjoy empty roads and taking photographs without other people in the shot.
Attractions and events
Dorset has some great attractions including stately homes and gardens, museums, history and heritage, shopping, crafts and tea rooms, amongst others. Not only can you enjoy these places being easier to get to and quieter, there are some great events around the county in the winter. Visit the illuminations at Abbotsbury Sub-Tropical Gardens, many of the Halloween events at locations such as Corfe Castle and The Tank Museum and extravagent firework displays for bonfire night at Bridport, Lyme Regis or Sherborne Castle. Take advantage of all the great money saving discounts and offers.
Christmas and New Year
Dorset is an enchanting place to be in the run up to Christmas, for both children and adults. See Santa at the Swanage Steam Railway, watch a Christmas Panto, explore numerous craft and Christmas gift fairs, such as the Eype Christmas Maker’s Market and get into the festive spirit at Christmas light switch on’s and late night shopping events. New Year is also a great time to be in Dorset with famous fancy dress celebrations in Weymouth and Bridport. What better location is there to enjoy a bracing New Year’s Day walk and set some New Year’s resolutions!
Snow place like Dorset!
If you’re very lucky you may get to see the Dorset coastline covered in a blanket of snow. While this is a rare but ethereal experience, further inland on hilltops and in the north of the county, this is a more likely event. Visit some of the highest hills in Dorset such as Eggardon, Pilsdon Pen, Lewesdon Hill and Melbury Hill for your best chance of snow, or even the iconic Gold Hill in Shaftesbury, made famous in the 1970s Hovis advert.
Delicious food & drink
There is a huge range of delicious food and drink producers in Dorset and there is nothing better than eating or drinking great quality local produce. In pubs, restaurants and cafes all over the county, you can find local names such as Dorset Tea, Dorset Nectar Cider, Moores Biscuits, Blue Vinney Cheese, Dorset Naga Chillies and Palmer’s Ales from the oldest thatched brewery in the UK. Visit the numerous farmer’s markets to pick up a variety of local products to create your own delicious dishes.
Stay with us this winter
At Highlands End Holiday Park and Golden Cap Holiday Park we have a range of accommodation available in the winter, including over Christmas and New Year.
We have 1, 2 and 3 bedroom Lodges available, many with sea or countryside views. The Lodges are luxurious, warm and spacious and have their own private decking – a great place to view the stars or the frosty morning view. We have a number of dog-friendly Lodges available. Stay with us for 7 nights in 2018 before the end of September and you can claim a half price holiday during select dates in October, November and December 2018. Book a holiday for the following year before 30th November and you will get a complimentary £25 voucher to spend at Martin’s Bar & Restaurant.
The 2 and 4 bedroom Apartments at Highlands End Holiday Park are great for bigger groups or families. The contemporary Apartments are spacious and warm, have a shared garden and views towards Bridport and the surrounding countryside. Please note we do not allow dogs in the Apartments. Stay with us for 7 nights in 2018 before the end of September and you can claim a half price holiday during select dates in October, November and December 2018. Book a holiday for the following year before 30th November and you will get a complimentary £25 voucher to spend at Martin’s Bar & Restaurant.
The cosy 1 bedroom Bungalows at Highlands End Holiday Park are great for couples, walkers and dog owners and have great views out from a patio area over Colmer’s Hill and right across the countryside down to the coast. One of the Bungalows is dog-friendly. Stay with us for 7 nights in 2018 before the end of September and you can claim a half price holiday during select dates in October, November and December 2018. Book a holiday for the following year before 30th November and you will get a complimentary £25 voucher to spend at Martin’s Bar & Restaurant.
Our 2 and 3 bedroom Caravan Holiday Homes are available for hire throughout November and open again from the beginning of March. Stay with us for 7 nights in 2018 before the end of September and you can claim a half price holiday during select dates in October, November and December 2018. Book a holiday for the following year before 30th November and you will get a complimentary £25 voucher to spend at Martin’s Bar & Restaurant.
Touring Caravans and Motorhomes
Our gravel and hard-base pitches at Highlands End Holiday Park are open until the end of November and open again at the beginning of February. Located on the clifftop at the end of the park, there are stunning views of the coastline and both sunrise and sunset. You can take advantage of our saver deals in mid and low season to get up to 20% off and dogs are only £1 per night.
Highlands End Leisure Club
After a day out exploring the local attractions or walking the coastline, you’ll want to warm up by visiting the Leisure Club at Highlands End Holiday Park with its indoor heated Swimming Pool, Sauna and Steam Room. Complimentary access to the Leisure Club is included with all Lodge bookings at Highlands End Holiday Park and Golden Cap Holiday Park (3 miles away) as well as all Apartment bookings. The Leisure Club is open daily throughout the winter, with limited opening hours / days during Christmas and New Year.
Martin’s Bar & Restaurant
After a relaxing swim and a sauna and steam room to refresh and warm up, you’ll be ready for some quality food and drink in warm, beautiful surroundings. Visit Martin’s Bar & Restaurant at Highlands End Holiday Park, just round the corner from the Leisure Club. Open throughout October, November, February and March but closed in December and January, the Bar & Restaurant serves delicious evenings meals, breakfasts and Sunday Lunch. Wherever possible, local produce is used and the Bar serves over 20 locally made beverages. Visit the website to find out more.