THe Local area
Family Days Out
Dorset is a place to explore and enjoy with your family. As well as being home to fabulous coastline and mile after mile of green countryside, it’s also got plenty of places for you to visit with children of all ages. Below are just a few suggestions to fill your days with a little fun.
Lodmoor Country Park
Situated just a short walk from the Weymouth Promenade and with plenty of parking, Lodmoor Country Park is home to a number of independent visitor attractions. These include the likes of Sandworld and Sea Life. There’s also a nine hole pitch and putt, the Lodmoor RSPB Nature Reserve and a large pirate ship play park. It’s genuinely a nice place to spend some time.
Prepare to have the limits of what you think you can do with sand altered! Sandworld, which is the UK’s only Sand Sculpture Festival, is home to several incredible sand sculptures, some of which rise more than 12 feet into the sky. With a new display forming each year, it’s a great place to pop into if you’re here during the spring and summer months.
Sea Life weymouth
If your kids just love animals, then they’ll simply adore the selection of sea life they discover here. Suitable for children of all ages, there are penguins, sea turtles, sharks, jellyfish and so much more on offer. With plenty of interactive displays and opportunities to get up and close to the animals, this is a visit that will suit families right down to the ground.
Teddy Bear Museum
You’ll probably have the kids hooked as soon as you utter the words Teddy Bear! But that’s right, we’ve actually got our very own teddy bear museum! If you head over to Dorchester you’ll be met by more than 100 teddy bear displays, ranging from antiques through to modern-day favourites. Your children will almost definitely like the gift shop too!
Possibly one of the best-known visitor attractions in Dorset, Abbotsbury Swannery is the only place in the world where you can walk through the heart of a colony of nesting Mute Swans. Even if you’re not visiting during the nesting season, this is still one for the bucket list and you might even want to head next door to the sub-tropical gardens while you’re there.
Kingston Animal Park
As well as getting up close and personal with the resident animals, which include some cheeky goats and ponies that love a daily groom, Kingston Animal Park is situated in 35 acres of beautiful gardens for you and your little ones to roam and explore. Set within Grade II listed parkland, it’s a stunning place to spend a few hours whilst the kids roar around and have fun.
Monkey World, the chimpanzee rescue centre, is not a zoo, but a primate rescue centre. Home to hundreds of monkeys, this is great place to visit and understand how these incredible animals are being rescued from the issues that face their natural habitat. With a large Great Ape Play Area and daily keeper talks, it’s one to add to your list.
Originally built as a hunting lodge to entertain aristocracy and royalty in the 17th century, Lulworth Castle describes itself as the most beautiful in the South. As well as plenty of history, which extends to a serious fire in 1929, there is also woodland walks, a playground, and spacious areas to explore with the kids. It’s also dog friendly.
With a massive range of indoor and outdoor activities, attractions and animals, Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park is a great place to visit no matter what the weather. Aimed at children from 0 – 8, they’ve filled this place with more things to do that you can imagine; soft play, pedal tractors, an outside bouncy castle… the list is endless.
Situated near Wimborne, Kingston Lacy is a gorgeous National Trust venue that should be on your list to visit. It’s a lavish family home, re-imagined as a Venetian Palace. Whilst you won’t be able to live there yourself, it’s got two large play areas, plenty of gardens and of course with the National Trust, a tasty café too.
The heritage railway attraction operates full-size steam and diesel passenger trains along the five and a half miles of line from Norden to Corfe Castle and down to the Victorian seaside town of Swanage. It is simply one of the best ways to explore the local countryside and we recommend enjoying a picnic along the way.