Summer Breaks in Dorset
Thousands of people each year choose Dorset for their summer holidays. Dorset is where stunning coastline meets beautiful countryside, and it is these natural attractions that are the biggest draw for tourists coming to the county. This article looks at the highlights of Dorset and offers advice on how to make the most of a trip to this part of the UK.
Things to See
For visitors looking to soak up some culture and history, there are several fantastic museums and places of interest in the county, including Lyme Regis Museum, where you can find out about 200 million years of Dorset’s geological history. Dorset is also the home of the celebrated novelist and poet Thomas Hardy, and the cottage where he wrote some of his most famous works, such as Far From the Madding Crowd, is open to the public to visit for most of the year.
For animal lovers, there is Monkey World, Europe’s largest ape sanctuary. It is located near Wareham, and has over 230 primates in both indoor and outdoor enclosures. Every afternoon there are talks given by the keepers, which are a great opportunity to learn about the apes and their different characteristics and behaviours.
Activities and Things to Do
Dorset has many purpose built cycle paths, with lots of easy, relaxing routes that are suitable for inexperienced cyclists and families with small children. Cycling is one of the best ways to explore the beautiful countryside, especially during the summer months when the long sunny days make it an absolute joy to be outdoors.
Alternatively, one of the best ways to see the Jurassic Coast properly is from the water in a guided kayak tour, which takes you right up close to all the inlets, coves and million year old Jurassic rock formations. These tours run throughout the summer, and offer an unforgettable way to experience Dorset’s unique and iconic coastline.
Food and Drink
Life in Dorset has always been intimately tied to the sea, so it’s no surprise that the county offers visitors the chance to taste some of the finest fish and seafood available anywhere in the UK. The choices range from the traditional battered cod and chips to more exotic fare such as oysters and red gunard, all freshly caught in Dorset’s own bountiful waters.
Dorset’s other culinary claim to fame is its cider and ales, of which there are many different varieties brewed throughout the county. Most country pubs have beer gardens, and sitting outside with a locally brewed pint is a perfect way to wind down after a hard day cycling in the countryside.
There is a diverse range of accommodation in Dorset, including many historic hotels and boutique B&Bs in the towns and villages of the Jurassic Coast. In recent years there has been a big trend towards camping and enjoying the outdoors in Dorset, and this has led to yurts, pine lodges and other luxury camping accommodation growing in popularity, as well as the traditional caravanning and camping.