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Attractions in Dorset

Attractions in Dorset

When you are on holiday at one of our parks in Dorset you can be sure that there is plenty to do nearby. We have picked out a selection of our favourite attractions below that are all within a short driving distance of our Dorset Holiday Parks.

If you've visited one of the many attractions below, why not submit your own review to help others choose the best for their perfect holiday experience.

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Historical Nothe Fort
Nothe Fort

Award winning visitor attraction offering low cost entry and great value. Built by the Victorians to protect Portland Harbour, Nothe Fort is one of the best preserved forts of its kind. The advances in technology that affected the fort are explained through displays, exhibits and audio visual facilities located on the ramparts, gun decks and maze of underground passageways.

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Added by Ms Robinson on 09/04/2012 20:59:26

Great value for money and well worth a visit for kids and parents alike. Staff very informative and the mice kept the kids occupied and interested for the 2 hours we were there. They even received a certificate for counting them!

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Animals/ Farm Abbotsbury Swannery
Over 600 friendly swans to see

Dorset’s World Famous Sanctuary. See over 600 free flying friendly swans, baby swans hatching mid-May to June end.

Image by Julien Lightfoot©

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Added by Michael Howard on 26/06/2012 09:55:50

Great day out for both young and old.

Added by Julian O on 10/09/2011 17:52:13

Fantastic insight into the life of swans - excellent!

Added by Pete on 20/07/2011 10:57:55

This is a lovely place to visit. So peaceful we could have sat there all day just watching the swans and taking in the fresh air. I do agree with the other comment that the half mile tractor ride was a bit mean, but more than made up for by the experience as a whole.

Added by Ros Frend on 22/06/2011 09:28:19

A terrific experience for adults and children!

Added by Martin Price on 12/04/2012 20:11:24

Having been recommended to visit Abbotsbury Swannery by family friends we were keen to ensure that we made a visit whilst staying at West Bay recently. A great place to visit that would provide a different experience on different visits throughout the year. Well worth a visit. Highly enjoyable and highly recommended.

Added by Tony on 29/06/2011 08:58:37

Very nice place to visit, although the optional charge for a lift on the tractor (50p) is a bit mean :)

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Animals/ Farm Brownsea Island
Brownsea Island<br>©NTPL / Joe Cornish

Brownsea Island offers a varied and beautiful landscape for enjoying the wonders of nature; from the patchworks of woodland, heath and grassy fields in the peaceful and secluded interior, to the beaches of the coastline.

To find out more visit ©NTPL / Joe Cornish

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Added by Debbie Roberts on 07/05/2012 19:05:47

What a lovely place to visit. The short boat trip was a pleasure, despite the cold wind. The tea rooms were clean with a nice selection of food - very nice cream tea - just watch the peacocks don't get there first! So lovely to see red squirrels in their natural habitat. The staff were very helpful and knowledgeable and helped to make the visit enjoyable. The toilets were clean and modern. V good.

Added by Janet George on 12/10/2011 12:51:54

Brilliant place to visit. Lots of wildlife to see especially the red squirrels. We spent all day there and would go back again.

Added by Janet Banks on 01/10/2011 16:34:20

Nice 20 minute ferry ride from Poole. Had a very good guide through part of Brownsea. Lovely to see the red squirrels. There is an entrance fee to the island as it is a National Trust property. We found it a lovely day out.

Added by Kevin Cliffe on 09/08/2011 12:06:51

A good day out if you want to combine a short boat trip with a walk in the forest and on the beach. No good if you don't like walking though.

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Historical Corfe Castle
Corfe Castle<br>©NTPL / Mathew Antrobus

One of Britain's most majestic ruins and once a controlling gateway through the Purbeck Hills, with breath-taking views and several way marked walks.

To find out more visit

Image ©NTPL / Mathew Antrobus

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Added by K Mudd on 15/08/2012 16:25:13

Family with 2 children 11 and 13yrs, just looked like an old ruin from the road but once inside there is lots of things going on, even the kids enjoyed it and the dog, definitely worth a visit.

Added by Mrs Tracy Stepton on 10/04/2012 13:03:27

My family and I visited Corfe Castle while staying at West Bay holiday Park, and thought it was a fantastic day. My son and I were in awe of the place and thought it was fantastic. It was so hard to imagine all that had gone on in it over the past 1000 years. Fantastic!

Added by Ms Robinson on 09/04/2012 20:53:01

Definitely worth a visit. 2 children under 10 thoroughly enjoyed the word trail and loved the medals the received as a reward for their hard work. Visit lasted approximately 2 hours, easy to find and not too bad on the wallet. Nice cakes round the corner from the entrance rounded of the trip nicely!

Added by Jayne on 28/09/2011 21:22:16

Fantastic! Brilliant!

Added by Alayne Alcock on 13/08/2011 17:07:57

Fantastic castle and views of the countryside and town. Very interesting and good value for money.

Added by Sampson family on 08/06/2011 06:48:33

The castle has a lovely picturesque view and the village is small and contains little gift shops and restaurants and pubs. We found a lovely tearoom next to the model village that did organic and vegetarian food which was presented beautifully. If you are not visiting the Castle Grounds (National Trust) which is a bit expensive for people on a small budget then there is not much more to do.

Added by F Clewes on 07/05/2012 22:11:12

Well worth a visit by any visitor to Dorset. The views are breath-taking, the history is all around. Child friendly and not too bad for walking disabled, but not from the NT car park on the access road (or for wheelchairs). Look beyond the castle as there are other interesting things within the village. The rail link to Swannage is a must for rail enthusiasts - steam or diesel!

Added by Janet Banks on 01/10/2011 16:28:59

Brilliant place with stunning scenery and lovely little village.

Added by D.Norwell on 27/08/2011 10:21:16

Incredibly interesting historic site. The children enjoyed finding out the information for the quiz as did the adults! Very informative and well laid out. Stunning overall ++.

Added by George on 17/08/2011 21:00:32

Brilliant. Took 9 year old granddaughter who thought it was 'awesome'. The day was a special event put on to celebrate Enid Blyton/The Ginger Pop Shop.

Added by Seabear on 17/07/2011 14:34:28

Great value for Money. Stunning views in and around the castle. Castle can be accessed by Car or by the Swannage Railway. The latter is far better. Not sure if the Castle would appeal to the very young. Can get a little bracing on Windy days.

Added by Sandra Draper on 26/06/2011 18:45:05

Very enjoyable to explore, the views from the top are spectacular. Combine visiting Corfe Castle with a trip on the Swanage Steam Railway and you have the complete ideal day. Pick up the train from Norden and go through to Swanage and enjoy the pleasures of a quaint English seaside resort (even Punch & Judy shows on beach) then get the train back to Corfe Castle alight and explore.

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Animals/ Farm Farmer Palmer's Farm Park
Kids day out at Farmer Palmer's Farm Park

Award winning day out for children 8 yrs & under, that‘s still great value for money. Animal events every half hour, indoor soft play, straw mountain, tractor rides, bouncy castles & outdoor play. Child friendly restaurant with fresh farmhouse food.

Your children will have fun whatever the weather.

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Added by Sarah McLoughlin on 10/09/2012 23:23:05

We love this farm park and have visited every year, when we stay in Dorset. Now the children are getting older, 6 and 7, rather than losing interest they are enjoying it more, as they understand more about animal care. My son loves the pedal go-karts. We paid extra this time for the new Deer safari, which was well worth it. Friendly place and excellent value.

Added by Jennifer Wilson on 28/07/2012 10:06:35

Excellent day out. The children are safe, even if you cannot see them at all times. Plenty to keep them occupied and facilities for a rainy day. We love it!

Added by Bob R on 17/05/2012 07:55:15

We took my 4 year old granddaughter here and she had a wonderful time. The Park is set up to give younger children a really excellent day. We were there from 12 until 4 on the Friday and went back on the Monday for another day. She really enjoyed the experience feeding the lambs and goats and spent hours in the play areas.

Added by Ruth on 08/04/2012 12:07:27

A fabulous day out for myself, my husband and our 18 month old son. The staff are super friendly and the animals and attractions are top class. Highly recommended!

Added by Elaine on 07/07/2011 11:36:12

A brilliant day out for under 8's! A real hands on farm with plenty to do! Definitely worth a visit.

Added by Carol Gissing on 25/06/2012 18:33:10

Very well run park with a good timetable of attractions. We especially enjoyed the pig race and the milking demonstration.

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Map of attractions in Dorset
Map key
  • park Holiday Park
  • marker Animals/ Farm
  • marker Educational
  • marker Historical
  • marker Nature/ Adventure
  • marker Shopping
  • marker Sports
  • marker Theme Park

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Parkdean Holiday Parks Limited. Registered in England and Wales: Registered number: 4086679

Registered Office: 2nd Floor, One Gosforth Park Way, Gosforth Business Park, Newcastle, NE12 8ET