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Visiting Dorset


The Mississippi Drifter will divert it's course outside this Easter holidays. Please note the Screamer Tower will remain closed until May.

Places to Go

Splashdown waterpark is a great place to visit, so close to Bournemouth and Poole.  Wait there's so much more. Dorset's coast and countryside is full of great things to see and do, so why not stay and play a bit longer whilst you’re here?

The countryside is green and idyllic with hills to climb, paths to walk, ancient monuments and cycle ways to explore. An area of outstanding natural beauty, it's perfect for relaxing, of course, but tonnes to keep the whole family amused too. There’s more to learn at Visit Dorset

If seaside pleasures are more your thing then look no further than Poole’s amazing beaches, with blue flags galore, windsurfing, kitesurfing, sailing, stand up paddle boarding and surf’s up too. Nervous of taking the plunge? Learn at one of the best - Rockley Sailing School. Check out the luxury properties at Sandbanks; is Harry at home? Don’t forget Poole Quay, with its museum, Poole Pottery and the RNLI as well as flotillas of boats, working harbour and channel ferry port. You can see Sunseekers building the superyachts of superstars; do a bit of crabbing or tuck into a great meal. For all the latest information Poole Tourism can help you choose the perfect way to spend a day. Take a trip out to Brownsea Island – will you see a red squirrel? Or out through the harbour and past Old Harry Rocks to Swanage and hop on the Swanage Railway.

Bournemouth is so close with more fantastic sandy beaches, shopping, pier and lively night club scene. The kids will love the Oceanarium and Rock Reef Climbing and Zip on the pier. Around and about there are plenty of events and festivals whether you like planes, trains or automobiles and much more besides. Bournemouth Tourism is a one-stop-shop for all there is to do and see, in this popular tourist spot.

If you are looking for other places to take the kids nearby, then may we recommend our very own award winning soft play centre, Lemur Landings, just next door. If you’ve under 8s then give Farmer Palmer a visit on the way to the Saxon town of Wareham; it’s a great family attraction. Further afield, and to the east, historic Christchurch is worth a visit. Known for its Priory Church, for kids it's Adventure Wonderland, Mudeford Quay for crabbing or boating up the Stour. Keep heading east and before you know you will be at the edge of the famous and beautiful New Forest with the free-roaming ponies, thatched cottages and views for miles; is a good place for a family cycle ride.

West of Poole, the Jurassic Coast begins winding its way down to East Devon, a UNESCO world heritage site, 95 miles of stunning coastline and 185 million years of history. A family fossil hunt is incredibly good fun, picture perfect Lyme Regis or Charmouth is the place to head to find your very own piece of world history. There’s even a fossil festival.

To find out all the latest events in Poole, Bournemouth and surrounding areas have a look at Events and Festivals

Places to Eat

Whether it's picnics on the beach or sitting on a hill, dining al-fresco or an ice cream or two.  Food and drink in Dorset is definitely part of the attraction.

Here on Tower Park just outside the door, there's a range of great brands everyone will know and love.  Further afield Dorset is blessed with terrific seafood and plenty of artisan producers; there's an enormous variety of delicious food just waiting to be discovered, tasted and enjoyed. Not everyone is a foodie and we know how the kids can be, so the good news is that there are also loads of familiar names hereabouts too, so whether it's a gourmet dinner, kiddies' favourites or good old fish and chips.  You will definitely find something to tickle your taste buds.

Local produce to look out for: pickles and chutneys From Dorset with Love, don't forget to take home their Dorsetshire Sauce! Woolsery Goats Cheese and the famous Blue Vinny; Sixpenny Handley Beers; Conker Spirit, Dorset's Dry Gin; Roly's Brownies; bread from Oxfords Bakery and so much more - be sure to catch a Dorset Farmers Market whilst you are here.  If you love your food head to Dorset Food and Drink  for all the yummiest information.

Places to Stay

Decided to stay a while? Here for a day or two or the annual family holiday there’s a huge range of accommodation for every pocket. 

From thatched cottages to glamping to B&Bs to luxury hotels and everything in between there's going to be a place to stay to suit your every need.  We get asked a lot about camping and we are very lucky to have the very best camping and caravanning facility just a short drive away at the multi-award winning,  South Lytchett Manor Camping and Caravanning 2016 AA Campsite of the year, no less.

Close by there are several large holiday parks, Rockley Park on the edge of Poole Harbour and the very popular Sandford Holiday Park at the foot of the Purbeck Hills.

The area is well served with independent hotels, B&Bs and Guest Houses but recognised chains Premier Inn, TravelLodge, Hilton and Holiday Inn Express are all represented locally.

The local tourism informations centres are a wealth of information, of course, but these websites have or are great places to stay.