Welcome to a south-coast world of soft sands, treasure trails, skateparks and dinosaur museums. Grown-ups can walk the stunning South Coast Path, ride the RIBs at Lulworth, sail, surf or swim, and head to Weymouth for pubs, clubs and wine bars where you’ll toast the moonlit views across the bay.
Weymouth is a place that shows all those cushy land-lubbers how to give kids a good time. The best place to set sail could be the Sea Life Adventure Park and Tower. Go below the ocean to a magical underwater world, then climb the tower for 360º panoramic views of the Jurassic Coast.
Get to know the area a little better on a kids’ treasure trail. Take a close look at local monuments for clues, and have a paddle and a picnic on the way to finding the long-lost treasure. Dig and paddle on the soft sands of Weymouth Beach, then create a sand-sculpture masterpiece at SandWorld.
Follow the three-level labyrinth of underground passageways at Nothe Fort – but beware of spooky sightings. In Dorchester, there’s the skatepark, dinosaur centre and museums devoted to everything from Tutankhamun to teddy bears.
Risk the Big Kicker at the Dorset Snowsport Centre, feed, cuddle and ride at Abbotsbury Children’s Farm, and see the world’s largest collection of tanks in Bovington.
For the grown-ups
The Jurassic Coast is prime real estate for sailing, diving, surfing and swimming. Get up close and personal with the cliffs and the crashing surf on a coasteering jaunt. Try kite-surfing, sea-kayaking or just paddling on the beach. Life here is wet and wonderful.
Walk or cycle across rolling farmland, with refreshments in real-ale pubs. Need a helping hand? West Dorset Electric Bike Tours take the pull out of the hills. Lace up your boots and hike the South West Coastal Path – the geological, historical, inspirational walk of a lifetime.
Head to Lyme Regis for deep-sea mackerel fishing, to Lulworth for RIB rides (and the great beach), to Poole harbour for birdwatching, to Bere Regis for fresh bread, local eggs, Dorset Cereal and homemade jam, and to Purbeck for award-winning Lulworth craft cider.
There’s a gastropub and restaurant in Weymouth and Dorchester for every day of the year and more. Pick your nationality, choose your theme and tuck in. After dark, Weymouth pops and fizzes with clubs, bars and bands, as well as elegant wine bars where you’ll toast the moonlit views across the bay.