March is a fabulous time of year to visit Dorset; there’s a real feel of Spring in the air, the daffodils are popping up their heads, the lambs are leaping about in the fields and the attractions start to open their doors again for the start of the season.
Read on to discover why we love March in Dorset…
A visit to one of Dorset’s stately homes is a delightful day out with spectacular displays of spring colour to admire.
At Minterne Gardens, wander in amongst pretty streams and waterfalls and see the famous rhododendrons blooming, meanwhile at Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, the 20-acre garden is filled with rare and exotic plants from all over the world and is renowned for its camellias and magnolias which will be on display this month.
And over in the Italianate gardens of Mapperton, the crocuses, tulips and other early bulbs are emerging; the camellia are in bloom, magnolia in bud and hellebores are open – as is the Coach House café. The perfect ingredients for a lovely afternoon.
Speaking of flowers, Dorset is a wonderful place to celebrate Mothering Sunday.
Here in Dorset we are lucky to have some beautiful spas in which to treat your mum to some much needed pampering and relaxation including the five star Summer Lodge Country House Hotel and Spa at Evershot, sophisticated Monart Spa near Dorchester or the lagoon-side Moonfleet Manor near Weymouth.
There are plenty of fantastic places to enjoy a more adventurous mother’s day out in Dorset too! Try your hand at paddleboarding, visit a majestic castle or you could even attempt to solve a mystery at The Big Escape Room at Brewery Square in Dorchester.
Many Dorset hotels offer Mother’s Day packages which include champagne, afternoon tea and tasting menus so why not treat your mum to a little mini break? Take a look at our special offers page for more details.
March signals the start of the migration back into the UK for many species and is an exciting time of year for wildlife lovers.
Being located on the south coast, Dorset is one of the first places where birds travelling up from the south arrive at. Portland Bill and Durlston Country Park are both brilliant locations for spotting returning residents and passage migrants on their epic journeys during spring.
In Poole Harbour, you can join the Birds of Poole Harbour team on a Spring Safari boat cruise. Set alongside the scenic views of Corfe Castle and Brownsea Island, you’ll meander up the Wareham Channel and Frome River Valley listening for and identifying the rich array of birdsong, while looking out for charismatic migrants such as Osprey, Hobby and Cuckoo as they arrive. A highly enriching experience!
The buzz of Spring
As the days start to get longer and milder, there’s a real sense of renewed activity in the countryside as the landscape starts to burst into colour and nature awakes from hibernation.
Dorset is blessed with such a diverse range of natural habitats from woodlands, wetlands, heathlands and coastal which is reflected in its rich wildlife. Take a stroll around one of Dorset’s nature reserves and you’ll easily spot the early signs of spring around you from the busy nesting birds, frogspawn in the ponds and the first sleepy bees bumbling past.
Or perhaps you’d prefer to ride out over the fields on an exhilarating cycle or horse ride and breathe in that fresh country air and magnificent scenery. Either way, we can guarantee you’ll return home with a spring in your step 😊.
Swanage Blues Festival
Every March, thousands of music lovers come to the Swanage Blues Festival, with 50 gigs and 30 acts performing at 15 indoor venues. There’s superb music, drinking, eating, dancing, fun and laughter to be had across the town and beyond, starting on Thursday evening and going on till late Sunday evening.
Regular fans say they love the friendly atmosphere and the wide range of electric and acoustic music available in the pubs, restaurants and hotel bars. Aspiring performers can take part in the Electric Jam sessions, Open Mic sessions and Stan's Blues Jamboree too.
Spring Steam Gala
March welcomes the first Swanage Steam Gala of the year at the Swanage Railway promising a whole weekend of locomotive themed fun with the home fleet springing into action as well as some notable visiting trains.
There’s nothing more nostalgic than riding along through the Purbeck countryside by steam train, glimpsing the ruins of Corfe Castle as you thunder by before reaching the glorious seaside resort of Swanage. A journey on this railway will be something you’ll remember forever.
English Tourism Week
Taking place in March each year, English Tourism Week is a national week long celebration of events to highlight the vibrant tourist offer in the country and kick start the season.
If you choose to visit Dorset this month, take the opportunity to discover the wealth of fantastic places there are to visit here and don’t forget to look out for discounts and special offers at local attractions, restaurants and places to stay.
Why wait until October to drink beer and don your lederhosen?!
This Spring, the Nothe Fort is bringing you all the fun of Oktoberfest, but you don’t have to wait until Autumn! Come and celebrate a selection of Dorset’s best beers at Springtober Fest and enjoy them alongside some outstanding Dorset food! Providing the “Oompah” good time will be none other than the Bierfass Band, playing a unique mix of polkas, waltzes, drinking tunes, combined with British pop and other well-known songs – there is no doubt your feet will be stomping.
Dinosaurs in Weymouth
Calling all budding paleontologists, if you’re visiting Dorset in March, head down to Weymouth for their 6 week dinosaur trail, a fun, family interactive activity with life sized dinosaurs installed around the town, a free dino PAW trail, dinosaur themed activities and craft workshops.
After a busy day hunting dinosaurs, take in a show at the Pavilion Theatre, enjoy a meal along the seafront or take a stroll around the pretty harbour at dusk.
We can't wait to welcome you to Dorset in March!