Visit the Isle of Purbeck for outdoor adventure and natural beauty
The Isle of Purbeck is a peninsula located in south Dorset. The area is home to some of the country’s most well-loved towns and landmarks including Swanage, Lulworth Cove, Corfe Castle and Durdle Door.
On Purbeck’s boundary is Poole Harbour - one of the world’s largest natural harbours. Brownsea Island is the largest island in the Harbour and is managed by the National Trust and Dorset Wildlife Trust. Taking a boat trip to Brownsea Island is an ideal day out and it is one of the few places in southern England where you can see red squirrels!
Where to stay
Cosy cottages, farmhouses, picturesque campsites, grand hotels, bustling local inns and hostels give plenty of accommodation options for your visit to Purbeck.
And if you’re looking for something specific, be sure to check that they are family or dog friendly. Or perhaps you’re looking for an adult-only retreat or somewhere that caters for walkers or cyclists – well we’ve got those too. It’s easy to check availability and book online, contact the establishment directly or speak to Swanage Information Centre for some extra help and advice.
Things to see and do
Want to escape the masses? Then head inland to explore forests, heathlands, and downlands. There are many nature reserves and green spaces in the area with their own unique wildlife, ancient trees or colourful wildflowers. Take a relaxing walk to discover scenic views and find peace and tranquillity.
With its coast, countryside and Poole Harbour, the Isle of Purbeck is perfect for birding. Top bird watching spots include the RSPB Arne Nature Reserve, Brownsea Island, Durlston Country Park and Wareham Forest.
Whatever time of year that you visit, you will find activities and attractions to keep the whole family happy.
Browse the great range of shops and markets for everything from sausages for your breakfast to a souvenir of your holiday.
Many of our retailers and shops are independent and family run, so you know you’ll get a friendly welcome, great customer service and something to take home which you won’t find on every high street in the country.
Something to eat?
With lots of restaurants, cafés, bistros, pubs and tea rooms in Purbeck, there is something on offer to suit any occasion. If you fancy eating in, many of our eateries are now offering takeaway options to enjoy on a day trip or delivered to your door.
From riverside restaurants and cafes using the best of local produce to traditional country pubs and fine-dining in country house hotels, there is plenty of choice to eat out.
There are lots of events to fill your calendar from family fun to festivals, exhibitions and performances.
Let the children feed lambs in springtime, take part in a seashore safari, go to one of the biggest music festivals in Dorset or get your dancing shoes on at a folk festival – it’s the stuff that memories are made of.
Towns and Villages
Wander around the shops in Swanage, Wareham or Corfe Castle and perhaps take a coffee break or lunch stop in one of the many eateries.
West Lulworth and Studland are home to some very famous landmarks – Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door and Old Harry Rocks. You can follow the South West Coast Path to get the best views and take home some fantastic photos.
Worth Matravers and Kimmeridge are quaint and very picturesque villages with a real country charm, and both are very popular with walkers.
Choose from castles, museums, country parks, beaches, model villages, vintage railways and more.
Whether you want a quick snack, a picnic lunch or a fine-dining experience, you won't be disappointed.
Swanage and Purbeck are full of independent and unique shops selling everything you need on holiday.
A three day itinerary for following in the footsteps of Enid Blyton's Famous Five.
B&Bs, hotels, luxury log cabins, seaside cottages, rustic campsites, lively holiday parks and more.
From music festivals and carnivals to country fairs and outdoor cinema - you are spoilt for choice.
Discover Dorset's Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Dorset has some of the best wildlife and natural landscapes found anywhere in the UK.
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If your family like to ‘go wild’ and get close to nature, Dorset has lots to offer.