Things To Do in Wimborne

Fear a historic market town may be a little dull?  You couldn't be more wrong! 

Wimborne Minster and the surrounding area offer fun for all ages, from high adrenalin activities to more gentle pursuits, from nature based attractions to unique heritage sites...there really is something for everyone.

Nature & countryside

Want to wear the children out? Moors Valley is the perfect place with its outdoor play trail structures, cycle paths (cycle hire available), narrow gauge steam railway and a whole forest in which to run amok! Fans of Julia Donaldson can come face to face with a life-sized sculpture of The Gruffalo and Gruffalo's Child.

The forest and country park has waymarked footpaths and cycle trails so you can enjoy the woodland scenery at your own pace.

If you're a bit a thrill seeker then why not give Go Ape! at Moors Valley a try and unleash your inner ape on the tree top adventure?

Horsing around

Meet the wonderful characters at the Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park and Rescue Centre; whilst the gentle giants are certainly the stars of the show, there are a host of other animals to meet, a play barn and some thrilling ways to explore the park with wagon and tractor trailer rides, or have a go a driving a tractor yourself!

If your visit inspires you to get to know horses better then pop along to Green Cottage Riding Centre where the experienced staff will find your perfect mount - there is no better way to see and experience the picturesque Dorset countryside.

Delve into Wimborne's past

Always longed to be an archaeologist and unearth hidden treasures? 

Delve in to the Archaeology Gallery at Wimborne Minster’s Priest’s House Museum and discover just what hidden gems have been found in the local area.  Set in an historic 16th century townhouse, the Museum evocatively recreates times past with its Georgian Parlour and Victorian Schoolroom. 

Your nose will be able to tell you if they are baking in the Victorian kitchen so pop in for a tasty treat!

Playing detective

Does the sun in fact orbit the earth?  How can a man be buried ‘neither within nor without’? Solve these and other conundrums and discover some amazing artefacts, including the unique Chained Library, in the gracious Minster Church of St Cuthburga.

Enjoy a different perspective on the town and its more recent history at Wimborne Model Town where accurate scale models portray Wimborne Minster in the 1950s. Older visitors will find the tiny window displays (all in 1/10th scale) evoke many memories whilst younger visitors like to put their detective skills to the test with one of the fun quizzes.

If you would like to discover more of the town’s rich history pick up a copy of the Town Trail from the Information Centre and learn more about its famous (and infamous!) residents and heritage sites.

Homes and gardens

If you listen you can almost hear the plants at Knoll Gardens breathing - it’s the breeze rustling through the stunning ornamental grasses for which the gardens are famous. Planted in a naturalistic style these beautiful informal gardens are designed to help support wildlife and run regular gardening and wildlife courses.

Ever fancied being lord or lady or the manor? Explore the extensive grounds of Kingston Lacy (National Trust) with their parkland, formal gardens, and large kitchen garden and discover how the imposing 17th century mansion worked as a family home. 

Chat to the staff or take one of the special tours and discover just how much work goes in to running such a property - perhaps you’ll change your mind about that weekend pad in the country!

Go with the flow

It could be a scene from one of Constable’s landscapes; the warm brick building, pretty millpond and adjacent eight arch medieval bridge are a photographer’s delight. Now refurbished White Mill (National Trust) is open to the public, you can easily imagine the roar of the water, the chuntering of the wheel, grind of the millstone and the smell of the corn.

Walford Mill on an island in the River Allen on the outskirts of Wimborne is also a feast for the senses. The restored buildings are a high quality crafts centre where you can watch makers at work, view stunning pieces on display in the gallery and shop, and enjoy lunch or afternoon tea by the river; don’t forget to keep an eye out for the local otters!

Get active

Blow away the cobwebs and escape the crowds on walks and cycle rides - see if you can spot colourful kingfishers along the rivers, or perhaps a snake or lizard on the sun-warmed heathland.

With spectacular countryside to enjoy walking and cycling are just the start of the adventure. 

The more daring can enjoy the thrill of a hot air balloon ride, quad biking or swinging through the tree tops on the Go Ape high ropes course at Moors Valley Country Park.

Whatever the weather

A rainy day needn’t stop you enjoying an active holiday. 

The areas sports centres, including QE Leisure Centre in Wimborne, offer a huge variety of activities year round, from swimming, to climbing, working out in the gym to an entertaining (or energetic) game of badminton - there’s no excuse for sitting around!

Fancy something a little different, then go retro at the Oli’s Roller Disco in Ferndown, held every Sunday it is perfect excuse to let your hair down and just have fun.

Take time out for traditional pursuits

Some of the simple pleasures are still the best, so ‘go fly a kite from the highest height’ at Badbury Rings, an impressive Iron Age hill fort on the Kingston Lacy Estate, or try your hand at rowing on the tranquil River Stour with Dreamboats - just watch out for the splashing!

Take a picnic up onto the hills with the views before you or down by the river and have a paddle to the sound of birdsong.

Group activities

Such wonderful countryside lends itself to getting outdoors with family and friends.  

Dorset Adventure Sports and Challenge Leisure both offer the chance to experience the outdoors through group activities, so go ahead and try something a little more unusual, anything from paintball to archery, laser tag to hovercraft - even human table football! 

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