Things To Do in Wimborne Minster

If you think a historic market town might 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, and nature based attractions to unique heritage sites...there really is something for everyone.

Nature & countryside

Want to wear the children out? Moors Valley Country Park and Forest is the perfect place for this. It has huge outdoor play trails, cycle paths (cycle hire available), a narrow gauge steam railway and over 800 acres of forest in which to run amok! Fans of Julia Donaldson can come face to face with a life-sized sculpture of The Gruffalo, Gruffalo's Child and other characters from the popular children's book.

The forest and country park has signposted footpaths and cycle trails so you can enjoy the woodland scenery at your own pace and most importantly not get lost.

If you're a bit of a thrill seeker then why not give Go Ape! at Moors Valley a try and unleash your adventurous side on the tree top trails and high ropes course?

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!

Delve into Wimborne's past

Always longed to be an archaeologist and unearth hidden treasures? 

Delve in to the Archaeology Gallery at the Museum of East Dorset 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 or explore the glorious walled garden, now with its own café.

Playing detective

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

Enjoy a different perspective on the town and its more recent history at Wimborne Model Town, where accurate scale models portray the town of 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

Ever fancied being lord or lady or the manor? Explore the extensive grounds of Kingston Lacy house and gardens (a National Trust property) with their parkland, formal gardens and large kitchen garden to discover how this 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 (a National Trust property) 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, located 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 and Forest.

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!

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 - just watch out for the splashing!

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

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Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park

~ A day delivered with passion at Dorset's favourite family run attraction ~  Come along and treasure a unique experience visiting one of the very last Heavy Horse Centres left in Great...

Kingston Lacy

Kingston Lacy is an elegant 17th century Italian inspired country mansion set in attractive formal gardens and extensive parkland. Step inside the residence of the powerful and flamboyant Bankes...

Moors Valley Country Park and Forest

To inject a sense of fun into your family days out then head to Moors Valley Country Park and Forest to get active in the outdoors and have yourself a family adventure. You are sure to find something...

Museum of East Dorset

Located in the heart of the beautiful market town of Wimborne Minster, visitors can discover the story of East Dorset with stunning Roman wall paintings, the fascinating childhood gallery and a unique...

Wimborne Model Town and Gardens

Walk around 1950’s Wimborne in 1/10th scale, set in delightful NGS listed gardens. Fun for all ages at our unique and historic attraction. Lots to see, hear, touch and do! Try the free quizzes...

Go Ape Moors Valley

Located 10 miles north of Bournemouth and 5 miles west of Ringwood, you can find us in Moors Valley Country Park. We're just off Horton Road - near to Ashley Heath and the New Forest. Go Ape Moors...