3 days in Dorset is just what the doctor ordered. Taking a few days away from your stress and strains can really give you a much needed boost.

Friday: What is there to do in Wareham?

3pm: “You have arrived at your destination” says the Sat Nav. You’ve selected a gorgeous holiday cottage for your 3 days in Dorset. Top-of-the-range appliances and all the conveniences and comforts of home welcome you. You settle in, making use of the provided welcome pack with a reviving cup of tea and one or two or -go on then- three biscuits. The kids connect to the Wi-Fi, pick their rooms and get in the mood to explore.

4pm: Since you’ve only eaten road trip sweets since noon, you decide on an early dinner. Walking through Wareham town from one side to the other (about 500m!) you stop to browse in the boutique stores, finding knick knacks and local Purbeck produce. You take your pick from Steakasaurus (no explanation needed), a variety of pubs, The Italian Kitchen or The Old Granary situated on Wareham Quay. Delicious food and a gorgeous relaxing atmosphere await you. You start to feel the tension drop from your shoulders as you know this is only the beginning of your much deserved break.

7pm: Suitably full, you take an evening stroll along Wareham Quay, over the bridge (don’t forget to pause to admire the resident ducks) and along the river and back. This gorgeous, picturesque route won’t take more than an hour, but it certainly will make you feel like you’re on holiday within the delightful countryside.

Wareham Quay

8pm: Heading back to your home away from home, you decide to take an evening of quality family time. As you pop on the electric log burner fire, you find the cottage has a great selection of DVDs and board games. You try not to nod off on the sofa, but scramble into bed early - you’ve got a busy day ahead tomorrow!

Saturday: Day trip to Monkey World, Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door

9am: A lovely lay in this morning is well deserved. You’re starting to feel well rested… And you haven’t thought about work once! You sit and enjoy a cup of tea with the paper in the sun room, or in the living room under the vast bay window. Once the kids drag themselves out of bed and you’ve all enjoyed a waterfall shower, it’s time to kick off the day with a gorgeous breakfast at The Salt Pig, a restaurant which sells top-quality Purbeck produce. Their breakfast is to die for! You stock up on a few bits for a picnic lunch later. What a great start to your 3 days in Dorset.

10am: The first stop of your Dorset adventure is Monkey World! While you could easily spend the day here, you’re here to pack in as much as you can! You admire the rescued primates in their lovely enclosures and end up ‘adopting a primate’. A souvenir with real meaning!

lulworth cove, Dorset

Lulworth Cove - credit Diana Jarvis

1pm: Back in the car, it’s only 15 minutes to Lulworth Cove. You walk down from the car park to the sheltered pebble beach, popular with geography school trips and coasteering excursions. There’s a lot to learn here and you stop off in the Heritage Centre to have your mind boggled by the information on offer. You just can’t resist popping into The Dolls House confectionary shop to pick up a sweet souvenir. You stop on the green to eat your Purbeck produce picnic – you’ve picked up some artisan bread, meats and cheeses for the perfect sandwich.

3pm: From Lulworth Cove you’re walking along the South West Coast Path to Durdle Door. It’s a bit of an incline, but so worth it for the views overlooking the English Channel and over to Portland. You leave your car where it is – you’re coming back this way! Durdle Door is an absolute MUST while you’re in Dorset, you’d be silly to miss it. You decide that the imposing arch is the perfect opportunity for a family photo.

Durdle Door is a highlight along the Jurassic Coast in Dorset

Durdle Door

Sunday: What to do in one day in Swanage?

9am: Ready and raring to go, your final full day in Dorset is here. 2 out of 3 days in Dorset already! Since Swanage is only a 20 minute drive from Wareham, this is an obvious choice for today’s day trip. Swanage is a classic Victorian seaside town, with amusements, cafes, restaurants and high street shops. Filling up those stomachs is the top priority so you drop in at Beavers for a great value Full English breakfast and friendly service.

10am: Next up, something you’d never guess you can fit into a long weekend…you take a trip around the world! The massive stone globe at Durlston Country Park is another fantastic backdrop for a family photo. The sea views are incredible and you keep your eyes peeled for a sighting of Ron the seal! You walk back into Swanage along the South West Coast Path for a stroll along the promenade.

2pm: Today’s lunch is on the menu at The Bankes Arms, Studland. A cosy English pub making the perfect stop right in the centre of the village.

3pm: You take the back roads again, heading from Studland towards Corfe Castle along one of the most picturesque roads in Dorset. You see gorgeous country views including a most incredible viewpoint, usually an ice cream van is parked up here! This leaves you with an unforgettable feeling of your time in Dorset. Back along the road past Church Knowle, this time you stop at Kimmeridge for a spot of fossil hunting. You’ve booked in advance at The Etches Collection for a guided walk with master fossil hunter, Mr Steve Etches himself! How exciting! Kimmeridge takes you back in time as you imagine the present coastal cliffs underwater millions of years ago, with dinosaurs swimming the seas.

Swanage, Dorset

Swanage Bay - credit Mark Simons

Monday: Last day in Dorset, what to do?

10am: The housekeeper is ready to bring the holiday cottage back to its usual pristine state at 10am. You’ll be in the car soon after breakfast. You decide to detour to visit the Cerne Abbas Giant on your trip home, but by 10.15am, you notice the kids asleep in the back. They're exhausted from all the tremendous fun they’ve had in Dorset. And now you realise you’ve had the most perfect holiday ever!

This blog is imagined as though you’ve stayed at Elm Villa, a sumptuously gorgeous townhouse in Wareham. But you can pack just as much into your itinerary from any base in Purbeck- it’s just so convenient. Find our selection of well-located Purbeck holiday cottages.

This guest blog was provided by Dorset Cottage Holidays.


The Salt Pig
Farm Shop
The Salt Pig

*Home delivery or collection* - The Salt Pig is an urban farm shop selling locally sourced produce including meat, fish, veg, cheese, bread, real ales, the list is endless!

Monkey World - Ape Rescue Centre
Animal Collection
Monkey World, Dorset - Make the connection

Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre has now re-opened for pre-booked ticket holders. Enjoy a fun-filled, fascinating day out for all the family at Monkey World – Ape Rescue Centre.

Lulworth Cove
Natural Feature
Lulworth Cove, Dorset

*LATEST UPDATE* The car park at Lulworth Cove is currently open, however visitor numbers are being limited. Any cars parked illegally will be dealt with accordingly. There are no rubbish bins, therefore all visitors should take their rubbish home with them. Lulworth Cove is currently experiencing high numbers of visitors during the Covid-19 pandemic. Advice is to think twice about visiting right now and come back later when the beaches are quieter.

South West Coast Path
Walking Route
Durdle Door beach at sunrise

The Dorset Coast Path forms part of the 630 mile South West Coast Path National Trail.

Durlston Country Park National Nature Reserve
Country Park/Nature Reserve
Durlston Country Park

Durlston Country Park and Castle is now open. The toilets at the Learning Centre are open. The Kiosk is open for takeaway 11am - 4.30pm every day. The cafe is open for dining Tuesday-Sunday 10am - 4pm (call 01929 421111 for bookings).

The Bankes Arms
The Bankes Arms Hotel

The Bankes Arms at Studland is an old smuggler’s haunt nestled in the Purbeck Hills, with fine views of the sea. The pub is minutes from the beach and nearby cliff top walks to the famous Old Harry Rocks. The Isle of Purbeck Brewery is next door to the Bankes Arms Studland and both are run by the same family.

Museum of Jurassic Marine Life - The Etches Collection
The Etches Collection - Museum of Jurassic Marine Life

The Museum has now re-opened. The finest single collection of Late Jurassic age fossils in Britain, housed in a purpose built, brand new immersive museum in the village of Kimmeridge, Dorset. Discovered and collected by just one man, Dr Steve Etches MBE, all from the Kimmeridge locality, the amazing exhibition is the result of a lifetimes work. Watch sea monsters swimming above whilst the exceptionally preserved and prepared fossils encased below provide a unique insight into how these marine creatures lived, bred and died.

Dorset Cottage Holidays
White Sands self catering holiday cottage, seaview from sitting room. 4 Bed in Swanage with Dorset Cottage Holidays.

Over 90 holiday cottages throughout Dorset.  Our cottages are handpicked and inspected by our dedicated team.  All of our staff visit our holiday homes so they are able to give you the best advice prior to booking.



  1. Mary
    I loved reading,all the information about wareham and the surrounding area. I was born here and have been coming here all my life and never tier of visiting. If you are thinking of visiting,go for it.you will love every minute.💕👏
  2. Marnie
    Love this posting! How is the weather in Feb and early March? Does one need a car to get around? We will be coming from London by train.
    1. Visit Dorset
      Hi Marnie
      It can be slightly colder in Feb and March but still a great time to visit. A car is not essential as public transport links to major towns are fairly good. But if you do want to explore a bit further afield then use of a car would be good. Hope you enjoy your visit!

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