We packed up the van and the kids (Ella aged 13 and Alfie aged 8) and headed to Freshwater Beach Holiday Park at Burton Bradstock.  Freshwater is our regular first camping stop of the season because it’s fairly close to home and offers plenty to keep the kids amused if the weather does turn.  It’s independent and family run and located on the Jurassic Coast near to West Bay, the location of ITV’s hit drama ‘Broadchurch’.

Enjoying the view and fresh sea air on the beach in Dorset

Pitch up and off we go!

We pitched up just after lunch and headed straight to the site’s Jurassic Fun Centre.  The dinosaur themed fun pool with its slides, splash bucket, water shooters and splash zone, plus the pool which is perfect for practising handstands and showing off your best swimming technique, keeps the kids busy for hours…there’s a Jacuzzi and steam room for me to sneak off to too!

We generally come to Freshwater for last minute weekend breaks during term time, so the pool has never felt crowded and we’ve always been able to splash about for as long as we want. There’s an outdoor pool too and upstairs in the fun centre there’s 10 pin bowling and a café/bar with a terrace offering fab views of the Jurassic Coast.

Time to re-fuel

We often walk the South West Coast path to West Bay for dinner or ice-creams or head east to the Hive Beach Café on the beach at Burton Bradstock.  But after fun in the pool and a quick play in the park we opt for the short drive to Bridport for tea (because, unusually, we also have the car with us on this visit). 

10 minutes later we’ve parked up in Bridport and wander through the pretty courtyard garden of the Bull Hotel to the Stable restaurant which is tucked in behind.  The Stable offers relaxed dining and pizza, pies and cider, perfect fayre for our family of four.  We make our pizza choices and also opt for the cider tasting board which goes down well! 

Enjoying a hearty lunch at one of Dorset's superb Restaurants

Once refuelled, we head back to the beach at Freshwater just in time to catch the sun going down.

Watching a stunning sunset from the beach 

The sound of the waves crashing over the pebbles is pure bliss.  We stop awhile and admire the view then make our way back to our camper for a cosy movie night and some well-earned sleep…we always sleep really well in our camper!

Lazy like a Sunday morning

Sunday morning is a leisurely start packing up the van.  The joy of having a motorhome is that you can just un-hook your electric and off you go!  We do just that, but make a quick diversion into the village of Burton Bradstock and to the Hive Beach Café for breakfast.  This popular, quirky little eatery right on the beach serves yummy breakfasts, lunches and ice-creams from its ice-cream shack.  It’s also open in the evenings during the warm summer months.  We park up in the National Trust car park and head inside. Waffles with maple syrup and bacon and a Hive full English breakfast is very much enjoyed, along with some good coffee. 

It’s a misty morning along the Jurassic Coast but it’s a hive of activity (no pun intended) outside.  Kayakers are heading off on a coastal expedition and there’s a 5k/10k/half marathon going on so we sit and cheer on the runners, feeling like we ought to do something a bit more active than eating, but everything tastes so good in Dorset! 

Eventually we set off for home, feeling like we’ve had a proper, lovely little holiday. 

Plenty of places to pitch up

Over the years we’ve stayed at lots of campsites across Dorset.  Here’s where we’ve stayed so far and what we’ve loved about them:    

Wareham Forest Touring Park – lovely site next to the forest and Sika Deer cycle trail.  Kids also loved cycling to the on-site shop each morning to buy freshly baked croissants.

South Lytchett Manor Caravan and Camping Park – the bus stops right outside this site and takes you into Poole where you can catch the boat to Brownsea Island.  We loved our day out on Brownsea, hunting for the elusive red squirrel.

Highlands End Holiday Park – a lovely, neat park high up on the Jurassic Coast with fabulous views.  We walked along the coast to nearby pubs for tea.

Newlands Holiday Park – lovely site with glorious views across the valley.  Great for walking into Charmouth to visit the beach and the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre where you can find out more about fossil hunting along the Jurassic Coast.

Seaview Holiday Park – offers all the fun and entertainment of a Haven site and you can pitch up here and follow the David Bellamy nature trail that links Seaview to its sister site, Weymouth Bay Holiday Park, next door.  Our kids love, love, love bobbing around the lazy river swimming pool at Weymouth Bay.

There’s still lots more on our list to explore in Dorset.  We hope to bring you more details of our adventures this summer!


Freshwater Beach Holiday Park
Camping & Caravan Site
Freshwater Beach Holiday Park

*LATEST UPDATE* Freshwater Beach Holiday Park has now re-opened. Freshwater Beach Holiday Park is a family holiday park situated on a spectacular expanse of beach, on Dorset's Jurassic Coast. Enclosed by impressive sandstone cliffs and gentle grassy slopes, the scenery is spectacular.

Wareham Forest Tourist Park
Camping & Caravan Site
Wareham Forest Tourist Park aerial view

*Wareham Forest Tourist Park has now re-opened*. In the heart of Wareham Forest, surrounded by trees. Level quiet family park with outdoor pool.

South Lytchett Manor Touring Caravan & Camping Park
Camping & Caravan Site
South Lytchett Manor Touring Caravan & Camping Park

*LATEST UPDATE* Now open and taking bookings. Situated within 10 minutes walking distance of village pubs, in an excellent rural location just 3 miles from Poole. Bus service at gates. Suitable for touring caravans, motorhomes and tents. Romany Caravans available as glamping option.

Highlands End Holiday Park
Camping & Caravan Site
Highlands End Holiday Park

*LATEST UPDATE* Highlands End Holiday Park has now re-opened. Highlands End Holiday Park is located on the clifftop with stunning views over 99 miles of coastline from Portland Bill to Start Point. The park is in a great location to explore the Jurassic Coast as well as towns such as Lyme Regis, Weymouth and West Bay. The park has been family owned and providing memorable holidays for nearly 50 years.

Newlands Holiday Park
Camping & Caravan Site
Newlands Holidays self-catering holiday homes

*LATEST UPDATE* Newlands Holiday Park has now re-opened. Newlands is a family run park located in the picturesque World Heritage village of Charmouth just a stones throw from the fossil rich Jurassic Coast near the Dorset/Devon border. Choose from pine lodges, apartments, caravans, camping pods, or pitches for tents and tourers.

Seaview Holiday Park
Holiday Village
Seaview Holiday Park in Weymouth

*LATEST UPDATE* Seaview Holiday Park has now re-opened. Our park has a lovely rural setting near a pretty sweeping bay. We’re just a 15 minute walk down to the beach and a short bus ride to Weymouth itself.

Weymouth Bay Holiday Park
Holiday Village
Weymouth Bay Holiday Park

Our park is set amidst Dorset’s green fields and rolling hills. So this really is an idyllic spot, with a path winding through our park down to the beach at Bowleaze Cove.



  1. Steve
    Think l need to buy a camper van.

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