Summer Breaks in Dorset

What are your first holiday memories? Family holidays by the sea? Picnics in the countryside? Taking in all the sights and sounds of the summer festivals? You’ll find it all here in Dorset.

The summer months really shows Dorset at its very best. The rolling countryside is lush and bursting with wildlife and the coastline looks breath taking as the sun dances on the crystal clear waters. Now, we understand that with the British summer time we’re likely to experience a bit of rain, but we guarantee they won’t dampen your spirits. In fact there are lots of days out whatever the weather.

Here are a few ideas that will make your summer in Dorset one to remember…

Under starry skies

With the fine warm weather that Dorset enjoys, there really is no better time to sleep out under the stars. If you’re a dedicated camper, a more pampered glamper or an experienced caravanner we’ve got plenty of options so you can find your perfect place to stay.

Camping is a great way to enjoy Dorset and provides many of our very first holiday memories. With locations right across Dorset from the acres of beautiful countryside to the wondrous locations to be found along the Jurassic Coast, you’ll have no trouble finding a place to pitch up.

If finding the right pitch and making your own camp are not your kind of thing, don’t worry. For those who like the idea of camping but with a bit more refinement, we hear you. Here in Dorset we’ve got a tremendous selection of glamping options, whether it’s a log cabin, bell tent, shepherds hut or yurt you’ll find them all here waiting to be enjoyed!

If the great outdoors and the idea of camping is not for you, Dorset offers plenty of other great places to stay. We have an abundance of fine hotels and bed and breakfasts with hosts providing expert local knowledge and the very best in customer care. We’re confident that you will be well looked after.

Holidaying with friends and family can be great fun and Dorset offers a fantastic selection self catering properties. Many of them can accommodate large groups, so nobody needs to be left at home, not even the dog!

Dorset festival fever

Dorset provides the spectacular backdrop to many festivals in the summer months. There is always a diverse selection of events to suit all interests including music, food, culture, and history.

The largest of the family events hosted in Dorset is the world famous Camp Bestival. Located within the grounds of Lulworth Castle, the event sees thousands of visiting families enjoy a weekend of fun while enjoying performances from well-known chart toppers. You can camp overnight or just visit for the day.

Dorset also provides a great selection of smaller boutique events that provide wonderful entertainment. Stompin On The Quomps, Chesil RocksShaftesbury Fringe and Jurassic Fields are just some of the festivals returning this summer.

To find more on all of the festivals happening this summer check our Dorset Festival guide.

Carnivals, food and more…

During the summer, Dorset’s carnival calendar is in full swing. Carnival celebrations in many of Dorset’s towns including Bridport, Wareham, Swanage and Lyme Regis provide a wonderful time for families with entertainment to be enjoyed by young and old.

If food and drink is your thing then Dorset is certainly the place to be. Dorset is a favourite location of many leading chefs and it’s not hard to see why, with the abundance of top quality producers that are found within the county.

Alongside a fabulous selection of places to eat, Dorset offers some of the very best in food and drink events.

Highlights include: Highcliffe Food and Arts FestivalThe Bridport Food and Beer Festival, SEAFEAST Dorset Seafood Festival at Weymouth and for those that like it hot, the Great Dorset Chilli Festival at Wimborne St Gilles always draws the crowds.

For a full breakdown of all the events happening this summer check out our What’s On guide.

Time to get active

Combining peace and tranquillity with rewarding exercise, pedal power is a fantastic way to see the delightful Dorset countryside in the summer months. With miles of scenic country lanes, designated cycle routes and opportunities to hit off road trails, cycling is a very popular option with visitors and cycling enthusiasts alike. For the more independent riders among you, grab a map or check out one of our suggested cycling routes across our diverse landscape.

Visitors that like their activities to be more adrenalin fuelled that get the heart pumping will find Dorset has plenty of options available. Whether its rock climbing, coasteering, stand up paddle boarding, bush craft or high speed boat rides Dorset has got it all. We just hope you can last the pace!

Dorset is home to a number of highly qualified instructors that offer the very best in watersports and adventure activities.

But it doesn’t need to be all high octane action. There are activities that can be enjoyed at a gentler pace. Take in the sights and sounds of Dorset while enjoying our miles of walking routes, many of which offer fantastic opportunities for vital refreshments along the way.

Visitors can enjoy golf courses located in some breath taking surroundings. Take in the views across Poole harbour while playing at the Isle of Purbeck Golf Club.

For more ideas of things to do, make sure you have a look at our list of activities.

Seeking further inspiration?

If you need more convincing before you book, we've got you covered. Our events guide is constantly being updated with the fun filled days out happening across Dorset this summer, and you'll find plenty of family friendly days out to be enjoyed by all ages.

We’ve got a bundle of great suggestions of delicious places to eat, entertainment to enjoy and wonderful shopping opportunities.

Make sure you also have a look at our blog which provides some great ideas to make the most of your time while in Dorset.

While you’re here, make sure you keep us in the loop on social media. It’s always great to hear of your adventures while you’re visiting Dorset. Just remember to use our hashtag #VisitDorset.

You ready to make some memories? Take your first step and choose where to stay...


• Hotels
• B&Bs
• Self Catering
• Farmhouses
• Pubs & Inns
• Caravan and Holiday Parks
• Campsites

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