Top 10 Rainy Day Ideas in Dorset

We’d love to be able to tell you that the sun shines all year round in Dorset, but sadly that’s not always the case.

But there’s no need to be down in the dumps if it does get a little damp on your holiday, take a look at some of our indoor attractions and wet weather day ideas to get you singing in the rain in no time!

Have an underwater adventure

Discover the creatures of the seashore and deeper waters of the Jurassic Coast at Lyme Regis Marine Aquarium or take a fascinating journey below the ocean at Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park and discover a magical underwater world filled with a dazzling array of amazing creatures.

See a show

A great way to cheer up a miserable day is to take a trip to the theatre. Book in to see a matinee performance at the Weymouth Pavilion or Lyme Regis' Marine Theatre and get ready for an afternoon of entertainment.

If you’re more of a film buff, there are plenty of local cinemas showing the latest blockbusters as well as independent films, so get the popcorn at the ready.

The The Rex Cinema in Wareham, the Tivoli in Wimborne Minster and The Mowlem in Swanage are independent cinemas showing the latest film releases as well as all-time favourites and classics.

Get wet!

When getting wet is unavoidable, why not just bite the bullet and embrace it! 

If you're visiting during the summer, Dorset Adventure Park is great for adults and children alike. The aqua-based obstacle course is perfect for any weather and is so much fun - you don't have to worry about the rain if you're planning on getting drenched anyway!  

Or if you'd rather be indoors, then visit Splashdown; one of the south's biggest and best waterparks and home to 13 thrilling indoor and outdoor flume rides as well as three under 5's splash zones. It’s flumin' great fun for the whole family!

Uncover some history and heritage

Dorset boasts some fantastic museums which are an ideal way to spend the day whatever the weather, but a rainy day gives you the perfect excuse to pay one or two a visit!

The Shire Hall Museum in Dorchester is an immersive museum for visitors of all ages and explores the history of law and order.  Walk in the footsteps of everyday people who were tried and sentenced in the court, stand in the dock, experience the depths of the cold, dark cells and even dress up in wigs, gowns and hats to really play the part. Discover the Tolpuddle Martyrs story and see where they were held before being brought to trial.

Why not discover the history and culture of Portland with a visit to the Portland Museum which houses many artefacts and tells the story of local industry, the sea, the prisons and the people.

There really is a museum for everyone in and around Dorset; whether you're interested in military exhibitions, teddy bears, dinosaurs, cars, aircraft or fashion there's a museum to spark your interest. 

Get crafty!

Or create your own stone masterpiece at Burngate Stone Carving Centre near Swanage. You can join one of their 'have a go' sessions or book one of their day courses. Whichever you choose, you'll be able to take something home and say "I made this".

Indulge in a spa day

What could be dreamier than spending a dull day wrapped up warm in your robes at a spa enjoying a hot stone massage, bubbles in the Jacuzzi or just relaxing by the pool. Afterwards, delight in the tastes of a delicate afternoon tea with cucumber sandwiches and fondant fancies whilst watching the pitter patter of the raindrops on the window. Heavenly!

Monart Spa Poundbury is an award-winning luxury day spa. You will be given a robe and slippers to use for the day as well as your own dedicated relaxation space. You can enjoy access to one of the finest thermal suites in the UK which includes hydrotherapy pool and state-of-the-art thermal spaces including sanarium, caldarium, sauna, salt grotto, infrared pro cabin, aroma steam room and unique experience showers.

Many Dorset hotels now offer spa breaks, so why not upgrade your spa day to an overnight break including dinner, bed and breakfast?

Enjoy the biggest day out in Dorset!

Have tonnes of fun at the Tank Museum, Dorset’s largest indoor attraction. The award winning attraction tells the story of armoured warfare spanning more than 100 years of history.

Bringing history to life, with the world’s best collection of tanks and explosive live displays.

Go for a pub lunch

When the rain is lashing down outside, spend the afternoon in one of Dorset’s country pubs.

Many have award winning menus and hearty food so take the excuse to enjoy a long lunch with your family and friends before relaxing in the lounge area. If you're visiting during winter, many will have log fires or wood burning stoves to warm up by.

Some pubs have books or games to borrow as well to keep you entertained all afternoon. 

Let the kids run riot

Oodles of soft play fun for the little ones! Lemur Landings is perfect for keeping your rascals occupied on rainy days with bridges to cross, tunnels to explore, plenty of clambering up, sliding down, and running around. You can fire the cannons, jump in the ball pit or play hide and seek – great fun!

Wild Thing at Adventure Wonderland is a massive indoor Aztec adventure play centre boasting three tube slides. At the centre is Montyzoomers Thunderdome complete with air blasters and ball volcano! For the toddlers there is a separate area with their very own climbing frame and slide.

Don your waterproofs

Who said that you had to stay indoors on a rainy day?!

Whack on those wellies, grab that umbrella and make the most of the English weather – go for a fun muddy walk and let the kids jump in the puddles.

It won’t take long to dry off afterwards and it’s one of life’s simplest pleasures!

More inspiration?

We've compiled a whole host of Dorset's best attractions with indoor cover for those rainy days...

You may also like...

What does your Dorset look like? Adventures on our epic coastline? Visiting attractions with family? A walk through the beautiful countryside? Or perhaps a chilled out evening eating and drinking with friends? Discover a sample of your #VisitDorset images below and share your love for Dorset using the hashtag on Instagram.