Things To Do in Dorset

Not sure of what to see or do during your visit? Whatever you’re interested in, you’ll be sure to find it in Dorset.

From fantastically fun family attractions to intriguing museums and some of the most stunning stately homes and gardens to be found anywhere. The variety of attractions on offer will blow you away! 

No matter if you are a day tripper or visiting on holiday, there are so many incredible things to do in Dorset, it will make your visit live long in the memory.

Looking for things to do in Dorset with the kids?

Have a day of monkeying around at Monkey World - home to over 250 rescued and endangered monkeys and apes.  Once you have learned more about our closest living relatives, let the kids unleash their inner chimp by swinging and climbing on the south of England’s largest play area.

If you prefer your activities to be a bit more adrenalin pumping, Dorset is stacked with heart racing activities to keep every thrill seeker entertained. Racing carts, firing guns or scaling the heights rock climbing, we’ve got it covered. With all these extreme sports to choose from we just hope you can keep up!

Things to do in Dorset for everyone to enjoy!

Dorset is the perfect playground for you to explore, with mile upon mile of thrilling cycle routes, some of the finest walking trails to be found anywhere and scenery to die for!

Cast your fishing line off of one of Dorset’s stunning beaches and land your own monster from the deep or sit back and relax alongside one of the tranquil fishing lakes and watch the world go by. There are also plenty of boat trips and tours to take advantage of - enjoy our county from the water!

Why not visit the world’s best collection of armoured vehicles at the Tank Museum, where the history of the tank is brought to life?

Shop 'til you drop

There is such a large range of shopping experiences in Dorset, we’re sure you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for. From big named brands to small, independent retailers and everything in-between, our shops will produce the goods...and more!

Whether you are looking to get something new for your wardrobe, find a stunning piece of art for your home or pick up some tasty food and drink for dinner, Dorset's high streets, shopping centres and retail parks have everything you could ever wish for.

And don't forget to take a break from all that retail therapy with a coffee break or lunch in one of our amazing cafes, bistros or restaurants.

Let us entertain you!

If you're looking for entertainment, we've got it covered!  From performing arts in wonderful theatres to the latest blockbuster at a nearby cinema. And not forgetting places to let your hair down and party all night long! 

Dorset is lucky to have a great variety of traditional theatres, as well as modern art centres where you can watch everything from Shakespeare's plays to live orchestras. And they are also host to touring theatre productions, local amateur dramatics and famous comedians.

If you're looking for a big night out to see your favourite band or artist, you won't be disappointed with the choice on offer. We've got big names, up and coming artists and all time legends. 

Book your break in Dorset today

So what are you waiting for? Book your action packed break to Dorset now!  We’ve got loads of holiday accommodation to suit all budgets and tastes and you can easily book the accommodation of your choice by using our easy-to-use booking facility.

Last but not least, we would definitely recommend you visit the filming location of ITV's hit drama 'Broadchurch' so you can see first hand how the amazing landscape helped play its part in its success.

Highlighted for you

Adventure Wonderland

Dorset’s multi award-winning family theme park, Adventure Wonderland, is the perfect spot to unlock the fun this year!  A wide range of outside rides and attractions are open including...

Brewery Square

Brewery Square is a vibrant and stylish regeneration in the heart of Dorchester which currently boasts a variety of shops, eateries and leisure facilities including; Nando's, Zizzi, Hobbs, Phase...

Brownsea Island

The perfect day’s adventure, this island wildlife sanctuary is easy to get to but feels like another world from the moment you step ashore. The island sits in the middle of Poole Harbour, with...

Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle ruins are one of Britain's most iconic and evocative survivors of the English Civil War, partially demolished in 1646 by the Parliamentarians, they sit proudly upon a hill of this...

Cross Country Cabs Day Tours

Cross Country Cabs specialises in customised Dorset tours and also provides dependable taxi, airport and seaport travel for any distance. Whether you just want delivering or collecting to or...

Cumulus Outdoor Adventure

Cumulus Outdoors offers unrivalled outdoor experience and a range of outdoor adventure experiences for families and private groups, a range of school residential programmes including field studies,...

Cyclexperience

Get tranquility and exercise on a bike whilst exploring the woodlands, heaths, beaches and hills of the Isle of Purbeck!  Ride top of the range mountain bikes or modern...

Dorset Adventure Park

Located in Corfe Castle, Dorset Adventure park is a family fun Waterpark and Mud Trail. Featuring 18 acres of woodland and lakes with stunning views of Corfe Castle. Whether you’re looking to...

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...

Farmer Palmer's Farm Park

Farmer Palmer's is where young adventurers can frankly ‘let their hair down’ without older children around to stifle their enjoyment! Designed specifically for children aged 0-8years,...

Fore Adventure

Fore / Adventure host two hour taster sessions to three day expeditions for all ages and abilities, getting closer to nature by sea kayak and stand up paddle board and enjoying the fruits of natures...

Furleigh Estate Wine Tours

Set in West Dorset’s wonderful green and rolling hills, Furleigh Estate makes some of the best sparkling wine in the country. We have over 22,000 vines and a purpose-built winery containing...

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...

H2O Powerboat Experience

At H2O powerboat experience we offer a wide range of services from our base in Christchurch Dorset. Situated with Bournemouth and Poole just to our west, and the Solent just to our east we have...

Highcliffe Castle

Highcliffe Castle is not only a beautiful and historical building, but the surrounding grounds are perfect for a relaxing stroll or a family picnic on the lawns. There is direct access to both...

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...

Little Waddon Vineyard

Little Waddon Vineyard is a small boutique low-intervention vineyard producing wine without the use of pesticides or synthetic chemicals. Nestled in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on...

Lulworth Castle and Park

Welcome to Lulworth Castle and Park, the most beautiful castle in the south! This fairy-tale castle was originally built as a hunting lodge in the early C17th to entertain aristocracy and royalty and...

Monkey World - Ape Rescue Centre

Enjoy a fun-filled, fascinating day out for all the family at Monkey World – Ape Rescue Centre in Wareham. The 65-acre park is home to the stars of TV’s ‘Monkey Life’ and...

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...

Palmers Brewery

Guided brewery tours now run throughout the year Monday to Friday. Book on to one of our brewery tours and take a look around the only thatched brewery in the UK. Palmers ales are brewed in one of...

Portland Castle

Overlooking Portland Harbour in Dorset stands one of Henry VIII's finest coastal forts, built in the early 1540s to protect against French and Spanish invasion. Today it provides a great day out...

Purbeck Park

Purbeck Park - Where adventures begin… Located in the centre of the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, Purbeck Park is a 'must visit' location. Start here and explore nearby attractions and the...

Purbeck Sports Centre

A family friendly sports centre offering something for everyone. Swimming sessions for all abilities, sauna, football and cricket pitches, racket sports, modern gym and a packed timetable of...

Redlands Yard

For nearly 40 years Redlands Yard (previously called Broadwindsor Craft Centre) has been a firm local and visitors favourite. No visit is complete without a treating yourself to something delicious...

Rock Reef Activity Attraction and Pier Zip

RockReef is an all year, all weather activity attraction located at the end of Bournemouth Pier. There is a huge range of amazing activities to suit all ages, from 4 to 94! Inside you will find 28...

RSPB Arne Nature Reserve

Arne Nature Reserve is situated on Poole Harbour and within the Dorset National Landscape, it's a stunning landscape which consists of dramatic open heathland and ancient oak woodland.  Arne...

RSPB Weymouth Wetlands (Radipole and Lodmoor)

The RSPB Weymouth Wetlands nature reserves are hidden gems in the heart of Weymouth.  Comprises of 2 reserves (RSPB Radipole Lake and RSPB Lodmoor) and a Discovery Centre.  Nestled in...

Sherborne Old Castle

Wander in the footsteps of Sir Walter Ralegh and discover his country home. Originally a 12th-century bishop’s palace, Sherborne Old Castle became the home of Sir Walter Ralegh (an English...

Shire Hall Museum

Shire Hall Museum brings over 200 years of justice and injustice to life. Walk in the footsteps of people whose lives were forever changed in the historic court at Dorchester’s Shire Hall...

Splashdown Poole

Please note, tickets are ONLY be bookable through the Splashdown website. Splashdown is an all action water park with some of the UK's best water flumes. A roaringly good welcome awaits those who...

The Mowlem Theatre, Cinema and The Showbar

Situated on Swanage seafront The Mowlem, cinema, theatre, function rooms and sea view bar offer the perfect entertainment during your visit to Swanage. The refurbished and comfortable auditorium hosts...

The Official Test Centre Ltd

The Official Test Centre (OTC) is the windsurfing, kitesurfing and stand up paddling (SUP) centre located right on the water’s edge, within the grounds of the National Sailing Academy on...

The Tank Museum

The Tank Museum brings history to life, with the world’s best collection of tanks and explosive live displays. Come face-to-face with over 300 huge military machines and hear about amazing...

TheGallery

Welcome to TheGallery at the Arts University Bournemouth - a major resource for contemporary art and design in the South of England. We seek to enhance the cultural capital of the students, staff...

Treasure Trails Dorset

Explore the streets of Weymouth with a self-guided Murder Mystery themed walking Treasure Trail; a fun and imaginative way to explore Weymouth. As you follow the Trail route, can you solve the clues...

Tunnel Tree Tops Ltd

Tunnel Tree Tops Ltd is an award winning high ropes adventure course running through the woodland at The Tunnel, Charmouth. An adrenaline-pumping, bird’s eye experience which is made up...

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...

Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens

Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens is no ordinary garden, with its own micro-climate in a sheltered woodland valley on the Jurassic Coast. The special plant collection has been built up over the last...

Abbotsbury Swannery

Abbotsbury Swannery is the only place in the world where you are able to walk through the heart of a colony of nesting Mute Swans. A visit to this beautiful and tranquil place is one of the most...

Athelhampton House and Gardens

Athelhampton nestles in the Piddle valley, between Tolpuddle and Puddletown and is easily reached from the A35 main road. ​The ancient manor of Athelhampton has been continually lived in since Saxon...

Bushcraft and Primitive Survival Skills

Probably one of the most authentic woodland activities you can experience in Dorset. Relax in our beautiful secluded woodlands and reconnect with our ancestors way of life. Our Bushcraft activities...

City Cruises Poole

City Cruises operate daily from Poole Quay and Swanage Pier. We offer a wide selection of cruises along the Jurassic Coast, trips to the Victorian resort at Swanage and the Steam Railway, Poole...

Condor Ferries Boat Trips

If you're looking for a day out with a difference that's really great value, join us on one of our high speed journeys to Guernsey. You can travel on foot or with your vehicle, and...

Dorset Museum and Art Gallery

Welcome to Dorset Museum, a place to connect with 250 million years of history. From amazing archaeology, to dinosaur bones and the story of Mary Anning, the archive of Thomas Hardy and the Elisabeth...

Lyme Bay RIB Charter

Boat trips running daily along the Jurassic Coast departing from West Bay Harbour. Daily excursions including Coastal Cruises, RIB Blasts & Evening Tours.  Also available to charter...

Monart Spa Poundbury

*LATEST UPDATE* Please browse through the updated brochure including two new special offers and view the Covid Policy. Gift vouchers now available for as little as £20 Monart Spa - Poundbury is...

Moonfleet Adventure Sailing

Sailing daily from Portland - check website for availability and to book Gift vouchers now available - Prices start at just £35 for a 2 hour cruise on the Tallship Moonfleet. Treat yourself to...

Swanage Railway

Whatever the weather, take a journey back in time with an enjoyable day of excitement and nostalgia at the award winning Swanage Railway. Sit back and relax during a leisurely trip behind a historic...

Weymouth SEA LIFE Adventure Park

Explore an amazing underwater world and journey to the ocean depths at Weymouth SEA LIFE Adventure Park! Get up close to over 2,000 creatures, including our playful otters and rescued sea turtles....

What does your day out in Dorset look like? A romantic walk in the Dorset countryside? A day out with the family at a farm park? Or coasteering off the Dorset coast? Discover a sample of your #VisitDorset activity and attraction images below and share your love for Dorset using the hashtag on Instagram.   

Discover things to doin Dorset

Food & Drink Experiences

Visit a vineyard, book a brewery tour, fish for your dinner or learn new skills at a cookery school.

Heritage & Culture

Discover Dorset's rich and intriguing heritage and soak up the atmosphere of bygone eras.

Family Friendly

If you’re seeking fun-packed days out in Dorset, we've got loads of ideas for all ages.

Walking

Explore Dorset's rolling hills, peaceful country lanes, dramatic clifftops and woodland trails.

Shopping

With a large range of shopping experiences in Dorset, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for.

Active & Outdoor

Dorset's mix of glorious countryside and superb coast make the ideal setting for a great escape.

Nature & Wildlife

Dorset has some of the best wildlife and natural landscapes found anywhere in the UK.

Tours & Boat Trips

From walking tours and fossil hunts to boat trips and town guides, you'll have a fantastic day out.

Animals & Farm Parks

If your family like to ‘go wild’ and get close to nature, Dorset has lots to offer.

Gardens & Parks

Dorset’s mild climate makes it a perfect location for some truly magical gardens.