Group Friendly Days Out in Dorset
Whether you are bringing a school or youth group, a coach party or are just a large group of friends or family, find out about our group-friendly days out.
There is an exceptional choice of things to see and do with a group in Dorset. Visit a fascinating museum or a National Trust property, get close to animals or stroll through beautiful gardens.
There are also plenty of activities in Dorset to suit hen and stag parties, team building events, corporate days out, school trips and much more.
Some will offer group discounts, organised tours or free entry or refreshment for coach drivers.
For all the attractions and activities listed on this page, pre-booking is essential for discounted ticket prices and to guarantee entry to the attraction. Guided tours may also need to be pre-booked.
For further details, please contact the attraction or activity directly, or speak to one of the Tourist Information Centres.
A fun day out
Corfe Castle Model Village is a scaled down version of the majestic Corfe Castle (before it was ruined) and its surrounding village. They welcome school groups, offer guided tours and give a discounted entrance price for bookings of 10 or more people. The group organiser or driver is admitted for free. Their tearooms can also cater for groups and the group organiser or driver qualifies for a complimentary refreshment.
Perfect for groups large or small, Splashdown Waterpark at Poole is a fantastic attraction for whatever the weather. If you have 10 or more people in your group, you’ll get a discounted rate. The bigger the group, the less you’ll pay for your ticket and, for groups of 20 people or more; a group leader goes free per every 20 visitors.
The Tank Museum welcomes groups all year round. There is a group discount for pre-booked tickets for 12 or more people and you can choose to take a tour for an additional £5 per person. And they also offer an education programme for schools.
For adrenaline junkies
As Dorset is blessed with both coast and countryside, there is a huge amount of outdoor pursuits for your group to enjoy. Our outdoor adventure specialists will teach you how to abseil, coasteer, quad bike, Segway, climb, shoot and more. Or maybe you want to feel the wind in your hair on a fast jet boat ride along the coast?
You could even camp out for a few days and learn some bushcraft skills just like Bear Grylls or Ray Mears. Survive on the bare basics and get back to nature in Dorset’s beautiful countryside.
Step back in time
Ride on a heritage steam train with Swanage Railway and receive a discount when 15 or more tickets are purchased as a group – not only will this mean you get a great price, but it will also ensure that your group is seated together.
Group tours are available at St. Johns Almshouses in Sherborne. The picturesque Almshouse was built in the 15th Century for "12 poor men and 4 poor women". Of particular interest are the remarkable 15th century Triptych; copies of the illuminated Royal Licence and Foundation Deed; an original letter dated 1594 from Sir Walter Raleigh to the Almshouse Master.
Athelhampton House is a 15th Century manor house with Grade I Listed gardens which are home to the famous topiary pyramids. They offer discounted entry for 12 or more people. They also offer guided tours as well as catering packages to eat at their restaurant. You can download their Groups or Schools pack from their website.
Built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594 and the stately home of the Digby family since 1617; Sherborne Castle houses nationally important collections of art, furniture and porcelain. You can explore the 42 acres of landscape gardens offering delightful walks the lake. Guided tours are available and discounted tickets can be booked for 15 or more people.
Treasure Trails is a brilliant way to explore a new area as well as having fun along the way. Follow the trail, answer the questions, hunt the clues and solve the riddles.
Everyone in your group can get involved and there are trails all over Dorset to enjoy.
Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre is home to chimpanzees, lemurs, orangutans, capuchins and a whole host of other primates rescued from all over the world. Group discounts are available for 10 or more people who book in advance and guided tours are offered at an additional charge. They have downloadable worksheets for school groups on their website.
If you’ve got a group of under 8’s, Farmer Palmers Farm Park lets them feed the animals, take a tractor trailer ride and learn that milk comes from cows not the supermarket! Groups with 20 or more people will get a discounted price, just give them a call to arrange your visit.
Explore above and below the ocean at Sea Life Weymouth. Have a face-to-face encounter with sharks or a hands-on rockpool experience. Group tickets are available for parties of 10 or more, with the opportunity to add on a V.I.P. tour. They also have downloadable activity packs for 6-14 year olds on their website.
Visit the gentle giants and other farmyard animals at the Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park. They welcome all groups including early learning, nurseries, pre–schools, education groups, youth clubs as well as WI and special needs groups. They offer discounts when 20 or more full paying adults or children attend when pre–booking their visit – just call to arrange your visit. They have a designated secure areas for bags and coats and the group organiser or coach driver is admitted for free.
Just add water
There are loads of options to dip your toe in the water or jump straight in. Join a group kayaking tour along the Jurassic Coast and see amazing rock formations like Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove.
Or head inland to the picture perfect village of Corfe Castle and take on the challenge of Dorset’s inflatable waterpark. Fun for all ages.
Admire the world-famous displays of rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias at Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway, as well as exploring the riverside walks or taking a trip on the steam railway. They offer a variety of garden tours including meet the head gardener and one for coach groups. Chauffer driven buggies are available to charter for 15 or more people (excluding May and June).
Bennetts Water Garden hold the National Plant Collection© of Water Lilies with over 140 different varieties producing thousands of flowers spread across acres of water. Group discounts for 12 or more people are available, as well as free entry for the group organiser and free entry and complimentary refreshments for the coach driver. There are further discounts for groups arriving by a single mode of transport, i.e. a coach or mini-bus.
For a completely different experience, visit Keyneston Mill's and see how they grow, harvest and distill the key ingredients of Parterre luxury perfumes. It is the largest private botanic gardens in the country dedicated solely to aromatic and scented plants, with over 1,000 varieties in a 50-acre estate. Take a guided tour to find out more.
Exploring on two legs or four
If you’re looking for a more sedate activity, how about joining a walking tour along the coast? Our expert guides are extremely knowledgeable about all things Dorset!
Or perhaps you’d prefer to explore the area on horseback. Sign up for a gentle ride or a cross country hack. Sometimes rides to pubs are also on offer – sounds good to us.
Movie locations and literary links
Did you know that a number of literary greats lived in or visited Dorset? Thomas Hardy and T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) both lived here and Enid Blyton used Dorset as a holiday retreat for over 20 years.
You can visit their homes and the places which inspired their books including Clouds Hill in Bovington, Maxgate in Dorchester and Brownsea Island near Poole.
If you love big blockbuster movies, you can visit some of the locations filmed for Dunkirk, Far From The Madding Crowd and On Chesil Beach. The award winning TV series Broadchurch was also filmed in Dorset - visit the dramatic cliffs which feature heavily in all 3 series (found at West Bay) or take a guided tour.
Sit back and relax
Fancy seeing the coast from a completely different angle? Why not take a leisurely boat cruise along the magnificent Jurassic Coast or around Poole Harbour.
Some boat cruises offer discounted group prices or exclusive hire of the boat.
Vinyard and brewery tours
Take a tour of Palmers Brewery's historic buildings and learn about all aspects of the brewing process as well as the production of Palmers famous "Golden Cap" whisky. They offer group tours for up to 25 people.
If wine is your drink of choice, you could opt for a guided tour of Furleigh Estate where some of the best sparkling wine in the country is made. They have over 22,000 vines and a purpose-built winery containing state of the art equipment. They provide private group wine tours and tastings throughout the year, offering a unique behind-the-scenes view of our vineyard and winery. Max number is 25 people per tour.
Vinyard tours are also available at the Langham Wine Estate. For groups of 15 or more people they provide bespoke tours throughout the year. Their on site café can offer a range of catering options to suit a range of occasions and budgets.
Perhaps you’re in Dorset to celebrate pre-wedding and are in need of a day of relaxation and pampering treatments. Book onto a spa day or weekend at one of our fabulous hotels and let the stress of wedding planning wash away.
Maybe you’d rather get outdoors and onto a golf course. We’ve got lots to choose from with amazing scenery, challenging courses and club houses to sink a few drinks in afterwards!
Or how about learning a new craft? Have a go at stone carving or pottery painting.
Planning your group visit
If you are planning an overnight stay in Dorset, you may want to take a look at our extensive list of group-friendly accommodation, including hotels, B&Bs, hostels, bunkhouses, large self-catering properties and holiday parks.
To complete your itinerary, why not take a look at our group-friendly eating out.
And if you're bringing a school, college or university group for an educational visit, there are lots of places to visit which will enhance your study or field trip.
There are plenty of activities in Dorset to suit hen and stag parties, team building events, corporate days out, school trips and much more.
Some will offer special rates or group discounts, so be sure to look out for offers or deals which you’re group can use.
Looking for the whole package? Some of our outdoor centres also provide accommodation too. Try Brenscombe Outdoor Centre or Cumulus Outdoor Adventure who offer residential packages (including accommodation and food) aimed at a variety of age groups.