Mini guide to Dorset

Jenessa Williams

At Britain prepares for a heatwave, a trip to the coat is calling. Proud owner of the finest Jurassic coastline in the world, Dorset is a must-see for the bucket-and-spade list, conveniently bordered by Devon and Somerset

Snap a picture at Durdle Door

A sight that many will be familiar with, the arch of Durdle Door is a feat of natural engineering, eroded over centuries to form a stunning cove.

You can admire the form from the top of the hill, but it’s best viewed up close—just remember to wear comfortable walking shoes and take things slowly, as the steps get quite steep.

If Durdle Door isn’t quite impressive enough, a panoramic stroll along the coastline will also reveal the Old Harry and Man O’War Rocks, punctuated by Bay inlets and thickets of wild vegetation.

Breathe in that sea air—it doesn’t get better than this.

Also recommended: Swanage Bay, Chapmans Pool

 

Lose yourself in grandeur at Kingston Lacey House

National Trust memberships at the ready—Dorset is home to some spectacular grounds and buildings. Kingston Lacy is arguable the jewel in the crown—a lavish family home built in an Italian style, with a multitude of activities for all the family to enjoy.

New for April is the 3 mile woodland trail, a beautiful cycle through the forest that’s perfect for getting the blood pumping.

If the weather is less than ideal, a stroll through the home itself will reveal an extensive collection of artwork, as well as the occasional musical performance.

Finish things off with a spot of afternoon tea in the Stables café, recognized with a Bronze Award “Food For Life” sustainability award.

Also recommended: Lulworth Castle, Mapperton House, Town Mill

 

Shrink yourself down at Wimborne Minster model town

Opened in 1951, a visit to Wimborne’s model town really is a trip through time…and space! Built on a 1/10thscale, it’s a wonderfully quaint day trip, with over 100 shop fronts to explore, all in traditional 1950s style.

A model railway, dolls house and giant outdoor chess (just for contrast) complete the novelty offering, but it’s the gardens that are really a must-see.

For those with kinesthetic impairments, the new Sensory Garden is a triumph, allowing patrons to enjoy a huge array of flowers through touch, smell, sight and hearing.

Also recommended: Dorset Teddy Bear Museum, Dorset Country Museum, The Blandford Fashion Museum

 

La Fleur de Lys Restaurant

Doubling up as a hotel, La Fleur de Lys is well worth the visit. Located in nearby Shaftesbury, they offer a lunch and dinner service six days a week, chock-full of delectable local seafood.

Menus change seasonally, but expect the likes of Honeyed Guinea fowl, fresh White crab with Wasabi Yogurt, and pan-fried scallops in lime crumb.

If you’ve left enough room for dessert, choose wisely—Tia Maria & Coffee Crème Brule or Chocolate Beignets Soufflés will certainly create an air of holiday decadence.

Also recommended: The Guildhall Tavern, Limestone, Yalbury Cottage

 

Take a boat trip from Weymouth Harbour

When you’re this close to the sea, you may as well take advantage with a day trip out on the water.

Whether you’re a jet-ski thrill seeker or more of a casual traveller, there are many different hirable and touring options available from the harbour, as well as provisions for birdwatching, rainy day activities and fossil-hunting.

Also recommended: Wessex Golf Centre, Fleet House Farm Equestrian Centre