…so why not make your stay at Camp Bestival part of a longer family holiday in and around Dorset?
To help you out we’ve researched some of the top family attractions in the area, highlighted some of the local heritage interests, dipped our toes in the water at a some of its finest beaches, quaffed a few ales at its cosiest pubs, sussed out some of its prime holiday parks and campsites and picked out some choice hotels and B&Bs…
For more information on attractions and all things Dorset visit www.visit-dorset.com
Telephone: 01929 462537
Location: Wareham, Dorset BH20 6HH
About: The best family day out! An outdoor play area, woodland walk, pets encounter, a soft play area and Big Al’s Adventure with many amusements keep kids busy all day. There is also a café, a gift shop, education centre, picnic area and free parking.
Telephone: 01202 483444
Location: Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 6BA
About: Adventure Wonderland is an all-inclusive park that combines the timeless fun and games of Alice in Wonderland with the thrilling outdoor adventure rides of the main park, and the undercover Lost Aztec World of Wild Thing!
Telephone: 01305 871858
Location: Abbotsbury, Nr Weymouth, Dorset DT3 4JG
About: Voted Best Dorset Attraction by The Good Guide to Britain. Do not miss the mass feeding of up to 600 swans at midday and 4pm every day. The Swannery was established by Benedictine Monks who built a monastery at Abbotsbury during the 1040s.
Abbotsbury Children’s Farm
Telephone: 01305 871817
Location: Abbotsbury, Dorset DT3 4JG
About: The ancient Tithe Barn site is home to a host of friendly farm animals. Many can be stroked and fed at regular times throughout the day. This is a wonderful place for under 11s.
Telephone: 01305 269880
Location: Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1EW
About: It is Britain’s only museum solely devoted to dinosaurs and their fascinating world. Actual fossils, skeletons, and life-size dinosaur reconstructions combine with audio-visual, hands-on displays to excite, enthral, and entertain you.
Weymouth Sea Life Park
Telephone: 01305 788255
Location: Weymouth Dorset DT4 7SX
About: Indoor and outdoor attractions make this a great family day out. Enrol in the amazing Shark Academy for the day, enjoy close encounters at the touch pool and learn about the success of the renowned seahorse breeding programme currently underway.
The Tank Museum
Telephone: 01929 405096
Location: Bovington Dorset BH20 6JG
About: From the first tank ever built to the modern Challenger II, the museum’s definitive collection comprises more than 250 vehicles and supporting artefacts from all over the world.
Telephone: 01929 552740
Location: Situated halfway between Weymouth and Bournemouth
About: A natural horse-shoe shaped harbour which was formed approximately 10,000 years ago by the awesome powers of a river and the sea. It has a pebble beach and by virtue of its natural protection is very sheltered. The steps at the East end of the beach lead to Fossil Forest and Mupe Bay with a stunning walk along the clifftop. Approximately two miles along the coast is Durdle Door a natural limestone arch flanked on either side by two shingle beaches.
Telephone: 01297 561900
Location: Central Dorset, between Dorchester and Sherborne
About: Voted one of the most iconic landmarks in Britain. Standing at 180ft tall, this is Britain’s largest chalk hill figure. It is also our most controversial. Many theories surround its identity – is it an ancient symbol of spirituality, the Greco-Roman hero Hercules, or a mockery of Oliver Cromwell? It has an easy access viewing point and picnic area.
Telephone: 01929 481294
Location: Wareham, Dorset BH20 5EZ
About: One of the most evocative ruined castles in England, with more than 1,000 years of turbulent history. The Swanage Railway operates a steam train service to Corfe.
Telephone: 01297 561900
Location: between Lyme Regis and Bridport
About: Golden Cap is the highest point on the south coast and offers magnificent views of the Jurassic coastline.
Swanage Central Beach
About: Blue Flag Award / Seaside Award / Good Beach Guide Recommended. This is an excellent family beach with gently sloping sands and safe sheltered swimming. Activities on the water include sailing, windsurfing and diving. Canoe and pedalo hire is also available.
About: Almost perfectly circular, Lulworth Cove is a much-photographed pebbly beach. Just along the cliffs is Durdle Door, one of the best natural rock archways you’re ever likely to see.
About: Studied in geography lessons across the land as a prime example of ‘longshore drift’, Chesil Beach is a long, long strip of shingle stretching out into the sea.
Lyme Regis Beach
About: A classic English seaside town with a flat and sandy beach. Lyme Regis’s most famous landmark is The Cobb, a pier that was immortalised by the John Fowles novel, The French Lieutenant’s Woman.
About: A National Trust nature reserve, this long curve of sand is home to many breeds of rare birds. Studland is also a popular family beach famous for its nudist section.
For a wider selection of beaches, follow this link:
The Square and Compass
Telephone: 01929 439229
Location: Worth Matravers, Dorset
About: Recommended by The Telegraph & The Guardian and situated on Dorset’s Isle of Purbeck is a pub so idyllic that the Famous Five would choke with enthusiasm on its real ginger beer. Sits atop the former stone-quarrying village, with a 20-minute walk down the cliff path to the sea.
Telephone: 0871 917 0007
Location: Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 8JH
About: The Boot won the CAMRA Regional Pub of the Year Award (2005). It dates from the 17th Century and is reputed to be both the oldest and the most haunted inn in Weymouth. No food served here but a brilliant selection of ales.
Telephone: 01202 749569
Location: Poole, Dorset, BH14 8UD
About: Crowned National Freehouse and Pub of the Year 2007, The Cow is essentially a venue of three parts: Busy, vibrant, classical ‘Gastro Pub’, stylish, relaxed Bistro and a stunning private dining room called The Thienot Gallery.
The Goat & Tricycle
Telephone: 01202 314220
Location: Bournemouth, Dorset
About: Voted Best Cask Beer Pub 2007…
The Kings Arms
Telephone: 01747 838325
Location: Gillingham, Dorset, SP8 5NB
About: Child-friendly and welcoming, with excellent service and delicious meals. Pub grub, restaurant meals or just a snack can be enjoyed in the bars or attractive beer garden. Play area for children. Caters for families.
The Stapleton Arms Pub
Telephone: 01963 370396
Location: Buckhorn Weston, Dorset, SP8 5HS
About: The pub has a spacious bar, elegant dining room and a secluded garden in which to enjoy the great range of draught and bottled beers, quality wines and real food on offer.
The Old Granary
Telephone: 01929 552010
Location: Wareham, Dorset BH20 4LP
About: The pub to go to for freshly baked baguettes with various fillings. Monsters they are! You can sit on the quayside and scoff these with a decent pint and fight the ducks off at the same time.
Durdle Door Holiday Park
Telephone: 01929 400200
Location: Lulworth Castle, East Lulworth, Dorset
About: This friendly holiday park offers home from home comforts in the ideal location to discover the beautiful Dorset Countryside and stunning Jurassic Coast. Perfect for holidays or short breaks, at Durdle Door you will be in the best place to relax and enjoy the scenery.
The Fresh Water Beach Holiday Park
Telephone: 01308 897 317
Location: Bridport, Dorset DT6 4PT
About: A private haven for families and children – for sun worshippers, swimmers, windsurfers, walkers and sea fishermen.
Sandford Holiday Park
Telephone: 01202622 513
Location: Poole, Dorset BH16 6JZ
About: There are superb indoor and outdoor heated pools, a choice of play areas plus fantastic live entertainment. Nearby New Forest and spot the famous ponies or visit the bustling resorts of Poole and Bournemouth.
West Fleet Holiday Farm
Telephone: 01305 782218
Location: Fleet, Weymouth, Dorset
About: Great for Kids. There’s space to run around, a play area, swimming pool and breathtaking views. With peak-season entertainment provided in the clubhouse and bar, you’ll find all you need for a great family holiday.
Golden Cap Caravan Park
Telephone: 01308 422139
Location: Bridport, Dorset DT6 6JX
About: Awarded Visit Britain Rose 2009. The touring and camping areas are in an enviable position next to the National Trust Golden Cap Estate on the World Heritage Coastline, close to the beach and coastline.
Seadown Caravan Park
Telephone: 01297 560154
Location: Charmouth, Dorset, DT6 6QS
About: This family run park, nestling in a quiet Dorset Valley alongside the pretty River Char, has direct access to the beach, which is only 150 yards away, and is within walking distance to the village of Charmouth.
Cromwell House Hotel
Telephone: 01929 400253
Location: West Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5RJ
About: Family-run hotel, 200 yards from Lulworth Cove. Spectacular sea views, gardens and a swimming pool.
Lulworth Cove Inn
Telephone: 01929 400333
Location: West Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5RQ
About: Characterful country inn set on the South Dorset coastal path forming part of the World Heritage Site with its Jurassic fossil area. The hotel benefits from the friendly Dorset atmosphere and the historic towns of Dorchester and Wareham are also within easy reach. Also a great pub.
The Castle Inn
Telephone: 01929 400 311
Location: West Lulworth, Dorset, BH20 5RN
About: The Castle Inn is a traditional family-run 16th Century thatched pub and hotel with an excellent quality food menu, near the beautiful Lulworth Cove & Durdle Door of the Jurassic Coastline and amongst some of the most beautiful parts of the Purbeck countryside. Also a great pub.
Burngate Farm Bed and Breakfast
Telephone: 01929 400783
Location: West Lulworth, Dorset, BH20 5PT
About: Situated just outside the small coastal village of West Lulworth, Burngate farmhouse is ideally placed with access to coastal walks and has the ambience of a traditional farmhouse.
The Summer Lodge Hotel
Telephone: 01935 482000
Location: Evershot, Dorset DT2 0JR
About: The guest rooms suites and private cottages of this beautifully restored Georgian Manor are individually designed using glorious rich fabrics the best hand made mattresses and finest linens as well as being equipped with the latest technology including flat screen TVs and DVDs. The hotel boasts four acres of grounds with tennis court croquet lawn / heated indoor pool.
The Moonfleet Manor Hotel
Telephone: 01305 786948
Location: Near Weymouth, Dorset, DT3 4ED
About: Moonfleet Manor, overlooking the world famous Chesil Beach and the Fleet Lagoon, is set in the heart of some of England’s least discovered, yet most staggeringly beautiful countryside. This handsome Georgian manor presides over a naturally inspirational location of world heritage status. The famous Swannery at Abbotsbury is only a few miles to the West and the renowned resort of Weymouth a few miles to the East.
The Lulworth Beach Hotel
Telephone: 01929 400404
Location: West Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset BH20 5RQ
About: Modern, light & airy…The Lulworth Beach Hotel is a small family hotel situated on the cove with two excellent restaurants. Also a great pub.
Chesil Beach Lodge
Telephone: 01308 897428
Location: Coast Road, Burton Bradstock, Dorset DT6 4RJ
About: Bed and Breakfast and Self Catering Accommodation located on the Coast Road, high above the ‘best kept’ village of Burton Bradstock. It is a wonderful location to enjoy the beautiful heritage coastline of West Dorset, to tour and explore ‘Hardy Country’ and the surrounding historic towns and villages. There is direct access to the beach and coastal footpaths, which offer fine walks and panoramic views over Lyme Bay.
Telephone: 07702 646909
About: Hello I am Helen. I have been successfully been running HAPPY HOUNDS for over 10 years and have been helping many festivalgoers in finding their dog a suitable local host who will love and care and look after your dog. So while you are having a great time at the festival your dog will also be having a great holiday, with good walks – good company and lots of cuddles.