Visiting Dorset - concrete

One of the few parts of our beautiful country that I am not familiar with. For our last caravan trip of the season we are visiting Dorset. Staying near Christchurch for 12 nights. The Jurassic coast is the obvious draw but there must be other places worthy of a visit. If anyone knows the area and has any advice or comments I would gladly receive them. SWMBO is very fond of gardens, although late in the season. Good pubs and coffee stops too are welcome.

Cheers Concrete

Visiting Dorset - Bromptonaut

Badbury Ring is worth a visit. Swanage is a nice little resort. PLenty of walks in Pirbecks.

Brownsea Island and squirrels.

Visiting Dorset - oldroverboy.

If you have time, Go as far as Plymouth and see the Ho.. and Brunel's magnificent Tamar Bridge.

Torquay, Sidmouth, all worth a visit. On your way, also go and see the Clifton bridge and SS Great Britain... Go off the M5 at J19 Gordano services and down the little road towards the clifton bridge.

Edited by oldroverboy. on 28/09/2017 at 18:43

Visiting Dorset - Andrew-T

Badbury Ring is worth a visit. Swanage is a nice little resort.

... and the steam train will probably still be running past Corfe Castle .... :-)

Plymouth ?? That's half a day away from Bournemouth, nearly.

Edited by Andrew-T on 28/09/2017 at 19:01

Visiting Dorset - elekie&a/c doctor

If you are into gardens,then this is well worth a visit;

Visiting Dorset - daveyjp
Chesil Beach is a natural work of wonder. You can do Abbotsbury Gardens at the same time, if they are still open.

Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door.

For something different do a day trip to Guernsey on the fast ferry from Weymouth.

We did all the above 7-8 years ago over the very cold Christmas when it was -10 degrees.

*I remember being 'dragged' around Compton Acres when I was about 9 by my gardening mad dad!

Edited by daveyjp on 28/09/2017 at 19:32

Visiting Dorset - primus 1

Lyme Regis is a lovely place, if its not too far for you, abbotsbury, sub tropical gardens are nice, and the swannery is nearby, if your into militaria, a visit to bovington tank museum is well worth a visit, although it takes a full day, Bournemouth aquarium also worth a visit, a game of crazy golf in Bournemouth's winter gardens is a lot of fun,, enjoy your holiday

Visiting Dorset - Steveieb
I go along with Elekie doc and recommend Compton Arcres and that's from someone who is not keen on gardens.
But as regards getting around try a trip on the No 50 Bournemouth Breezer open top bus which starts at the train station in Bournemouth and ends at the station in Swanage taking in Sandbanks and the National Trust area known as Studland.
Free if like me you have a bus pass!
Visiting Dorset - KB.

Just a quick observation ... as has been pointed out, Plymouth isn't especially local to Dorset and wouldn't be on my list of places to visit when in Dorset. Much the same re. Torquay ... I only live 15 minutes from Torquay (and half an hour from Plymouth on a good day) and wouldn't rush to either if I was trying to see as much of Dorset as possible. You could say visit Dartmoor but it's not particularly local to Dorset. If you DID happen to want to explore South Devon then say so and I, among other, will offer suggestions ... but from what you say you want to explore Dorset, not Devon and there aere some goos ideas listed above. Don't forget that iconic (if that's the word) advert for Hovis breaad - that was filmed at Gold Hill in Shaftesbury - and Cranbourne Chase is nearby

If you were to fancy venturing just over the border from Dorset towards Yeovil then I would say the Yeovilton Fleet Air Arm Museum was a really good day out - but really warrants at least half a day as there's a lot to see.

Don't feel too tempted to actually visit Yeovil though , it's probably not worth a detour.

If you went to Lyme Regis then maybe stop off at Bridport for a bite to eat and wonder why the pavements are so wide (the answer lies in the making of rope) and if you're going to Bridport you ought to stop off at Burton Bradstock to see the quaint cottages etc. I suppose Lyme regis is worth going to - if only to say you saw the Cobb (where they did the filming) but don't hold your breath - it's a fairly standard, busy, seaside town with all that you might ordinarily expect. Ditto Weymouth is OK but busy but not what you'd call cosy and pretty. If you're in Bridport then there are worse places to stop off for another bite to eat than Beaminster (pronounced Bemster)

As was said, the steam railway adds a little extra something at Swanage and Corfe Castle is OK (who remembers the fabulous little film 'Nuts in May' with Alison Steadman? ... that was filmed thererabouts).

Get your kit off at Studland naturist beach and wonder at the prices of houses at Sandbanks (near the red squirrels on Brownsea). Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch are popular but, again, gonna be busy (ish) ... if you go much further east you're in New Forest territory.

There aren't any motorways in Dorset and some regard it as a bit sleepy in parts. To be honest if I had to move anywhere I'd look closely at Dorset. But it's not cheap, especially toward the coast. In fact if you ask Avant he'll add some more coz he lives there.

Have a good trip.

Visiting Dorset - Smileyman

Ferry to IOW from Lymington, or historic Portsmouth is about 90 minutes away ... of course there is a motor museum in Beaulieu .. with gardens and more!

Edited by Smileyman on 28/09/2017 at 21:45

Visiting Dorset - MGspannerman
Wimborne Minster is an attractive town in a bijou kind of way. The Minster itself is worth a visit and there is a very nice tea room/cafe just over the wall outside. Despite having worked there I have never found Bournemouth particularly attractive. The beaches and gardens are very nice and the theatre and BIC have some worthwhile events but there are some less than attractive parts too with the undesirables lurking in the centre and Boscombe distinctly downmarket. Too late for the Dorset Steam Fair though, now that is something to see!
Visiting Dorset - apdleam
Worth Matravers, near Swanage - great pub and, while the food's limited, there is an excellent tea room-cum-restaurant in the village too. Circular walks out to the coast and back from there too. Afterwards, head to Kingston two miles along the lane for a pint at the Scott Arms if the weather is nice - the beer garden looks out on Corfe Castle in the valley below. Excellent walks on Purbeck, both coast and country either side of Swanage.
Visiting Dorset - barney100

I was stationed at Blandford Forum in the 70's and often used to take my motorbike down road to Wimborne for the lovely section with trees lining both sides. Lulworth Cove well worth a visit too.

Visiting Dorset - concrete

Well chaps, lots and lots of great advice. The gardens and walks are on the agenda as is the coastal area. All the places mentioned seem really nice and we have nearly two weeks to fill so should pack them all in. Good one about the Fleet Air Arm. SWMBOs' father was in the Navy man and boy and I am sure she would appreciate that too.

We have been to Plymouth before and stayed over when we have used the ferry to Santander. We have also seen the Clifton Bridge on a simipar trip a few years ago. They are really nice too for anyone to visit.

Thanks agian to all of you for your time and effort. We travel a week on Monday and only hope the weather holds up.

Cheers Concrete

Visiting Dorset - KB.

Good that you came back to advise progress. This topic will drop off shortly but just before it does .... no-one asked if you're a member of the National Trust, if so there are a few places listed - from west to east ... Loughwood Meeting House, Shute Barton, Golden Cap (on the coast and very worthwhile), Bridport, Burton Bradstock (as have both been mentioned), Hardy Monument and cottage, Max Gate, Weymouth and Ringstead Bay, Clouds hill, Kingston Lacy, Corfe Castle, White Mill,Poole, Brownsea Island, Spyway (on the coast) and Studland beach.

If you're not an English National trust member, but were thinking of joining, be advised to consider joining The National Trust for Scotland instead. Same free entrance to properties and same free car parking as the English NT. (despite what you might read elsewhere!!). The Scottish NT is cheaper and if you happened to be over 60 they allow old b*****s discount upon joining whereas English NT make you wait five years before allowing you a discount. Grrrr....

Visiting Dorset - argybargy

Just to add my own experience of that part of the brother in law lives near Torquay, and on our visits we've done Buckfast Abbey, Paignton Zoo and along the coast to see the poignant memorial at Slapton Sands.

Another vote for the Fleet Air Arm Museum. We went there a good 12 years ago, maybe more, but at the time they had what was probably a state of the art feature. Footage of an actual aircraft carrier deck is superimposed onto the walls of a large room, and you experience what its like to stand alongside an aircraft while it's being raised from the gubbins of the vessel to deck level, and then see the action develop around you as the crew get to work. Accompanied by an ear splitting soundtrack consisting of all the sounds of an aircraft arriving on deck, being prepared for action and then launched, it was literally an awe-inspiring experience.

Edited by argybargy on 29/09/2017 at 18:55

Visiting Dorset - concrete

Thanks chaps. Indeed we are members of the NT. We have dug out the directory to have a look. Thanks again for the comments and advice. Cheers Concrete

Visiting Dorset - Avant

Sorry - didn't have time to reply to this thread earlier but there are lots of good suggestions.

Purbeck is lovely and the right side of Dorset for you. The pub at Worth Matravers is the Square and Compass, pretty much unchanged for decades and well worth a visit.


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