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Anyone near Dorchester?

(22 Posts)
Scottishgirl85 Fri 14-Aug-20 10:04:24

We're going on a staycation tomorrow to a little village 8 miles from Dorchester for 1 week. Can any locals give us some ideas of what attractions are nearby, things to do etc. We have a 2, 3 and 5 year old and have noticed the weather has to be quite iffy.... so some tips of where to visit, what's actually open would be fab. Thanks!

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Scottishgirl85 Fri 14-Aug-20 10:06:09

*staying very near Affpuddle

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daisybrown37 Fri 14-Aug-20 10:08:27

Not a local - but done holidays around this area. We visited Farmer Palmers and Monkey World, you will need to check they are open.

Weymouth Sea Life centre is open.

MauisLeftNipple Fri 14-Aug-20 10:13:38

Monkey World is great, although I think they have specified that ALL visitors must wear masks (even children) - might pay to check
Farmer Palmers (prebook for a half day session)
Dinosaur trail at the Walled Garden Moreton (I dont think you have to pre book, although they are monitoring numbers)
There are quite a few things to do in Weymouth incl Sea Life

itsgettingweird Fri 14-Aug-20 10:16:35

Monkey world

Swanage steam railway

Moors valley

Scottishgirl85 Fri 14-Aug-20 12:43:47

Thanks everyone! I've written them all down. Just hoping it won't rain the whole time...

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SuperSange Fri 14-Aug-20 12:51:44

Abbotsbury swannery? There's three different parts to it. There's a lovely little farm at Kingston Maurward with a nice cafe.

angstridden2 Fri 14-Aug-20 13:09:56

The tank museum..smallsoft play and stuff to climb on if it’s open.

DrCoconut Fri 14-Aug-20 13:11:59

Was going to say Abbotsbury too. My DC loved it there. Bit of a drive but is Pecorama open?

reefedsail Fri 14-Aug-20 13:19:53

There really isn't a lot to do indoors. Best thing is to bring rain gear and go out anyway.

MuseumOfYou Fri 14-Aug-20 13:38:53

The tank museum..smallsoft play and stuff to climb on if it’s open

It's great there, a good tip though, is to head right through the park to the play area at the back, then work your way back past the animals to the entrance. If it's busy you won't be in the bulk of the crowds!

MuseumOfYou Fri 14-Aug-20 13:44:01

Kimmeridge is lovely, with rock pooling and some guided sessions

www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/wild-seas-centre?gclid=Cj0KCQjw7Nj5BRCZARIsABwxDKImEMZUgivLE3EFB4NxmsEMq4stB5CtEUu2Nd71Ddqev9651KUHuU4aAk7dEALw_wcB

Notverygrownup Fri 14-Aug-20 13:46:46

If you do get a sunny half day do head for Studland Beach. Park at middle beach if possible - very very shallow, calm, warm sea and lovely soft sand for playing in. Perfect for littlies.

Parking is a bit pricey - £7 for four hours and you need coins - but it is the most perfect paddling place for toddlers.

MuseumOfYou Fri 14-Aug-20 13:47:21

My final contribution if there are any days of nice weather - Ringstead Beach is nice, quite pebbly unless the tide is out but there are loos and a nice shop and cafe and it's not usually too crowded.

vagshapedbox Fri 14-Aug-20 13:50:53

Bridport is a nice town and the beaches at West Bat and Charmouth a bit further down the coast are both really lovely if you have a dry day.

TheySeeHerRowling Fri 14-Aug-20 14:04:33

Kingston Maurward animal park is sweet for dc that age, followed by a walk around the lake, or you could go slightly further to Farmer Palmers, which is bigger, though I'm not sure all the attractions there will be open

Moreton Walled Garden is nice, plus on a nice day you can go down to the river beach

Proper sandy beach at Weymouth with virtually all attractions open, but parking and traffic situation currently a bit dodgy so arrive early if you can The summer panto is on next week, at an outdoor venue over the harbour, which might be fun (or wet, who knows grin)

Abbotsbury used to have a 3-in-1 ticket for the kiddie farm, swannery and sub-tropical gardens, which was pretty good value, though I couldn't say whether they are still doing this

Unfortunately wet weather is a bit of a problem - tank museum maybe or just pottering around some of the local towns and villages

TheySeeHerRowling Fri 14-Aug-20 14:12:43

Oh - I think I read recently that the Swanage railway had reopened, that might be a decent option for less good weather - drive down to Corfe Castle, jump on the steam train and have a potter around Swanage & back

Corfe Castle obviously is great on a non-lashing-down-with-rain kind of day, and there is a model village nearby too

Scottishgirl85 Fri 14-Aug-20 15:02:04

Wow thanks everyone!! The weather forecast is getting me down. We've killed ourselves these past 6 months with juggling work and childcare, as we all have, and desperately need a lovely holiday....

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itsgettingweird Fri 14-Aug-20 15:25:49

vagshapedbox

Bridport is a nice town and the beaches at West Bat and Charmouth a bit further down the coast are both really lovely if you have a dry day.


Totally agree with this.

Regularly camp at all 3 places.

And along the coast is Seaton where they have the tramlines. That's always a favourite doing up and down and having an ice cream on the beach one end and a cake in the cafe at the other!

itsgettingweird Fri 14-Aug-20 15:26:31

Seaton also has some interactive thing you can do right next to the Tesco's.

Scottishgirl85 Sat 22-Aug-20 20:48:42

No idea if any of the posters will read this, but just wanted to say thanks so much for your suggestions! We're just home and had a wonderful week, with a mumsnet inspired itinerary!
We did Moreton Walled Gardens with dinosaur trail, Farmer Palmers, Monkey world, Sealife, Corfe Castle with steam train to Swanage, Durdle Door and Dorchester. It was awesome and only one day of constant rain where we did local walks and puddle splashing. The sun shone for most of it, contrary to the forecast. Can safely say we love Dorset! Thanks Mumsnet!

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daisybrown37 Sun 23-Aug-20 16:54:07

Dorset is great! Glad you had a good time.

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