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Dorset - Fossils, farm-stay and possibly water sports?

(14 Posts)
EldonsSocks Tue 20-Oct-15 15:55:57

Not much to ask for but has anyone managed to do all this in Dorset? We really want to do the Fossil hunting thing, but also stay somewhere like a farm or cottage on a farm and eldest is 12 so something like windsurfing training or other water sport?

All suggestions welcome! We don't know the area at all, but would love to explore a bit next Easter or summer....

coffeeisnectar Tue 20-Oct-15 16:27:52

Kimmeridge is the best place to go to find fossils but you can't take them away. There is a great nature place on the beach there which takes you rockpooling and tells you what you've caught. It's a lovely place worthy of a full day.
www.thewatersportsacademy.com/ Is a place to learn watersports although if you just need equipment you can hire it on most of the main beaches in Bournemouth. There is a zip wire running from the end of the pier at Bournemouth to the beach. I think is £15 each. There is also the fixed hot air balloon in the gardens in Bournemouth.

Quieter beaches over at studland and middle beach. If you are national trust members then it's free parking.

The new forest is stunning and a perfect base. But there are loads of lovely places here. www.holidaycottages.co.uk/dorset so have a browse.

We live near poole and its just gorgeous here. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. So much stuff to do, so many pretty places. If you want more suggestions let me know.

EldonsSocks Tue 20-Oct-15 16:43:50

Thank you! Great suggestions. Think we will have to go sooner rather than later! Is it packed in the Summer holidays?

coffeeisnectar Tue 20-Oct-15 17:22:54

Yes, it gets busy in the summer but Easter is a bit better as less beach weather. We went to kimmeridge last Easter for the day and it was chilly but we had a great time. There are loads of rockpools and its best to check low tide times before going so you know you will get to rummage.

If you want quieter beaches in warm weather then branksome is best. Locals use it rather than tourists.

Honeybrook farm is a good day in the spring, bottle feeding lambs, baby chicks, huge play area, tractor rides and its a cheap day out. Take carrots and maize to feed the donkeys and chickens. It's near wimborne.

Brownsea island is another good place, get the boat from poole, free entry to the island if you are national trust members. Red squirrels, peacocks, beaches, long walks, den building, tree climbing.

EldonsSocks Tue 20-Oct-15 18:23:03

But coffe, now you have told everyone! This is soooo helpful. If you ever head to Suffolk I can reciprocate!

GrizzlebertGrumbledink Tue 20-Oct-15 18:38:15

Somewhere like chideock or seatown has lovely beaches with lots of fossils to be found - walk west along the beach and look for areas of recently fallen grey coloured rock with lots of layers in it. On my last trip i found more fossils than i could e we have dreamed of. Park Farm house in chideock is lovely and has a pool.

Abbotsbury is also a pretty little village on the coast with a gorgeous derelict chapel on the cliffs but I'm not sure what the best accommodation is there. There's a swannery (with gay swans!) and a seasonal maize maze there too.

If you head to Poole definitely go to Tower Park and visit Splashdown, great for kids and immature adults grin.

I'm slightly jealous and nostalgic for my childhood now!

coffeeisnectar Tue 20-Oct-15 19:24:01

I'm about a mile from tower park. grin

Dorset has so much. We haven't been to the swannery, I want to go though.

maria543 Tue 20-Oct-15 19:36:36

We spent a day on the beach in Lyme Regis last summer, and visited the museum in Lyme Regis beforehand which was brilliant to get you in the mood for fossil-hunting - it was a fantastic day and we found quite a few fossils. I think you can hire the little rock hammers from one of the visitor centres a bit further down the coast (can't remember the name but begins with a 'C').

Swannery mentioned in earlier post is lovely too - you can go and feed them in the afternoon (check times on website) but be warned - bracing winds!

IsabellaofFrance Sat 24-Oct-15 08:17:01

Charmouth? We did the guided fossil walk there and it was brilliant.

peacefuleasyfeeling Sat 24-Oct-15 08:43:16

Lovely! For fossil hunting in Lyme Regis try Monmouth Beach which is on the right of the Cobb as you come down the hill. At low tide there are some remarkable things to see.
Seatown has a lovely pub for lunch in the sun on the beach. Eype is lovely too, off the beaten track. Branscombe and Beer to the west are also gorgeous.
For a farmstay with a rustic, quirky twist, look up monktonwyldcourt.co.uk just outside Lyme Regis. It is a workshop / conference centre of a green / sustainable living persuasion in an absolutely magical setting, run by a resident community and offers B&B accommodation and camping.

ohhelpohnoitsa Wed 25-Nov-15 22:46:21

You will love it. Victirian Barn holidays renrals aee lovely but 45 mins from the coasr as are Manor Farm Cottages in Ibberton. You.should also head ti axminster fo the River Cottage Canteen. We loved the food.

AppleSnow Wed 25-Nov-15 22:53:48

We did guided fossil hunting at Charmouth too. It was great to have an expert on hand to tell us whether the interesting looking rocks we found were fossils or not.

There is sea kayaking at Kimmeridge and also Lulworth Cove (definitely worth a visit and a (steep) walk over to Durdle Door.

EldonsSocks Thu 26-Nov-15 17:05:13

Thank you - looks like we could be in for a good time!

Dowser Fri 27-Nov-15 11:22:43

Just came back from a week in Dorset on Saturday. Just fabulous. We stay near Shaftesbury.

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