Plan my weekend in Dorset sort of area please

(22 Posts)
Knitwit99 Tue 09-Jul-19 18:17:26

We are flying to Bristol on a Friday afternoon, me and 2 kids aged 7 and 12. Flying home on a Monday afternoon.
The main purpose of our visit is the Tank Museum in Bovington. We're planning to do that on the Saturday. So that leaves us a whole day to do something else, and Monday morning.

I'm thinking we will hire a car from bristol airport and drive towards the south coast but not sure where would be good to stay? We'd like a reasonable sized place, ideally with a Pizza Express! Is Weymouth nice to stay?

Kids are also quite interested in dinosaurs, where is a good place to visit for that? I know the jurassic coast is big for dinosaurs but is there anywhere in particular? Are there any other big attractions we should see while we are there? I know there's a big Monkey World or something, I know they would like that, but we can see moneys anywhere.

If the weather is lovely (going in Sept) we could spend the Sunday at a beach trying out some surfing maybe? We live near the sea in Scotland so it's not essential, we're on the beach every week, but it's rarely warm enough to surf or bodyboard on our beach. I'm hoping that far south it will be a few degrees warmer.

I don't know this area of the country at all so all advice gratefully received.

OP’s posts: |
Alienspaceship Tue 09-Jul-19 18:25:45

Cords Castle is near the Tank Museum as is the steam railway. Monkey World is also nearby.

Alienspaceship Tue 09-Jul-19 18:26:03

Corfe Castle

hollytom Tue 09-Jul-19 18:27:10

Monkey world is good and just down the road from the tank museum. I would recommend it. In terms of dinosaurs there is a museum in Dorchester but personally I wouldn’t recommend it. In terms of fossils Lyme Regis and charmouth are good. There is the sailing academy at Portland a lot of water sports take place there. Not sure about surfing I don’t think it’s that great for that here.

MontyBowJangles Tue 09-Jul-19 18:34:17

Hi OP. We've stayed at the Dorchester Premier Inn before when staying down in Dorset to visit the Tank Museum and Monkey World (which are both 20 mins away from the hotel). We love Monkey World.

It's a good budget hotel and is a 5 min walkn to a plaza with a cinema and Pizza Express.

Have a lovely time!

Thefemalekeithrichards Tue 09-Jul-19 18:40:01

Firstly thank you for visiting my beautiful part of the world, no surfing beaches here - the sea is very calm but we do have some beautiful beaches - the lighthouse at Portland (Portland Bill) is lovely (obvs you have to like light houses haha ) Portland is a short distance from Weymouth and is geographically unique the views from the top are stunning, you can also visit tout quarry sculpture park which is a wedding venue (hippyish) and has the most incredible carvings by Dutch stonemasons, there is also a brilliant alpaca walking farm where you can have a lovely dorset cream tea and there is also abbotsbury swannery though the signets will be all grown up by now, there’s a fab crab and seafood cafe at the swannery too, Weymouth to me is a bit crowded - it’s basically a seaside town centre but if you like the busy type places I’m sure you will like it. Would be a shame to come this way and miss out on our fantastic country pubs etc to have a chain pizza?...the tourism websites are also packed with information. If you are in the Poole area the boat trip to Brownsea Island (ten minutes tops form Poole Harbour) is a lovely day out and you may see the red squirrels come September but October is the best time you will see loads of them - absolutely adorable and one of the only places in UK to see them and they are totally protected, also the most amazing fish and chip restaurant called lakeside next to the Asda on holes bay road near the RNLI - the works including wine/beer and a coffee or tea after all for £13.95 I Hope I have given you some ideas and I hope the weather is good and you all have a brilliant time (must warn you the traffic around Poole / Bournemouth is quite heavy but not as bad as in August) anything else you need to know just ask I have lived here all my life !

FrenchyQ Tue 09-Jul-19 18:42:31

Not everyones cup of tea but Abbotsbury Swannery is really nice...especially when they have lots of babies

onlyconnect Tue 09-Jul-19 18:48:47

No Pizza Express has n Weymouth but Theresa pizza place called theStable on the harbour and, as someone up-thread said, there's a Pizza Express in Dorchester, 15 minutes away.
Weymouth is lovely with all sorts of different beaches and fascinating Portland very close by.

toomuchfaster Tue 09-Jul-19 18:51:38

Bristol airport is a good couple of hours drive. Would Southampton be a better option?

DeepDarkWoods Tue 09-Jul-19 18:55:30

Kimmeridge bay is lovely, has a snorkel trail which you can hire the gear from the sea discovery centre on the edge of the sea. There is a museum on the way down to the beach called etches collection which exhibits all fossils found locally with a lovely pub opposite.

DeepDarkWoods Tue 09-Jul-19 18:57:26

Also its not far from corfe

Ginandgingers92 Tue 09-Jul-19 19:14:00

Meaningless comment so I can save these great ideas for when I head that way in a few weeks time! smile

Thefemalekeithrichards Tue 09-Jul-19 19:18:05

Ooh yes I forgot about the snorkel trail it’s lovely and quite shallow for the children, the sea will be a good temperature too in September but you may need a wetsuit still....

GreekOddess Tue 09-Jul-19 20:07:36

We always stay at the Premier Inn in Dorchester when we are in that area. Really nice location as well as a Pizza Express there is also a Nando's, Wagamama's and other good options.

There is a dinosaur museum in Dorchester. Plenty to do around Weymouth. We usually go every Easter but have done this area to death now.

Skade Tue 09-Jul-19 20:10:57

Second vote for Kimmeridge, you can see fossils in most of the rocks there! And if you fancy a beach hut by Sandbanks for the day drop me a private message, I'd be happy to let you have ours for the day - September is fairly quiet smile

Elderflower14 Tue 09-Jul-19 20:17:14

Tyneham Village near Corfe Castle is fascinating. here
Do check first as its next to a rifle range which you have to drive through...

Lurleene Tue 09-Jul-19 20:18:56

A couple of places very near the Tank Museum that may interest you (seeing as you are coming all this way to see the tanks!) are Blandford Signals Museum and Clouds Hill, which was the home of Lawrence of Arabia. Both very interesting but small enough to fit in on the same day as the Tank Museum.

FiveGoMadInDorset Tue 09-Jul-19 20:19:55

Tyneham village is lovely but only accessible at weekends and school holidays when the army aren’t firing their tanks!

FiveGoMadInDorset Tue 09-Jul-19 20:22:33

And if they are interested in the Tank Museum then Tyneham is a good side visit due to the fact it was evacuated in 1943 for DDay preparations and the villagers were never allowed back,
Kimmeridge is great. Dorset Water Park and the mud run is just outside Corfe Castle.

pombal Tue 09-Jul-19 20:26:08

Another vote for Corfe Castle.
Or one of the beaches.

Abbotsbury is also good. There’s an farm type place, swannery and botanical gardens.

Personally I think Monkey World is a bit shit, might be ok for 7 yr old but not so much 12 year old.

anysillyoldnamewilldo Wed 10-Jul-19 02:14:14

Kimmeridge Bay for fossils, Studland Beach, Abbotsbury has a great farm (how old are your kids?) Portland Bill for crab sandwiches, Chesil Beach... but monkey world was depressing :/

Rachelover40 Wed 10-Jul-19 03:37:21

Langton Matravers is nice, there is a lovely beach called 'Dancing Ledge'.

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