10 of the Best Outdoor Activities in Dorset
Now the summers behind us don’t let that put you off enjoying the great outdoors, there’s plenty of activities that you can do year round! We’re sharing some ideas to help you get outside whatever the weather and start planning your visit to Dorset!
Starting to plan outdoor adventures and where to visit is exciting but you can get a little lost on what to do, especially if you haven’t been somewhere before. Here is a few of our top outdoor activities to do in Dorset to help you on your adventurous ways.
1. Fossil Hunting
Dorset is the home of The Jurassic Coast, a brilliant place to explore the past and get lost in another world.
We love the village of Charmouth in West Dorset, situated by the River Char. It is best known for being an unspoilt family friendly beach and a great place to search for fossils, recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. If you don’t believe us then perhaps Jane Austen’s description will tempt you, “Charmouth, with its high grounds and extensive sweeps of country, and still more, its sweet, retired bay, backed by dark cliffs, where fragments of low rock among the sands, make it the happiest spot for watching the flow of the tide, for sitting in unwearied contemplation”.
From here, in the distance, you will be able to see and tempt yourself with a few other places on our list, Lyme Regis, Golden Cap and Portland
Lyme Regis the birthplace of Mary Anning and home to many of her discoveries. A statue is soon to be unveiled of the renowned palaentologist, hopefully in early summer 2022. The town has many places to eat, drink and explore and the beaches are known for their fossil hunting. Enjoy a walk along this coast no matter what the weather, its natural beauty is always breathtaking. Take a walk along the famous historic sea wall, known as The Cobb, or take your furry friend for a walk on many of the dog friendly beaches in the area, East Cliff, Church Cliff and Monmouth Beach to name a few.
On a rainy day why not visit The Etches Collection in Kimmeridge, and be taken on a journey through time with marine life in fossil form.
Still unsure where to go to fossil hunt? Check out The Jurassic Coast guided fossil walks.
Foraging is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors. Depending on the seasons every forage brings your different wild foods to explore and gather. Autumn brings us blackberries which are great for jam and sloes which are amazing for sloe gin. Winter brings us Sweet Chestnuts which are brilliant roasted on the fire. Spring brings us Gorse which is famous for its coconut and almond flavours. Summer brings us Elder flowers which make a refreshing cordial.
Ever been tempted by the idea of foraging, but worried in case your knowledge isn’t up to scratch. Join us at Fore Adventure in Studland for a foraging walk or better yet a Forage and Feast event.
Read our blog about what to forage this autumn.
3. Wine Tours
Fancy yourself as a wine taster or connoisseur. Why not pop in to Langham Wine Estate. This fantastic Dorset vineyard offer tasting tours special events and vineyard walks. Feel like you need to soak up some of that alcohol? This can also be combined with a gastronomic experience of a vineyard lunch picnic.
4. Stand Up Paddleboarding
Everyone is raving about Stand Up Paddleboarding. The new craze everywhere, rivers, lakes, the coast. It’s great as a full body work out, a nice way to travel, or even try a few yoga moves.
We love paddling down the river in Wareham leading to Poole harbour. Watch this space as we will be running paddleboarding adventures in Poole Harbour aswell next year, the information will go up on the website soon! For now you can still join us on our Studland sup sessions which run from April – October or check out our other blog post on the best places to SUP in the area.
Always loved The Famous Five books as a child? So did we! Brownsea Island was the inspiration behind the Whispering Island in Enid Blyton’s Five Have a Mystery to Solve. Come and explore Brownsea Island for yourself. A brilliant way to get back to nature, spot red squirrels playing in the trees and peacocks roaming the grounds. You can also learn to sail here with Shell Bay Sailing.
An amazing way to explore the coastline is by kayak. Explore caves, stacks, archways, beaches and cliffs from a spectacular angle. Our favourite places to explore are Durdle Door and Old Harry Rocks.
Come and join us on one of our tours to Old Harry Rocks and beyond. Take in the beautiful beaches, the stunning chalk cliffs and of course Old Harry himself. Learn about the coastal nesting birds, sea horse, and sea grass. Kayak through arch ways and around The Pinnacles.
Read our blog about the top places to kayak in Dorset!
Swanage is becoming an increasingly popular town to visit for fishing. Mackerel, Cod, Bass, Whiting and Pouting to name but a few fish that can be caught in the waters here.
Alternatively try out one of our kayak fishing trips with us on the Jurassic Coast. We offer experiences for beginners to experienced anglers, from hand lines dangling behind our double kayaks, to rods used from our single kayaks. We even run our monthly popular kayak, fish forage and feast events where you to get to cook up your catch with our resident chef!
There are some great locations to walk in Dorset. Golden Cap is the highest point in Dorset, on the southwest coast path. Golden Cap is surrounded by 2,000 acres of National Trust Land, ready to be explored by you. It is 191 meters above sea level and provides spectacular views of the Jurassic Coast. There are many other places to be explored by foot on the South West Coast Path as it is the longest UK National trail. So why not get out and explore it, a colossal 630 miles long!
Cycling is great for your health, and a wonderful way to explore off road the amazing countryside Dorset has to offer. Hire a bike from Cyclexperience and cycle around the woodlands, Corfe castle, up and down the hills, to Swanage steam railway, around Arne nature reserve or bike to the beach through Studland heath.
Climbing is a great sport to get your heart racing. Some climbing crags are only accessible by abseiling down, so grab yourself a tour guide and enjoy a crazy adrenaline fuelled day. Try out the best local climbing spots in Swanage; Dancing Ledge, Hedbury, Winspit and Subluminal to name but a few.
Or even try Portland climbing crags out. We will be launching climbing in 2022, so watch this space!