Five more places to visit in Dorset

Are you a ‘where shall we go today’ sort of person, who decides your day out as you munch on breakfast? Or perhaps you’re a serious planner, arriving at your holiday cottage equipped with a detailed itinerary for your visit to Dorset. With a backup plan should the weather change unexpectedly!

Whatever your approach, there are loads of different places to visit in Dorset. We’ve already listed some firm favourites in Five places you must visit in Dorset. But as there are so many more to choose from, here’s another batch.

1. Swanage Railway

Everyone loves steam trains. Swanage Railway makes an excellent highlight for a trip to the Isle of Purbeck, even if you don’t want to ride the train itself. There’s a special thrill in glimpsing the plume of smoke and then the engine, as it emerges into view along the track, even if you’re quite some distance away.

Today the line runs from the seaside town of Swanage, and covers eleven miles before connecting with the modern mainline at Wareham. Trains run most days between Swanage and Norden, stopping at Corfe Castle.

One of the most spectacular views in Dorset is that of a steam train passing the dramatic ruins of the castle at Corfe. If you’re visiting the castle, make a note of the train times so you can be at the top when one steams by. Swanage Railway also runs special experiences at different times of year and there’s more information on their website.

The railway returned to service in April 2021, after a break due to the Covid-19 lockdowns.

2. Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door

Do you want to picnic on a beach overlooked by one of the natural wonders of the world? Or enjoy an ice cream beside a cove so picture-perfect that it’s hard to believe it’s real? Then you’ll be planning a visit to Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door.

Generations of geography students have listened to generations of teachers talking about rock strata, geological resistance and limestone bands. What most people really want to know is where they can take the best photos for a truly picturesque landscape.

It’s about a 40-minute walk between Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door. The journey includes a section of the South West Coast Path that climbs from Lulworth to the clifftops, before you drop down the steps to the beach at Durdle Door. There is car parking available and you’ll find more details on the website of the Lulworth Estate.

Corfe Castle

3. Kingston Lacy

Walk through the woods, see the keys to Corfe Castle, and discover a slice of ancient Egypt – you can do all these at Kingston Lacy. This country house and estate, now owned by the National Trust, is just outside Wareham, about a 40-minute drive from us at Upton Grange.

If you enjoy history, you’ll be delighted to explore the connection between Kingston Lacy and the ruins of Corfe Castle. Both were owned by the Bankes family, with the house replacing the castle as the family home. This is why the castle keys are on display. The house has collections of art and antiques, including many artifacts from ancient Egypt, some of which are outside in the grounds.

There are extensive gardens to wander around and a woodland trail you can walk or cycle. It includes a woodland play area. Find out more from the National Trust website.

4. Golden Cap

While almost every viewpoint along the Dorset coast is spectacular, nothing beats looking out from Golden Cap. That’s partly because it’s the highest point on the entire south coast of England. Now under the protection of the National Trust, Golden Cap and its estate contain over 25 miles of footpaths.

The easiest access to the summit is via a short, circular walk from Langdon Hill car park (postcode DT6 6EP). The walk is about 1.4 miles across easy ground and should take no more than around 45 minutes. Of course, it may be a lot longer if you linger over drinking in the views, or take a picnic.

The Cobb, Lyme Regis

5. The Tank Museum

If you fancy a day out with a difference, or if you’re interested in military history, we recommend a visit to the Tank Museum at Bovington. It’s one of the largest collections of tanks and other military vehicles in the world and boasts a number of unique exhibits.

Tanks have been associated with Dorset almost since their invention. The area around Bovington was chosen as a testing ground and it’s still used for that today. As a result, the military camp became the resting place for rusting hulks of both British and foreign tanks.

The motley collection developed into a museum that now attracts thousands of visitors a year and hosts an annual Tiger Day – the only time you’ll see one of the world’s iconic armoured vehicles in action.

The museum is much more than just sheds full of vehicles. There’s loads to do for visitors of all ages, being indoors, it can be a good choice for a wet day. The Tank Museum is just over 15 minutes away from us at Upton Grange. Visit the Tank Museum website to learn more.