West Dorset is certainly overwhelmed with an amazing variety of things to do, places to explore and sights to see. There is something for everyone in this beautiful and the witching corner of southern England.
One of the more popular activities for visitors is the several very high quality public gardens including Abbotsbury’s very popular and misplaced Sub Tropical garden as well as the exotic gardens located at Kingston Maurward which are English Heritage listed.
There is also the Mapperton Valley Garden, not to mention the charismatic Bennetts water Gardens featuring its huge selection of lilies. Or if you prefer ancient buildings and then the area also has a wealth of historic landmarks including the stunning Tudor period Castle at Portland and the well-known Lulworth Castle.
Museums in the area are highly varied and attractive offering specialities for very different interests. Bridport Museum tells the history of the area from ancient times to the last century. If you are more interested in a softer historical perspective than perhaps a trip to the Teddy Bear Museum in Dorchester may be more to your liking.
Here you will also be able to discover the interesting exhibitions at the Keep Military Museum as well has the Tutankhamun Exhibition for the world renowned Terracotta Warriors Museum, you can even delve way back into local history at the interactive Dinosaur Museum. Or if your tastes are they little more gruesome you can visit the cells of the old Crown Court or the Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum.
Back in the military vein there is also the spectacular Tank Museum as well as the Fleet Air Arm and for the motoring enthusiast a trip to the Haynes Motor Museum is a must see for any visitor to the area.
If museums are not to your children’s liking then there is plenty to keep them entertained as well from the delights of the Kingston Maurward Gardens and Animal Park or two enjoying the antics of baby swans at the Abbotsbury Swannery. Kids will also enjoy a visit to the sanctuary at Monkey World or a farming expedition to Falmer Palmer’s Farm Park.
All of this is in addition to the ambulance outdoor pursuits available in the area with everything from a quiet stroll across the hills to quad biking and roots for serious hikers as well as all kinds of watersports on the areas plentiful rivers and lakes as well as lots of activities along the areas on unspoilt and beautiful coastline.
There are many nature-based activities from camping to visiting the environmentally friendly Kingcombe Centre on the River Hooke nature reserve. There are a multitude of sites to see including the ancient 180ft Cerne Giant, as well as unofficial tourist attractions such as the sheer splendour of the unspoiled rolling countryside that makes up the splendours of West Dorset.