Home > Resources > Dorset

Resources for motorhome and campervan users in Dorset: holiday parks, restaurants, places of interest, historic buildings, pubs, beaches, nightlife etc

Highlands End is ideally situated just 500 metres from a lovely unspoiled beach, the park is at cliff top height overlooking the sweeping Lyme Bay. The Heritage Coastline offers wonderful walking in each direction with exceptional views that are truly spectacular, largely over National Trust land and farms. The leisure facilities include an indoor heated swimming pool, sauna/steam room, gymnasium, games room, children's play areas, tennis court, pitch and putt and also offers a fully licensed bar and restaurant. Tel: 01308 426947, Fax: 01308 425672

Freshwater is a family run holiday park situated on Dorset's Golden Coast, in an area of outstanding natural beauty and part of the World Heritage Coast. Freshwater is a great place for families. You can enjoy our entertainment programme (Spring bank holiday - mid September), swimming pools, private beach and make the most of the great outdoors with coastal and country activities. Freshwater has three bars, a restaurant, entertainment hall, amusements, takeaway, horse riding, swimming pools and private beach. Tel: 01308 897317, Fax: 01308 897336 

Manor Farm Holiday Centre: Large open site at Charmouth only a 10 minute level walk to the beach famous for fossils and part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Facilities include toilets, showers, disabled facilities, laundrette, baby room, electric hook-ups and hard standings. Also fully serviced pitches. Swimming pool, bar with family room and entertainment. Also luxury caravans and cottages for hire. Available all year round. Rallies and groups catered for. Tel 01297 560226

Meadowbank Holidays: Bournemouth's closest touring and caravan holiday park. Graded 5 star and Rose Award by the English Tourism Council, we offer superb caravan accommodation, holiday home sales pitches and luxury touring pitches in a wonderful environment next to the lovely River Stour. Family owned and managed, we pride ourselves on offering a high quality holiday environment for the discerning customer. Where cleanliness and welcome are the main priority. Tel 01202 483597,  Fax 01202 483878

Beaches
Swanage beach Dorset: The beach backs onto Swanage town so plenty of cafes, shops, pubs, restaurants etc within seconds of the beach. Swanage has proper "beach" sand and it that sweeps along the coastline at Swanage. This is an Exceptionally popular attraction on the Isle of Purbeck within the Dorset AONB. Poole and Bournemouth close to the north and north east and the Isle of Wight across the water. Home to Swanage Steam Train and the impressive Corfe Castle is just up the road

West Bay Beach: Located in West Bay, Dorset, just south of Bridport. West Bay is a shingle beach and also one of the major gateways to the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk under towering sandstone cliffs to the east and see Golden Cap to the west. Here you can enjoy a holiday or short break, go fishing or shopping, enjoy the sunshine on sheltered beaches or visit the nearby historic towns of Dorchester and Bridport. All along the coast you’ll be amazed at how many fossils can be found just lying on the beach.

The world famous Sandbanks beach is located in Poole, Dorset, South West England where some of the most expensive properties in Europe are to be found. This is a blond sand beach. The Sandbanks 'chain ferry' crosses the mouth of Poole Harbour connecting Sandbanks Beach with those around Studland Bay. Poole harbour is the 2nd largest natural harbour in the world after Sydney.

Spittles and Black Ven Cliffs: Located in Lyme Regis, Dorset. The cliffs to the east of Lyme Regis famous for their fossils, and the 'Black Ven landslide complex is an ancient landslide with Ice Age origins. In the 1920s the old road to Charmouth fell into the sea. The winter of 1957-58 saw major movement and with heavy rain, landslides continue to the present day' This part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and on the South West Coast Path, Start (or End).

Charmouth Beach,located in west Dorset and a short distance from Lyme Regis. Charmouth Beach is very popular with fossil hunters and Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre acts as a visitor centre for the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and identifies fossils found in the area. Also close by is Golden Cap, the highest point on the south coast of England at 626 ft (191 metres).

Studland Bay Beaches, located in Studland, Dorset: A beautiful and very popular bay in east Dorset, running from Old Harry Rocks to its south around to Shell Bay to the north. There are numerous beaches along the coastline here: South Beach, Middle Beach, Knoll Beach. Plenty of parking behind the beaches but owing to popularity they fill up quickish in high season. Inland is the Studland and Godlingston Heath National Nature Reserve.

Restaurants - Pubs - Dining out

Mortons House is a 16th century Grade 2 Elizabethan manor house hotel and restaurant in beautiful Dorset in the heart of historic Corfe Castle. Built in 1590, Mortons House has retained its unique period features, with each of its 21 bedrooms having their own charm and appeal. The hotel’s location in picturesque Corfe Castle in the Isle of Purbeck, is ideal for guests wishing to enjoy comfort, exceptional food, and a warm welcome. East St, Corfe Castle, BH 20 5EE, Tel: 01929 480988

Tierra Kitchen: Serving modern, vibrant dishes for lunch and dinner with a European 'more-ish' twist, using the best local, seasonal and organic produce. We aim never to compromise on flavour, whilst providing excellent value for money. Tierra Kitchen celebrates an A1 location in the heart of Lyme Regis cultural quarter, alongside Town Mill Bakery and the Old Mill. The cafe/restaurant has a warm, naturally-rustic feel inside, while outside there is a sunny streamside terrace.  Tel: 01297 445189, Mob: 0784 7378357

The Kings Arms: Located in the heart of Christchurch town centre this re-styled restaurant is warm and cosy but equally rather chic, styled with soft furnishings, banquette seating in a Chesterfield style, stripped back floors, retsored old style classic chairs that are freat to sit in. The Kings Arms menu has a mix of comforting classics and modern favourites and change with the seasons, moods and climates. The Restaurant serves the very best local and seasonal food. The Kings Hotel, 18 Castle Street, CHRISTCHURCH, BH23 1DT Tel: 01202 588938

The White Swan, Swanage: Originally built in 1585, The White Swan offers that traditional British pub atmosphere, combined with great local real ales and delicious home-made pub grub. It's a wonderful destination for a refeshing pint or mouth-watering meal. Camra Good Beer Guide awards - 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. 31 High Street, SWANAGE, BH19 2LT

The Saxon Arms in Stratton is a village inn offering real ale, great pub food and a hearty welcome. The pub's daily-changing specials often include mixed meat platters, pork medallions and Creedy Farm duck breast. You'll also find fresh, local fish selections of hand dived Portland scallops, king prawns, sea bream, prime English meats, local game and vegetarian dishes, not to mention a comprehensive English cheese board and a popular Dorset deli board. The Square, Stratton, Dorchester, DT2 9WG

Reeds Restaurant at Swallows Eaves Hotel offers refined contemporary food and warm hospitality in an informal and timeless environment. Reeds Restaurant has been remodelled into a light & airy room, accommodating 22 people. Our philosophy is to produce top quality, beautifully cooked food using the best “in-season” and locally produced ingredients. The menus, which change regularly, can be described as “modern British” creating dishes based upon tried and tested combinations. Swan Hill Road, Colyford, Colyton, EX24 6QJ

The Ship Inn: Serving food from Monday to Thursday 12 - 9pm, Friday and Saturday 12 - 9.30pm, Sunday 12 – 8pm. We offer a lovely range of starters including local Dorset pate and the old favourite whitebait, hearty main meals such as suet puddings, fisherman’s pie, mushroom lattice, a choice of steaks and scrumptious desserts. On Sundays we serve three choices of traditional roast dinner, with all of the trimmings. The Ship is located in the Village of Wool between Wareham and Dorchester


The Greyhound Inn
: A wonderful, olde worlde coaching inn offering superb food, award winning real ales and small, intimate dining areas in a relaxed ambience. The beer garden overlooks the Swanage Steam Railway, the majestic ruins of Corfe Castle and beautiful surrounding countryside. The Pub offers superb food, serving fresh seasonal food sourced as close to home as we can get! As well as prize-winning Real Ales. Also host to various food festival events including seafood, beer, cider and sausages. The Square, Corfe Castle, BH20 5EZ


Rendezvous Weymouth What's On: Fridays are a vibrant and great night out, nightclub opens from 11pm and we have some amazing deals on. Selected drinks are only £1 and draught starts at £1.25 a pint!! Free entry on the door then it's £1 admission from 11pm until 1am, £2 after. Why not book one of our offers and reserve a private area?

Historic Buildings

Lulworth Castle & Park: Built as a Hunting Lodge in 1608, this Castle has been owned by the same family for over 400 years. Inside the Castle is a wealth of fascinating history, follow their fortunes, fate and the fire from then until the present day & discover the fascinating history in the Castle displays. You can build your own castle in the children’s activity room or climb the Castle Tower and take in the unrivalled views across the Purbecks. EAST LULWORTH, Wareham, BH20 5Q

Forde Abbey:Elegant 17thC Italian inspired country mansion set in attractive formal gardens and extensive parkland. Wander around the house and discover the Spanish Room with its gilded leather and gilded ceiling brought from the Contarini Palace in Venice. Witness paintings by Rubens, Van Dyck, Titian and Brueghel and explore the largest private collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts in the UK. Stroll around the Japanese Garden, complete with authentic tea house....Blandford Road, WIMBORNE, BH21 4EA

Mapperton: Gardens descending at 3 levels beside Tudor manor-house, remodelled in c1660s. Italianate garden and fountain court. Fishponds, orangery and summerhouses. Wild garden with specimen shrubs and trees. Surrounded by wooded landscape with magnificent views. Gifts and plants for sale. Licensed cafe. The Sawmill Café is open daily, except Saturday, 1st April - 30th September, 11am - 5pm for lunch and tea. Voted 'The Nation's Finest Manor House' by Country Life magazine. Mapperton, BEAMINSTER, DT8 3

Knoll Gardens: A garden of year-round beauty, Knoll Gardens is a dramatic showcase for the UK's leading ornamental grass specialist, and the setting for over 5,000 plant species including many rare and native varieties. Set against a magnificent backdrop of unusual trees and shrubs the secluded garden is also right at the forefront of a new wave of gardening: introducing, growing and showing new plants within its glorious four-acre setting. Stapehill Road, Hampreston, Wimborne Minster, BH21 7ND

Sherborne Castle: Built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594 and stately home of the Digby family since 1617, Sherborne Castle is a Historic House which reflects a glorious variety of decorative styles from over 400 years of English history. Come and experience the Castle's rich interiors with splendid collections of art, furniture and porcelain. In the cellars see Raleigh's original kitchen and family artefacts and archaeological treasures in the museum. New Road, SHERBORNE, DT9 5NR

Athelhampton is one of the finest 15thC manor-houses and is surrounded by one of the great architectural gardens of England. The house contains many finely furnished rooms including The Great Hall, Great Chamber, wine cellar. The Gallery in the west wing exhibits works by the Russian artist Marevna who lived at the house in the 1940s/50s. The Grade I Listed garden, dating from c1891, is full of vistas and gains much from the fountains and River Piddle flowing through. Athelhampton, DORCHESTER, DT2 7LG