312023 Great Family Days Out in Dorset

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Once you’ve taken your pick from the huge range of kid-friendly holiday parks in Dorset, you’ll want to start planning your itinerary. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of destinations for a family day out in this fun-filled county. In fact, you’re likely to find yourself spoilt for choice with so many attractions and events within easy reach of the many holiday parks. In Dorset, there’s just so much to do, which is why we’ve picked out a few favourites that guarantee a fantastic family visit.

Mapperton Gardens

At Mapperton, you’ll find a stunning Jacobean manor house surrounded by unspoilt countryside, and – most importantly for your visit – 15 acres of amazing gardens. Open from the beginning of March until the end of October, the gardens are a brilliant place for the whole family to explore. There’s the elegant croquet lawn, the beautifully maintained Italianate garden with its ornamental animal statues, fountains and flower displays, as well as the striking wild garden, brimming with trees, shrubs and ponds full of fish.
From the start of April until the end of October, you can also take a guided tour of Mapperton House itself, which is home to the Earl and Countess of Sandwich. Speaking of sandwiches, there’s also a tea room on site, providing lunches, snacks and refreshing drinks!

Tout Quarry

If you’re staying at one of the great holiday parks in Dorset, don’t miss the opportunity to take a trip to the Isle of Portland, a natural wonder of an island that’s only attached to the British mainland by a stretch of shingle beach. It’s worth heading out there even if just to visit Tout Quarry, a sculpture park and nature reserve that’s based within an abandoned quarry. Free entry and free parking make this a good choice if you’re on a budget – bring a picnic along.

There’s some incredible statues, carvings and art installations to be discovered, and kids will love competing to be the first to spot the next stone animal or bizarre face etched into rock. You never know what you’ll find around the next corner as you wind your way through the area, making it a perfect destination for inquisitive and energetic children. You may even spot a sculptor or two at work!

The area is also a protected nature reserve, meaning that there’s a range of unusual plants, birds, insects and even lizards to be seen.

Kingston Maurward Gardens and Animal Park

Located on the outskirts of Dorchester and within easy reach of many holiday parks in Dorset, the glorious gardens of Kingston Maurward House span 35 acres. They’re a magnificent combination of old and new styles and boast a range of small themed gardens, each of which has its own personality. As well as exploring these, kids will love the animal park, where they can meet ponies, goats, pigs and other farm animals – there’s even a pair of alpacas! A couple of cafes are also available, one offering snacks and drinks, and the other selling more substantial meals.

As you might have expected from a county with so many excellent holiday parks, in Dorset there’s plenty of things for the whole family to do. These are just a few of our favourites, but we’re sure that your visit will let you discover countless more great attractions!

Michael Paul is the Managing Director of Michael Paul Holidays, a holiday property agency offering a handpicked range of accommodation in wonderful UK locations. Whether you are looking for the best holiday parks in Dorset or the cosiest cottages and log cabins in Scotland, he and his team will find you that perfect property for an unforgettable trip.

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