There are numerous historic country houses, gardens and attractions to visit in Dorset. Attractions including the world famous World Heritage Coastline along the Dorset Coast as well as some of the grandest houses including Abbotsbury and Lulworth Castle. There are some great Golf Courses in Dorset that are perfect for beginners and those who wish to be challenged.
Lulworth Cove is the prime dorset attraction for the budding geographer or simply for a leisurely walk along the Natural World Heritage Coastline and the challenging hills.Lulworth Cove was formed approximately 10,000 years ago by the awesome powers of a river and the sea. It continues to evolve behind a narrow Portland stone entrance as the softer Purbeck, Wealdon, Greensand and Chalk exposures are eroded. By the Lulworth Cove there is the West Lulworth Heritage Centre acting as a museum about Lulworth and its coast and the history of the village, with plenty of Lulworth Souvenirs.
Durdle Door is a world famous geological wonder, with its massive rock arch, set right on the Jurassic Coast between Swanage and Weymouth, just along the coast path from Lulworth Cove, it is absolutely beautiful.
Durdle Door has a sloping beach for bathing or snorkeling from, caves and exciting rock strata. Only a short walk from Lulworth Cove and makes a nice place to have picnic, sunbathe and go swimming, there was once a dolphin in the bay!
Lulworth Castle was built as a hunting lodge in 1608 to attract James I to hunt in the Isle of Purbeck, the castle was bought by the Weld family in 1641 and became the family seat following the destruction of the main estate house during the Civil War.
Lulworth Castle is open to the public for most of the year (please check admission times on the Lulworth Castle website) and is also available to hire for private functions and corporate entertaining.
Tyneham Village – the forgotten ghost town.The village went under military occupation six days before Christmas 1943 for the training of American and British tank crews. The promise to return Tyneham to its inhabitants was never kept, and the area is still used for firing live shells. The village and range walks on this section of the Dorset Coastal Path are regularly open to the public and details of arrangements can be found below.
Tyneham is a short drive from Lulworth Cove and makes a nice day away looking back into the past in an unconventional way. Tyneham Village & The Lulworth Range Walks are open to the public most weekends and school holidays. Please telephone 01929404819 for more information.
Please look on our Lulworth Range Walks page for opening times of the Lulworth Ranges and Tyneham Village.
At Lulworth Cove, there is the famous Fossil Forest. There are the remains of the growths that formed around tree stumps from about 135 million years ago. Further along the coast there are the ripple marks of an ancient beach.
Visiting the fossils requires a small hike. The hike is only a few hundred feet long with an elevation gain of about 50 feet. Make sure the Lulworth army range is open to the public during your visit. To access the fossils you need to pass through the gates.
Stair Hole, near Lulworth Cove, is a classic “blow hole” where the sea has exploited a weak spot in the rocks and has led to erosion.
Stair Hole is also famous for the folded and crumpled rocks at its eastern edge.
Stair hole is adjoining Lulworth Cove and is very easily reached with a short walk up the hill by Lulworth Cove.
Dorset Golf Courses
Dorset has some of the best and most varied golf courses in the country, perfect if you are looking to play golf whilst you are visiting the area. Thanks to our location in Dorset there are many courses to play within a short drive. Please view our Dorset Golf Courses page for more information and special discounts for our guests!
Monkey World, Bovington
Set amongst the woodland of Dorset lays 65 acres of sanctuary for over 150 primates. Monkey World was set up in 1987 by Jim and Alison Cronin to provide abused Spanish beach chimps with a permanent, stable home. There are currently 56 chimpanzees at Monkey World, which makes it the largest group outside Africa.
The Tank Museum, Bovington
For generations man has dreamt of creating the invincible war machine to aid him to overcome his enemies in battle. For almost 2,000 years attempts were made but technical developments in the early Twentieth century, combined with the impetus of a terrible and bloody World War, finally solved the problems. Prepare to discover one of History’s most absorbing stories.
Corfe Castle, Corfe
Built soon after the Norman conquest by William the conqueror, the Castle occupies a site which may have been used as a defensive position since Roman times, but certainly during the late-Saxon period, where it was the scene of the murder of King Edward The Martyr in 978AD. The medieval castle was destroyed by the Parliamentarian forces in the seventeenth century, leaving behind the haunting ruin which remains today. Now maintained by the National Trust, visitors can climb the steep hill to explore the ruin, or visit the heritage centre to learn more about the castle’s history.
Maiden Castle, Dorchester
Maiden Castle is the largest Iron Age hill fort in Europe and covers an area of 47 acres. ‘Maiden’ derives from the Celtic ‘Mai Dun’ which means ‘great hill’. It is situated just 2 miles south of Dorchester in Dorset. It is truly an amazing place: even after more than 2000 years, the earthworks are immense, some ramparts rising to a height of 6 metres (20 feet).