Local Attractions

There are so many Visitor Attractions within 25 miles of “The Dorset Resort” that they would be too numerous to mention. We have, however, compiled a list of some of the more popular Attractions and noted how far they are from “The Resort.”


Monkey World (5 mins)
The most popular visitor attraction in Dorset, Monkey World was the subject of the recent TV Documentary series and is a Sanctuary for over 160 rescued and endangered apes and monkeys. Children can also let off steam ‘jungle style’ in the amazing adventure play park – the largest on the South Coast – with a huge variety of swings, slides and climbing frames.

Bovington Tank Museum (5 mins)
Set in the grounds of the Bovington Army Camp, the Museum is a “must visit” for adults and children alike.The Museum houses the world’s largest collection of Tanks and Armoured Vehicles with over 300 vehicles from 26 countries.

Abbotsbury Swannery (40 mins)
For over 600 years this colony of friendly, mute Swans has made its home at Abbotsbury Sanctuary. Sheltered by the famous Chesil Beach, this ancient and special site provides protection for hundreds of nesting Swans and their broods. From May you can wander safely around the nests.

Brownsea Island (20 mins + Ferry)
The modern day Boy Scout Movement was founded by Lord Baden Powell on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour. The Island can be visited by boat and contains many fine walks with spectacular views of the Harbour. It is home to a multitude of wildlife – including red squirrels, peacocks and deer.

Blue Pool (10 mins)
Dorset’s tranquil and unique beauty spot, Blue Pool was once a clay pit, which accounts for a rare phenomenon that has attracted visitors since 1935.With a Tea Room, Museum, Gift Shop and Plant Centre the Blue Pool near Wareham is an excellent place to visit.

Stourhead (40 mins)
The House and Gardens at Stourhead is one of the National Trust’s most popular visitor destinations. From early April the Gardens are open to the Public, and, all year round, the House with its Georgian Treasures and Chippendale Furnishings are well worth a visit. You can also climb Alfred’s Tower and enjoy truly fantastic views around the local countryside.

Athelhampton House & Gardens (20 mins)
Athelhampton is one of the finest Manor Houses in England dating from 15th century.This wonderful House and Gardens has been in private ownership for over 500 years and offers a range of facilities for its visitors – a Gift Shop, Lunch in the Topiary Restaurant, plus Tours of the House and award winning Gardens.A delightful visit is promised.

Swanage Steam Railway (20 mins)
This award winning Railway currently operates 6 miles of track between Swanage and Norden, running through the beautiful Isle of Purbeck and passing through the magnificent ruins of Corfe Castle. The children will love visiting Thomas the Tank Engine, or, the Santa Special trains during the run up to Christmas. For that special occasion, treat your friends and family to a 5 Course Dinner on the premier dining train, “The Wessex Belle.”

Corfe Castle & Village (15 mins)
The Village and Castle are situated on A351 between Wareham and Swanage. The area is popularly known as the Isle of Purbeck. The Medieval Castle commanding a gap in the Purbeck ridge is now an imposing ruin. It is believed to have been a Roman defensive site with a wooden Castle dating back to 9th century and the current remains dating from 11th century. The Village is a National Trust area with many thatched houses, pubs and cafes. Bring your camera, it’s lovely!

Kingston Lacy (25 mins)
This beautiful 17th century House (now owned by the National Trust) was the seat of the Bankes family for over 300 years. The House contains an outstanding collection of Old Masters Paintings and an exhibition of Egyption Artefacts from 3000BC. The gardens change with the seasons both the Snowdrop Walk and the Bluebell Walk being a ‘must.’ More walks abound throughout the 250 acres of wooded parkland and there is a children’s play area, also. There is always something to do at Kingston Lacy, so be sure to check out their Diary of Events or enquire within the Resort Office.

The New Forest (40 mins)
The timeless beauty of the New Forest derives from its unique and natural cultural heritage. In 1079 William the Conqueror established the Forest and laid down strict safeguards for the survival of its animals. There are many places within the Forest to visit, including numerous pubs and restaurants, as well as beautiful glades and woodland areas. New Forest ponies and horses abound and wander freely in this unique, medieval landscape.