15 (Almost) Free Things To Do In Dorset

Published: Monday 16th Oct 2017

Written by: Robyn Tatchell

Pay for parking but little else, perfect for all seasons!

Durlston Country Park National Nature Reserve- part of the south west costal path and the Jurassic Coast, Durlston Country Park provides 280 acres of beautiful countryside. As well as the wildlife take a look around Durlston castle and the great globe, you can also see the outside of the Tilly Whim caves. Look out for the cast-iron bollards bought back from London. 

Chesil Beach & the Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre- Chesil Beach is a natural wonder and stretches across 18 miles of the Dorset coast, discover all about the beach and its wildlife at the centre.

Studland Bay- A vast area of sandy beaches and heathland Studland bay is the perfect place nature and wildlife you can look out wildlife including birds, replitles, deer, fungi and a variety of insects. If the weather is warm enough Studland is the perfect place for water sports and swimming.

Roman Town House- The only example of a fully exposed Roman Town House in the country. Dating from the 4th century AD the house the Town House is a scheduled ancient monument and a Grade I listed building. There is also a fantastic ancient mosaicked floor.

Durdle Door - Part of the Lulworth Estate Durdle Door is as natural limestone arch on the Jurassic Coast this natural wonder is definitely worth a visit. It is much loved and has even featured in many music videos and films such as ‘Nanny McPhee’ and ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’ as well as the Christmas banger ‘on a saviours day’ by Cliff Richard.

Cerne Abbas Giant - The Cerne Giant is an ancient naked figure sculpted into the chalk hillside above Cerne Abbas. Dating back to the 17th Century the Giant has become an important part of local culture and folklore.

Tyneham Village - A Ghost Village near Lulworth with lots of history. The village was evacuated in 1943 after the government claimed the land as a training ground for allied forces, originally told this was a temporary move the villagers were unfortunately never allowed to return. Although many buildings are no more the village church are still standing and you can even see the children’s names on the coat pegs.

Maiden Castle - One of the largest and most complex Iron Age hillforts in Britain. It is believed that construction began around 3000BC and contains a complex arrangement of ramparts and ditches.

RSPB Arne Nature Reserve- spot all sorts of birds and other wildlife in Arne, with incredible views towards Brownsea island and Poole this Arne is the perfect place to take a relaxing walk around the heathland or the oak woodland.

Moors Valley Country Park and Forest – get active outdoors, there is a play trail for children with unique wooden play sculptures. You can bring your bike and cycle round the 1000 acre Country Park and forest. There are beautiful lakes, meadows and rivers to relax and perfect for a picnic.  

Sika Cycle Trail, Wareham Forest - a 7 mile trail through the beautiful Dorset woodlands is a perfect way to relax. You don’t only have to cycle but can walk it as well. It is a safe cycle trail as it is off-road.

Tout Quarry Sculpture Park and Nature Reserve - a disused quarry on the isle of Portland that has now been turned into a nature reserve and stone sculpture park, the remnants of the quarry’s limestone has been used to create sculptures and the site itself has been left to regenerate naturally making it a very interesting place to visit.

Poole Museum - find out the story of Poole, taking you through thousands of years of history. Home to a 295BC log boat as well as roman and medieval artefacts this museum offers a wealth of interesting things to see and do.

Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum - Find out more about the harrowing tale of the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ arrest trial and punishment leading to the foundation of modern day trade unionism. Find out for yourself how the Martyrs changed the face of social history; there is also a festival every year with a procession as well as live music and performances.

West Bay - a shingle, sand and pebble beach head to the amazing 180 million year old cliffs at West Bay and discover where they filmed the TV series Broadchurch. Part of the Jurassic Coast and the South West costal path it is a perfect place for a walk.

Robyn Tatchell


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