Looking for a completely cost-free day out? No problem! There are loads of free attractions all over Dorset – you’ve just got to know where to look. Here’s our run-down of the best free activities in Dorset for families with kids of all ages.
- Fossil-hunting. Many of Dorset’s beaches and coves are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coast, which is a wonderful place to hunt for fossils including ammonites, echinoids, bivalves, brachiopods and sharks’ fin. As well as a fun and educational free activity, this is a great way to find a truly unique souvenir of your holiday in Dorset to bring home with you. Among the best places to find fossils in Dorset are Charmouth Beach, Hengistbury Head and Seatown.
- Days on the beach. Dorset is blessed with some of the best beaches in the UK. Greenwood Grange is just half an hour from some of the county’s loveliest stretches of sand, shingle or pebbles, including Lulworth Cove and famous Chesil Beach. Whether you’re into sandcastle-building, rock-pooling or crabbing (all fantastic free activities), you’ll guaranteed to find the setting for some brilliant free family days out in Dorset.
- Wildlife-spotting. Half an hour from Greenwood Grange, on Poole Harbour within the Dorset Area of Natural Beauty, the free-to-visit RSPB Arne Nature Reserve is one of the UK’s few remaining places where you can find all six of the UK's native reptiles, as well as birdlife and butterflies. Expect to see sand lizards, slow worms and more as you roam its heath and ancient oak woodland.
- Family-friendly walks. One of the best ways to discover the delights of Dorset is on foot. One of our favourite walks in Dorset is a short (4km) and child-friendly stretching taking in Lulworth Cove and and the iconic rock arch Durdle Door, following part of the South West Coast Path.
- Family bike-rides. Cycling along the North Dorset Trailway between Sturminster Newton and Spetisbury (the latter just 25 minutes from Greenwood Grange) takes you along a section of the old Somerset & Dorset railway line through some of the county’s most lovely countryside. There are lots of places to stop along the route, including picnic spots and nature reserves. Alternatively, Thorncombe Woods next to our cottages also has bike trails and lovely picnic areas.
- Roman ruins. Dorchester’s Roman Town House is ideal for taking in some ancient history for free. You can’t go inside, but its 4th-century-AD mosaics and other features can be viewed from the outside.
- World War II history. Tyneham Village 40 minutes from Greenwood Grange was evacuated in 1943, and you can wander amidst its abandoned buildings for free as well as seeing exhibitions about the villagers in its old church and schoolhouse.
- Swimming. Stay onsite at our holiday park at Greenwood Grange and you can take advantage of our indoor swimming pool. Other great things to do on a rainy day in Dorset include table football, pool, bar billiards and table tennis in our games room and playing with the toys and games in our yurt.
Book your family holidays in our Dorset holiday cottages.