View Full Version : Dorset visit
we are thinking of visiting Dorest for a few days after Easter so some local info would be good. Basically:
1) area to stay
2) things to do - to be honest I'll be happy hunting fossils and wandering around the prehistoric sites
3) best local ale
It's got to be on the Purbecks. You can hunt fossils to your heart's content on Kimmeridge, Lulworth, Worbarrow, Chapmans etc etc
If you're into fishing then the above places are VERY good...
There's a nice hill walk along the purbeck ridge that runs from coast to coast through the isle with Corfe Castle (worth a look) in the middle. Corfe and Swanage worth a look, you can catch the steam train from Corfe to Swanage all year i believe.
Are you camping or B&B?
For camping, these guys are good, I have been there to visit. It's a tent place not hammocks, but it has bogs etc, and it is easy to find a quiet spot:
Steeple Leaze Farm,
Sorry, don't know the phone number, but might be able to get it if you really want?
Not sure about the ale, but The Square and Compass pub in Worth Matravers do THE best tasting cheese and onion pasty's... and they go down well with a cold ale.... :D
Places to stay - no shortage of them around here! Are you looking to camp / caravan / B&B? I would advise looking and booking prior to your visit as the season gets into swing from Easter onwards.
Things to do. For fossils the West Dorset coast is more accessible and you can virtually guarantee finding ammonites anywhere between Charmouth and Lyme. I've come across all sorts after a good storm or high tide. Do be aware of the tides though - it is very unwise to try to climb out to avoid an incoming tide as we've had many slippages lately and there are some nasty patches of 'quicksand mud' in that area. The coastguard have been pulling people out of them by the dozen lately!! As long as you stay on the firm beach you should be fine - and the kids (if you have any) will love it. There is also a great fossil exhibition and shop at Charmouth in the Heritage Centre.
For outstanding cliff walking and views I would agree with visiting the Purbecks. On the coast itself the coast path from Swanage / Old Harry Rocks west to Kimmeridge and Lulworth Cove westwards is always accessible but the coastal path between Kimmeridge and Bindon Hill (just east of Lulworth) is a military range and only open at certain times. I don't have the phone number to hand at present but if you phone any of the TIC's they will know. When the range is open a visit to Tyneham is worthwhile too.
The inland Purbeck Ridge around Corfe is also excellent - the (ruined) castle is owned by the NT and open to the public.
If you want shells and sand-dues head to Studland via Corfe or by ferry from Poole. Do 'bare' in mind the nudist beach though (sorry!)
By prehistoric do you mean dinosaurs or pre-Roman inhabited sites? If the former then check out the area around Swanage and Worth Matravers - at least one of the quarries there displays prehistoric finds uncovered during quarrying. If it's human sites you want then there are numerous hillforts including Maiden Castle just south of Dorchester (largest in Europe).
If you're into birdwatching then visit Portland and the Bird Observatory at Portland Bill (excellent for migrants) or Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour (via ferry from Poole Quay).
Basically I could go on and on!!! If you want post an idea of interests / sites/ wildlife / landscape type (i.e. chalk downland, heath) / attractions for kids (if applicable) you're interested in and I'll suggest a few places if I can.
Hope that helps
p.s. Can't help with the ale question though as I don't drink it myself!!!
so much info.
Hoping to do:
*walking - site seeing on foot really, more 8-10 miles strolls
*fossil hunting - want to compare with N. Yorks Jurassic rock I did my degree thesis on
* visit pre Roman sites - like to tie in with a walk, seen an interesting on around Worth Matravers. 3 bird with 1 stone.
* general toursit/chilling
Think we will most likely camp ideal within spiting distance of a 1/2 decent pub. Anyone know the C&CC site at Moreton, b
Oh & i'll be bringing my surfboard down as well. Better book a month off.