Here in Dorset we always pine for the summer. Those long, warm days lend themselves to lazy hours spent on the beach, refreshing dips in the sea and plenty of cooling ice creams! But it’s not all about summer! When the weather outside is a bit miserable there is still plenty to do in our beautiful county. So whether you are a local like us or thinking about visiting… come on down, there is loads to see and do in the winter, and here are our top ideas!
To blow away the cobwebs… Wintery beach walks
Wrap up warm, pick your favourite Dorset beach and soak up some sea air. Is there anything better on a chilly day than feeling some winter sun upon your face! Luckily for us we have some incredible stretches of coastline to choose from. If you prefer to people watch on a busier beach – head for Bournemouth, but if you want to feel like you’ve got the place to yourself – pick Chapman’s Pool! One thing we can guarantee – we have the perfect beauty spot for you to fall in love with wintery beach walks! Don’t forget to pack a flask of your favourite Dorset Tea! (Please keep an eye on local weather conditions, tides and announcements when visiting the beach in the winter - the coastline can be prone to landslides).
To soak up the countryside in style… Steam train ride through Purbeck
Located in the Isle of Purbeck, Swanage Railway is a perfect place to enjoy a day out on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast. Operating full-size steam trains along the five-and-a-half-mile route from Norden to Corfe Castle and down to Swanage it’s a fun experience no matter what the weather! Reopening for 2022 on the 19th February now is a great time to visit our beautiful coast and countryside.
To treat yourself… Afternoon Tea
You know us – we love tea and cake! With so many stunning hotels, cafes and restaurants offering a traditional Dorset afternoon tea you are utterly spoilt for choice when it comes to treating yourself or your loved ones! You might want to choose a cosy pub with a log fire, or how about somewhere with a sea view – there is something deeply satisfying about being warm and cosy whilst overlooking a rugged wintery sea! Check out our earlier blog for some recommended places to try.
To entertain the children … Monkey World
Home to hundreds of monkeys, this attraction is not a zoo but a primate rescue centre. Throughout the 65-acre park you will encounter chimpanzees, orangutans and gorillas with the chance to learn all about the captivating creatures during daily keeper talks. Open all year round this is a great place to visit during the quieter winter months and, being located in the heart of the Purbecks you are just a steppingstone from some lovely beaches if little ones have any energy left to burn off!
To be a big kid… the Tank Museum
The Tank Museum in Bovington (just 5 minutes down the road from Monkey World) boasts a collection of over 300 military machines. Whether you are a miliary enthusiast, interested to explore what’s on display or looking for an ‘indoor’ activity for children this is a great option. With 6 exhibition halls and an optional ride on an armoured vehicle you could easily spend the whole day here!
To embrace your inner paleontologist – Fossil hunting
Dorset’s Jurassic Coast wasn’t named so for no reason! It comes from the best-known geological period found within it, but there are also rocks from the Triassic and Cretaceous periods found here too. Now a fossil-hunters dream stomping ground, parts of Dorset’s coastline are practically littered with fossils that are constantly being exposed with natural erosion of the cliffs. For your best chances of finding one, head to Kimmeridge or Charmouth Beach – wrap up warm and enjoy exploring! If you want to learn more, it’s well worth visiting the Etches Collection – home to an amazing collection of late Jurassic fossils from Kimmeridge Bay. You’ll learn about sea monsters, prehistoric predators and ancient flora and fauna!
To wildlife spot… Visit RSPB Arne Nature Reserve
Located on the edge of Poole Harbour and offering up some amazing views, the nature reserve sees in excess of 20,000 wintering birds at this time of year. Large flocks of waders such as avocets and dunlins gather to feed and if you stay until dusk you’ll see them form large roosts to keep warm. Pack your binoculars and you may even be lucky enough to see the marsh and hen harriers hunting! The reserve is also home to herds of Sika deer. If you’re a keen photographer you may come away with some gorgeous shots if you catch a glimpse of them in the low winter sunshine.
We hope this has helped to give you some ideas about embracing the chillier days and enjoying Dorset in winter! Our delicious range of teas have been inspired by our surrounding countryside and we are aiming to spread some winter sunshine one cup at a time! So whether you want to cosy up inside with a decent cuppa or pop something delicious into a flask for a trip outside, browse our range today over on our Tea Shop.