If you follow me on social media, mainly Instagram, then you will have seen that a couple of weekends ago we took a road trip down to Dorset to explore the area and see what it had to offer families. Having grown up in the north, it is an area that I have very rarely been in. The furthest down on the south coast that I have been to is Bournemouth, but even so, that was quite a while ago! So I was really looking forward to discovering the area with my family and crossing a few things off the old bucket list.
We took two days to do the trip, jut Saturday and Sunday, as it is only around two hours drive from us. But that was plenty of time to fit lots of things in. We made a pitstop on the way in the New Forest, which is absolutely beautiful. It was just a shame that the weather wasn’t better. Then we drove onwards to Poole, where we checked into our hotel for the night. We stayed at the new Travelodge in Poole and the location couldn’t have been better. Right across from the train station and literally two minutes walk into town. Not to mention being right by a quay so you can have a walk to see the boats and lifeboats like we did.
But other than that, what did we get up to? Here were our favourite things that are perfect for families:
The husband spent some time in the area on an A-Level Geography trip back in the day, so he suggested we went down to Studland for a little mooch. With four miles of beautiful beaches, along the sheltered waters of Studland Bay, it makes it a pretty perfect location for beach games, sandcastles, watersports or simply relaxing. Not to mention the super cute little beach huts all along the bay. The area is National Trust, and there are plenty of car parks. Just remember to have change if you’re not an NT member!
Old Harry Rocks
This is one of the things that sets the south coast apart form any other, and for me, confirms what it is called the Jurassic Coast. Not too far from Studland Bay (we walked there from it, around three miles round trip), are the Old Harry Rocks. The chalk formations stood out in the sea are a site to behold, and being so high up on the cliffs, you can see for miles on a clear day, even being able to see the Needles of the Isle of White. It was pretty cloudy by the time we got there, but was still stunning none the less. Just don’t get too close to the edge!
The Quay, Poole
Just a couple of minutes walk from out hotel was the town of Poole. We had a look around the shops, but then it is a must to go down to walk along The Quay to see the boats. You can take ferry trips from there at various times throughout the day, as well as just wander up and down and see the boats and SunSeekers that are moored up. The kids loved seeing the boats, as well as chasing the seagulls.
One of the boats that you can get out from the Poole Quay is out to Brownsea Island. The island is owned by the National Trust, so there is a lot of preservation and conservation; it is a place where you can still get to see red squirrels! The boat trip there and back makes it an even bigger hit with kids.
The Durdle Door
The Durdle Door is one of the places that I have wanted to go and see for such a long time! So I was determined that we would cross that off our list when we were in the area. Only a half hour drive from Poole, it was really well signposted and easy to find. The parking is pretty pricey at £2.50 an hour (but you can see why, it is a tourist attraction). The walk down is a little steep, and back up is a good old workout. But take your time and it is fine. It is completely worth it! The water is calm and really clear, especially compared to the sandy and seaweed filled Studland Bay. It is a rocket bay and it is so calming and relaxing, even if there are several other people there. If you’re feeling brave, you could swim in it as it is just so calm. I’d completely recommend visiting the Durdle Door formation if you find yourself along the south coast. I loved it.
Have you ever been to any of these places? Do you have a favourite? Would love to hear what you think!*we were invited to stay by Travelodge, but all thoughts and opinions are our own.