Activities in Dorset




Our Dorset base is in Burley

The Carter Company’s gentle cycling holidays offer a unique way to discover Dorset. Designed with families and leisure cyclists in mind, we have a range of self-guided tours ranging from 4 to 8 nights. Pedal at your own pace along our creative, largely traffic-free routes designed by locals to help you discover the hidden gems of the area, and enjoy overnight stays in hand-picked boutique hotels. Stonehenge, The New Forest, the Isles of Wight & Purbeck, and Salisbury all feature on our routes, as do gorgeous stretches of Dorset countryside and charming little villages. With 25 years of experience, we are known for our top-notch customer service and we love sharing Dorset’s treasures with our customers! Route directions, luggage transfers, bike hire, accommodation and a full support service are included on our tours.

Starts; West Cliff, Off West Hill Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH2 5JB

Are you curious about Bournemouth? Looking for an unusual and quirky activity which gets you out in the fresh air whatever the weather? Take one of our self-guided walks with a treasure hunt theme – looping around the better-known sights, as well as some of the more unusual and quirky ones, which combined make Bournemouth a fabulous place to explore!

You’ll get everything – detailed directions, maps, clues (with answers in the back!), and fascinating snippets about the history of Bournemouth and the people that have shaped it.

Buy or instantly, download from our website, and explore in your own time.

23 Melcombe Avenue, Weymouth, Dorset

Cycle hire in Weymouth, Portland, Dorchester and the surrounding area.

Free delivery and collection all year round.

Unit 5 Brewers Quay, Hope Square, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 8TR

Be A Pop Star – Record a Song at Brewers Quay – The ultimate professional recording studio experience.

Walk away within two hours with a CD or MP3 with a recording of you or a group singing a song of your choice.

This also makes a great gift experience for someone who loves singing or even karaoke!

With a combined 38 years’ experience in music production and fully qualified in Music Technology and Music Production, we are the number one choice for recording in Weymouth, Dorset.

For more information or to book your bespoke experience, please get in touch.

Don’t leave with just a postcard – Leave Weymouth with your own professional studio recording from Rachel Scott Recordings and Tuition Weymouth.

radipole

Map grid reference: SY671804

Visitor Centre is open daily 9am to 5pm (4pm in winter). The hide is open from 8.30am to 4.30pm. The Visitor Centre and hide are both closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day

Radipole Lake is a great place to come, whether you are new to wildlife watching or an experienced birdwatcher. There are well-known birds at the reserve such as house sparrows, finches and robins, alongside rare birds like the Cetti’s warbler and bittern. On a typical walk you can even see seven or eight different kinds of ducks.

There is plenty for families to do, with specially-created trails, bird events and, during the summer, family activities such as pond dipping and bug hunts.

Spring highlights

In spring, the air is filled with bird song as they compete to establish territories and attract a mate. Flocks of swallows and martins gather over the water to feed on insects after their migration from Africa. Warblers also arrive, including grasshopper, willow and Cetti’s warblers, blackcaps, whitethroats and lesser whitethroats. The reed beds are full of singing sedge and reed warblers.

Summer highlights

In summer, look out for young birds making their first venture into the outside world. Hobbies can be seen flying after small birds and dragonflies, which they catch with their feet then pass to their beaks while still flying. Flowering plants attract good numbers of butterflies, such as commas, painted ladies and peacocks.

Autumn highlights

Autumn brings large movements of migrating birds – some heading south to a warmer climate, others seeking refuge in the UK from the cold Arctic winter. Bearded tits become easier to see, with family groups roaming the reed beds and making their distinctive ‘pinging’ call. As the water levels are lowered in preparation for winter reed cutting, the mud attracts wading birds such as dunlins, snipe, redshanks and lapwings.

Winter highlights

In winter, look out for large flocks of birds gathering to feed, or flying at dusk to form large roosts to keep warm. You may see a bittern if you are patient – they will fly up from the reeds occasionally to get to different feeding areas. During cold snaps, water rails become much easier to see as they must feed outside the frozen-up reed beds. There is a large roost of pied wagtails in Weymouth and the birds can often be seen at Radipole Lake before heading into town for the night.

Marsh Harriers

The first marsh harriers to breed in Dorset in almost 50 years successfully raised three chicks in 2009 at Radipole Lake. Being only 10 minutes’ walk from Weymouth town centre, these marsh harrier chicks are thought to be the most urban of their species to fledge in the British Isles. The arrival of the parents at the reserve was filmed for the BBC television programme Springwatch.

Facilities

  • information centre
  • shop
  • refreshments available
  • picnic area
  • pushchair friendly
  • wheelchair accessible
  • pay and display car park (not RSPB)
  • toilets, including disabled, in the car park (not RSPB)
  • binocular hire
  • group bookings accepted
  • guided walks available
  • dogs allowed on public footpaths and bridleways

Entrance fees

It is free to walk around the reserve. Fees are only charged for use of the hide.

The Ark, Poole Park, Poole, Dorset BH15 2SF

The Ark Poole Park in Dorset, UK is an all-weather family fun day out!

There are three levels of soft play with slides, tunnels and interactive zones (up to 11 years old) plus a dedicated soft play area for toddlers.

There is also an indoor ice rink for all ages and abilities.

The Ark in Poole Park has a spacious cafe with an outdoor terrace overlooking Swan Lake. It also has an ice cream parlour for cones, sundaes and more.

There is plenty of free car parking in Poole Park and at The Ark.

Disabled parking is available directly outside The Ark.

Weymouth Outdoor Education Centre (WOEC) is the Dorset County Council centre for land and water-based outdoor activities such as sailing, kayaking, rock climbing and team development.

The centre is open all year round and provides opportunities for people of all ages.

The primary purpose of the centre is to provide activities for young people that complement the work of schools and colleges. Its programmes combine fun, learning, challenge and adventure. During the taster sessions and progressive courses, young people are supported and encouraged to fulfil their potential.

The centre also runs a large programme of courses for individuals, including kayaking, sailing, rock climbing and multi-activities. It is possible to have a taster session or progress to a higher level of competence on a longer course.

General enquiries about the centre should be directed to Julia Howorth (tel: 01305 784927, email:j.c.howorth@dorsetcc.gov.uk).

Moor Lane, Sturminster Marshall, Wimborne, Dorset BH21 4AH

A flat, parkland course that will suit golfers of all abilities. Nine/18 holes, 5028 yards, SSS 65. Practice net. Visitors are welcome at all times.

Canford School, Wimborne, Dorset BH21 3AD

A flat, parkland course with nine (x 2) holes, 5934 yards, SSS 69.

Knighton Lane, Wimborne, Dorset BH21 3AS

There are three golf courses. Parkland: 18 holes, 6495 yards. Riverside: 18 holes, 6231 yards. Knighton: nine holes, 2754 yards, par 3. There is also a six-hole academy course and driving range practice area. Visitors are welcome and golf club hire and golf lessons are available. A handicap certificate is not required.

Links Road, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 0PF

This golf course is on undulating parkland. It has 18 holes, 5981 yards, SSS 69. Practice area. Visitors are welcome but only with an English Golf Union (EGU) or club handicap certificate.

Radipole Lane, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 9HX

A flat, public golf course with nine holes, 1432 yards, par 3. Large driving range, putting green and practice bunker. Visitors are welcome.

Sandford Road, Wareham, Dorset BH20 4DH

A partly wooded golf course with wonderful views over the Purbeck Hills and Poole Harbour. 18 holes, 5753 yards, SSS 68. Visitors are welcome after 9.30am on weekdays and after 1pm at weekends. A golf handicap certificate is required.

Bere Regis, Wareham, Dorset BH20 7NT

There are two golf courses. Lakeland Course: 18 holes, 7027 yards, SSS 75, par 72. Woodland Course: 2 x nine holes, 4887 yards, SSS 64, par 69. Driving range. Visitors are welcome anytime with a prior tee reservation.

The Clubhouse, Verwood, Dorset BH31 7LE

This golf course is set on parkland which surrounds lakes and the River Crane. 18 holes, 6400 yards, SSS 71. Nine-hole woodland course, 2100 yards. Covered driving range. Visitors are welcome by arrangement but a golf handicap is necessary.