Activities in Dorset

04 April 2018

Activities in Dorset

Dorset boasts a high number than rest of the UK of retired residents with 23.6% being over 65 years old, according to 2013 mid year estimates, no doubt they are drawn by the above average temperatures and the pastoral beauty of the county and the dramatic vistas of the coastline. It is probably because of this that Dorset has developed something of a ‘sleepy’ reputation, which I think is completely misplaced. Admittedly, you can drive around large parts of the county and see numerous picturesque villages, full of pristine houses and gardens that look primed for their moment of glory set out in the pages of a magazine dedicated to perfect living, but there is much more to Dorset than this. Like all rural areas, you need to scratch the surface to discover what lies beneath the manifestation of peace, village fetes and tea parties because believe me, if you want something more lively, an activity weekend or maybe even a week, Dorset is the place to be.

There are a huge variety of readily available activities in Dorset, the possibilities are endless and it just takes a little effort to find them. One of the easiest activities to organise is hiking and making your way along the south west coast path anywhere along the Jurassic Coast must be up there with the most picturesque routes in the UK if not the world. Personally, I prefer the area between Swanage and Portland because it provides the most variety in terms of the coastline and gives views of the iconic Durdle Door and Lulworth bay as well as less well known spots like Mupe Bay and Winspit Quarry, all of which are spectacular.

Dorset is also something of a mecca for watersports, at least for those that don’t require big waves. The advantage of not having an Atlantic swell bringing in sets of breakers is further enhance by the presence of the second largest sand harbour in the world, Poole Harbour and Portland harbour within the county. Both of these harbours provide relatively sheltered shallow water with reliable and relatively strong winds, making them ideal for windsurfing, kitesurfing, paddleboarding and sailing. There are numerous opportunities to get involved with lessons and equipment hire in these locations. The coast stretching from Portland Bill to Swanage is perfect for a number of different activities with snorkeling, diving, kayaking and coasteering all on the menu along the geologically unique shoreline.

In land, Dorset has a wide variety of activity options within the spectacular rolling, hills and valleys and most of these are suitable for family groups as well as adults. There are riding stables offering structured lessons or you can go for a hack if you just want to get out and about on a horse. Clay pigeon shooting in Dorset is another popular activity for anyone who is keen to try something new and challenge themselves in a dynamic fast paced shooting sport. We provide sessions from £35 or you can book a structured lesson from £60 per person. If static target shooting is your thing then we also have air rifle ranges and crossbow shooting activities available.

Off-road driving and quad biking make for brilliantly fun activities, the thrill of speed combines with the uncertainty of a non-uniform surface, where traction disappears in an instant and before you know it, you have lost control. An unusual experience that we also provide is the chance to pilot a single seat Formula 2 Eagle Hovercraft, which differs from off-road driving in that you never have any traction at all, so you have to think 50 metres ahead and fly 30 meters ahead, challenging and exciting in equal measure.

For all your activity weekend needs - Dorset has the answer.