Bridport – Town Museum
Bridport Museum tells the story of the town’s history from its origins to the present day. Some of the notable displays include artefacts from Roman hill forts and the area’s world famous yarn spinning, rope and net making industries.
Other collections include coins, medals, costumes and textiles, weapons and war, and archaeology. The exhibitions include the story of Doctor Roberts, a local figure and creator of “The Poor Man’s Friend”, a miracle cure for all manner of conditions! Another feature is the Jurassic Coast gallery which boasts some interesting fossils and a partial skeleton of a plesiosaur discovered at Golden Cap in 2004.
Bridport – Palmers Brewery Tour
Take a tour of Palmers Brewery and learn about the historic process behind some of the counties favourite beers. As you walk through the brewing buildings you will learn about each of the stages involved before commemorating your visit with a glass tankard and a spot of beer tasting!
Lyme Regis – Town Museum and Aquarium
Situated in the heart of the town, Lyme Regis Museum is built on the site of Mary Anning’s home. Inside this small museum is packed with interesting displays, fascinating stories, and a true insight into the town’s dynamic local history. With everything from geological displays to the town’s literary connections with the likes of Jane Austen and John Fowles, a visit to the museum is certainly a must if you’re staying in the area or visiting Lyme Regis on a day trip.
The Lyme Regis Marine Aquarium, is a favourite for families, offers an interactive insight into Dorset’s underwater world. Packed with presentations and exhibits, it is well worth spending some time here learning about the creatures and even holding and feeding some of them!
One of the best places to learn about local history is the Dorset County Museum. It is due to reopen sometime in 2021 following a two-year redevelopment. So you can expect a brand-new experience with top-of-the-range facilities.
Teddy Bear Museum
If you’re looking for a rainy-day activity with the kids, look no further than the Teddy Bear Museum in Dorchester. This small, family-friendly museum is home to over 100 kinds of teddy bears, all displayed amongst the vintage furnishings of an old-fashioned home.
The Tutankhamun Exhibition is an incredibly accurate recreation of the tomb and treasures discovered by Howard Carter in 1922. This World Heritage Exhibition is world-renowned for its meticulous accuracy. Especially because many of the replicas have been made using original materials and techniques.
Wareham – Bovington Tank Museum/Monkey World
Learn about military vehicles old and new at Bovington Tank Museum. The museum boasts a collection of more than 300 vehicles and is home to the worlds first ever tank, Little Willie! Considered to be the best collection of tanks in the world, the Tank Museum offers fun for all the family, with plenty for children to do, including a trail and dressing up.
Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum
The Tolpuddle Martyrs were six local farmers from the nearby town of Tolpuddle. They formed a workers’ union in 1834 in order to campaign against cutting wages. Because landowners wanted them silenced, the six men were arrested on a technicality and sentenced to seven years transportation (exile in Australia). Today, they’re celebrated for being among the first to stand up for workers rights.
In Tolpuddle, you can learn more about their history, as well as the cause they fought for. A monument was erected in their honour in 1934, while a sculpture was created for the village in 2001. The Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum is small museum but tells the whole story very well.
Haynes Motor Museum
For all petrol heads! Haynes Motor Museum is a multi-award winning Museum and visitor attraction. Offering an excellent day out for everyone, with more than 400 cars and bikes displayed in stunning style, dating from 1885 to the present day.
CASTLES AND HOUSES
Home to the Earl and Countess of Sandwich, Mapperton is a glorious sandstone manor house and romantic valley garden deep in a lost Dorset combe among tumbling hills and unspoiled countryside. Fifteen acres of gardens descend from the croquet lawn, through the formal topiary down to the wild garden.
Built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594, this historic house reflects a glorious variety of decorative styles from over 400 years of English History. Experience nationally important collections of furniture, paintings and porcelain. Walk in Capability Brown’s English Landscape Garden.
Home to the stunning Mortlake tapestries, woven from the internationally famous Raphael cartoons, now housed in the V&A, the Abbey has a rich and varied history spanning 900 years. Walk in the actual footsteps of the monks, and explore the exquisite interior featured in the latest Hollywood adaptation of ‘Far From the Madding Crowd.’
Bridport – Leisure Centre
Bridport Leisure Centre is a vibrant community hub, where being healthy is fun and accessible for everyone. Their facilities include a well-equipped gym and fitness class studio, dedicated yoga and Pilates space, racket sports, gymnastics and a 25-metre swimming pool. There you can find fully trained, expert staff who can help with everything from swimming lessons to personal training.
Burton – 10-Pin bowling at the Jurassic Fun Center
At the Jurassic Fun Centre, there are six full-sized American 10-pin bowling lanes to enjoy, offering something for everyone – from beginners to experts! Great fun for kids and adults parties too.
Poole – Splashdown and Tower Park
Splashdown is one of the main attractions at Tower Park in Poole, and it’s a brilliant family day out in any weather! This is an indoor waterpark with flumes, slides, and other water rides. From gentle tyre slides, to intense flumes, to a giant “infinity bowl” slide, there’s something for everyone.
Dorset is a county steeped in history, from prehistoric to the modern-day. Maiden Castle is the largest Iron Age hill fort in Europe and is situated just 2 miles from Dorchester. The Cerne Abbas Giant is an ancient chalk hill figure which is visible for miles around. No one is sure exactly when the figure was originally cut, but it remains one of Britain’s best-known chalk hill figures and is associated with fertility. There are plenty of other iron age hillforts to discover in the surrounding area and some unique Roman ruins in Dorchester.