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10 of the Best Family Days out in Dorset

A list of 10 of the best Family days out across the beautiful County of Dorset, from Monkey World in Wareham to The Keep Military Museum in Dorchester.

1. Monkey World, Wareham, Dorset

Monkey World, Dorset. - Image by member Graham Rains (view gallery)

This is a place where "Monkey Business" really is acceptable, for the centre is home to over 150 primates of 15 different species. Founded in 1987, the centre was set up by husband and wife team Jim and Alison Cronin to give sanctuary to abused Spanish beach chimps. Since then the work of the centre has become renowned throughout the world, at the sanctuary there are chimps from Europe and other countries such as Israel, Dubai and Taiwan, they have all been rescued either from suffering abuse in..[more]

2. Weymouth Sea Life Centre, Weymouth, Dorset

Penquin at SeaLife Centre in Weymouth - Image by member Emma Eden (view gallery)

A unique mix of indoor and outdoor attractions set in seven acres makes Sea Life a great family day out. The Park offers a day of fun and amazement, bringing you face to face with penguins, seals, otters and so much more.

New for 2005 - Don’t miss the exciting new Splash Lagoon

Why not cool off in the Splash Lagoon – guaranteed to keep the kids entertained with a whole day’s fun and laughter (Opening June 2005).

And there’s so much more!!

3. Corfe Castle, Dorset

Corfe Castle - Image by member Ian Gedge (view gallery)

Standing in lofty splendour above the chimney pots of the village with the roaring ocean lapping the cliffs to the other side of a rocky outcrop, the romantic ruins of medieval Corfe Castle, cast a dramatic shadow from every approach. There is evidence of habitation in the area in the days of pre-history but Corfe really came to prominence when the great castle was begun at the time of William the Conqueror.

The castle has a stirring history, and although for nearly all of the medieval..[more]

4. Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset

Tank Museum, Bovington Camp, Athelhampton, Dorset - Image by member Bpeters (view gallery)


5. Nothe Fort, Weymouth, Dorset

Nothe Fort, Weymouth - Image by member Andy Brind (view gallery)

Nothe Fort lies to the east of Weymouth. This spectacular "D" shaped building is preserved as one of the finest pieces of military architecture from the Victorian Era.

The fort was built by the 26 Company of the Royal Engineers between 1860 and 1872, on a peninsular which juts out into the sea north of Portland Harbour. Its guns covered both the approaches to Portland and Weymouth harbour from the East.

The Nothe had a range of bomb proof vaulted rooms within its..[more]

6. Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, Bournemouth, Dorset

Museum - Image by member poe (view gallery)

7. Swanage Railway, Swanage, Dorset

Swanage Railway - Image by member Paul Johnson (view gallery)


8. Portland Castle, Weymouth, Dorset

Portland Castle, Dorset - Image by member (view gallery)

This is one of the best preserved of all King Henry VIII's mighty fortresses, built by the monarch to guard the south coast against invasion from the French and the Spanish.

The castle was built around 1540, of white Portland stone, it stands in a superb position overlooking Portland and Weymouth Harbour. It was further extended in the 17th-century, and again in the 18th-century when it was the home of Captain Charles Manning, builder of the Portland breakwater.


9. The Keep Military Museum, Dorchester, Dorset

The Keep Military Museum, Dorchester, Dorset - Image by member Nicola Clark (view gallery)

This exciting keep is the home of the Military Museum of Devon and Dorset. Here visitors with a keen interest in all things military can learn of the military service men and women of Dorset and Devon, their lives and times. There are rich portrayals featuring The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment, The Dorset Regiment, The Devonshire Regiment, The Dorset Yeomanry, The Dorset Militia, The Royal Devon Yeomanry, and 94 Field Regiment R.A.

The feast set before your eye's includes the..[more]

10. Abbotsbury Swannery, Abbotsbury, Dorset

Abbotsbury Swannery - Image by member Christine Cooney (view gallery)

Set in one of the most beautiful unspoilt regions of England, Abbotsbury Swannery is home to sometimes up to 1000 beautiful swans. A sanctuary was set up here by monks of the local abbey and is believed to have been going since atleast 1393. There are things to do for all the family including an ugly duckling trail for children and a special Audio Visual show for all the family. Part of the history of the area resides at the swannery in the form of a Bouncing Bomb which was used against the dams..[more]

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