Out and About in the School Holidays

Dorset, Hampshire and the Jurassic Coast are jam-packed with great family days out and about, many of which are perfect for when your little angels need entertaining during the
school holidays.

So whether you are looking for a theme park, to visit a farm or to just go for a picnic in the forest, there are lots of great days out on your doorstep or not
much further.

Some are free, some not so free - here we’ve put together a round-up of as many local attractions that we can muster! A great choice of days out that won’t break the bank!

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Adventure Wonderland logo

Adventure Wonderland

Situated just by Bournemouth Airport, Adventure Wonderland is Dorset's number one family theme park. Hosting an outdoor park with over 30 rides and attractions, plus the indoor adventure play centre Wild Thing. Adventure Wonderland is great whatever the weather – however be warned, in the summer season, access is granted only to the full park, making it an expensive day out if you only want to use the indoor play area. Having said that, if the sun is shining, it’s a fantastic day for children and adults of all ages!

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Beaulieu Motor Museum Logo

Beaulieu Motor Museum

In the heart of The New Forest, Beaulieu is open daily except 25th December.

Beaulieu is a guaranteed great family day out with lots for everyone to enjoy including the world famous National Motor Museum, home to a stunning collection of automobiles telling the history of motoring through modern rally cars and F1 Grand Prix machines, Palace House, home of the Montagu family, historic Beaulieu Abbey which was founded in 1204 by Cistercian monks, BOND IN MOTION, the world's largest official collection of original James Bond vehicles, World of Top Gear featuring vehicles from some of the most ambitious challenges and On Screen Cars where the car is the star and includes TV and film favourites.

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Blackgang Chine Logo

Blackgang Chine

A quick trip across the water to the Isle of White and you have Blackgang Chine, which offers over 40 acres of activities and interest. For the younger ones there’s Nurseryland, Pirate Barrel Ride, Jonah's Whale, Dinosaurland, JungleWalk, Fantasyland, Crooked House, Triassic Club, Sleeping Beauty's Castle, Toddlers Play Area, Smugglers' Ship, Music Factory and Pet-Shop. For the older ones there’s Waterforce, Cliffhanger Roller Coaster, Giant Hedge Maze, Water Gardens, Pirate Fort, Snakes & Ladders, St. Catherines Quay, Blackgang Sawmill, Rumpus Mansion, Smugglers' Cave, Frontierland. A great day out for the whole family!

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Dorset Wildlife Trust

Brownsea Island and Nature Reserve

Brownsea Island is famous for being the birthplace of the Scout and Girl Guiding movement. Set in the entrance to Poole Harbour, there are regular ferries across to
the island.

It’s home to thriving natural habitats - including woodland, heathland and a lagoon - create a haven for wildlife, such as the rare red squirrel and a wide variety of birds, including dunlin, kingfishers, common and sandwich terns and oystercatchers. Visitors will be fascinated by the island's rich history, for as well as boasting daffodil farming and pottery works, it was the birthplace of the Scouting and Guiding movement.

The Baden-Powell Outdoor Centre invites you to follow in the footsteps of Lord Baden-Powell and the very first Scouts who camped here in 1907. Brownsea Island is open daily.

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Buckler's Hard Logo

Buckler's Hard

Open every day except 25th December, Buckler's Hard is a picturesque 18th century village on the banks of the Beaulieu River in the heart of the New Forest. There’s the Buckler's Hard Story and cottage displays to be seen. Visitors can stay in the village at the Master Builders House Hotel, or you can just enjoy the natural beauty of this historic village and soak up the atmosphere as the local ducks waddle past. A river cruise or a walk through the woodlands nearby can only add to the experience of a time gone by. Also on site is the exciting Maritime Museum and Buckler's Hard Story where you can find out about the history of this unique 18th century shipbuilding village.

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Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre Logo

Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre - Fossil Hunting

Entrance to the visitors’ centre is free of charge. Public walks take place most weekends and during school holidays, however these are dependent on the tides. They also offer walks centred around rockpooling, the local countryside and
plankton trawling.

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Cheddar Caves & Gorge Logo

Cheddar Caves & Gorge

A little further afield in Somerset, yet easily accessible in a day, is Cheddar Gorge. Cheddar Gorge is a family attraction suitable for all ages and open throughout the year. Explore Britain's finest caves in Britain's most spectacular gorge. Easy-to-use audioguides are on hand with special story for children. Visit the Museum of Pre-history, or for the more active, take a cliff-top walk. The open-top gorge tour bus is available during the summer.

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Chessington World of Adventures Logo

Chessington World of Adventures - Theme park and Zoo

Chessington offers something for everyone and so much more than just a family day out! With their Zoo, Sea life Centre and ten lands to explore - Chessington justifies a short break for the
whole family!

Chessington’s Theme Park offers adventurers 10 themed lands to explore:

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Corfe Castle Logo

Corfe Castle

In the heart of Dorset, Corfe Castle is one of the most dramatic ruined castles in England. The leaning towers and large blocks of fallen stone, give the misleading impression that the castle is crumbling. The castle was destroyed deliberately 360 years ago during the English Civil War. The remains that we see today are the result of the work of Parliamentarian engineers and not the ravages of time. The Castle has been here for over 1000 years of turbulent history. Corfe Village is lovely to explore and Swanage is very close by, making Corfe Castle the part of a perfect day out in the Purbecks.

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The Dinosaur Museum Logo

The Dinosaur Museum

An award-winning museum with fossils, skeletons, dinosaur reconstructions plus hands on and multimedia displays. Open daily all year 9.30am - 5.30pm, winter hours 10am-4.30pm. The Dinosaur Museum is Britain's original and award winning Dinosaur Museum located in Dorchester, the county town of Dorset, only 7 miles from the Jurassic Coast.

The only museum on mainland Britain dedicated to dinosaurs, the award-winning Dinosaur Museum is a treat, especially for children. The museum combines life-sized reconstructions of dinosaurs with fossils and dinosaur skeletons to create an exciting hands-on experience. Hands-on displays help tell the story of the giant prehistoric animals and their enthralling world millions of years ago.

Life-size reconstructions - including the dinosaur T-Rex, Stegosaurus, and Triceratops - beg to be touched by little hands - it’s encouraged. Acclaimed as one of Britain's Top 10 Family Museums in 2006, the Dinosaur Museum is part of any Jurassic Coast experience.

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Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway Logo

Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway

Exbury Gardens is a 200-acre woodland garden, famous for the Rothschild collection of rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias - a riot of colour! The Gardens and Steam Railway are now OPEN for the season. Mr Eddy’s Tea Rooms and Shop (located close to the main entrance) share the same visiting hours as the Gardens. The Steam Railway runs every day the Gardens are open, with trains departing from Exbury Central Station at regular intervals.

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