5 things to do in... Dorset

We’ve recently returned from a week in Weymouth and while I’m going to be posting one restaurant review, I won’t be documenting this in the same way as my other travel posts. Instead, I thought I’d share some of the highlights. If you’re expecting me to write about all things baby-friendly, you’ve definitely come to the wrong place – none of our activities or excursions were really suitable for Alfie! But there are things I’d like to go back and do with him.
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(1) Monkey World, Wareham
Monkey World is an ape rescue and rehabilitation centre, originally set up to provide abused monkeys from Spain (often used as photographer’s props) a stable home. It has since expanded (and had done since my last visit, which must be over a decade ago) and rescues chimps, not only from Europe, but as far as Mexico and Taiwan. I particularly enjoyed the lemur enclosure, which allowed us to walk around, while the lemurs were also free to roam. The work the team does is truly remarkable but it’s so heartbreaking reading about the ordeals the animals go through, prior to being rescued. Each animal has a name placard with their story on and it’s shocking some of the things that go on.

Opening Times
July-August: 10am-6pm
Rest of year (except Christmas Day): 10am-5pm

Prices
Adult (16+): £12
Child (3-15): £9
Under 3s: FREE
Family offers available. Discounts for students, elderly and disabled also available
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(2) Sealife Adventure Park, Weymouth
Another fun-for-all-the-family day out, the Sealife Adventure Park is both indoors and out – and houses over 1,000 creatures across 14 acres of land. The park is split into 12 or 13 different areas and kids will have a great time filling in their log book, collecting stamps from each zone, in return for a prize (we did Alfie’s for him!). There’s a huge outdoor play area with sandpit, as well as a cafe and arcade. My highlight was touching a starfish in the rock pools and also seeing the seahorses. Alfie woke up to see the penguins and seals, which he loved! There are also talks and feeding sessions throughout the day.

Opening Times
10am-5pm

Prices
Adult (15+): £22.95
Child (3-14): £18.95
Under 3s: FREE
Online discounts available. Prices shown are basic saver ticket and alternative packages are also available
Dorset, Weymouth, Visit Dorset, Love Dorset, Travel,
(3) Portland Bill Lighthouse, Portland
Portland Bill lighthouse is definitely worth a visit, although we weren’t able to go inside during our time on the island – which meant we didn’t spend much time there at all. With beautiful views across the Jurassic Coast, walkers will enjoy the coastal routes. The lighthouse itself was built in 1906 and stands at 41m – but there’s also a visitor centre, which is much newer and houses information, interactive zones and more. En route, there are viewing points and photo stops, as well as signposted walks.

Opening Times
Various – see online for more information

Prices
Adult: £7
Child (16 and under): £5
Family and concessions also available. Prices shown are for the visitor centre and lighthouse. Car parking charges apply
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(4) Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, Wareham
Okay, so we didn’t make it to Durdle Door as it was a four-mile roundtrip and I was walking around in my best Kurt Geiger sandals, but it was a recommendation Hannah (@ Hanna Talks) sent to me – and in cooler weather and more suitable shoes, we would have made it. But Lulworth Cove was simply stunning. With its glistening blue waters, you’d think you were in Italy or somewhere like the Azores. The geology was really fascinating, with unique rock faces and the aptly named stair hole. There are places to eat, drink and buy souvenirs and I had the most gorgeous ice cream (one scoop mocha, one scoop gingerbread).

Opening Times
Year-round (except Christmas Day): 10am-4pm (visitor centre)

Prices
FREE. Car park charges apply
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(5) Harbour and Seafront, Weymouth
The harbour and seafront can easily be done in a day and unless you have meal plans or are an all-day everyday beach kinda person, once you’ve seen it, you’re unlikely to return. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants and again, Hannah gave me plenty of recommendations but as we were making lunches, we didn’t have time to check out any of the places, unfortunately! The harbour-side was understandably a lot quieter and I preferred it – it was much easier with the pushchair and made for a lovely walk. The pastel-coloured buildings and boats bobbing were picture-perfect. It was far too hot to get onto the beach with Alfie, but I wasn’t overly fussed as I’m not a beach person.

What else would you recommend to do or see in Dorset?

Love, Lucy xx

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