Summer family fun in Dorset

Dorset has everything from glorious coast to an ancient castle and an Italian inspired palace. There's all sorts to do here, from family trails and play areas, to exploring the gardens in bloom, plus there are plenty of places to walk and picnic. Don't forget, when planning a trip to Brownsea Island, Corfe Castle or Kingston Lacy you'll need to book ahead of your visit.

Summer highlights

More summer fun around Dorset
Visitors relaxing on the beach by the quay at Brownsea Island, Poole Harbour, Dorset

Beaches in Dorset 

There are miles of natural beautiful coastline and beaches in Dorset to visit which we can look after thanks to your support. Here are a few of our top beaches along the Dorset coast.

Ailwood Down at Studland Bay, Dorset

Picnic spots in Dorset 

Having a picnic on a lazy, hazy, summer day is what memories are made of - whether its sand in the sandwiches or relaxing looking at a perfect view.

View of Hod Hill, Dorset, and the surrounding countryside, on a June evening

Summer walks in Dorset 

Our pick of the top walks in Dorset this summer take in history, coast, wildlife, heaths and even an Iron Age hill fort.

People walking up grassy slope on Hambledon Hill

Summer views in Dorset 

The hills and hill forts of Dorset offer far reaching views; the perfect reward for a climb. And there's nothing better than gazing over the horizon while relaxing with a well-earned picnic.

Places to visit in the South West 

Find out which other places in the South West are open by county, and how to book to visit.

Which places are open and what you need to know before you visit 

We’ve opened more than 135 gardens and parks in England, Wales and Northern Ireland through advanced booking. Tickets are released on Friday for the following week. More than 200 coast and countryside car parks are open across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Read this article to find out what's open and what to expect from your visit.