Christchurch is situated near to the stunning Dorset World Heritage Coast and New Forest National Park and at the confluence of the rivers Stour and Avon. With an array of heritage, wildlife, nature and attractions, Dorset is perfect for all the family and you are sure to have a fantastic time no matter what you get up to!
Rural Dorset is an area of stunning natural countryside, fields, rivers and heathland. Rural Dorset is made up of Wimborne Minister, Blandford Forum, Shaftesbury and Sturminster Netwon. Lose yourself in these traditional and charming English market towns and discover the countryside that has changed little since Thomas Hardy's time.
Visitors can explore this magnificent region on footpaths from the sweeping downland of Cranborne Chase and the Dorset Downs to the meandering River Stour.
Those who have come for an active holiday, Dorset is just the place for you. You can enjoy all the main activities such as walking, cycling, horse-riding. Those who are less experienced are able to join the fun as there's plenty of trails to suit different skill levels and also plenty of instructors and groups you can join.
Swanage and Purbeck
Swanage & Purbeck is situated on the south coast of Dorset and offers some of the most incredible coastal scenes. Visitors can walk along the award winning beach at the Victorian resort of Swange or take a trip to the Lulworth Cove part of the World Heritage site and the eastern gateway to the Jurassic Coast.
If you've come to discover the vast wildlife and learn more about this unique landscape, Durlston Country Park and Wareham Forest will provide you with the perfect base. Those who are keen cyclists can also follow the Sika Cycle Trail that is in Wareham Forest. Literary lovers will enjoy Purbeck as it was the inspiration for many of Enid Blyton's famous novels.
If you are with the family head to the Tank Museum which is home to the world's largest collection of armoured vehicles or a visit to Farmer Palmers is sure to excite all.
West Dorset is an area that is just perfect for walkers and cyclists. With brilliant coastline and flowing fields of countryside, West Dorset is just spectacular. There's also the traditional market town of Bridport and Dorcehester which is rich in heritage and history. Not only that, but if you head to the coast you can visit seaside resorts of Lyme Regis and West Bay.
With a whole host of attractions and events in West Dorset there is something for everyone not matter what age or interests. Children and adults are sure to enjoying discovering and learning about the fantastic and unique natural environment West Dorset has to offer.
Weymouth & Portland
Weymouth is famous for is sandy beaches and is a brilliant place to bring the whole family. The Isle of Portland is also a great place to visit with a range of activities and attractions for all. Not only that but the stunning Portland is part of the World Heritage Coast.
Both Weymouth and Portland offer visitors the chance to take part in watersports such as sailing, canoeing and windsurfing. You don't have to be experienced to take part as there are plenty of instructors and group lessons available.
Poole has its own natural harbour and due to its size has become the place to visit for watersport and sailing enthusiasts. As well its great harbour, Poole has some of the best beaches in Dorset including the famous Sandbanks.
You can view the world famous houses on Sandbanks and the natural beauty of the coastline by taking a cruise. By boat you can also visit the area where the Scouting and Guiding movement was founded. Whilst walking across Poole's spectacular beaches you won't feel like you're in England with white sands, clear water, stunning views and modern and independent waterside restaurants and bars.
(Photo: © VisitEngland/VisitDorset)