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Best things to do in Dorset

Discover the city according to locals. Find the best things to do, places to eat, and get priceless advice from the people who live here.

Cultural Center
“Obviously one of the main reasons people visit the City but you can spend hours looking around and enjoying the setting. You can walk from the Cathedral, into Harnham and then back along Town Path through the Water Meadows”
78local recommendations
Zoo
“This is one of the most popular tourist attraction in the local area, just 10 mins from our front door. This place has something for everyone and you can easily spend a day there. It's more about conservation nowadays and therefore has a positive story.”
61local recommendations
History Museum
“We are 3 miles from the Bovington Tank Museum. This is one of the must see venues for history buffs and tank lovers alike. You can spend the good part of the day just wandering throughout this great, world-renowned venue.”
54local recommendations
Bay
“Luworths cove amazing pebble beach is great for accessing Durdle Doors two shingle beaches. A steep one mile footpath with steps down to the beach, take care when you are swimming as the pebbles shelve steeply. There is a large fee paying car park,but if you are lucky, park on the side of the road by the church for free”
70local recommendations
Park
“Woodland with play trail and wooden sculptures to climb on, a miniature railway, cafe, play areas, high lines adventure. Fab for kids.”
49local recommendations
Restaurant
$$
“A 30 minute walk along the seafront to this trendy restaurant and bar overlooking the beach in Boscombe.”
50local recommendations
Natural Feature
“Beautiful island with Red Squirrels! Not vehicles and some lovely hidden beaches. Hope on the yellow boat at Sandbanks. Open air theatre events during the summer. ”
63local recommendations
Boat or Ferry
“Sandbanks is has the most beautiful beaches and also has the Gerry across to studland and swanage. ”
36local recommendations
Establishment
“Lovely nature reserve perfect for dog walking, scooting, or a level car-free walk to a pretty beach with beach huts and cafe.”
40local recommendations
Seafood Restaurant
$$
“Best lobster in Dorset, just 35 mins away in a unique and unpretentious setting. ”
44local recommendations
Restaurant
$$
“Take a day trip and treat yourself, enjoy excellent food and possibly a spa at the well renowned Pig on the Beach just 40 mins away. ”
38local recommendations
Hotel
“8 miles of sandy beach with food and refreshments along the way. A mini train runs along a big part of the promenade for those who don’t want to walk far. Swimming is considered very safe as it is a gentle slope into the water.”
29local recommendations
Park
“There is a large car park, cafe and toilets here and a land train that will take you straight down to the beach for a small cost. However, the walk over the Head or around the Head on the beach side may take longer but it is beautiful with stunning views back to Bournemouth and along the coast line to Barton on sea. Not to mention the Isle of Wight. It is simply the best!”
33local recommendations
Art Museum
“A fascinating Victoria villa and gardens located in Bournemouth town centre. Regularly hosts different art collections too. Nice coffee shop.”
38local recommendations
Harbour / Marina
“The iconic Cobb wall is an historic stone pier that stretches out to sea to protect the harbour at Lyme Regis. It famously features in Jane Austen's 'Persuasion' and was a memorable feature of John Fowles' novel 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' and the film adaptation (1981) featuring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons. ”
34local recommendations
Pub
$$
“The food here is excellent - you can tell they use fresh ingredients and the menu has some interesting choices. It's very stylish - country and unpretentious but comfortable and inviting. It's also worth a visit for the drive through the Fonthill Bishop Estate - beautiful, stretched out well kept paddocks and fields with horses grazing and attractive wooden fences...Very English country! ”
32local recommendations