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Local attractions and events

West Dorset has a wealth of attractions and activities for all ages all through the year. There are 300 miles of coast and countryside walks including a good stretch of the South West Coast Path, Britain’s longest national trail.

If walking’s not your thing there are plenty of other delights from honing your cooking skills, working with our many local artists, fantastic fishing ,golf, watersports or birdwatching. Of course ,for the children, we have fossil hunting at Charmouth or why not enjoy the numerous food and music festivals.

As well as the activities we have a wealth of Historical sites and Country houses and that’s without the delights of our beaches and the harbour at West Bay or even browsing at our twice weekly market or antique shops.


Some key events

See what’s happening in 2016


The Jurassic Coast

World Heritage Site

The Dorset and East Devon Coast
World Heritage Site is England’s first
natural World Heritage Site – it is known as The Jurassic Coast. It covers 95 miles of truly stunning coastline from East Devon to Dorset, with rocks recording 185 million years of the Earth’s history.

World Heritage status was achieved because of the site’s unique insight into the Earth Sciences as it clearly depicts a geological ‘walk through time’ spanning the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.

World Heritage Sites are places of ‘outstanding universal value’ selected by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation)


Bridport and West Dorset Golf Club

Located on the beautiful Jurassic coastline with views stretching across Lyme Bay and along the Chesil Beach to Portland, the 6213 yard course is a test for all levels of golfer. Renowned for its friendliness, the Club offers an excellent restaurant, a lounge and spikes bar, as well as a Driving Range and Putting Green.

Click here for the promotional video, showcasing some of the incredible views the course offers.

10% discount on green fees for guests of The Barns.


Marshwood Trails

Guided cycling and walking tours in West Dorset

Marshwood Trails have designed a range of day tours to help visitors discover what this beautiful area has to offer. As well as exploring spectacular landscapes, the tours include opportunities to learn more about West Dorset’s vibrant history and sample some of the renowned local produce. Every tour is led by a knowledgeable and qualified guide. Marshwood Trails offers both scheduled and bespoke cycling and walking tours which can be booked for a single day or they can arrange a programme of different tours that run
over consecutive days. For more information call Martin on
07796 135256.


Fossil Hunting Walk – Charmouth

This two hour session starts up at the Centre with a 20 minute talk from the Centre Warden about the rocks and fossils of Charmouth and how to find fossils on the beach. The group then heads out onto the beach with the wardens and spend the rest of the session looking for fossils.

During the busy summer months booking is essential for the walks and it is recommended that you arrive 10 minutes before the walk is scheduled to start to pick up your tickets.

Adults £7 Children £3

Tel: 01297 560772

Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre

The village of Charmouth lies on the West Dorset coast just three miles from the town of Lyme Regis.


Monkey World

This internationally-acclaimed ape rescue centre, in 65 acres of beautiful Dorset woodland, is home to over 230 primates – including the largest group of chimps outside Africa. Many have been neglected, kept in unnatural conditions, or experienced unbelievable cruelty. At Monkey World, they can all enjoy the company of their own kind in a safe and natural environment, and some are now part of international breeding programmes for endangered species.

Monkey World was set up in 1987 by Jim Cronin to provide a permanent, stable home for abused Spanish chimps. Today, his wife, Dr Alison Cronin, continues to work with foreign governments worldwide to stop the illegal smuggling of primates from Africa, Asia, and South America.

The park is imaginatively laid out and has food and drink outlets, picnic areas, a woodland walk, and a lot of monkey and ape antics to be enjoyed by visitors of all ages.

Opening times:
Sept – June 10am to 5pm
Jul- Aug 10am to 6pm

Longthorns, Wareham, Dorset BH20 6HH
Tel: +44 (0) 1929 462537

Bird watching in Weymouth and Portland