Summer hols with 2 kids in Dorset, or similar

So we’re looking to start an annual tradition of coming home to the UK for a few weeks and getting the kids to see more of the UK than S Yorkshire. And why not.

Seeing as the eldest (8) is devouring The Famous Five books at the mo, I was thinking of Dorset. Outdooors-y. Jurassic coast. Lashings and lashings of ginger beer, etc etc. Or Devon, but seeing as we’ll probably fly into Gatwick or Heathrow I don’t wanna be driving too far.

Anyone have any top tips? The nipper will be 3 come next summer, so plenty of outdoorsy activity would be great to burn off his ridiculously excessive energy.

While we’ve always been AirBnB types, having two kids makes us realise the value of being close to other kids. I’m not fishing for Butlins-type suggestions, but any ideas close to chil-civilization would be great.

Right, off you go

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Might be useful to indicate the time of year these visits might happen at.

Irrespective of the time of year, and not Dorset obviously, there is always loads to do for children of all ages in Cambridge (museums, kid’s theatre, miniature railways, great parks, good food, lots to see etc). Our kids still talk about the year we spent there with some degree of reverence (they were 5 and 3 at the time and very, very active). Just avoid July and August as it is tourist gridlock.

I’ll have a word with my lad, he’s been down around Dorset with two mini me’s a few times recently. I seem to remember the Grandson (8) and 6 year old granddaughter enjoying some tank museum, and fossil hunting among other stuff.

New Forest, to do Beaulieu and stuff.

Or Redcar, obvs.

What’s wrong with the Costa del Rotherham?

It’s actually not that easy. This year we went to Germany, and stayed in a holiday camp thing. It was great - decent restaurant, loads for the kids to do (much of it free), lovely scenery, lots of privacy etc. It works.

Put that into a UK context and you get a fucking awful shithole - there are mobile home parks with shit accommodation with shit pubs and shit entertainment. They are just shit, and I haven’t mentioned the people. And about the same price as the lovely ones in France and Germany.

What is good value in the UK are holiday lets in villages (especially if you go out of season, not sure when your summer holidays are over there). If you find a mid-sized village with a green and a couple of pubs, you can have a great base for exploring the local area.

It’s difficult because the kids do like the whole pool and play with other kids thing, but actually it doesn’t really work that well over here. You’re better off going somewhere like France/Spain etc for that.

Or, fancy a house swap? Comes with multiple hifis and handy for enjoying the experience of London and a fuckton of pubs nearby!

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I spend a lot of time in the Bridport area and somewhere around Burton Bradstock, West Bay/ Bridport, Chideock or Charmouth would be a good base to explore the area. I love the coastline in that region and there is always something to do and see.
If flying in, Bournemouth / Exeter / Southampton might be worth a look to avoid travelling from London. That said, my home near Alton to Bridport only takes about 1h30 - 2h as long as you avoid peak times.

We did similar, in Holland, this place:

Was fantastic, apart from the service in the pub which was so slow it went beyond abysmal to comical. But everything else was fantastic, theme park with decent rides, indoor water park, 10 minute bike ride to a nice beach with really decent beach bars/restaurants. The local town Wassenar is pretty well to do so the bars and restaurants there are very good, but not silly expensive.

Loads to do for energetic kids, 45 mins drive from Amsterdam and Rotterdam, 20 mins from The Hague. Book through the official site and you get free entry to the theme park and water park.

We gave up looking for somewhere similar in the UK, after a deade and a half of camping with kids we’ve tried them all, and for some reason Britain just can’t do it as well as the Europeans, but we do feel the need to charge a premium for a substandard experience.

Our place in Germany was £600 in August. Same company does a similar thing in Cornwall, £2245. While the Cornwall place is newer and looks fantastic that’s a lot of money for a week.

Finlake park in Devon is nice, we went there for a week a few years back. Mobiles and lodges, watersports on the lake, swimming pools and the girls loved the “highwalk”.

Also a good base (close to the A38/M5) for day trips.

Weymouth for the full British seaside experience. Punch & Judy, chips, lager etc

Lyme Regis for Punch & Judy, fries and craft ales plus fossils.

Beer for a quiet place to stay and make your own fun. You can rent a nice cottage for c£700 a week in Summer. Travel to Lyme Regis etc . from here.

We paid something like 1700 for a fortnight, including overnight ferry with cabins. Ok, that was camping and a lodge would gave been a fair bit more, but compared to somewhere like centre parcs (my mate went for 4 days this week, £1200) it’s a no brainer.

Please bring a food parcel and medicine :+1:


Lyndhurst,Lymington New Forest area,plus you can jump on the ferry to the Isle of Wight

Half way across The Solent you go through a time warp. In Ryde it is 1953. Permanently. :grin:

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But to get there, you leap forward and have to pay 2034 prices for the ferry :roll_eyes:


I think you are correct their!



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With our Kids when we were holidaying in the UK we used to hire a self catering holiday cottage.
Pontins etc was just too chavvy and Centreparks too expensive.
Often we used Sykes but after one poor cottage we stopped using them.

this type of thing.

I’ve used the following for Jurassic coast, no problems with any :-