You don’t have to head for the Caribbean to enjoy a sunny getaway! To celebrate English Tourism Week, we’ve put pen to paper (or at least the digital equivalent) in order to let you know why our stunning home county of Dorset is the perfect option for a couples weekend or a longer staycation this summer…
The Best of the South West
After 13 years on the Isle of Wight, this year Dorset finds itself as the lucky new hosts of Bestival Festival. Lulworth Castle has experienced growing success each year as the host of Camp Bestival, the more family-centric sister festival, so much so that it has also been named as ‘home’ for the main event! With headline acts such as Pet Shop Boys, Dizzee Rascal and Rag’N’Bone Man this is an amazing addition to the tourist attractions on offer in our home county! At £170 for the entire festival, it acts as a fantastically full and reasonably priced long-weekend getaway. Bestival runs from the 7th - 10th September.
I’m not sure why we didn’t open our blog with this particular attraction, because if this doesn’t persuade you to book on the next train to Dorset, I’m not sure what will?! The lovely folk of Dorset Cruises are repurposing their gorgeous vintage motor yachts to bring you a riviera style tour of the Purbeck Isles in the form of an Artisan Gin Cruise. For the ludicrously reasonable price of £35, you can set sail around the award winning Poole Harbour with 3 handcrafted gin cocktails to work you way through, and sumptuous canapes to soak up the luxury liquor. If you fancy making it a real night to remember (or at the very least, wish you remembered!) you might like to consider opting for the Conker Gin Private Masterclass. For £125 you will be one of 28 exclusive guests to take to the waters, whilst learning about how to make your own artisan gin. The evening also includes a 3 course meal at an exclusive Dorset restaurant (either The Priory or The Haven Hotel). If you can’t quite make it to Cannes, consider this the next best thing! Places are running out quickly (even quicker now that I am going to immediately book myself a ticket!) so make sure to book soon, or risk missing the boat (…sorry…)
What better way to cure that gin hangover than with a bracing dip in the beautiful spring-like waters of Arfleet Lakes here at Dorset Waterpark?! This year we’ve come back twice as big for twice as much fun, with two extensive and entertainingly challenging action loops. Sessions start from 10:00am and a cool dip in the morning sun, under the glorious gaze of Corfe Castle sounds like the perfect way to start any day of a holiday to us…but everyone will say we’re biased ;) If you are more the type to indulge in lie-ins and late brunching whilst on a weekend away, why not head to us for an early evening session and bring along a BBQ to enjoy after your session on our aqua-based obstacle course instead? Sessions are £12.50 when booked 7 days in advance, so be sure to book before you head to the coast.
Life’s a beach
There are almost too many beaches to choose from here on the South Coast, so we thought we’d make the decision a little easier for you by pointing you in the direction of only the BEST beach in the whole of Britain (and one of the top 10 beaches in Europe!), Weymouth Beach. Nothing beats a sandy sandwich and an inflatable lilo on a beautiful British beach and with 3 miles to choose from in Weymouth you will be spoilt for choice. With the town centre just a short walk away, you are never far from an ice cream stand, cold drink or emergency umbrella! So pack a picnic and head to TripAdvisors pick of the coastline - right here on the Dorset coast.
They could have been hosted on a sun-soaked Spanish costa, the turquoise tranquility of the Grecian coast…but NO! This year’s European SUP Championship have picked their prime location as Sunny Swanage on our glorious South Coast! The event organiser has said that Swanage was picked for it’s perfect positioning - as a small cove-like bay, Swanage offers still waters, shelter from strong winds and it’s very own micro-climate creating the ideal environment for the wealth of races that will be taking place during the festival. This year’s SUP Championships take place during the same weekend as Swanage Fish Festival, so why not head to the seafront to watch the best of Europe compete, whilst you enjoy a seafood platter and a crisp glass of wine? A holiday on the South Coast is meant to be relaxing after all!
One of the biggest attractions of the South Coast calendar is the ever-incredible Bournemouth Air Festival. With over 7 million people welcomed to the Dorset resort that boasts 7 miles of golden sands, Bournemouth Air Show is one of the largest established Shows in the Country. All it takes it one afternoon of attendance to understand why - world class pilots, such as the RAF’s Red Arrows take to the air in many a feat of action and awe, at a safe distance from the extensive crowds topping up their tans and soaking up the sun on the shoreline. The schedule is absolutely jam-packed with displays that you simply cannot take your eyes off, but if you do need a 10 minute break from beach life (are you mad?!) there are a multitude of food stands and funfair rides to amuse family members of every age - I will never find an activity that makes me laugh as much as a waltzer!