Near the Coast

Dorset is famous for its coastline much of which is designated part of the Jurassic Coast running from Old Harry Rocks in Dorset to Orcombe Point in East Devon.


However, closer to home are the stunning beaches of Bournemouth and Poole most of which are beautifully sandy and very family friendly.  Many of the beaches also welcome dogs.


Lulworth Cove

The Lulworth Coastline has many fine beaches, accessible from either the land, or the sea. To the West are the beaches of Middle Beach and Durdle Door, whilst in the east are the beaches of Mupe Bay and Arish Mel. The beaches to the west of the coast are open to the public, and you will find car parking and refreshment facilities in the Durdle Door Holiday Park.


Durdle Door

Durdle Door is a natural limestone arch on the Jurassic Coast near Lulworth in Dorset, England. It is privately owned by the Welds, a wealthy landowning family who own 12,000 acres of Dorset in the form of the Lulworth Estate. It is open to the public.


Corfe Castle

A favourite haunt for adults and children alike, you can’t fail to be captivated by these romantic castle ruins with breathtaking views across Purbeck.


Animal Adventures

Longleat Safari & Adventure Park:

Longleat is an English country house, currently the seat of the Marquesses of Bath, adjacent to the village of Horningsham and near the towns of Warminster in Wiltshire and Frome in Somerset. It is noted for its Elizabethan country house, maze, landscaped parkland and safari park. The house is set in over 900 acres (364 ha) of parkland, landscaped by Capability Brown, with 8,000 acres (32.37 km2) of woods and farmland. It was the first stately home to open to the public, and also claims the first safari park outside Africa.

Longleat, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 7NW


Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre

A little further afield you will find internationally renowned Monkey World which assists governments around the world to stop smuggling of primate from the wild.  At the Centre refugees of this illegal trade as well as those that have suffered abuse or neglect are rehabilitated into natural living groups.

Longthorns, Wareham, Dorset BH20 6HH



Local Walks on the Cranborne Chase – Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

The Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs have been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and cover 380 square miles of some of the most beautiful countryside in England. For those of you of an energetic nature why not take advantage of the beautiful Cranborne Chase and walk on one of the highest points in Dorset, Winn Green. Approximately four miles north of us it is an ideal place for walking and is a beautiful spot to picnic, while away a few hours and bask in the most beautiful scenic views in all of Dorset.



There are two fantastic golf courses on our doorstep. Both courses will accept non-members playing on their courses.

Rushmore  Situated less than two miles away Rushmore is an idyllic golf course. Spanning two counties, Dorset and Wiltshire, the course is very picturesque being located in the heart of the Rushmore Estate on the Cranborne Chase. To arrange your tee-off time or book a lesson with the club pro call:  01725 516466 or visit

Remedy Oak  Prestigious, unique and exclusive. That sums up this awesome golf course. Nestled in 256 acres of mature woodland this is a course that will inspire and test golfers of all standards. Situated approximately 15 minutes away, to arrange your round call 01202 812070 or visit



Salisbury Racecourse  From early May to early October Salisbury Racecourse hosts some fantastic flat racing. There is afternoon racing as well as evening meetings throughout the summer. On occasions there are even tribute bands playing in the Paddock after racing. Salisbury Racecourse is approximately fifteen miles from The Museum.  For further information call 01722 526461or visit

Green Cottage Riding Centre  If you fancy a hack or a riding lesson try the Green Cottage Riding Centre. They are a small family run business with 22 horses. Suitable for the beginner or the experienced rider. Contact Laura or Fiona Biddle, Church Road, Three Legged Cross, nr Moors Valley Country Park. BH21 6RF. or Telephone: 01202 822632



Fly a Tiger Moth  Situated 800ft above sea level, Compton Abbas Airfield is a quaint little airfield yet with an international reputation.  With spectacular views over an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty this is a great place to go to watch the world go by and experience those magnificent men in their flying machines.  For those of you of a more daring nature you can actually fly a Tiger Moth aircraft, this must be pre-booked but is easy to arrange. But please be aware that there are weight restrictions so best to go before you’ve dined on The Museum’s world famous pork belly and sticky toffee pudding! Telephone:  01747 811767



Dorset is a popular county for game shooting and the Museum Inn is well located for many of these shoots.  For further information on shooting, follow the links below:

Crichel Shoot –

The DBW Clay Company, based on the private and scenic Crichel Estate in Dorset, provides Clay shooting on clay ground for Corporate days, fund raising or for those looking for an entertaining day for friends and family. Shooting Instructors (CPSA Qualified) are available to teach beginners or assist experienced shots. They specialise in introducing young people to shooting and cater for groups on birthdays or fun days out. They also provide Simulated Game Shooting for teams of 6 – 12 guns either for game shots or for Corporate Entertainment.

The Crichel Estate also offers a well established classic game bird shoot. The downlands on the north easterly side of the Estate produce partridge and pheasant that challenge even the most successful shots. The woodlands in the middle of the Estate have been laid out to accommodate a mixture of drives adding variety to the shooting available.



Damerham Fisheries

Located between the New Forest & Cranborne Chase in Hampshire’s Western Downlands, this secluded & picturesque chalk stream valley sites Damerham in one of the most unspoilt areas of Southern England.  Established in the early seventies it has now landscaped itself comfortably into the chalk stream Allen River Valley, developed with the sole pleasure of trout fishing in mind. All the lakes are individually spring fed to give three miles of bank fishing & a mile of natural chalk stream, the now mature setting provides the most tranquil of venues for one of the finest stillwater trout fisheries in the country.

Gorcombe Farm

Fishing, Clay Shooting and Archery.  Probably the most complete outdoor activity centre in the UK, Gorcombe boasts a fleet of some 70+ vehicles, more than 10 different activities, open 7 days a week with fulltime fully trained staff.



Sarpenela Natural Therapies Centre

Sarpenela Natural Therapies Centre is just down the road from the Museum.  Offering Reiki, therapeutic massage, hot stones, hypnotherapy & hypnosis based on the edge of Farnham village, near Blandford Forum, Dorset.  Sarpenela Natural Therapies Centre, created by Sarah Lownds, is a result of Sarah’s 11 year career in the middle east, managing salons & spa’s including an exclusive ladies spa created for members of the royal family & ministers wives of Muscat. It was here that her passion and deep belief in natural therapies and holistic lifestyle developed.

Days Out

Kingston Lacy, National Trust –

Kingston Lacy is an elegant Country Mansion set in delightful formal grounds and extensive parkland. Kingston Lacy is approximately 11.5 miles from The Museum and makes for a very enjoyable excursion. Home of the Bankes family for more than 300 years, this striking 17th century house is noted for its lavish interiors.  Set in 8,500 acres the house is home to the largest private collection of Egyptian Artefacts in the UK. There is also an extensive Art Collection including paintings by Rubens, Van Dyck and Titian. There are garden and park events throughout the spring and summer months. Including open-air theatre, concerts and children’s activity days.

Kingston Lacy, Wimborne Minster, Dorset  BH21 4EA
Telephone:  01202 883402


The Larmer Tree

Set in the outstanding landscape of Cranborne Chase and approximately three miles west of The Museum, the Larmer Tree gardens are recognised by English Heritage as gardens of national importance. The Larmer Tree plays host to the Larmer Tree Festival which is a five day, non-stop music and street theatre festival every July. The Victorian Pavillion Tea Room is open on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Larmer Tree Gardens, Tollard Royal, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP5 5PT
Garden Information:  01725 516228


The Cranborne Estate

Nestling in the heart of East Dorset and approximately eight miles east of Farnham, the Cranborne Estate is a thriving business dedicated to the local community offering a garden centre, Manor House, Tea Room and Village Store.  The garden centre and Tea Rooms are also highly recommended for a leisurely browse.

Cranborne Manor, Cranborne, Wimborne, Dorset  BH21 5PP
Telephone:  01725 517248


Wilton House

This historic and magnificent house is situated approximately twenty miles east of Farnham and is the home to the current Earl of Pembroke. Wilton House and its historic architecture and art treasures is a fantastic place to visit. Set in 21 acres of mature parkland there are attractions for all the family. From house and garden tours to children’s adventure playground and exhibitions of a Tudor kitchen and Victorian laundry.

Wilton House, Wilton, Salisbury. SP2 0BJ
Telephone:  01722 746714


Chettle House

Situated in the feudal Dorset village of Chettle, just a couple of miles from The Museum, Chettle House is a stunning Queen Anne Manor house (designed by Thomas Archer in 1710) set in 5 acres of lovely gardens. The elegant Oak Entrance Hall is a highlight with its two flights of sweeping oak stairs, lined by fine family portraits, rising separately to meet at the balcony above. The beautiful St Mary’s Church, whose West Tower dates back to the early sixteenth century, offers a stunning backdrop to the gardens.  These gardens offer a spectacular array of planting and blend traditional design with inspired modern ideas. The result is a garden rich in atmosphere, interest and vitality.


Wimborne Minster

Approximately 10 miles from the Museum is the market town of Wimborne where Wimborne Minster is to be found.  For over 1300 years this Minster has been a centre for pilgrimage, prayer and worship. As a Minster in the early days it was a centre of mission, a home for a group of clergy who went out into the surrounding countryside to preach the Gospel. As a Parish Church today it has a central place in the lives of its members and in the life of the town. It is not a museum, although we have inherited some wonderful treasures from the past. It is a living centre for work, worship and prayer.


Badbury Rings (National Trust)

Dating from the Iron Age, a period spanning the years from 800BC to immediately prior to the Roman occupation in AD43, the hill fort at Badbury was constructed on a site that was certainly occupied from much earlier times. This can be seen by the four Bronze Age (2200BC-800BC) round barrows, the most notable of which are the three that lie just to your right as you travel up the track to the present car park.


Stourhead House & Gardens 
Near Mere, BA12 6QD

World-famous 18th-century landscape garden, Palladian mansion, parkland, woods and chalk downs with enchanting temples, monuments and rare planting around a tranquil lake. The Palladian mansion is filled with Georgian treasures, Chippendale furniture and fine paintings.  Spectacular views from the top of King Alfred’s Tower, one of the finest follies in Britain.


Athelhampton House and Gardens
Athelhampton, Dorchester, Dorset  DT2 7LG

Athelhampton House and its estate and gardens have been in private ownership for over five hundred years.


Salisbury Cathedral

One of the finest medieval Cathedrals in Britain. For over 750 years pilgrims have come to Salisbury to seek inspiration in the glory and peace of the building and surrounding Cathedral Close. Whether you come to worship, to marvel at or climb up to Britain’s tallest spire, to be awed by the beauty and scale of the cathedral interior or to study the original Magna Carta in the Chapter House.