Our Favourite Towns and Villages in Dorset - May 25th, 2011
Many people who come to stay with us tell us they can’t wait to get out and see the famous Dorset countryside in all its glory. They’re right to be excited – the natural scenery of Dorset is simply breathtaking, and fully deserving of its fame.
What people sometimes don’t realise though is that Dorset villages and towns are equally special, and offer an abundance of history, architecture and unique character. In this week’s blog post we thought we’d share our top ten towns in the county, and we hope you find the time to see a few of them if you’re staying with us this summer.
Lyme Regis – Lyme Regis is probably best known for the Cobb, the iconic sea wall featured in the movie The French Lieutenant’s Woman. It’s also a great spot for foodies, with celebrity chef Mark Hix’s Oyster House perched on the cliff overlooking Lyme Bay.
Charmouth – If you’re looking for a charming, idyllic village with plenty of classic Dorset character, we urge you to give Charmouth a visit. Fossil enthusiasts should also stop by, as the nearby pebbled beaches are a goldmine for prehistoric remains from millions of years ago.
Bridport – Visitors to Bridport are often attracted by the lure of fantastic local food and drink in the town’s wonderful collection of restaurants, cafes and pubs. Bridport’s weekly markets, which are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays, are also popular with tourists and locals alike.
Swanage – Swanage boasts a really special claim to fame, as it has one of the UK’s few surviving steam railways. It’s a magical treat for kids, not to mention for big kids too!
Weymouth – Weymouth is home to many fantastic attractions including a large sandy beach, a picturesque old harbour and a Sealife park. Along with neighbouring Portland, Weymouth will be hosting the sailing events in the 2012 Olympics next year.
West Bay – A great place to get an authentic taste of the sea, West Bay has a fabulous selection of eateries with everything from traditional cod and chips to freshly caught lobster, crab, scallops and crayfish.
Abbotsbury – Abbotsbury’s biggest claim to fame is its Swannery, but the village’s attractions don’t stop there. It is also the home to the biggest willow maze in Dorset, and the amazing subtropical gardens, which were recently featured on ITV’s Countrywise.
Lulworth – Lulworth is a tiny village perched next to the world famous Lulworth Cove, the sweeping natural bay which is one of the jewels in the crown of Dorset’s world heritage coastline. It’s hugely popular in the summer months, so be prepared for crowds!
Dorchester – When most people think of Dorchester they think of Thomas Hardy – the town’s most famous son and one of Britain’s greatest ever authors. While today it is a bustling modern market town, Dorchester is still hugely proud of its history, and its many museums are a big draw for visitors.
Seaton – Okay, so we’re cheating a bit here. This one is actually just over the border in Devon, but we wouldn’t want you to miss it. It has a beautiful pebbly beach and wonderful old fashioned tramway, making Seaton a genuine delight for visitors of all ages.
If you think you’d like to visit some of the places we’ve mentioned here, why not give us a call on 01297 560259. We are one of the most popular Dorset holiday parks, and are within easy reach of all the places we’ve talked about above.
Whitsun Half Term Break - May 18th, 2011
Can’t believe another half term break is almost upon us – don’t they come around quick!
Looks like it’s going to be a busy one, with lots of exciting things going on around Dorset, and as always there’s a ton of stuff happening right here at Newlands too.
What’s on in Dorset
On Wednesday 1st June there is a family fun day at the Lyme Regis Museum, with plenty of activities, arts and crafts to entertain the youngsters and show off their creative side.
On the Thursday the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow comes to Dorset, setting up shop in the grounds of the fantastic Lulworth Castle. Some of the country’s foremost antique experts will be there giving free valuations, so bring down your heirlooms and ornaments – who knows, you might have a priceless treasure sitting up in the attic!
It’s also going to be a big week over in Weymouth, as the Weymouth Sea Life Centre attempts to build the world’s largest paper mache turtle shell! To do it they’ll need your help, so bring down some old or unwanted newspaper and be part of a new world record!
Outer Space Week at Newlands
Meanwhile back at Newlands, the kids club will be going intergalactic over the whitsun half term, with a week of space-themed activities and games including Rocket Rounders, Alien Mask Making, Stealing the Galactic Rock, and Hunt the Creature From Outer Space.
As well as the space theme, we will also have three children’s workshops over the week – pottery painting, fossil hunting, and circus skills. The countdown starts here, 2 weeks until Newlands boldly goes where no Dorset holiday park has gone before!
The Honda Goldwings Come to Charmouth! - May 13th, 2011
Last weekend the Goldwings had a great time with their annual light parade through Charmouth. It was a fun occasion that even the rain couldn’t dampen – in fact the weather actually added to the effect of all the neon lights on their bikes!
Here’s a video of the parade that the folks at the Royal Oak made…
The parade was followed by a Wild West fancy dress night, which everybody seemed to enjoy!
It was a great weekend and everybody had a lot of fun. Can’t wait to see them again next year at next year’s parade!
Royal Wedding Weekend at Newlands - May 6th, 2011
Newlands Holiday Park was gripped by royal wedding fever last Friday – and what a day it was! We watched the events unfolding live on big screens in the lounge and conservatory with our guests, who seemed to enjoy it just as much as we did.
The royal couple themselves even dropped in to make an appearance at Newlands, albeit in cardboard cut-out form!
The wedding wasn’t the only thing providing enjoyment and entertainment at the weekend, because meanwhile over in Lyme Regis the sixth annual Lyme Regis Fossil Festival was going down an absolute storm!
An astonishing 14,000 people visited the festival between Friday and Monday, seizing the opportunity to hear talks, join walking tours and get hands-on with arts, crafts and many other activities. The town was packed with visitors all weekend, and we’re told that the fossil hunting walks and rockpooling trips were all completely sold out.
Everyone we heard from told us they had a fantastic time, and many said they would definitely be coming back for a Lyme Regis holiday next year to be part of the next Fossil Festival. Well done to everybody involved with organizing the festival and making it such a great success!
Baby Swans Hatching at the Abbotsbury Swannery - May 6th, 2011
On Tuesday we heard the news that the first baby cygnet of the year had hatched at the Abbotsbury Swannery in Dorset. The first newborn arrived a couple of weeks earlier than usual, and according to local legend, this signifies we will have an early summer this year!
The Swannery is one of Dorset’s best loved attractions, offering you the unique opportunity to get up close with 600 swans and even help out with their daily feeding sessions.
May and June is the time of year when the eggs hatch and the cygnets start to emerge. Some lucky souls actually get to see eggs cracking and the tiny fluffy cygnets appearing right before their eyes, just a few feet away!
If time allows, we think it’s well worth a day trip if you are staying with us here at the park, especially if you are with the family.
The Abbotsbury Swannery is about a half hour drive away from Newlands, and there is free parking in the Swannery car park. Abbotsbury is also on the route of the X53 bus, which you can catch from Lyme Regis and Charmouth and costs just £6 for a day pass.
You can find ticket prices, directions and all other information about the Swannery on their website, as well as details of Abbotsbury’s other popular attractions such as the Children’s Farm and the Subtropical Gardens.