The top 10 things to do on this summer staycation holiday

Lots of us are looking to holiday closer to home this year – and for some of us it’s a totally new experience. But it needn’t be any less of a holiday than your annual beach break abroad.  For the perfect combination of sun, sand and scenery, we think Swanage in Dorset ticks all those important holiday boxes.

Swanage Bay – With its golden sand, picture-perfect beach huts and views across to the Isle of Wight, Swanage Bay is a family-friendly beach popular with locals and visitors alike.  Hire a pedalo for the afternoon, soak up the sun from a deck chair and watch the sunset with your evening fish and chips. Sika trail, Wareham – Hire a bike at the Sika Trail to explore safe, wide cycle trails through the forest – look out for sika deer as you go and, for the more adventurous, there are plenty of smaller ‘off-road’ tracks too.

Swanage Railway – Hop aboard a heritage steam train for a nostalgic chug through the Purbeck countryside.  You can get off at Corfe Castle and explore the village there or stay on to Norden where there is a small museum and newly-installed playground. Corfe Castle – This iconic ruin, the jewel in the Isle of Purbeck’s crown, is just a stone’s throw from Swanage. 

Explore the romantic ruin before heading to the model village for afternoon tea or locally-brewed beer in one of the four pubs. Each pub has a different style of dining, so there’ll be something to suit everyone. Dorset Adventure Park – Make a splash on the inflatable course and grubby on the ground in the mud trail at Dorset Adventure Park.

Situated just outside Corfe Castle, sessions run throughout the day for children and adults. Durlston Country Park – For the perfect day out in nature, with woodland walks, flower-filled hay meadows and stunning sea views, you must visit Durlston Country Park.  There’s also a visitor centre, exhibition space and cafe with seating overlooking the sea.

Monkey World – Meet your ‘cousins’ at nearby ape rescue centre ‘Monkey World’. One of the perks of this park is that its adventure playgrounds cater to older children too. Margaret Green Animal Rescue – If small and fluffy is more your thing, head to Church Knowle and check out the many rabbits, cats, ponies and even pigs that the team care for here.

Studland Riding School – Hacks are available for beginners, novices and experienced riders across heathland and out onto the stunning sands of Studland Bay. Booking is advisable. Sandbanks Ferry – An attraction in itself, this chain ferry connects Swanage to Poole and Bournemouth.

Check out Brownsea Island and its resident red squirrels or for a secret spot loved by locals, head to Bramble Bush Bay.

For more information, go to www.swanage.co.uk

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