Camp Bestival is always the highlight of our year and there is so much to see and do onsite over four days that there is no need to go offsite at all. However, Dorset is my home county and I understand those coming from farther afield may be keen to explore some of the hidden treasures that we have to offer, so here are my top tips.
My first suggestion is literally minutes from Lulworth Castle, home to Camp Bestival itself and is one of Dorset’s most loved beaches – Lulworth Cove. Tread in Brad Pitt’s footsteps and explore the pretty horseshoe-shaped cove and relax with an ice cream on the beach or check out one of its seafood restaurants.
If you are up for a bit of exercise then head west over the clifftop for a half an hour walk to the magnificent Durdle Door stone arch. This walk isn’t suitable for prams / pushchairs so if you have a baby I would recommend a back carrier and be aware that it is quite hilly so little legs may get tired.
If you head east from Lulworth Cove and again just 5 minutes drive from the site, you can visit Tyneham Village which was evacuated in 1943 during WWII and has been deserted ever since.
It is a truly fascinating place to explore, with derelict houses to clamber through as well as a school house set up for lessons from the beginning of the 20th Century and the Church of St Mary’s with information about all the families that originally lived in this small village by the sea.
If you are feeling energetic, there is a 20 minute walk of approximately one mile to the stunning Worbarrow Bay – one of our favourite and quietest beaches on the Jurassic Coast.
If fossil hunting is something you are keen on, Kimmeridge Bay is a 20 minute drive away and boasts the best rock-pooling and safest snorkelling site in Dorset, plus easy to find fossils that are on display at every turn.
If a bit of culture is more your style then a visit to Corfe Castle in Swanage is a must. The dramatic ruins stand on a natural hill guarding the principal route through the Purbeck Hills.
Just a few minutes from Corfe Castle is the traditional seaside town of Swanage, with a lovely bay to explore, quaint souvenir shops and a working steam railway. One of the hidden gems of the town is Durlston Country Park which is home to the Great Globe – 40 tons of Purbeck Limestone fashioned into a globe.
If war history is more your cup of tea, The Tank Museum at Bovington is a ten minute drive from Lulworth and home to 300 vehicles. It is regarded as the best in the world and includes the world’s first ever tank – Little Willie, the feared German Tiger tank and the modern Challenger 2.
Just a couple of minutes from the Tank Museum is Monkey World ape rescue centre, home to several species of primates that have been rescued from illegal trading all around the world. It also have an amazing children’s park where mine would happily spend all day!
If you fancy heading West then Weymouth is about a half an hour drive away and is packed full of fun things to do in the summer months with fun fairs, sand sculptures and even the Jurassic Tower which offers fabulous views of the Jurassic coast.
Are you going to Camp Bestival – do you plan to stay onsite or explore some of what Dorset has to offer?