Family Activities

Listed below are some Family activities we know to be popular (and generally have something for under fives to enjoy), including things if the weather lets you down or you are here in the winter.

Family Activities

Further information/leaflets on any of the listed activities and special events can be obtained from the Dorchester Tourist Office. Tel: 01305 267992

Country Sports Events:

We are pleased to have teamed up with this great company that will come to you at Dove House and give you on site entertainment. They are highly experienced in what they do we hope both adult and family groups will enjoy what they do.

 Country Sports Events provide fun and relaxing Clay Pigeon Shooting, Archery and Air Pistol shooting for guests in our extensive grounds at a time to suit. Events typically last between 2 to 2.5 hours, but longer sessions can be accommodated if required. All abilities are catered for, ranging from the complete novice to a more experienced individual and our fully qualified and insured instructors will have you hitting targets in no time at all.
For a fun, relaxed and entertaining way to enjoy your downtime please contact Amanda on 07707 782413 or e mail [email protected] to discuss your requirements. 

WE REGRET WE CANNOT OFFER THIS SERVICE DURING THE PERIOD OF 25th SEPTEMBER to 1st FEBRUARY.  Do try for nearby clayshooting during this period.


Lulworth Castle, Durdle Dor and Lulworth Cove are all well worth a visit, keep an eye on their web site to see what is happening when you are staying, Jousting Tournaments regularly through the summer, 2 Music Festivals, charity events and family entertainments. Tel: 01929 400352

Abbotsbury Swannery, Tithe Barn, Tropical Gardens:

Children's farm, barn and soft play area, great for the under 5's. Look out for hatching time, easter events etc.

Kingston Maurward:

With wonderful gardens this house just east of Dorchester also has a great Children’s and farm animal areas in a wonderful location.

Monkey World:

Ape rescue centre, children seem to really enjoy going here.


Below are a few suggestions for bike hire in Dorset. The cycling opportunities are great so if you do not have your own bikes or cannot bring them hopefully there is something here to help:

Jurassic Electric Bike Tours:

Jurassic Electric offer a half and full day guided tours on electric bikes to show guests the very best West Dorset has to offer. The routes for these tours have been carefully selected to ensure guests experience a great day out. Prices start at £30 per person which includes bike, helmet and pannier hire, and there’s enough bikes to cater for large groups such as corporate events or hen weekends . Child Seats and tag alongs make this suitable for all ages. More details can be found at or by calling Martin on 07796 135256

Dorset Cycle Life:

Based nearby in Poundbury this shop provides both road and mountain ELECTRIC bikes for hire. Prices from £30/day and £10 to deliver and collect from Dove House or Swallows.  Tel: 01305 753737

Jurassic Coast Activities:

Based at Preston in Weymouth you can hire all types and sizes of bikes for all ages, prices are £16/day for adults and £8/day for children inc helmets and locks. There is a 17 mile off road round trip from their base across to Portland along with other routes.   Tel: 01305 836428

Tily's Bike Hire:

Based in Weymouth, Tiley's will deliver bikes out to Dove House if there is a minimum of 8 bikes for a small fee.  Tel:01305 785672

The Plaza Cinema: (wet weather day!)

Situated in the centre of Dorchester this lovely old cinema has 4 screens and the fabulously cheap prices of £2.50 mid week and £3.50 at the weekends. Comfortable new chairs and 3d screen etc, it is supported by all the locals who hope to kill the new Odeon Cinema at Brewery Square. If the weather really fails you this is a good wet weather option for a fraction of the price you might pay at home!!! You can pre book online,worth it as it is very popular!!

Terracotta Warriers Museum:

The only museum outside China dedicated to the amazing Terracotta Warriers

Weymouth White Water:

Take a ride on a rib, various rides for all ages.
Tel: 01305 781146 or 07899892317

Sea Life Centre – Weymouth:

A sea life park and marine sanctuary. Indoor and outdoor attractions.

The Tank Museum at Bovington:

Military tank museum.

Haynes Motor Museum:

All weather fun packed day for the whole family.

Adventure Wonderland Park:

With Wild Thing the giant indoor Aztec adventure play centre (under 10’s). A great day out whatever the weather, about 40 minutes away. Open all year. Tel: 01202 483444

Crealy Adventure Park:

A really fun day out with rides, massive indoor slides etc. 1 hr away max (under 10’s), April – September.

The Wildlife Park at Cricket St Thomas:


The house, wild life park, maize etc, all make this a really good all round family day out. Approx 1 hr away.

Motor Museum at Beaulieu:

World famous museum, rides and drives for all the family plus the acclaimed James Bond experience!

Swanage Railway:

A fun way to get to the Purbeck coast, Easter to October half-term with some Santa Specials in December.

Farmer Palmers Farm Park:

Situated our side of Poole at Organford this is a highly popular, multi award winning attraction mainly focused at the Under 8 age range. Plenty to do both inside and out and open nearly all year, well worth a visit. Tel: 01202 622022

If you are after specific activities for certain ages then please feel free to ask, we will be happy to help as there are too many to list here!


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