5 Hidden Gems in Dorset
Dorset is renowned for its stunning coast and countryside and picturesque landmarks such as Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove. Whilst these beauty spots are certainly worth a visit during any stay in Dorset, sometimes its nice to escape the crowds and discover some lesser known places, away from the tourist trail. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of 5 hidden gems in Dorset for you to explore during your stay.
Located between Burton Bradstock and Abbotsbury, Cogden is a small section of renowned Chesil Beach, often missed by visitors to the county. Set off the beaten track, down a quiet yet well-kept footpath, the beach is just a short walk from the National Trust car park, which can be accessed from the coastal road.
Thanks to its secluded location, Cogden rarely gets busy and it’s not unusual to be one of only a handful of people on the beach. This somewhat remote part of Chesil is however popular with fisherman and you will often find them lined up along the shoreline, even on the harshest of winter days.
The reed beds and marshland that flank the shelved shingle beach make Cogden a haven for wildlife, including frogs, butterflies and birdlife. During the spring and summer months, the rugged landscape is dotted with an abundance of wildflowers growing along the banks, including purple thrift, sea kale and gorse.
The Isle of Purbeck is renowned for its stone and Dancing Ledge is one of three disused quarries that lay abandoned on this rugged stretch of coastline. Named after the way the waves appear to dance as they move over the limestone floor, this rocky outcrop has spectacular views out to sea and along the Jurassic Coast.
One of the main draws of this dramatic stretch of coast, is the sea pool, which can be accessed at low water. It was originally blasted out of the stone by quarryman for use by a local school and remains popular amongst visitors looking to try a spot of wild swimming today! Dancing Ledge is also a favourite amongst outdoor enthusiasts and many outdoor activity centres and you will often see group’s coasteering and climbing here.
Dancing Ledge can be accessed via a relatively short but taxing walk from Spyway Farm or incorporated into a longer walk along the south west coast path.
Worbarrow Bay is a little known beach nestled beneath the cliffs on the Purbeck coast. It is relatively quiet even in the height of the summer holidays and providing the ideal location to enjoy a picnic or beach day, whilst escaping the crowds.
The waters along this stretch of coast are crystal clear and perfect for swimming, snorkelling and fishing. Little ones will love the rock pools, which appear at low tide and offer the opportunity to get up close to a host of marine life, including crabs, fish and anemones.
During a trip to Worbarrow Bay it is also possible to explore Tyneham Village, a one thriving village that was abandoned during the second world war. Here you will be able to take a step back in time as you explore the disused building as well as the restored primary school and church.
The land surrounding the Worbarrow Bay is owned by the Military of Defence and used as a tank firing range and military exercise area. Therefore, the beach can only be accessed during weekends and school holidays.
Little Bredy Waterfall
Tucked away in a quiet hamlet, in the heart of the Dorset countryside, Little Bredy Waterfall is an idyllic and secluded spot, perfect for a picnic. The waterfall is located at the head of the Bride Valley and is part of the River Bride, which continues through the village. A trip here is particularly lovely in the autumn, when the surrounding trees turn beautiful shades of orange and gold.
Just a short walk from the waterfall, past pretty thatched cottages and the village church, Little Bredy walled gardens offer further peace and serenity. This community led project supplies the village with freshly grown fruit and vegetables and offers visitors a beautiful place to spend an afternoon, surrounded by flowers and woodland.
Lambert’s Castle is an Iron Age hill fort set in the Dorset countryside. Built by early settlers nearly 2,500 years ago, the site played an important role in the counties history. Most recently, the land was used as a fair and racecourse, although now there are now no remnants of industry or civilisation. Today the land is now owned by the National Trust and the is the perfect place for a stroll or dog walk.
Lamberts Castle offers beautiful views from its peak over Marshwood Vale. As you look across the stunning landscape you will see patchwork fields and rolling hills stretching into the distance. On a clear day it is even possible to see to the coast. During the spring meadow flowers line the pathways providing a colourful backdrop.
Stay with us in Dorset
West Dorset Leisure Holidays comprises of 5 holiday parks situated at prime locations along the Dorset coast. All of the parks are dog friendly and there are a range of accommodation options available including luxury lodges, caravan holiday homes, glamping and pitches for touring and camping. There are also a variety of facilities to keep the whole family entertained, including Martin’s Bar & Restaurant and Highlands End Leisure Club. Check availability for your holiday and make a booking here.