If you and your family love pushing yourselves to the limit with long hikes across challenging terrain, staying at one of the excellent holiday parks in Dorset gives the ideal opportunity to explore the striking scenery of the Jurassic Coast. Its 95 miles of coastline, forming part of the epic 630-mile South West Coast Path, are the perfect place for an adventure.
Here you’ll find everything you need for an active holiday with the kids, with a variety of walking trails that allow a strenuous hike one day to be followed by a relaxed stroll the next. The scenery is striking, with endless seas, craggy cliffs and a sometimes desolate atmosphere that can leave you feeling like you’re the only people on the planet.
On the practical side, there are plenty of holiday parks in Dorset that sit along the Jurassic Coast, offering the convenience of hiking routes on your doorstep. There’s also a number of activities that you can combine with walks here to keep the whole family engaged.
If your family is into long walks, sharpen your navigational skills by trying your hand at orienteering, an outdoor sport where you find the best route from point to point using just a map and your wits. This is a great way to get everyone in the family involved by introducing some competition to an excursion.
For a brilliant introduction, there’s a permanent orienteering course at Stonebarrow on the Golden Cap Estate. If you're up for the challenge, each route has a series of markers that you’ll need to find your way between. Maps of the two trails can be downloaded from the National Trust Website. The Golden Cap estate itself is a magnificently scenic area with some of the best holiday parks in Dorset close at hand, so it’s a great place to get started with orienteering.
Smugglers’ Trail Walk
You can practically feel the history as you explore Dorset’s ancient coastlines, so another great activity for livening up family hikes is to explore the Smugglers’ Trail, once again on the Golden Cap estate.
This walking route comes complete with a map and activity sheet, which is provided by the National Trust to keep children engrossed along the way. Download and print these ahead of time from the National Trust website. If your kids are permanently glued to their phones, that’s an advantage, as you’ll also want to download the MP3 audio tracks that tell the whole story of the Smugglers’ Trail (or, for Apple devices, get the full package from the App Store).
Looking for more ways to encourage your kids to get out and about on holiday? Treasure Trails sells a range of self-guided treasure hunts that are designed for use all across the UK. The whole family will have to use their imagination and crack the clues to solve a murder mystery, complete a spy mission or uncover hidden treasure – all while exploring a specific local area and getting some great exercise.
Trails within reasonable distance of most holiday parks in Dorset include The Puddles, Moreton & Lawrence of Arabia, and Wareham – Walk the Walls.
As you can see, there’s so much to do when hiking the Jurassic Coast that getting away to one of the holiday parks in Dorset is an amazing idea for any active family.
Michael Paul is the Managing Director of Michael Paul Holidays, a holiday property agency offering a handpicked range of accommodation in wonderful UK locations. Whether you are looking for the best holiday parks in Dorset or the cosiest cottages and log cabins in Scotland, he and his team will find you that perfect property for an unforgettable trip.