Top 20 fun things to do in Dorset for adults

With its striking Jurassic Coastline, tranquil countryside, and bustling seaside destinations, Dorset offers no shortage of adventures. You can certainly find some of the most fun things to do in Dorset for adults.


Get your adrenaline pumping by climbing the limestone cliffs of Portland, surfing the waves of Bournemouth Beach, or kayaking along the coves of Poole Harbour for an active escape – you can find it all here in Dorset.

Whether you come to ramble open trails, lounge on sunny shores, dive into the culture or sample regional drinks, Dorset promises adults an idyllic English retreat filled with natural wonders, storied sights, and lively coastal spirit.

Top 20 things to do in Dorset for families:

An image of Durdle Door on the coast of Dorset.

Durdle Door

The iconic limestone arch of Durdle Door is one of the most spectacular sights on the Jurassic Coast. Take a stroll along the coastal path to admire the views together. Or, try kayaking or coasteering for one of the most fun things to do in Dorset that brings you closer to this impressive natural wonder.

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Two children waving at the camera out the window of a train.

Swanage Railway

Travelling through the Isle of Purbeck countryside, adult passengers can relax in the vintage carriages as the locomotive puffs its way to Corfe Castle and back. You can plan your trip around special event days, dining services, and more. The railway offers a unique and memorable experience for visitors and rail enthusiasts alike.

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A close up image of a monkey at Monkey World, Dorset.

Monkey World

You can walk through large enclosures based on their natural habitats. Watch the chimpanzees play whilst the orangutans swing up high. This attraction is even better because you’ll find the world’s only group of rare Sulawesi macaques living outside Indonesia. Daily talks and feeding sessions make this one of the most fun things to do in Dorset.

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An image of the vineyard at Mersea Island Vineyard on a sunny, cloudy day.

Furleigh Estate

Sample fine wines at the welcoming Furleigh Estate vineyard. Adults can enjoy afternoon tasting sessions, discover Furleigh’s award-winning still and sparkling English wines, and take some home with you to savour the memories of your Dorset holiday. With stunning views over the rolling Dorset countryside, it’s a refined but relaxed.

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Lulworth Cove

Fringed by a pebbled beach and bright blue waters, the spectacular beauty of Lulworth Cove draws visitors from far and wide. This sheltered inlet and the surrounding coastline are part of England’s Jurassic Coast - a UNESCO World Heritage Site stretching over 95 miles. When the tide goes out, explore the rock pools scattered around the cove.

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Piddle Brewery image

Piddle Brewery

Ale connoisseurs should pay a visit to Piddle Brewery, located among the rolling chalk hills, five miles from the county town of Dorchester and close to the River Piddle. Adults can take an entertaining guided tour of the microbrewery before sampling the fine ales. With frequent seasonal specials and brews named after local towns and landmarks.

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An image of Corfe Castle on a bright day with blue skies.

Corfe Castle

You can take a family trip to this awe-inspiring medieval fortress ruin that overlooks the Purbeck Hills. Managed by the National Trust, its intricate remains bring history vividly to life. Particularly for the history buffs amongst you, you’ll love to hear the fascinating tales of its dramatic past.

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Clavell Tower image

Clavell Tower

Perched on a grassy clifftop overlooking Kimmeridge Bay, the restored Clavell Tower makes for an enchanting discovery. Adults can take in scenic views across towards the Isle of Wight from the roof terrace of this remarkable Victorian folly, now an artistic retreat. With an interesting history, unique architecture, and picturesque setting.

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Jurassic Coast image

Jurassic Coast

Discover Dorset’s 95-mile World Heritage site donned the Jurassic Coast, which offers incredible coastal scenery. Head to the beaches and coves to see what ancient treasures you may uncover. Charmouth and Lyme Regis are two top spots for plenty of fun things for adults to do in Dorset. Alongside this, you’ll find Durdle Door.

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Lyme Regis image

Lyme Regis

Situated on the Jurassic Coast, Lyme Regis is a popular resort town that offers seaside fun for adults. Enjoy the beautiful beaches, stunning scenery, fascinating history, and picturesque harbour. Whether you want an active break, a romantic getaway, or to be beside the sea – visit Lyme Regis on your next Dorset holiday.

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Abbotsbury Swannery image

Abbotsbury Swannery

Abbotsbury Swannery provides a beautiful day out for the adults. It's one of the most must-see attractions, as it's the world's only managed breeding colony of nesting mute swans. May and June are some of the best times to visit - hundreds of cygnets are taking their first steps. Come and visit for some picture-perfect fun!

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Brownsea Island image

Brownsea Island

You can catch a ferry to this small National Trust haven for a great adventure. Nestled in the beautiful Poole Harbour, Brownsea Island's scenic location offers the most gorgeous panoramic views across the rolling Purbeck Hills. This wildlife refuge is home woodlands, heathlands, and a tranquil lagoon that provides sanctuary for rare red squirrels.

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West Bay image

West Bay

Recognisable as the filming location for ITV's Broadchurch, the seaside town of West Bay captivates adults with its dramatic cliffs and coastal walks. While you're here, enjoy fresh seafood or browse quirky independent shops before taking in the formidable views from its harbour mouth or the scenic vantage points along the Jurassic Coast.

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The Tank Museum image

The Tank Museum

Military history buffs will delight at Europe's biggest collection of tanks and armoured fighting vehicles at the Tank Museum in Bovington, near Dorset. Adult visitors can gain an in-depth insight into these iconic war machines through personal on-site experiences, interactive displays, and an acclaimed exhibition hall.

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Bournemouth Beach image

Bournemouth Beach

Introducing Bournemouth Beach, where you'll find over seven miles of award-winning beaches! Hire a sun lounger or try watersports like kitesurfing, paddle boarding, and kayaking before enjoying refreshments from an array of promenade bars, cafes, and restaurants. With spectacular views of the Isle of Wight on the horizon.

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Sturminster Newton Mill image

Sturminster Newton Mill

Nestled on the banks of the winding River Stour, the Sturminster Newton Mill offers a window into Dorset's rich agricultural past. Dating back over 300 years with a turbine installed in 1904, this restored stone/flour mill still harnesses the river's natural power to grind flour today. Step back in time and tour the inner workings.

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Sherborne Castle image

Sherborne Castle

Explore the impressive interior and landscaped gardens of Sherborne Castle. Originally a bishop's palace, Sherborne Old Castle became the home of the English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh. The castle was later a powerful Royalist base and saw fierce fighting during the Civil War. Come and visit the great gatehouse, the moat walk and see wildlife.

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Chesil Beach image

Chesil Beach

Marvel at the unique shingle ridge and lagoon of Chesil Beach. With 18 miles of protected coastline joining the Isle of Portland to the mainland, Chesil Beach is another example of the most fun things adults can do in Dorset. You can explore scenic walking trails and new coastal habitats and observe rare birdlife and vegetation.

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Portland Climbing image

Portland Climbing

Another adventurous activity that makes up some of the most fun things to do in Dorset for adults is visiting Portland Climbing. There are a range of climbing courses for different abilities. You'll experience climbing on natural rocks; an instructor will be on hand to help you become a pro climber in no time!

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Dorset Adventure Park image

Dorset Adventure Park

Come and visit Dorset's wildest attraction, where you can find just about anything and everything to do! For the adventurous amongst you, Dorset Adventure Park is the perfect destination for you! With its vast 18 acres of picturesque woodland, the park offers many fun and challenging activities that appeal to many.

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Fun things to do in Dorset for adults FAQs

After noting down some of your favourites from these 20 fun things to do in Dorset for adults, you still may have some questions that need to be answered. If so, here are some of the most frequently asked questions!

What is the prettiest place in Dorset?

The prettiest place in Dorset isn't just a place – it's multiple places. Here are some of the prettiest places we've found:

  • Lulworth Cove
  • Durdle Door
  • Chesil Beach
  • West Bay
  • Old Harry Rocks

What is Dorset UK famous for?

As already mentioned numerous times, the Jurassic Coast is one of the elements Dorset is most famous for. It's not a shock that you'll find plenty of geological wonders along the stretch of its coast. Durdle Door is probably the most famous part of Dorset and is an attraction you cannot miss on your Dorset holiday!

Why should you visit Dorset?

Dorset offers visitors an idyllic escape with its postcard-worthy beaches, breathtaking natural landmarks, and quaint seaside towns. Outdoor enthusiasts will relish the county's hiking trails along the iconic Jurassic Coast, where fossil hunting and admiring the dramatic cliffs and coves are some of the best activities to try here. Dorset has something special to offer every visitor seeking that perfect English holiday full of rich culture, rolling landscapes, and regional flavour. Staying in a Dorset holiday park will make your stay even better!

With plenty of things to do in Dorset for adults, why not plan your holiday now?

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