Dorset is an awesome part of the United Kingdom. It’s on the South Coast, and offers sun, sea, and sand as well as some pretty epic inland places to visit. Because it’s down south, the weather is often better than other places in the UK. Something to consider, perhaps, if you’re thinking about a Christmas beach break.
So, if you’re planning a camper van holiday to Dorset, what should be on your itinerary?
On the outskirts of Dorchester, you will find the very historic Maiden Castle. This is an old Iron Age hill fort that is vast and winding as you find your way around the ramparts to the summit! The sunset views are spectacular and far reaching – we’d recommend taking your drone if you have one as you can really get to grips with the whole site from above.
At the moment, there are no “no overnight parking” signs in the car park, so a peaceful stop over can be found here, too.
Some 45 minutes from Portland is The Durdle Door. This is a natural limestone arch near the very popular Lulworth. It has several lovely beaches next to it as well as some spectaclar viewing points. The parking is not cheap – (£4 for 2 hours) but unless you want a very long walk in, then it’s fairly essential! Alternatively, it’s well worth paying the £15 motorhome fee and you can park there for the night with a brilliant view and maybe catch a beautiful sunrise or sunset.
Old Harry Rocks
Studland is home to this brilliant cliff edge. There is National Trust parking, which is free if you are a member. A flat, 1-mile walk takes you to the stunning white cliff stacks which are mesmerising at sunrise. This is the most easterly point of the Jurassic coast, which is a UNESCO Hertiage site.
Just up the road from Old Harry Rocks, and also National Trust owned, is Corfe Castle. The castle itself was built by William the Conqueror, and dates back to the 11th century. This ruined castle is in a village of the same name, on the edge of the Purbeck Hills. The best thing to do is park at the National Trust parking area and walk to the castle and village. Make sure you take time to explore both, because the castle often has a lot of family-friendly activities on in the summer season, and the village has an incredible bakery!
If you have more time, then definitely check out Lulworth Cove with its blue waters and white pebble beach, Dancing Ledge or Blue Pool. A must visit pub is the Square and Compass in Worth Matravers with its very own fossil museum and incredibly retro interior design!
Where to Camp
If you are going to make the trip down to the area, it is a good idea to book in with some of the very excellent camp sites in the area. This is because wild camping is not something the Dorset council (or locals) are very happy with. There are locations listed on the Park4Night app, but with an abundance of signs and £100 fines, it’s really not worth the risk!
Sea Barn Farm campsite near Portland has excellent facilities and a variety of pitches, some with a sea view. If you are looking to be closer to Studland or Swanage, then Woodhyde Campsite has some good reviews.
A good alternative to campsites is to use Britstops – there are some really friendly local pubs who, even if not listed, will often let you stop in their car park if you’re going in for a beer or three.
Which Camper to Choose?!
If we’ve sold you on things to do and you’re about to start looking for a camper van to hire in Dorest, why not check out Little Tina who is based in Wareham and is dog friendly! Or perhaps you want to pick up a van closer to home and then drive to Dorset? You can see our full range of camper vans for hire here.