This was our first camping trip with my step daughter joining us so we decided to go back to one of our favourite campsites in Dorset at Longthorns Farm. We stayed there last year but there was still so much of the area we didn’t see that it was a must. You will see what we got up to on our 7 day camping trip and you can link through to detailed blogs of the places we visited so you can plan a trip your family will enjoy.
We alway travel early now after getting stuck in traffic for 10 hours a few years ago so we pack the van the day before we travel and set the alarm for 4am. We got to Wareham for 8am ready for breakfast, First things first was to park up and take a short walk along the river so we could all stretch our legs take in the scenery and for Buddy to have a wee (traveling with a dog makes this a must haha).
After asking around and were told by many that the place for breakfast was a pub near the river called The Quay Inn, so in we went happily in the knowledge we could take Buddy in too. The Breakfast was just what we needed to fuel the next part of the trip, setting up Camp Oliver. We headed straight to Longthorns and pitched our tents unpacked our set up and sat down to relax while watching the boys running round having fun seeing the Alpacas and playing in the woodland walk.
The last thing on the list for today was to go for a short drive down to Lulworth Cove to show Beth just how stunning the views are and stop for dinner at another pub, one we had enjoyed food at during our last visit, Lulworth Cove Inn. Back to the campsite for a campfire, toasting marshmallows, music and relaxing with a drink the perfect way to end the day.
I Love how the boys sleep when we are camping it must be all the fresh air the fact that they don’t stop all day but they don’t usually get up before 9am which for me is amazing!! After Breakfast on the campsite it was time to go and investigate somewhere none of us had been to before. Poole Harbour, we walked around the town, looked around Poole Museum and looked at the boats in the harbour.
With our National Trust Memberships we wanted to go visit Brownsea Island so went to book ticket for a boat trip across but we came up against a few problems. The first being that Joshua gets travel sick and the last time he went on a boat he was really poorly so even though the sea was calm I could NOT convince him to get on the boat. Patrick took Beth, Daniel & Buddy on the boat while Joshua and I stayed behind to look round the RNLI Lifeboat Museum, watching families crabbing off the harbour wall and playing games in the coffee shop. The second problem was that no dogs are allowed on Brownsea Island but with Me and Joshua not able to go Patrick decided that they could still go on the boat trip and they really enjoyed it.
After the boat trip we all met up again at a coffee shop picked out some lunch to take away and set off to Upton Country Park to have a picnic. They have events on here throughout the summer but we wanted to investigate the park on this visit. The walled garden is beautiful, there are lots of areas throughout the park for the kids to enjoy.
Back to the Campsite for a BBQ and for the boys to make new friends play games and enjoy camping life. Beth stayed with us around the campfire watching the sunset and enjoying the peacefulness.
Camping for us is not just about spending our time on the campsite but also exploring the area. This mornings trip was to Corfe Castle which we visited last year but as Beth wasn’t with us we decided this was a must for her to see especially as it is one of my favourite National Trust Sites.
The ruins of Corfe Castle are situated on the top of the hillside with views to die for and the walk from the National Trust car park is lovely too with an adventure walk, information posts about the area, stepping stones across the stream and stunning views before entering into Corfe Village. They have a booklet for the kids to take round with them to find stamps a long the way as well as old games to play. When you get to the top of the castle you feel like you are on top of the world.
Now you can’t go to Dorset without visiting the beach! Most of the beaches in Dorset are rocky, stoney or shingle beaches they don’t call it the Jurassic Coast for nothing, but today we wanted to go to Knoll Beach for the beautiful golden sands to relax on. It’s the perfect beach for the boys to go on their body boards as the waves aren’t too strong. There is a low tightrope walk for you to give a go too. Be prepared this beach can be very busy but it is worth it.
Back to the campsite for a game of cricket with lots of other families which to me is what camping is all about.
Camping is a lot of fun but some days in the summer it can be very hot under canvas and today was one of those days that we woke up early from the heat so wanted to go somewhere that we could enjoy a walk in the shade of the trees. I had seen some brown signs while driving round for The Blue Pool so looked into it more and decided this was the trip for us today and we were NOT disappointed!
The Blue Pool is absolutely stunning and walking round the grounds through the trees around the pool you felt like you were transported to another world. It was so peaceful we were instantly relaxed, cool because of the shade from the trees and with the squirrel hunt and fairy door walk the kids were entertained the whole way round. There was a kids play area with an assault course as well as swings and slides. We enjoyed a picnic on the beach at the side of the magical blue pool but there is a tea rooms onsite if you are wanting to eat there.
In the late afternoon although was still very warm we decided to head to Durdle Door to enjoy some beach time. Last year we started walking from Lulworth Cove and didn’t make it all the way to Durdle Door as a very steep climb and long walk so this year we decided to park up at Durdle Door caravan site and walk from there. It is still a steep decent to the beach so pack lite or you will regret it. The views over the cove from half way down are amazing then the beach is a shingle beach so flip flops are not a great choice of footwear so be prepared. The boys enjoyed jumping the waves while Patrick tried a little fishing for mackerel and I relaxed with a book.
As he didn’t catch any fish on the beach at Durdle Door Patrick got up very early to go fishing off the beach at Kimmeridge Bay while we all slept. We were very impressed to see him come back to the campsite with a big smile on his face and a large Sea Bass for us to BBQ tonight for dinner!!
After breakfast we walked through the woodland walk on the campsite and over to Monkey World which is right next door to the campsite. As Patrick had an early start he volunteered to stay back with Buddy (no dogs allowed at monkey world) while I took Beth and the boys to enjoy the day learning all about our primate friends. We had a great day there is a lot to see and do, I loved hearing the talks about the different monkeys they are helping. We had lunch at the cafe and the boys had fun monkeying around on the two play areas.
We are taking to the river but as Beth is not keen on small boats getting her into a kayak was completely out of the question so this morning Patrick, the boys and I headed into Wareham while she stayed on site with buddy for a relaxing morning. I grew up boating and Kayaking so I had been really looking forward to taking to the River Frome all week. Joshua has had one kayak lesson at Cubs but Daniel had never been in a kayak so he wanted to be with me. We hired 1 double Kayak and 1 Canadian Canoe from Wareham Boat Hire for an hour and head up the river to take in the sights and to teach the kids some more boating techniques although Patrick found the Canoe harder than he though it would be haha. So many memories made in such a short space of time.
As a special treat for the boys after an hour on the river we went for waffles and ice cream (it was for the boys honest) at The Quayside Barn
Back to the campsite to reunite with buddy and Beth. After Lunch it was time for our Alpaca walk which takes place on the farm so no traveling needed. I know I have said this before but Alpacas are one of my favourite animals so being able to take them for a walk, share the experience with my family and learn more about them this has got to be one of the highlights of the trip for me. We all had an Alpaca each to walk and because we did this last year we knew the Alpacas. If you stay on this campsite or locally you can do the mini walk around the paddock or on a long walk around the woodland the choice is yours.
Today is our last full day so to make the most of it we went to see another National Trust Site but one we haven’t visited before. Kingston Lacy is a stunning house with Venetian Palace influences, with Play areas, Den Building, Maize Maze, Kitchen Gardens, Meadows, Japanese Gardens there are hours of fun to be had here. Plenty of things to tick off your list of things to do before you are 11 and 3 quarters.
We were exhausted after long walks round the Kingston Lacy Estate so heading for a quick visit to Wimborne Minster where they had a village fete on the green. The boys loved making clay dragons in the arts and craft tent before we all walked to the pub for our well earned refreshments.
Time to pack down our camp which has been a fantastic home for the week. To make the most of our time there was one more place that the boys had been really looking forward to visit so Patrick too them both to the Tank Museum that was just down the road while I packed everything away with the help from Beth and Buddy??
The Tank Museum is a great insight into Tanks through the ages from around the world so not just British. The staff are really helpful and there is a booklet for the kids to collect stamps on the way round. There are tank rides for you to book on at set times through the day too.
Time to travel back home and start on the washing pile!!
Let me know if our ‘Itinerary for a week in Dorset – Camping trip to Dorset’ inspires you with your journey? I would love to know if you visited any of the places we did or if you found places we didn’t and what you thought to them.
Check out our Dorset Trip on video Here