Dorset’s hidden gems – five secret spots to discover
Guest writer and lifelong Dorset-dweller Alice Young – of the New Young Mum blog – shares her five secret spots in our beautiful county…
Having lived in Dorset (specifically Poole) all 23 years of my life, I’ve become pretty familiar with great places to explore. With both countryside and spectacular beaches Dorset really does have it all – my three year-old daughter Amelia and I love to spend our weekends walking by the Jurassic coastline or getting lost in the woods. Here are five of our very favourite hidden spots…
1. Blue Pool
This is a lovely place in Wareham, yet so many people haven’t even heard of it. When you arrive the colour-changing pool is still hidden, but as you start making your way around on the walk you get glimpses of it through the trees. Blue Pool is stunning, and you’ll wonder why you’ve never been here before. In the holidays the café is open and there are little hunts on for children. There is a park, some woods, it’s totally buggy-friendly, and there are plenty of nooks to enjoy a picnic.
2. Kimmeridge Bay
The second you park up at Kimmeridge Bay you are greeted with stunning views out onto the bay – and whatever the weather it is definitely a view and a half! It ‘s a stony rather than sandy beach, but is still fab: it’s full of huge limestone ledges that reach out into the sea and are great fun to walk over – although a tad slippy (see picture top). Kimmeridge is renowned for rock pooling and fossil hunting. My daughter absolutely loves it there.
3. Lulworth Cove
Perhaps this one isn’t so hidden, but whenever I put photos Lulworth Cove on my blog, people ask if were abroad –on a sunny day here you really could be absolutely anywhere in the world. I spent many a Bank Holiday here as a child – it was a family tradition to walk up what we called ‘Cardiac Hill’ to get the views down onto Durdle Door. We would then head down to the Cove for a picnic and an afternoon on the beach. I love that this is now a place I can take Amelia too and recreate experiences I had as a child. If you’re ever in Dorset this is a must must visit!
4. Dancing Ledge
This place is just a few miles down the coastline from Durdle Door, and we actually stumbled on it by chance when doing a National Trust walk. We parked up at Spyway and then kept on walking until we reached the coastline and saw it. Friends have told me that you can get down onto the beach and it’s lovely there too. It always amazes me how these places are on my doorstep!
5. Barford Ice Cream Farm
For those lazy summer afternoons when you want an ice cream and a chill in the sun but don’t fancy battling with the crowds down at the beach, this is your spot. It’s just outside Wimborne and is one of those places that just makes you happy. Barford have their own ice cream for sale in an array of delicious flavours and a huge, flower-filled garden in which to sit and enjoy them. We’re hoping to try all the flavours this summer!
So, Dorset lovers, how does my list compare to your favourite hidden spots?