If you’re looking for a seaside break in the UK, the south coast of England is a good place to start. Dorset is famed for its family breaks, with its beautiful Jurassic Coast, walking trails and plethora of activities that are perfect for families with kids of all ages. Toddlers will love collecting pebbles and shells on the beach or paddling in the summer months, whilst older kids and teens can get stuck into sea kayaking or go karting. There’s something for everyone.
Waterside Holiday Park and Spa is in the perfect location to enjoy the coast. The self-catering luxury caravans themselves are big, spacious and comfortable, with all of the amenities that a family would need. Ours – the Capri – included a fully equipped kitchen, large sofas and a fireplace for movie nights in, two twin bedrooms and one master double bedroom and two bathrooms so that there’s no fighting in the mornings.
It was the perfect base for exploring, providing us with space enough to enjoy breakfasts at our own pace in the mornings without feeling cramped and a cosy home-from-home for evenings in. The size of these caravans makes them perfect for a multi-gen stay, with just enough privacy for grandparents.
There are also stunning safari tents for a real glamping experience where you’ll feel both at home and in the wild. Ideal for summer months, you can enjoy a BBQ on your outdoor area on warm evenings together.
Although an easy drive to all of the activities you could need, there’s plenty to do in the park itself. If it’s not a beach day, head to the giant indoor pool for a splasharound and spa treatment (if you have willing grandparents who can babysit!) The pool is ideal for families, with slides for older kids and shallow waters for paddling toddlers.
Kayaking and paddleboarding
If you do want to head out, there’s sea kayaking and paddleboarding within a few minutes walk down to the beach from Waterside, run by Jurassic Coast Activities. With a main hub near Lulworth Cove, they can take you out on a beautiful kayak adventure, coasteering or SUPing from either location or, if you’re confident and experienced paddlers, you can hire your own and explore this beautiful slice of coast on your own.
Make sure you head to the Jurassic Coast for a beautiful coastal walk. Park the car up and follow the crowds up to the beautiful lookout where you can see the ultra-Instagrammable Durdle Door, an archway carved from rock. Got kiddies that love dinosaurs? Just 30 minutes drive from Lulworth Cove, there’s a real dinosaur footprint that’s 140 million years old at Keate’s Quarry; not to be missed. You can also go fossil hunting along the coast and see if your fossil detective skills are up to scratch. There are numerous quaint cottages to stop in for cream tea and scones or scrumptious locally made ice cream.
Weymouth SEA LIFE Adventure Park
If you want to see sea creatures up close, there’s a lovely aquarium only a few minutes drive or 30 minutes walk away from Waterside Holiday Park and Spa. It’s ideal for if the weather takes a turn for the worse and you need an indoors, weatherproof day in Dorset.
Cooking in the cabins is really easy with the full kitchen available but if you fancy a night off, less than a five minute walk from the park there’s a playground and beach, eateries, picnic tables and a bar. The restaurant there has traditional pub grub at a reasonable price and the fish and chips shop has delicious and fresh fish and seafood, perfect for a supper on the beach on warm evenings or to take back in your cabin; we definitely recommend treating yourself.
Located in Weymouth, Dorset, this park offers first-class holiday accommodation, family entertainment and restaurant dining as well as a spa and leisure complex for an unforgettable luxury family holiday.
With direct access on to Bowleaze Cove beach, this is the perfect destination for family fun, watersports or just relaxing by the sea. The park has more than 500 two to three bed static caravans, seven safari tents and currently five safari lodges. Facilities include a heated outdoor swimming pool, an indoor swimming pool, two waterslides, children’s splash pool, a gym, a spa and seasonal children’s entertainment with Boomer the Kangaroo fun club.
Capri cabins (sleeps 8) prices during peak times:
£1,999 for a seven-night stay (Saturday-Saturday)
£1,408 for a three-night long weekend (Friday-Monday) or four-night mid-week break (Monday-Friday).
Bowleaze Cove, Weymouth, Dorset, DT3 6PP
Telephone: 01305 833103
A three-hour Jurassic Kayak tour costs from £60 per person or hire kayaks and paddleboards for yourselves from £20 per hour right on the beach by Waterside