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Things to Do for Free in Dorset

There are so many things to do for free in Dorset, you'll be able to have an action packed time without spending a penny. With stunning beaches, walks, parks, cycle routes and so much more the only problem you'll have is choosing which free activity in Dorset to choose from.

Here's our list of ideas for you to enjoy Dorset on a budget, or even better - for free!




Discover Pooles Beaches

About: You simply cannot beat spending a day on one of Poole's Blue Flag beaches. No matter your age or interests you will never be disappointed by a day on the beach in Poole.

There's a number to choose from and we've detailed all of our top spots for you in our Total Guide to Poole's Beaches and have included everything you need to enjoy a day on the beach in Poole.

You may need to think about transport or parking options if you're looking to keep it on a budget and to really have a free day out on the beach, take your own picnic as food and drink prices in the cafes on the beach can get a little pricey.

TGt Recommends: Hamworthy Park and Beach for double the fun and for free, plus you can get lucky with free street parking if you are prepared to drive around and it's within walking distance of the harbour and town centre too.

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hamworthy park

Lazy Day in One of Poole's Parks

About: With Poole being fairly compact, you can easily visit a few of some of Poole's best parks in one morning or afternoon; or, you can even make a day of it!

Poole Park is a really good choice for a free day out in Poole as it has so much to offer. There's a lake, miniature railway, plenty of picnic benches with free drinking water taps, and a fitness trail. It's located in the heart of Poole too so easily accesible on a budget.

While you're there you can easily walk to Harbourside Park for long walks with incredible harbour views.

Hamworthy is another great park to enjoy a free day out, especially if you have children as the play areas are fantastic. It's equally loved by dog-walkers too as it's a really dog friendly park and beach.

TGt Recommends: Poole Park for it's central location, alongside Upton Country Park.

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Shopping Trip at the Poole Town Centre

Shopping Trip at the Poole Town Centre

About: There is nothing better than strolling down Poole's picturesque streets and browsing at the fantastic town centre shops. From watching the beautifully, breath taking, scenic ocean views to indulging in a traditional afternoon tea, dining al fresco style or shopping in Poole's independent and high street shops, it's one of the many activities that Poole has on offer.

TGt Recommends: Poole Town Centre provides a great atmosphere and a plentiful selection of things to do.

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Visit Poole Museum

*Temporarily Closed*

About:  There is no entry fee to visit Poole Museum and there are also a number of free events and workshops throughout the year too so there's always a reason to keep going back.

Poole Museum is conveniently located in the centre of Poole. The museum spreads over four closely connected but very different buildings.

The museum tells the story of the area that is now the Borough of Poole. It will take you through thousands of years, across oceans and into the lives of many Poole people.

You will enter via the new atrium building which was once occupied by Poole’s first public library, founded in 1830.

You then stop by Oakley’s Mill, a Victorian grain warehouse. The medieval Ship Inn used to occupy this site and, from that building, we have a remarkable set of carved timbers. This building houses the museum displays and the offices of the Borough of Poole Museum Service and Arts Development Unit.

The third building is the Town Cellars which was originally built about 1300 and has impressive stone walls and a magnificent timber roof. Built as a medieval warehouse it is now the Local History Centre.

Across Salisbury Street is the fourth building, Scaplen’s Court, Poole’s most complete medieval domestic building. This is now principally dedicated to the Museum education service. The herb and physic garden is open throughout the summer and Scaplen’s Court can be visited during August. 

Where: 4 High St, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1BW

Tel: 01202 262 600

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corfe castle

Day Trip To a National Trust Location

About: If you are a National Trust memeber then you will gain entry to some beautiful and educational Dorset locations! 

Corfe Castle in Wareham is home to a beautiful and historical castle ruins that you will be free to tour around. These castle ruins are positioned atop a tall hill, leading to a picturesque landmark that is a family day trip staple for those in and around Dorset. 

If you fancy something different, you could check out the National Trust's Kingston Lacy country estate. This grand mansion is surrounded by beautful extensive gardens and is also host to an impressive art collection; including pieces by Rubens and Van Dyck.

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durdle door

Visit The Jurassic Coast

About: It is easy to find yourself just being drawn to Bournemouth beach for those in the local area but Dorset's beautiful and ancient Jurassic Coast is just on our doorstep. Entry to Durdle Door and its' beach is free for visitors and you'll be welcomed to beautiful views. 

Durdle Door is a scenic and naturally occuring limestone arch right in the Lulworth Cove! Make sure to put on your best walking shoes as you will have to walk down toward the beach on a charming scenic trail. Once you've descended the trail, relax on the beach and enjoy the views or have a little paddle in the waters!

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