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Outdoor Activities in Dorset

Dorset's sunny summer weather means it's time to get out the house for some outdoor activity fun that will leave you loving the great outdoors surrounding Dorset. There are so many fantastic ways you can enjoy the beautiful county of Dorset by taking part in some of our favourite outdoor activities.

So, whether you are a long-time local making plans or someone bursting to head into the BCP area from further afield, our list of Dorset's top outdoor activities features a range of fun and exciting activities to try.


Take a Cruise!

About: City Cruises offer a variety of different cruises, routes, destinations and themes leaving from both Poole Harbour and Salisbury! Take you a trip out to the seas to explore the Jurassic Coast. City Cruises offer fun and unique cruises for you to pick from, including Birdwatching cruises and Fish and Chips dining cruises!

View a list of all their cruises and events here.

Website: View here.

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Poppins Penguins in Delph Woods

Outdoor Adventures for Babies and Toddlers

What: Outdoor Baby, Toddler and Pre-School Groups

About: One thing that lockdown has given us is even more appreciation for the great outdoors! And now, parent and baby/child groups are no longer limited to halls and function rooms! Watch your babies / children look in wonder as they experience all the magic and learning experiences it has to offer.

Where: We love Poppins Penguins at Delph Woods! They have weekly groups (term times) all throughout the year including Woodland Sensory for babies/non-walkers and Woodland Wonders for all age groups from babies to preschoolers.


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South Coast Adventures

South Coast Adventures

Who: South Coast Adventures

About: South Coast Adventures is a leading outdoor activities provider based in Hamworthy Park, Poole. They offer a variety of guided water based trips, adventurous days out and instructor personal development courses.

South Coast Adventures offers a variety of adventurous activities such as:

Climbing Wall which is suitable for children and adults of all different abilities, whether you’re a novice climber or an experienced climber.

The Cave is a unique and exciting replication of caving in the wild, but in a safe and controlled environment. Suitable for children and adults alike. It allows you to test your abilities in the tight tunnels avoiding the fallen rocks, stalagmites and stalactites. 

Kayaking is a popular watersport activity where you can learn paddling techniques and find out lots of top tips from their experienced instructors.

Paddleboarding is the world's fastest growing sport. They have experienced instructors to take you to the next level! 

Where: Hamworthy Park, Lulworth Avenue, Poole, Dorset, BH15 4DH

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Who: Rockley Point, Poole Park Activity Centre

About: Cool off from the hot weather that summer in Poole brings with it by taking to the water and having fun trying out a range of adrenaline-thrilling watersports activities.

Recognised as the largest commercial sailing business in the UK, Rockley offers a range of watersports activities for you to turn up and try out including paddleboarding, sailing, kayaking, and more along with a range of land-based activities.

Price: Various

Activities offered: Engage in a range of watersports from kayaking and canoeing at both locations, to raft building at Poole Park or windsurfing at Rockley Point.

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Buddens Activity Centre

Who: Buddens Activity Centre 

About: Buddens Activity Centre is located right by the historic and famous Jurassic Coast, with nearby spots of Corfe Catsle, Lulworth Cove and more; making it a great day out! 

Activities offered: Similar to Rockley's other centres; Buddens hosts a wide variety of activities for you to enjoy. Have a day of watersports fun with activites such as kayaking, canoeing and getting stuck in with some raft building! If watersports aren't your passion, then Buddens have a whole host of non-water based activities. 

Try your hand at abseiling, clibing and archery and gain a new skill! 

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Surf and Paddle boarding Hire and Lessons

Surf and Paddle boarding Hire and Lessons

Who: Shaka Surf

About: Why wouldn’t you take advantage of being on the best beaches on the South Coast?! Whether it's a tranquil paddle board on a sunny day or a surfing lesson when the swell is working then these guys are your local go-to!

How it works: Shaka Surf is located at Branksome Dene Chine, just a few steps away from the car park. Plus, toilets and amenities are just a short stroll down the promenade – all you need to bring is swimwear, a towel, and a good attitude! Shaka Surf offer surfing, paddle boarding, bodyboarding and kayaking so there is something for everyone whether you are looking to hire and have a play or to get stuck in with a proper lesson. Whatever you choose, you will be asked to arrive 15 minutes early to your booking to sign a disclaimer and get yourself suited and booted. After that, head into the water and learn a new and exciting skill – and watch your friends do a few nosedives, it’s a beautiful thing to see.

Price: Visit their website here.

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Go Ape

Go Ape

Who: Go Ape

About: Next, we have Go Ape at Moors Valley. Poole might be known for the harbour and seaside vibes but head slightly inland and there is plenty of countryside to explore. This Go Ape site is just a short drive out of the city centre and is one that is ideal for the more adventurous among us (or the not so much. If you prefer to sit in the park and have a picnic, that is fine too!).

How it works: Go Ape boasts multiple attractions such as the Treetop Challenge, Treetop Adventure, Treetop Adventure+ and the Nets Adventure – perfect for thrill seekers of all ages. The Challenge course which will take you 11-metres skywards and features a 166- metre zip wire. The park itself contains two adventure play areas - one for older children with a zip slide, space net, climbing boulder and a fortress of towers and crossings. The second is a younger children’s area with gentler slides and swings and an authentic steam train. Along the play trail there is also a hidden Tree Top Trail, a five-metre high, 200-metrelong wooden walkway up in the trees. There are many miles of walking trails for you to explore around the park as well as five cycling trails so you can bring the bikes or hire some for the day. It’s all there, just choose what suits you!

Price: Prices start from £20 up to £35, depending on which adventures you chose. Entry to the country park itself is free, simply pay for parking on exit.

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Who: Camouflage Paintball

About: Another one for all you adrenaline junkies, we have paintballing at Camouflage Paintball Bournemouth. Do you see yourself as a bit of a Rambo? Do you want to battle it out and see who in your friendship group really has guts? Or maybe you want to put the office to the test and see how they cope under pressure? Well, either way Camouflage will be absolutely thrilled to have you.

How it works: You can choose from a morning or afternoon session, or a full day, and will be asked to arrive half an hour early for check-in, issuing of kit and a safety briefing before you get started. Once teams are sorted, the games begin! These will take place across several game zones, each with their own challenges and impressive features such as a two-story castle and life size trucks. You will be accompanied throughout by highly trained and experienced Camouflage marshals to make sure you are always safe. During breaks it’s important to stay hydrated - paintballing can be tiring, so in between games you will have the option to grab food and drinks from the onsite catering (yum).

Price: Entry is FREE when you purchase 100 paintballs to get you started, at £15. You will need to buy paintballs as and when needed throughout the day and Camouflage have plenty of deals on their website for you to take advantage of.

Head over to for more info!

Compton Acres

Compton Acres

Who: Compton Acres

About: For a more tranquil day out, it’s got to be Compton Acres in Sandbanks. This is a real hidden gem that was built in 1920, tucked away from the busy beaches and covering 10 acres for you to explore. It is honestly a slice of paradise so whether you want to enjoy a day with friends or fancy a solo adventure, this one should be high on your list.

How it works: Compton Acres is open year-round. It is wheelchair accessible, dog friendly, has free on-site parking for visitors as well as a stunning café and tearooms for you to relax in. The park consists of the Grand Italian Garden on entry followed by the Wooded Valley full of waterfalls. You will then move through the Bog Garden and Rock & Water Garden on the way to the Sculpture Garden where you can soak up the sun while looking out across the harbour. The aptly named ‘Harbour View’ café sits here and is the perfect place to stop and grab some lunch. After this, head through the Heather Gardens and into the last stop, the Japanese Gardens where you can find the famous Koi fish.

Price: A standard adult ticket is £8.45. Concession and carer tickets are available as well as family passes and season tickets which may be worth investing in if you fall in love (like I have!).

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Pier Zip at Rock Reef

Pier Zip

Who: Rock Reef

About: Next with another adrenaline filled adventure, we have the Pier Zip. This is the pier to shore line that you have seen in pictures on Bournemouth Beach. It is run by Rock Reef and is the first of it’s kind IN THE WORLD. It might be one for those who don’t mind heights but if you can face your fears you will be rewarded with the panoramic sight of Bournemouth and it’s incredible 7 mile coastline. Once you’ve reached the beach, you can sit back, relax and watch your friends reactions as they come flying down to join you - the definition of ‘fun in the sun’.

How it works: You will be asked to arrive 15 minutes before your session, start in closed-toe shoes and comfortable clothing. This is so you can get kitted up for your slot and ensure you have signed the online waiver that will have been sent out to you. Once your group is ready, you will walk out to the Zip Tower at the end of the pier and climb up the 25-meter tower. The Pier Zip is 250 metres long and can be ridden alone or ‘dual’ so you and your friend can go down together, the choice is yours. And good news if you want to show off the experience to the world, Go Pro’s are allowed so you can catch your own reaction, the views and be social media ready.

Price: A Single Rider ticket at the summer peak season is £20. For a Dual Rider ticket, this is £35. A Family and Friends ticket is valid for four people and costs £62 - you can then add up to four more people for just £13 each, so getting all your friends involved may be the way to go if you want value for money!

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Aquatic Jet Packs

Flyboard Experience

Who: Aquatic Jetpacks

About: Lastly, we have a new one - a flyboard experience with Aquatic Jetpacks! “Fly like a bird or feel like a superhero!” states their website, so it’s time to you to live out your dreams of flying around like Iron Man, except rather than New York you’ll be soaring around in the sun at Sandbanks Beach. Lush.

How it works: You will turn up on the day and be met with a full Safety and Introductory briefing to teach you a bit about what you’ll be getting up to. You will then change into your wetsuit, buoyancy aid and helmet, ready to head out onto the water. There’s no need to be nervous as for the whole time, you will be accompanied by a qualified Flyboard Instructor. The team are super accommodating so if you have any questions, just ask and be sure to let them know of any health conditions just to be safe. Your session will be about an hour and a half, so you get plenty of time out in the sea, just be sure to account for that if you have to think about public transport of parking! Auqatic Jetpacks also offer a photo package so you can flex on Instagram and show everyone what an amazing day you had (if it doesn’t go on a social, did it really happen…)

Price: prices for individuals start at £100 on a weekday and £120 on a weekend, but groups packages will get you a killer saving. To go with five people will cost you £375 on a weekday and £450 on a weekend – so you could be saving up to £125 to do this activity in the company of friends.

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