6 Activities to do While in Dorset for a Short Break

Like if this guide is helpful
6 Activities to do While in Dorset for a Short Break

Dorset, a county on the south coast of England, is well known for its beaches and pleasant weather in the summer. Travellers who wish to take a short break can find plenty of activities to keep them entertained. Enjoy excitement on the water at Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door. For entertainment, visit Bournemouth Pavilion. The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra is famous worldwide, but still provides free concerts to locals. Those interested in history can visit the Keep Museum in Dorchester with exhibits from a number of different wars and research facilities for scholars.

For major events, the Great Dorset Steam Fair is a National Heritage Show that is held annually in late August. There are many other events and activities to occupy the time of a traveller to Dorset. Take full advantage of these activities by pre-purchasing tickets, vouchers, and holiday packages through travel sites, venues, and online sellers at sites like eBay.

Activity 1: Enjoy the Water at Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door

Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door are beautiful spots in Dorset. The cove is a curved coast bordered by the massive Durdle Door. Visit the cove to enjoy the beaches and watch yachts drop anchor. Durdle Door is an ancient rock arching into the ocean that was formed during the Jurassic period. It is accessible through the Durdle Door Holiday Park. The park is open to the public and offers parking and refreshments. It contains lots of beaches and sights for visitors to see. Take some snorkelling gear to get a closer look at the door from the water.

Activity 2: Watch a Show at the Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre

Before setting off for Dorset for a short break, look for some tickets for the Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre. Built in the 1920s, the theatre still has a great deal of elegance and features elaborate architecture from the time period. It hosts a number of plays, operas, ballet, pantomimes, and rock concerts. It is a joy to visit and the wide variety of entertainment makes it easy to find something appealing for every traveller.

The Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre is next to the Bournemouth International Centre. This newer venue was built in 1984 and hosts a number of exhibitions and shows. Its Windsor Hall is able to hold up to 6,500 people and the smaller Solent Hall can hold up to 2,000 people. Visitors who would like to see the features of the Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre from the inside may have to confirm that their show tickets are for the Pavilion and not the International Centre.

Activity 3: See the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

When visiting Dorset, consider seeing the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO). The orchestra was founded in 1893 by David Godfrey and performs over 150 concerts a year. It is well known for its mastery of the classics and the famous conductors who guest at the orchestra. The BSO travels regularly, playing around the world at venues from Prague to New York. It also performs at the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Symphony Hall, and Bridgewater Hall.

Despite this busy schedule, the BSO still performs at home and in the surrounding towns, such as Poole, Portsmouth, or as far as Bristol. The Bournemouth Pavilion hosts several concerts each year. Look online to book tickets for the BSO or other local symphonies and players. Depending on the venue, the show may be free and open to the public, which is a great way to save money while still seeing a world-famous orchestra.

Activity 4: Visit the Great Dorset Steam Fair

Those visiting Dorset in late August can enjoy the Great Dorset Steam Fair, a National Heritage Show. This is one of the largest outdoor fairs in the world. Many working steam engines are put on display during the five days of the event. The fair typically runs from the Wednesday after the August bank holiday. It is devoted to showing how people lived, worked, and played in bygone eras. Fans of the steampunk science fiction genre may enjoy the various types of steam-powered technology on display, as well as exhibits featuring clothes and implements of previous time periods. There are over 3,000 exhibits and trade show stands at the fair. Visitors can also enjoy rides, shows, live animals, and plenty of food.

Camping During the Great Dorset Steam Fair

Many come to the Great Dorset Steam Fair for the day, but there are enthusiasts who choose to camp on site for the full five days of the fair. Tent and caravan sites are both available. They fill up quickly, so arrive at the fair before it starts to get a good spot or pay in advance.

Activity 5: Visit the Keep Military Museum

Visiting the Keep Military Museum in Dorchester is the perfect activity for visitors with an interest in military history. It provides more than just weapons for viewing. It also displays medals, uniforms, plans, and objects related to important wartime events. Several exhibits detail what it was like to be a prisoner in the Keep and to live in the barracks as a soldier. Several regiments entrust materials and research to the museum, including the Dorset Regiment, Dorset Yeomanry, Dorset Militia, and 94 Field Regiment RA.

The Keep Military Museum requires an entry ticket, but if visitors donate their full price admission the museum provides free annual admission in return. Children under the age of eight can visit for free and there are various discounts for students, senior citizens, and families. The museum closes in the early evening, so visit during the day to explore the exhibits fully. The following table provides the museum's opening and closing hours.



Tuesday - Friday




10 am - 5 pm

10 am - 5 pm

10 am - 5pm




10 am - 4:30 pm



These hours are subject to change. The Keep Military Museum tends to be open for more hours during the summer period; from the beginning of April to the end of September.

Activity 6: Go on a Wine Tour of the Furleigh Estate

Travellers who wish to enjoy a good glass of wine on their short break can visit the Furleigh Estate in Bridport. The vineyard is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 11am to 4pm. The wine tour takes place at 2 pm. There is a modest fee for the tour, which concludes with a wine tasting at a converted barn on the grounds. Visitors can enjoy the scenery as they savour the wine. The winery boasts over 22,000 vines.

How to Buy Tickets for Activities to do While in Dorset for a Short Break on eBay

Before setting off on your trip to Dorset, visit eBay to check whether you can find some affordable deals. Many sellers offer tickets, vouchers, and travel services at a discount. This can be helpful when trying to stay within a budget, even for a short break. To find the most deals for your preferred activity, make use of the eBay search engine, visible on every page of the site. Just enter the search terms, for example, "Dorset tickets". This searches through thousands of listings and returns those that match your keywords. To find items within a particular budget, use the advanced search function.

Read the Item Description

Read the item description to ensure that you get the correct item for your short break to Dorset. Before buying any tickets, check that the seller is offering precisely what you need. Look at the dates to ensure that they are valid for the duration of your trip. Check the accepted payment methods offered by the seller and only pay by credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Never pay by cash or cheque.

Seller Feedback

Read the seller feedback to get a better idea of how previous customers felt about the level of service provided. This feedback can be accessed by clicking on the seller's name in a listing.


There is more to the south coast of England than picturesque beaches. Dorset is full of interesting activities for visitors. Start by enjoying the water at Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door. Visit the lovely old Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre to see the 1920s architecture and contemporary shows by popular performers. Check the shows that are available beforehand in order to ensure that tickets are available. The Keep Military Museum is a good way to spend the day with the family, but take note of the opening times to ensure that you can visit during your short break.

Visitors who wish to plan a trip around a major county event can visit during the five days of the Great Dorset Steam Fair, which features steam powered engines and various activities. Visit for just a day or stay for the whole week at a local campsite. Check on eBay for a range of tickets and travel services for a short break to Dorset.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides