Fringed with fossil-flecked cliffs, hedgerow-lined lanes and the quaint sort of tea-houses that make it such a quintessentially British location, Dorset is the perfect place to go on a relaxing Mother’s Day break. Whether visitors emerge from the splendour of The Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & Spa to walk the Thomas Hardy trail or depart from the historic Acorn Inn to hop on a sailing boat in Studland, there’s a wealth of ways to make this Mother’s Day in Dorset extra special.
Explore Brownsea Island
The birthplace of the Scouts & Guides movements, Brownsea Island will forever be associated with Baden-Powell’s little troopers building shelters, learning their knots and so on. It’s also a lovely place for a wander, however. Shaded by woodland and skirted by lagoons, the island forms a nature reserve of the first order. It’s not all wilderness though, with a café and gift shop ensuring families can enjoy teas, cakes and biscuits – and one another’s company, of course.
Learn About Lady Bankes of Corfe Castle
Few women come more formidable than Lady Bankes of Corfe Castle. A mother to ten children, she famously defended the castle single-handedly during long parliamentary sieges – until finally betrayed by one of her garrison during the English Civil War. Climb the ramparts, the bare ribs of this great fortress, to see where she lived out her days of defiance. If nothing else, the views the tower affords of the Purbeck Hills are unmatched for miles around.
Walk the Thomas Hardy Trail
Thanks to novels such as The Mayor of Casterbridge and Far From the Madding Crowd, Dorset will forever be known as Thomas Hardy country. And families can make a day’s worth of entertainment by following the county’s greatest writer around some of his famous literary references on this trail. Starting at his birthplace at Higher Bockhampton, the route snakes its way through some idyllic parts of Dorchester, Weymouth and Max Gate, ensuring fans of the writer’s wistful “Wessex” are never disappointed.
Feed the Monkeys at Monkey World
Enjoy a fun-filled family day out at Monkey World this Mother’s Day. 65 acres in size and part of several international breeding programmes for endangered species, the Monkey World sanctuary plays an important role in caring for apes that have been abused in Britain and abroad. Home to over 250 primates, it’s a delightful patch of Dorset that provides much-needed insights into these intelligent and sensitive creatures.
Go Sailing in Studland
There are plenty of places to learn how to sail near the Studland peninsula, whilst surrounded by unspoilt shores, caves, geological wonders like Old Harry’s Rocks, as well as little islands such as Brownsea. And it’s not just sailing boats that are on offer. Visitors can kayak, kite-surf, paddleboard, water-ski or even dive around some of Britain’s best slices of coastline – just remember to wear a wetsuit!
Eat at a Gastropub
Keep spirits high this Mother’s Day by having lunch at our very own 16th century coaching inn, Acorn Inn. Popular with locals and visitors looking to experience an award-winning restaurant, The Inn focuses on locally sourced ingredients and British classics such as fish and chips and slow-roasted pork belly. These are both dishes that tend to be followed by aged Dorset cheeses and sticky toffee pudding – and perhaps some Bouchard Finlayson wine.