Where to head offsite to in Dorset during Camp Bestival

Camp Bestival is always the highlight of our year and there is so much to see and do onsite over four days that there is no need to go offsite at all. However, Dorset is my home county and I understand those coming from farther afield may be keen to explore some of the hidden treasures that we have to offer, so here are my top tips.

My first suggestion is literally minutes from Lulworth Castle, home to Camp Bestival itself and is one of Dorset’s most loved beaches – Lulworth Cove. Tread in Brad Pitt’s footsteps and explore the pretty horseshoe-shaped cove and relax with an ice cream on the beach or check out one of its seafood restaurants.

Lulworth Cove

If you are up for a bit of exercise then head west over the clifftop for a half an hour walk to the magnificent Durdle Door stone arch. This walk isn’t suitable for prams / pushchairs so if you have a baby I would recommend a back carrier and be aware that it is quite hilly so little legs may get tired.

Durdle Door

If you head east from Lulworth Cove and again just 5 minutes drive from the site, you can visit Tyneham Village which was evacuated in 1943 during WWII and has been deserted ever since.

Tyneham Village School

It is a truly fascinating place to explore, with derelict houses to clamber through as well as a school house set up for lessons from the beginning of the 20th Century and the Church of St Mary’s with information about all the families that originally lived in this small village by the sea.

Telephone Box

If you are feeling energetic, there is a 20 minute walk of approximately one mile to the stunning Worbarrow Bay – one of our favourite and quietest beaches on the Jurassic Coast.

Worbarrow Bay

If fossil hunting is something you are keen on, Kimmeridge Bay is a 20 minute drive away and boasts the best rock-pooling and safest snorkelling site in Dorset, plus easy to find fossils that are on display at every turn.

Kimmeridge Bay

If a bit of culture is more your style then a visit to Corfe Castle in Swanage is a must. The dramatic ruins stand on a natural hill guarding the principal route through the Purbeck Hills.

Corfe Castle

Just a few minutes from Corfe Castle is the traditional seaside town of Swanage, with a lovely bay to explore, quaint souvenir shops and a working steam railway. One of the hidden gems of the town is Durlston Country Park which is home to the Great Globe – 40 tons of Purbeck Limestone fashioned into a globe.

Durlston Country Park

If war history is more your cup of tea, The Tank Museum at Bovington is a ten minute drive from Lulworth and home to 300 vehicles. It is regarded as the best in the world and includes the world’s first ever tank – Little Willie, the feared German Tiger tank and the modern Challenger 2.

Tank Museum

Just a couple of minutes from the Tank Museum is Monkey World ape rescue centre, home to several species of primates that have been rescued from illegal trading all around the world. It also have an amazing children’s park where mine would happily spend all day!

Monkey World

If you fancy heading West then Weymouth is about a half an hour drive away and is packed full of fun things to do in the summer months with fun fairs, sand sculptures and even the Jurassic Tower which offers fabulous views of the Jurassic coast.


Are you going to Camp Bestival – do you plan to stay onsite or explore some of what Dorset has to offer?


21 thoughts on “Where to head offsite to in Dorset during Camp Bestival

  1. Unfortunately My family & I visited Dorset last August – it rained when visiting Monkey World & all the monkeys hid inside out of the rain (most sensible of them) – the only cafe with shelter was heaving – and it was a disappointing day out.I’d advise to visit on a dry day! The tank museum was very busy but ideal place to visit in the wet – we got there as it opened & had no long queues – by lunchtimes the queues were so long people waited over 2 hours to get in. I recommend the Swanery at Abbotsbury just outside of Weymouth.

    1. That is such a shame. The Swannery is lovely and I adore it when the cygnets have just hatched. The tropical gardens and little farm are great too

  2. Wow some beautiful places to visit, the beach loves divine and I miss that part of the country. I’d love to go to Camp Besitval, it looks fantastic. We will hopefully be venturing down that way this year so have a few of these places on my list now.

  3. So many great places to visit, love the idea of a walk at the beach, away from the crowds. Hope the weather will be nice and you will be able to have a splash in as well!xx

  4. Fab post Kara, nice to know there is so much to do locally. We’ve not been to Dorset for a long time (must sort that!), it’s a great spot. We must get to Camp Bestival too, hear so many great things about it but we’ve never been. Fingers crossed for awesome weather!

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