Things to do

New Year in Dorset

Get out and about in between your Christmas and New Year celebrations. Make the most of your holiday time in Dorset with some of my ideas to keep you busy this festive season.

The festivities have come to an end. You picked the perfect holiday cottage. You enjoyed the Christmas turkey and the neverending boxes of mince pies. The kids have already played all of their new games and there’s been that traditional round of Monopoly which always end with a grumpy dad. You’ve tried some new leftovers recipes. Loved every gift you opened and marvelled at the kindness of your friends and family. Now you’re ready to see in the New Year. It's been a long year but that won’t stop me saying that next year has crept up on us very quickly. 

But before welcoming in the New Year, rushing back to work and running around after everyone else again, take a moment to enjoy your holiday. Staying in a holiday cottage in Dorset is the best way to explore the county at your own pace. Take your time and see the things you want to see. That period between Christmas and New Year is a great time to get out and about as things tend to be a little calmer. The county also looks incredibly different this time of year, making for some beautiful snapshots to share on facebook.

Take the time to make memories in Dorset this Christmas and New Year with these lovely ideas to keep you busy and get you out of the house.


Fossil hunting on the Jurassic coast

Fossil hunting is a year-round activity to do in Dorset, a true family classic. It’s a magical experience when you find a well-formed fossil that you can take home as a memento of your visit. Hunting keeps the kids busy but is also a great lesson for them about the history of the Earth and the land they’re exploring. It could even spark a lifelong interest in fossils, you never know. Head to one of the National Trust car parks at Studland, walk to Old Harry rocks and then head back for lunch at the Bankes Armes to warm yourself by the roaring fire.


Shop ‘til you drop

Dorset is famous for its seaside towns and farmers markets, making it the perfect place to pick up some bargains. There are plenty of boutique shops around Dorset where you can find individual pieces to compliment your brand new Christmas clothes or pick up a late Christmas gift if you’ve forgotten someone (oops!). If you crave the high street sales, head to Bournemouth or Weymouth for all the shops you know and love.


Climb a hilltop fort

Corfe Castle is one of my favourite days out in Dorset. There’s plenty of room for kids to let off steam or for couples to find a quiet spot to chat and relax. But there are loads of other castles and forts across Dorset that you can explore. Throw caution to the wind and head out without a plan, then just stop where you want. It’s an exciting way to see the county without the stress and rush of an itinerary. 


Race a rubber duck at Lyme Regis

A Lyme Regis tradition is to race rubber ducks on New Year’s day before heading to the beach for a cheeky dip in the sea. Not something you’ll find me doing this year but it’s certainly something for the more adventurous. Take part in the race or just place bets on which ones are going to win. Make sure you invest in some festive swimwear for your dip afterwards too. Just like the rest of the festive season, you’ll want to look your best for all those photo opportunities.


Get organised for the New Year

Now that this year has come to a close, it’s time to start moving forward into the New Year. What better way to use your time at New Year than planning ahead? Make the most of your high spirits by checking those school holiday dates and booking in your holidays for the next year. You’ll have something to start looking forward to and feel prepared for going back to work after your break.


Don’t forget that we have an amazing choice of holiday cottages to stay in across the South West. Why not try a trip to Devon for next year?


More reading

New Year in Somerset

New Year in Somerset

See the sights of Somerset this Christmas and New Year by exploring some of the best bits the county has to offer in the winter.

Things to do 4 years ago Kayleigh Hardy
New Year in Hampshire

New Year in Hampshire

Spend that time between Christmas and New Year making the most of your holiday in Hampshire. Here are some ideas to get you started on things to do to relax over the festive period.

Things to do 4 years ago Kayleigh Hardy
Top four Dorset Christmas markets

Top four Dorset Christmas markets

Get into the festive spirit in Dorset this Christmas with our top four Christmas markets from across the county.

Things to do 3 years ago Kayleigh Hardy
Sampling the River Cottage Food Festival

Sampling the River Cottage Food Festival

Itʼs not what you would call a ʻhugeʼ festival, but itʼs all the more special because of that. If anything it feels like a huge family garden party, if only I had that garden!

Things to do 8 years ago James Chubb