On our doorstep

Take a walk along the stunning Dorset coast path; explore an iconic ruined castle; or go donkey riding on the beach. From dozens of quaint towns and villages to untouched countryside and varied coastline – you won’t know where to start. 

Help is at hand! Our obliging and knowledgeable staff will advise you on local activities. Perhaps you’d like to take your monkeys to Monkey World – Europe’s largest ape sanctuary – where you can watch the rescued orangutans, gibbons, tamarinds and many of our other closest relatives. You might prefer to explore the dramatic ruins of medieval Corfe Castle – and add to the excitement by taking a miniature steam train from Swanage to the charming village of Corfe. Or maybe marvelling at an array of military vehicles at Bovington Tank Museum is more your thing – during school holidays, the tanks can be seen in action in the outdoor arena.

Nature-lovers can spend a bucolic day at Abbotsbury Swannery, with its 3,000 swans, you can also visit the Subtropical Gardens or Children’s Farm – complete with pony riding, indoor play and animal feeding. And let’s not forget a whole coast-full of wonderful beaches for those sunny days: nearby Weymouth is a classic seaside resort with donkey rides, deckchairs on the prom and ice cream a-plenty, while there’s a wealth of rocky coves and secluded beaches along the coast. Just a few miles away is the dramatic rock arch of Durdle Door, abutted by two sheltered shingle beaches. The South West Coastal Path is easily accessible from Moonfleet for the more energetic families.

Fossil hunters ahoy! A 45-minute drive away from Moonfleet Manor is the famed ‘Jurassic coast’ – where the top layers of earth have eroded to expose the fossilized remains of ancient life-forms in the rocks below. Some of the best places to spend a day searching for fossil ammonites, sea creatures, or even a dinosaur, are at Charmouth and Lyme Regis.