Watch Tanks in action with a jam packed demonstration filled with expert commentary every weekday at 1pm starting on Friday 30th March.
This Easter Holiday explore The Tank Museum and experience the biggest day out in history. Learn how tanks have evolved and how they are used in battle. Experience the thrill of riding in an M548 tracked vehicle. This working example of military hardware seats 16 at a time – so the whole family can jump on together. Available every day, 11.30am – 4.30pm, during the holidays, a £3.50pp charge applies. Take part in a range of family activities. Kids can also let off steam in our outdoor play area and in our new inside soft play area. Plus free family trails to keep them absorbed with teasers and puzzles!
9: Cadburys Easter Egg Hunt @Studland Bay(30th March -15th April) from 10:30-15:30
Follow this family trail around Knoll Beach to solve a whodunit mystery and collect a reward at the end.
8: Cadburys Easter egg Hunt @ Kingston Lacy (30th March – 15th April) from 10:00 – 16:00
Get ready for two weeks of fun and discovery as you spot the first signs of spring and experience nature bursting into life at Kingston Lacy. Become a nature detective to follow bunny’s clues and finish your adventure with a delicious, chocolatey treat for just £2.50pp
This Easter come ‘down the rabbit hole’ for some great family fun at Lulworth Castle. Join us every day from Friday 30 March to Monday 2 April between 10.30-5pm.
Inspired by the fantastical story of Alice in Wonderland, you can expect a whole host of fun activities including themed trails, Easter hunts, crafts, bouncy castle (weather permitting, age 7+), soft play for under 4s, crazy golf and, of course, white rabbits and Easter Eggs!!
Don’t forget to go and meet the Mad Hatter in the Castle whilst you’re exploring ….Refreshments will be available in the pop-up Courtyard Café. Cream teas, hot drinks, cakes and ice creams are available in the Castle Tearoom. Tickets include Free Parking. Adults £8, Child £6, under 4’s free. Family Ticket (2 adults, 3 children) £30. Tickets can be bought online or on the day.
6: Easter Activities and Egg Hunting @ Farmer Palmers (30th March – 2nd April)
Join us for our Easter Eggstravaganza over the Bank Holiday Weekend. Our fluffy, friendly Easter Bunny will be hiding hundreds of chocolate eggs out in the field, every day from Good Friday to Easter Monday inclusive. Egg Hunts start at approx. 2.30pm each day, no extra charge for egg hunts in addition to normal admission. There will also be plenty of animals to meet!
Get ready for a long weekend of fun and discovery as you spot the first signs of spring and experience nature bursting into life on Brownsea. Follow Bunny’s clues and finish your adventure with a delicious, chocolatey treat. Hunt maps can be picked up from Church field and are £2.50 per person. (Normal admission also applies.) The Engine Gift shop will also be selling beautiful crafts and spring goodies for you to carry on your adventure at home.
This Easter holiday the Outdoor Centre will also be hosting three Ranger days where young people will have the opportunity to sample the Scouting life by testing their wild skills and having a go at den building. Sessions will be held on 5, 9 and 12 April from 11.30am-3.30pm and are £15 per child (not including boat fare or entry fee).
4: Easter Eggstravaganza @ Monkey World (30th March – 2nd April) – 10:00 till 17:00
FREE Easter Eggs for the first 100 children into the park from Good Friday until Easter Monday! The children’s Activity Centre is also open all week for fun filled activities and information. Learn about EAST at Easter- our charity in Vietnam, rescuing rehabilitating and releasing back into the wild endangered primates.
3: Easter egg trails at Corfe Castle (30th March – 2nd April)
Seek out and discover the Purbeck nature & wildlife inspired clues to claim your Cadbury chocolatey treat. Please note that normal admission charges will apply plus it costs £2.50 per person to take part in the trail. Booking not necessary. Daily from 10.00am until 4.00pm. Unfortunately dogs are not welcome at this event.
2: Easter in Bournemouth
* Why not head to the beach and walk the seven mile stretch of golden sands from Southbourne to Alum Chine
Why not join us for a 4 course Easter Lunch on Sunday 1st April 2018 in our Cunarder Restaurant accompanied by our resident pianist including activities for the kids and free use of our hotel leisure facilities at just £18.50 per adult (to include a glass of wine) and £8.95 per child (under 12’s). Click here for the menu
The kids can take advantage of our games room with a pool table, table tennis table, Nintendo Wii, a selection of board games and more….
With its perfect mix of history, countryside and coastline there are miles of scenery to explore and activities to do appealing to holiday makers with a variety of interests.
A lover of long walks and orienteering expeditions? Why not walk the Jurassic Coast and witness the array of wildlife, dramatic cliff-tops and stunning landscape for yourself. We’ve put together a few local walks for you to take advantage of. Check them out here or download the PDF version.
Want to get away to a seaside haven? Dorset provides an array of blue-flagged beaches – ideal for relaxing in the sunshine, taking up your preferred water sport or simply building a sandcastle with the ones you love.
If you’re looking for a more relaxed escape away, why not head inland and discover Dorset’s wealth of historic castles, fantastic houses and impeccably kept gardens. Take a stroll through beautifully quaint villages and seaside towns offering an array of eateries for you to try the fresh local produce in the presence of incredible views.
With something for everyone, we have put together a list of the MUST DO’s in Dorset to keep you entertained while your away in this beautiful location.
Poole Harbour, Brownsea Island & Sandbanks
Why not take a trip to Poole Quay and Old Town, both steeped in history and offering attractions to suit all interests. Poole Quay is the gateway to the stunning harbour and islands making it the best place to take breakfast, lunch or dinner whilst watching ships, fishing boats or luxury Sunseeker yachts as they enter and leave the bay.
When visiting Poole Quay you must make time to stop of at Poole Pottery. Witness famous artists and modellers at work and watch demonstrations or get your hands dirty and have a go at painting your own masterpiece.
Also a short walk from Poole Quay is Poole Park and The Ark, offering a wide variety of activities from water sports on the lake to crazy golf, ice skating and 3 levels of soft play with slides, tunnels and interactive zones.
From Poole Quay, voyage across the water with City Cruises, taking in Europe’s largest natural harbour dotted with tiny islands. Stop off at the National Trust’s Brownsea Island, home of the scouting movement. This wildlife haven, is free of traffic and easily walk-able – spot red squirrels and migrating birds or take a picnic and find your own beach cove for a quiet afternoon away.
If a relaxing boat trip isn’t your cup of tea why not take to the shallow waters of Poole Harbour & Sandbanks and try out one of over 25 water based activities they have to offer at The Watersports Academy. Whether its windsurfing, sailing, paddle boarding or fishing for your own dinner on a chartered boat trip, you’re sure to have fun. Sandbanks, known as one of the most expensive places in the world to live, also offers fantastic, wide sandy beaches and lots of sophisticated cafes and eateries to stop off and take in the gorgeous views.
Just a short drive from Sandbanks is Compton Acres, one of the finest privately-owned and important ornamental gardens in England. Explore over ten acres of stunning individual gardens displaying exquisite plants from all over the world, browse the treasures in the Gifted Moment store offering excellent shopping opportunities of Dorset-made goods or attend one of the many events held all year round from Sculpture Trails, Wine Tasting and more.
Studland & Swanage
Take the old-fashioned chain ferry across the mouth of Poole Harbour from Sandbanks (either on foot, by car or by bus) and enjoy Studland Bay. Famous for its sand dunes, heathland and nature reserve, it makes a wonderful day out. Walk through paths of wild garlic to the iconic Old Harry Rocks enjoying fabulous coastal views, peering down at smugglers’ coves and looking back at the Bournemouth Coast.
Follow the roads from Studland in to the seaside town of Swanage, situated at the eastern end of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site. Swanage is a traditional seaside resort with a long promenade and plenty of interesting shops. Try travelling back in time on the steam railway, take a stroll along Swanage Pier while taking in its Victorian heritage or visit the Durlston Country Park nature reserve soaking up its stunning views and an array of wildlife while setting out on one of its many marked trails and coastal walks.
This pretty old village, with a National Trust shop, lies at the foot of dramatic castle ruins. Originally built by William the Conqueror on a natural hill, Corfe Castle’s purpose was to guard the principal route through the Purbeck Hills, where Purbeck marble was once quarried. With fallen walls and secret places, there are tales of treachery and treason around every corner for families to discover. As well as a castle visit, Corfe is also home to a unique range of independent shops, the Corfe Castle Town trust museum and separate information centre, the Purbeck mine museum,the model village and it is the connecting town for the Swanage Steam railway.
This World Heritage Coastline spans 95 miles and is a “must see” when in Dorset. Visit Lulworth Cove, Kimmeridge, Ringstead Bay, Durdle Door, or Worbarrow Bay with its deserted village of Tyneham. Explore rock pools, hunt for fossils, enjoy the walking paths or just sit back and experience some of the country’s most stunning scenery, from sweeping beaches, dramatic cliffs, blustery headlands and sheltered coves. It’s a geologists dream and a photographer’s haven. Fancy a long walk? Try tackling a section of the beautiful Dorset Coastal Path (you’ll need six days to walk its entirety – it’s 86 miles from Poole Harbour in the east to Lyme Regis in the west!) Along the way, you’ll uncover many fascinating stories: the ‘walk through time’ – an exceptional record of the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods of the Earth’s history; stories of farming, fishing, quarrying, smuggling, of war and fortification; and spot some of Dorset’s wonderful wildlife along the way.
Wimborne Minster and the surrounding area offer fun for all ages, from high adrenaline activities to more gentle pursuits, from nature based attractions to unique heritage sites.
Visit Moors Valley and follow their outdoor play trails, hire a bike and test yourself on their varying ability cycle paths or take a trip on the narrow gauge steam railway. Why not live life adventurously and explore the park from a monkey’s perspective! Go Ape are an outdoor activities company offering tree top walks, forest Segway tours, tree top junior adventures and zip wires to all ages.
Explore the extensive grounds of Kingston Lacy House & Gardens: Owned by the National Trust, this 17th Century mansion contains an outstanding collection of paintings and other works of art. The house and gardens are set in a wooded park with attractive walks, covering over 43 acres and feature restored Japanese Gardens, a Victorian Fernery and Formal Gardens. Located on the Kingston Lacy estate is the Badbury Ring’s (an Iron Age hill fort), so you can go and fly your kite from the highest height.
Take a trip to Knoll Gardens and witness the breeze blow through the stunning ornamental grasses which the four acre of gardens are famous for and learn how to bring the wow factor to your own garden.
Located in Wimborne town centre is the Priest’s House Museum & Garden, delve in to the town’s archaeology and discover hidden gems that have been found in the area. Enjoy the town and its more recent history from a different perspective at the Wimborne Model Village or imagine the roar of water and the grind of mill stone at the White Mill.
Hengistbury Head and Christchurch
Hengistbury Head is a dramatic headland to the south of Christchurch Harbour. It is an outstanding site for wildlife and archaeology and offers beautiful beaches and views across the New Forest, Isle of Wight and Purbecks. Access is easy for all ages and abilities. There is a Land Train (great fun for both young and old!) linking to Mudeford with its colourful beach huts and beach café, ferries to Christchurch, as well as a summer bus service to Bournemouth. A perfect day out – you are in the countryside but still close to the town!
With two rivers to walk or boat down, two historic quays to discover and two historic castles to explore, Christchurch is an ideal holiday playground. The historic Priory Church and Castle ruins help give an old world charm to the bustling town centre with its range of independent shops, high street stores and regular markets. Visit the clifftop grounds and delight in the buildings and interiors of Highcliffe Castle or use your imagination to bring back to life Christchurch Castle from its ruins. You can also take in the collections and exhibitions of this historical town at the Red House Museum and Garden.
The New Forest
Right on Christchurch’s door step is the New Forest, a great place for the whole family to get out and get some fresh air. Take a scenic drive through the New Forest to Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway. Covering over 200 acres, the gardens hold the famous Rothschild collection of azaleas, camellias & rhododendrons. To make the most of the day, visit Buckler’s Hard, a picturesque 18th century traffic-free village on the banks of the Beaulieu River. Buckler’s Hard is a little over two miles from its sister attraction of Beaulieu, another pretty village where visitors can tour the National Motor Museum as well as Palace House and Beaulieu Abbey. Head in to Burley, hire a bike and tackle the different cycle paths available to follow, stopping in the suggested pubs on the way. A great place to relax and enjoy a picnic in the sunshine or take the dogs for a walk.
There are so many picturesque Dorset villages from Milton Abbas, with its row of thatched houses, Beaminster with its fine medieval church with a 16th century tower to the pretty village of Cerne Abbas with its famous giant on the hill. The quaint village of Moreton is famous as the final resting place of “Lawrence of Arabia”, and has an 18th Century church with stunning stained engraved glass windows. The result, especially on a sunny day, is a spectacle worth seeing.
In the village of Higher Bockhampton you can visit Thomas Hardy’s cottage, owned by the National Trust, and walk in Hardy’s footsteps on some lovely trails surrounding the cottage.
Visit the small market town of Shaftesbury, the home of gold hill, made famous by the Hovis advert. Athlehampton House & Gardens is a quintessential manor house with a labyrinth of gardens each with their own theme. Water forms the recurring feature with fountains, pools and the River Piddle on its doorstep.
Use The Rivera as a base while you Discover Dorset!
We are very fortunate to be within easy striking distance of a marvellous selection of beautiful and fascinating Dorset destinations. Whatever your interests, we guarantee you will enjoy yourself to the full with a wide range of places and attractions available, and their all at our door step!
Stay with us on our Discover Dorset package and enjoy Dorset cream tea on arrival, a full English breakfast each morning and dinner every evening using some of the finest Dorset produce. We will even provide you with a suggested itinerary of where to go, what to see and what to do!
Stay 4 nights or more and we may even upgrade you to a sea facing room with private balcony if available.
Booking is simple- Just click here and select your dates!
Have you booked a family holiday over the Easter break in Bournemouth but are struggling to find activities in or around the area to keep all the family entertained while you’re away?
I think everyone can agree that no Easter is ever quite complete without an appearance from the Easter bunny who has hidden lots of chocolate Easter treats around the garden to be found by the kids, the smell of hot cross buns with melted butter being baked in the oven and the flowering of daffodils to bring in the Easter season.
Well we have put together our top 10 Family attractions in Dorset over the Easter Holidays for you to choose from:
Watch Tanks in action with a jam packed demonstration filled with expert commentary every weekday at 1pm starting on Monday 10th April. Or if that wasn’t enough, why not experience the thrill of riding in an M548 tracked vehicle yourself with the whole family. The vehicle seats up to 16 people so everyone can join in and rides are available every day from 11:30am- 4:30pm with a £3.50 charge per person. As well as this you can take part in a range of family activities. Kids can also let off steam in the outdoor play area and in their new inside soft play area, adjacent to the Cafe. Plus free family trails to keep them absorbed with teasers and puzzles!
9: Cadbury’s Easter egg hunt @ Studland Bay (8th-23rd April) from 10:30-15:30
Why not take a bunny hop in to Studland’s spring time on their Easter Trail. Follow the clues around the nature reserve, take in all the beautiful scenery and watch the wildlife while you see the world through Bunny’s eyes. Collect your Cadbury’s chocolate prize at the end. You could even take a long walk across Studland’s award winning beach and dip your toes in the sea or grab some lunch in the beach cafe.
This Easter enjoy discovering Kingston Lacy’s garden, hunting out the eggs to claim your Cadbury chocolate prize while you step foot in the far east as you explore the seven acre Japanese garden with its cherry blossoms having slowly started to come in to bloom. Or discover what is in store at the Nursery Wood with its spectacular display of azalea, camellia, rhododendron and flowering cherry trees. All for just an extra £2.50 per trail. Normal admission applies.
Looking for some eggcellent family fun this Easter? Then join them ‘down the rabbit hole’ from 14th April to 17th April, 10.30-5pm.
This year Lulworth Castle have been inspired by the fantastical story of Alice in Wonderland so you can expect a whole host of activities at their fairy tale castle including themed trails, egg hunts, crafts, bouncy castle (weather permitting, age 7+), soft play for under 4’s, crazy golf and, of course, white rabbits and Easter Eggs!! Don’t forget to go and meet the Mad Hatter in the Castle whilst you’re exploring ….Tickets include Free Parking. Adults £7, Child £5, under 4’s free. Family Ticket (2 adults, 3 children) £25. Tickets can be bought online here or on the day.
Celebrate spring with baby animals, tractor rides, a petting zoo, the Easter Bunny and 4 days of Eggcellent Egg Hunts starting promptly at 2.40pm daily in the field at the end of the outdoor animal pens. We suggest you head down there for 2:30pm.
Join in with the Island’s Easter activities and have a go at their special Easter trail with Cadbury Easter Egg prizes. Head along to Church Field for free games, arts, crafts, face painting (weekends only), and Cadbury Easter Egg trail (£3.00 per trail). Normal admission charges apply. Daily from 10.00am until 4.00pm
4: Eggstra special Easter fun @ Adventure Wonderland‘s award winning family attraction! 14th – 17th April
Adventure Wonderland is the place to be this Easter with free egg hunts in their giant hedge maze and ever popular egg and spoon races. These will be taking place over the 4 day Easter weekend but there’s lots more to do throughout the whole holidays, with over 30 rides and attractions, both indoors and outdoors from the Jabberwocky, Water Wind Up, Wild Bills Runaway Train, The Ghostly Galleon and Turbo Teacups to more gentle attractions such as Curvy Caterpillars and The Flying Elephants…. Not forgetting, of course, The Battle Boats! Visit the Animal Corner, which includes baby bunnies, kid goats and Spring lambs! And it’s guaranteed fun whatever the weather with their vast indoor adventure play centre, Wild Thing!
Throughout the whole Easter holiday period there will be other events, and BRAND NEW live shows in the Happydrome Theatre, featuring all your favourite Wonderland characters!
It will be fun for the whole family as you take part in the Easter Egg Trail around Corfe Castle! Seek out and discover the Bunny’s nature clues to claim your Cadbury chocolate treat. Please note that normal admission charges will apply plus £2.50 per person to take part in the trail. Booking not necessary. Daily from 10.00am until 4.00pm. Unfortunately dogs are not welcome.
2: Easter in Bournemouth
Why not head to the beach with golden sands that stretch up to seven miles from Southbourne to Alum Chine and beyond. Check out our guide to the best walks in and around Alum Chine here.
Visit the Oceanarium on Bournemouth Seafront and immerse yourself within 12 naturally themed zones and experience a fun and engaging underwater adventure around the waters of the world. – Make amazing savings of up to 30% off tickets when you book online and visit between Monday 3rd and Sunday 23rd April 2017.
Go and enjoy a movie at the new BH2 leisure complex and dine in one of the many different eating establishments.
Or you could: Discover Dorset and all its beauty with the Riviera’s guide to the best walking routes and suggested things to see and do while you stay at the hotel for just £55pppn bed, breakfast and evening meal. You will also get a cream tea on arrival. Stay for four nights and we will even upgrade you to a sea facing room with a balcony (subject to availability)
1: COME AND VISIT OR STAY AT THE RIVIERA HOTEL THIS SPRING
Situated on Alum Chine and close to the beautiful wooded Chine Suspension Bridge & Tropical Gardens, the Riviera Hotel is the perfect location for your holiday. View a map here.
Alum Chine is famous for its colourful Beach Huts and award-winning Blue Flag beach. It is extremely popular with families because, in addition to its lifeguard patrolled beach, it features a children’s play area, paddling pool and toilet facilities.
The equally beautiful beaches of Poole are also within walking distance, including the desirable Sandbanks peninsula and the bustling Harbour area. A 15-minute ferry trip will transport you to The Purbecks, making The Riviera Hotel the perfect base for you and your family to explore the whole of Dorset.
The boutique shopping and eateries of Westbourne are a short walk from the hotel and you will find Bournemouth Beach and the town centre just twenty minutes walk along the promenade.
Whether you are a guest or a visitor, the Riviera hotel and apartments has loads to offer over the Easter holidays and the Spring months to keep all the family entertained including:
Dine with us for a four course Easter lunch on Sunday 16th April for £18.95 per adult with a free glass of wine and £8.95 per child (under 12’s)
The kids can take advantage of our games room with:
A Nintendo Wii (controllers etc. at reception), Pool Table, Table Tennis Table, Board games and more…
Mondays and Thursdays are ‘Create you own pizza nights’.
Whether you want a vigorous workout or just to relax and rejuvenate, you will find our Leisure Club has everything. How about a dip before breakfast in the indoor pool, a reviving soak in the bubbling spa bath, chill out in our relaxation room or an invigorating session in the studio gym.
Unique Boutique at The Coast Spa offers a tranquil atmosphere designed to put you at ease. Offering a wide variety of luxury spa treatments and packages along with hairdressing and everyday beauty essentials all tailored to your needs.
Sit back and enjoy a drink on our sun terrace overlooking our outdoor pool or try a selection of tapas dishes from our new hotel bar menu while you enjoy the views.
Whatever you decide to do this Easter, we hope you have a fantastic time with all your family and friends around you. From the whole Riviera Team, we wish you a fantastic Easter break filled with joy (and maybe some chocolate too).