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Dorset holiday parks

Why you should consider a holiday park for your West Dorset holiday

Guest blog by Robbie from Holiday Park Guru

freshwater holiday park
Holiday park on the Jurassic Coast

If holiday parks make you think of Heidi Hi and knobbly knee competitions then I’d encourage you to take another look. Nowadays, they provide a cheap accommodation option for families or groups holidaying together.

Dorset has a choice of more than 25 holiday parks or more if you include those which offer things like posh lodges rather than caravans. Make sure you do a bit of research first as they vary massively in terms of quality and what they offer.

”Broadly speaking, you can split Dorset’s holiday parks into two groups”

The first group of holiday parks are big, busy and full of entertainment. If you felt inclined you could probably go for a full week without leaving the site, although personally I’d rather explore the county’s coastline a little. They are usually part of big chains and nearly always have indoor swimming pools as well as a restaurant, a variety of sports pitches and kids’ clubs. In the evening, there is usually entertainment for the grown-ups. The posher ones have saunas, gyms and more unusual activities like bushcraft or watersports.

You’ll generally find these busy parks around the bigger towns in Dorset, so you can also get to the most popular family attractions without a long drive.

The second group of holiday parks are those which offer only very basic facilities, with a focus on location, peace and relaxation. If evening entertainment, noisy swimming pools and hundreds of other families sounds like a nightmare then I’d take a look at these.

fossil hunting at charmouth
Fossil hunting on Charmouth beach

Although quieter parks usually don’t offer much more entertainment than a launderette and a playing field, they are a decent base for exploring Dorset. They are often in prime locations near to the Jurassic coastline and have a friendly, family-run feel.

Prices vary, but if you’re travelling in a group of 4, 6 or 8 you’ll struggle to find a cheaper alternative (unless you’re willing to camp or have a generous aunt with a second home in Lyme Regis).

Of course, it’s worth reading a few reviews to get an idea of whether it is a nice modern park or one which is due for an upgrade. Most big holiday parks have an overall review score, which will include the usual range of people who thought it was amazing through to those who had their week ruined because they lost their pound in the swimming pool locker.

The second is reviews of different class of caravan. If a big holiday park has recently upgraded or replaced its ‘bronze’ caravans you might find they get better reviews than the more expensive options.

Holiday Park Guru is a guide to caravan parks in England and Wales

burton bradstock jurassic coast
The Jurassic Coast at Burton Bradstock