Out & About: Things to do

In the immediate area, access to the SWCP is directly available from Rosewall, either joining the path towards Bowleaze Cove and then on into Weymouth and beyond. Or for access in the opposite direction towards Ringstead Bay and then further afield to Durdle Door and Lulworth is again easy from the campsite by leaving the site onto the road heading towards the sea. Access onto the coast path is then made from walking through the grounds of the Smugglers Public House after which you will be on the coast path.  A 20–30-minute walk from there will bring you to Ringstead Bay, a fine shingle beach popular with the locals. Or you can also access Ringstead by car, which is approximately a 5-minute journey and has easy access to the beach.  For keen walkers, the route to Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove will take approximately 3 hours and you will encounter very steep hills in places.

It is also possible to access the beach at Osmington from behind the Smugglers. Access is a little trickier here, via several steps. The beach here is much rockier, excellent for rock-pooling of course but please do note that the access can be tricky with very young children or those with decreased mobility.  If rock-pooling, please take care to return anything caught to the rock pools and not leave any creatures for lengthy periods in small buckets. 

The county town of Dorchester is approximately 8 miles away. Being a roman town there is plenty of history to discover. The town is home to the newly renovated Dorset Museum which is well worth a visit showcasing Natural Dorset with local finds of dinosaur bones, the famous author Thomas Hardy, local archaeology, many fascinating collections. The Shire Hall Museum contains the old courtroom and cells which was used from 1797 until 1955 again well worth a visit. If the Egyptians are of interest, there is also the Tutankhamun Museum. There are a good selection of cafés and restaurants in Dorchester and the first weekend in September, Dorchester is home to the Dorset County Show.  There are cinemas, a market on Wednesdays, car boot market on a Sunday morning, a good range of shops in the high street or in the Brewery Square development.

Weymouth is the closest town to Rosewall Camping and is well worth a visit if only for the beautiful Georgian Esplanade and beach, the Quay and harbourside with plentiful cafes and restaurants. There are a number of excellent seafood restaurants. Boat trips are available from the harbour, whether sightseeing trips (often dolphins making an appearance), for deep sea fishing or for thrill seekers the rib boats for a bay blast.  Weymouth has a beautiful sandy beach and all the usual attractions of a seaside town. The Pavilion also has regular entertainment throughout the year and the Nothe Fort offers an excellent opportunity to learn about the town's military history.

The lsle of Portland has spectacular views across the famous Chesil Beach and fleet lagoon. You can visit Portland Bill lighthouse and there are plentiful walks around the island taking in the fantastic views and the Tout Sculpture Park and nature reserve which were former quarries. The National Sailing Academy is located at Portland where you can try and array of water sports at the Official Test Centre (OTC) or you if you would like to try your hand at sailing on a tall ship, Moonfleet Tall Ship sails daily from Portland, please always refer to their website for details and booking information.

Located in rural Dorset, Rosewall is within easy reach of picturesque villages and towns of the county. Further afield, heading east, you may wish to visit the towns of Poole and Bournemouth or the famous Sandbanks area.  The famous arch of Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove are approximately a 15/20-minute drive from Rosewall. For keen walkers, you can walk the coast path from Rosewall to Durdle Door and Lulworth. This walk takes approximately 3 hours and please note, you will encounter very steep hills in places. Swanage with its steam railway and seaside town is a pleasant day out along with the National Trust’s Corfe Castle.  Travelling west you may wish to visit the thriving market town of Bridport with its street market on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, a vintage and antiques market on the last Sunday of every month, also permanent antiques shops open daily, farmers market every second Saturday and a trip to West Bay and its small harbour for an ice cream or fish and chips. From here you can travel further to Charmouth and Lyme Regis famous for its fossil hunting. 

There are attractions such as Monkey World in Wool and The Tank Museum at Bovington both providing great days out. Sculpture by the Lakes provides a peaceful day out located at Pallington Lakes. Leaflets are available here for most of the attractions nearby and good resources include the Resort Dorset magazine, and Visit Dorset for information on local attractions.

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