things to do and see

Things to do…places to see

General Information


Mallards is ideally situated for exploring the Jurassic Coast, and whatever the weather you can always find something interesting and fun to do. Apart from the information below there is so much more to see and enjoy.

Enjoy a nostalgic steam train ride on the Purbeck line.  Steam trains run every weekend throughout the year with daily running’s from April to October.  The railway currently runs along 6 miles of track between Swanage and Norden, through the beautiful Isle of Purbeck, passing the magnificent ruins of Corfe Castle.  This line is now linked to the main line at Wareham.

We welcome cyclists and walkers and we are only a few hundred metres down the lane from miles of trails to explore.

Close to the bed and breakfast in Moreton, set in a very pretty village in the heart of the Dorset countryside. The lane is lined with thacthed cottages.  World famous for the beautiful etched windows by Lawrence Whistler in its church, St Nicholas. Also the final resting place of Lawrence of Arabia, TE Lawerence. There is a ford with long foot bridge, lovely walks and cycle way through the forest & award winning tea rooms. Beautiful walled garden and cafe. Bovington tank museum and Monkey world nearby. Take a short drive towards the coast to West Lulworth to see the horseshoe cove and durdle door.


Fantastic fireworks over Swanage bay every Saturday evening from carnival week to the end of August.

more on


Indoor Activities

Tank Museum Bovington Tel: 01929 405096 
The tank museum houses the worlds finest collection of tanks.Excellent facilities are provided at the museum including ample free parking, large picnic area and childrens playground, full disabled access and extensive gift shop.

Monkey World – This centre is seen on tv. rescues monkeys from harm from around the world.



Corfe Castle Museum
Housed in the smallest Town Hall in England the Museum has images and artifacts taken from Corfe’s past with the clay, stone and Purbeck Marble industries and snapshots of how the village became the place it is today.

Langton Matravers & Purbeck Stone Industry
The Langton Matravers Local History and Preservation Society has been amassing a collection of over 19,000 items from the parish which illustrates the local history and life of the village. These are all properly documented and stored, but owing to limited accommodation, have been seen only at occasional short exhibitions, generally in the Village Hall. In 2002 it was decided to install display cases and arrange Special Exhibitions each year at the Museum. These will show a range of our collection throughout the season. Car parking is free.

Tel: 01929 432168 or 422218 for opening times.

Burngate stone carving centre
Langton Matravers – runs stone carving courses. more details

Wareham Town Museum tells the story of the Wareham area from prehistoric times to the present day. It has a special section on Lawrence of Arabia.

Wareham Town was visited regularly by T E Lawrence during his latter years when he was living at Clouds Hill, his retreat near Bovington, and Wareham Town museum has devoted a special section to Lawrence with important documents and other exhibits connected with his full and fascinating life.

There are also many Exhibits within Wareham Museum ranging from a collection of pottery made in Wareham during the Roman period, to samples of rocks and fossils from the varied rock types of Purbeck, including the cast of a footprint of a dinosaur Iguanodon estimated to be about 150 million years old.

Sports Centre
Purbeck Sports Centre is a modern, accessible leisure centre featuring some of the finest facilities on the south coast. It is situated half a mile north of Wareham town centre, in the heart of rural Dorset. Everyone is welcome, either a a regular or for a ‘one-off’ visit. There is ample free parking including designated bays for disabled customers.

The centre is run by Purbeck District Council in conjunction with Dorset County Council as a multi-use facility – this means that as well as serving the local school during the day in term time, it is also available to the general public on a ‘pay and play’ basis, guaranteeing access to everyone. No membership is required.

For those staying at Mallard House there is a holiday park 2 miles away open to the public which has ski slope, swimming pool with wave machine and various other activities.

Theatres and Entertainment

The Rex Cinema, Wareham
The cinema is a Grade II listed building which still uses the original gas lighting and has been a cinema for over 80 years. Tel: 01929 550855.

The Mowlem Theatre and Cinema, Swanage 
Fantastic views over Swanage Bay. Tel: 01919 422239

The Mowlem Theatre was opened in 1967 and replaced the smaller original Victorian building which had stood for over 100 years. It can seat up to 400 patrons in the stalls and circle and is situated on the sea front at Swanage at the junction of two of the main shopping streets, It has a combined programme of, typically, over 200 film performances each year in addition to 60-100 nights of live theatre. There are two bars, a licensed restaurant, a function room and four shops within the complex. : 01929 556454.

There are also 2 cinemas in Dorchester which is 8 miles away from Malllard House.


Splashdown is the South’s Ultimate Waterpark. In winter there is a choice of 8 fantastic rides. Each one with its own twists and turns generating a real buzz for the rider and loads of laughs, thrills and spills for all. The Spacebowl, Red River Roller and have you met The Dragon?

Later in the year the outside comes alive, first the Mississippi Drifter makes its way outside and into the Grand Canyon.

In high season we also have Buccaneer Beach Lagoon and Landings play area for the younger ones.

Places to Eat and Food & Drink Festivals

These are just some of the excellent ‘Places to eat’ in the area:

The Greyhound Inn – 01929 480205 – Corfe Castle

The Fish Plaice  01929 423668 – Swanage – Great Fish and chips close to the seafront – what could be better!

Square and Compass – 01929 439229 – Worth Matravers, after a long walk pop in for a pie, pint and look at the fossil museum

The Cauldron Bistro – 01929 426066 – 5 High Street, Swanage – Superb Reputation.

Chilled Red – Swanage 01929 426066 – Modern Restaurant with excellent food and great desserts!

Ocean Bay Restaurant – Swanage 01929 422222 – Al Fresco dining in season.

The Wise man. West Stafford, Dorchester. Excellent food. friendly and accommodating staff.

The Anchor Inn -Swanage 01929 432020 – Swanage’ oldest pub. Live music at weekends and through the season.

Crab House Cafe – Wykes Regis, Weymouth.  A rustic seaside shed next to chesil beach serving the best catch of the day.  love it !

Model village tea room – Corfe Castle – fantastic cakes & cream teas!

La Trattoria – Swanage- Italian restaurant specialising in seafood – pizza take outs  01929 423188 – all round excellent food!

Worth Matravers tea rooms – vintage style tea rooms. good food and fab cakes. –  by the duck pond.

Cove fish.  Little shed by the cove at Lulworth. Freshly caught seasonal fish, scallops, crabs and lobsters to take away.


Outdoor Activities

Lulworth Estate

Castle and grounds open to the public but check times first. Becoming a popular choice for corporate events, weddings and festivals.

Drive through East Lulworth to the coast and see durdle door, stair hole and the beautiful horseshoe cove.

Brownsea Island

This is the largest island in Poole Harbour. In terms of size it is just over 1.5 miles from west to east and nearly 1 mile north to south. (As seen on Autumn Watch 2008). For further information click HERE.



Boat Trips and Boat Hire

Blue Line Cruises Ltd. Tel. 01202 467882.

The Dorset Belles. Tel: 01202 558550.

Fairmile Classic Cruises, Tel: 07807 249649.

Lulworth Marine,Lulworth Cove. Boat hire and boat trips along the coast. Tel: 01929 400560.

Marsh’s Pleasure Boats. Tel: 01929 427659.

Poole Harbour Wildlife Tours. Tel: 07809 72700.

Purbeck Leisure Charters. Tel: 07813 069283.

Wareham Boat Hire. Tel: 01929 550688

Water Therapy, Wareham Quay. 40 minute cruise up the River Frome. Contact David Gillett on 01202 557815.

Watershed Charters. Tel: 07748 980570.

Sea fishing boats from Weymouth quay.


Water Sports

Jurassic Kayak Tours, 10 Bowleaze Coveway, Weymouth, DT6 3RY,. Marvel at amazing rock strata, formations and fossils. Enjoy marine life in its natural habitat. All under the supervision of experienced and qualified local kayaking instructors. Tours leave from Lulworth Cove March to December. Tel: 01305 835301.

Kimmeridge Bay. Toll road to ample parking overlooking the bay. Two slipways for small boats, windsurfers and divers (charge payable)

You could be lucky and find an ammonite or two!

Pierhead Watersports, The Pier, Swanage. RYA Powerboat courses all levels, watersking, tubing, half day charter groups, powerboat rides. Tel: 01929 422254, 01202 697326 or 07811 238171.

Shell Bay Water Sports, Ferry Road, Studland, Dorset, BH19 3BA. RYA Powerboat and Windsurfing School. Rib available for Skipper charter for up to 7 persons, to cruise along the Jurassic coast, go to the Solent and Isle of White, or around the islands of Poole harbour. Available by the day , half day or hours. Windsurfinf equipment to hire. Tel: 01902 450399 or 07832 258823.

Studland Water Sports, Knoll Beach, Ferry Road, Studland. Warer-ski, wakeboard, kneeboard, qualified instruction also available. Powerboat rides, banana rides and ringo rides. Dinghy, laser pico, vego, funboat and cat hire. Windsurfing, Ocean kayaks, pedaloes, waterbikes, katakanu’s, deckchairs and sunbeds also available. Open April to early September. Tel: 01202 759087 or 07980 559143.

Swanage Sailing Club, Bucks Shore, The Pier, Swanage. Open all year. Tel: 01929 422987.


Swanage sea rowing club – welcomes visitors for a Saturday Morning row.



Poole Sea Angling Centre, 5 High Street, Poole, BH15 1AB

Bait, tackle, boat trips, reef wrecking, shark, singles or full charters. Tel: 01202 676597 / 07970 901033


Bait and takle shop. Pier Road, Swanage also Wareham by the bridge.

Sea fishing from boats leaving Weymouth Quay.



Divers Down Diving School, The Pier, High Street, Swanage. Tel: Sasha or Mike on 01929 423565.

Swanage Diving. Contact Daniel Bennett on Tel: 07917 794075


There are numerous walks to explore including:

The Town Trail – Swanage

The Stone Trail – Swanage

The Victorian Trail – Swanage

Lawrence of Arabia trail -Moreton & Bovington

Jubilee trail  Moreton & Bovington

Coastal Path – from Studland bay to Lyme Regis

Wareham – Wareham Town Walls were originally built in Saxon times to defend the town from attacks against the Vikings. The walls now form a delightful walk around the town.

small market on Saturday on quay and thursdays at auction house.

The Wareham Two Rivers Walk – Purbeck’s wetlands are fascinating yet relatively undiscovered. They support over 40,000 birds in the winter as well as water voles, otters, salmon and trout. There are various walks between the Rivers Frome and Piddle and are all short in length (longest walk just over 3 miles).

The Northport Greenway – This route runs just over 1.5 miles and provides a safe cycling or walking route from Wareham Quay through the quiet streets of the town, past the railway station, through Northmoor Park and onto Wareham Forest, where it then links with the Sika Trail. The route is waymarked with a G symbol and Dorset County Council have improved parts of the route by installing lighting, signage and crossings.

The Sika Trail

A circular walking route around Wareham Forest of 3.25 miles – longer or shorter routes can be taken.

Top of Page

Cycle Hire

Corfe Castle and Wareham

Cycle Experience

Norden Park and Ride

Nr Corfe Castle

Tel: 01590 623407 or 07804 653135       also at Wareham train statiion.

Cycle Hire – booking required.

Wareham (Wheelchair Hire)


St John’s Hill


Tel: 01929 552623




Wareham golf club.

Discounted price on your round of golf at this friendly club when you stay with us at Purbeck Breaks.

01929 554147


Purbeck golf club – Studland


Kirkwood pitch and putt  swanage


Clay pigeon shooting – Purbeck shooting school, Puddletown Rd, Wareham. closed Mondays.

Paint balling –  Bere Regis

and so much more !   ………….




Studland Bay is managed by the National Trust and is a nature reserve.  Fishing enthusiasts will find bass, plaice and cod to catch.  As there is shallow sea bathing at Studland, it is a safe beach for children.  You will also find water sports and for walkers there are stunning coaastal walks.

Chesil Beach. This is a pebble beach 18 miles long and stretches from north-west from Portland to West Bay. Most of its length is separated from the mainland by an area of saline water called the Fleet Lagoon. Fishing is also available at Chesil.

Lulworth Cove.  Shingle beach. cafes, fresh fish shed and boat trips from cove.

Further Attractions:

Blue Pool: The title ‘Blue’ comes about because there is in suspension in the water minute particles of clay which variously diffract the light giving colours from ‘cloudy’ grey through green to the superb blue.

The pool is encompassed in about 25 acres of woodland and is truly idyllic. For those seeing the word ‘pool’ and thinking bathing or swimming, forget it. This big puddle is deep and dangerous. All of this was, in 1985, designated an area of Special Scientific Interest (SSI), some rare plants and animals including the Green Sand Lizard, many varied birds including the Dartford Warbler, and dragonflies, are indigenous. There are many deer, and deer trails are marked on the various paths around the pool. Not unnaturally it has it’s fair share of grey squirrels and rabbits.

For further information click HERE.

Corfe Castle: Both as a village and a castle, is located on the A351 halfway between Wareham and Swanage, on the Isle of Purbeck, in Dorset. In terms of access locally, visitors, for some part of the year, can also enjoy a steam train ride on The Swanage Railway which presently runs from the Norden Park & Ride just outside Corfe Castle to Swanage without the hassle of finding parking in Swanage itself.  Corfe Castle is one of Britain’s most majestic ruins and was once a controlling gateway through the Purbeck Hills. There are breathtaking views from the ruins and several waymarked walks.

Durlston Castle: Situated in the south-east corner of the Isle of Purbeck, a mile south of Swanage, lies 280 acres of very special countryside called Durlston Country Park. Established in 1970 by Dorset County Council. Carefully managed by the Ranger team for over 30 years, this is a superb site that everyone can enjoy. The castle has just been restored, now houses exhibitions and houses seventh wave restaurant. Perfect place to enjoy a cream tea!

Monkey World: [As seen on TV] There are 65 acres of sanctuary for over 240 primates set in the woodlands of Wareham. Monkey World works in conjunction with foreign governments from all over the world to stop illegal smuggling of apes out of Africa and Asia. Visitors to the park can see over 240 primates of 15 different species.

For further information on any of the above please use this link                                                      


Weymouth has everything…. good selection of shops, pubs & eating places. 9 screen cinema, bowling & night clubs.  But there is a gentler side to this lovely town. The old quay where you can sit and watch the world go by, fort, harbour, with fishing trips leaving from the quay. Sandy beach, with donkey rides, and all within walking distance to the train station if you dont fancy driving.  Its well worth a visit to this lovely seaside town.