Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate mums and motherhood. It’s a chance for children to honour that very special parental bond and give their mum the full recognition she deserves.
This year, Mother’s Day takes place on 27 March. If you’re stuck for Mother's Day present ideas, and looking to do something special – more than just sending a card and a bunch of flowers – then why not plan a daytrip?
Dorset, with its long and beautiful coastline, is a great destination for exploring with the family. With sandy beaches, vibrant towns and a whole host of attractions, the county offers lots of things to see and do – whether you’ve got the little ones in tow, or you’ve opted for a grown-ups-only break.
Here we bring you tons of great ideas for things to do in Dorset, including activities with the kids. We’ll help make the holiday not only an excellent day out, but the best Mother’s Day gift money can buy.
Trains to Dorset are easy to reach and travel direct from Bristol, Bath and beyond.
Spanning much of the Dorset shoreline, the Jurassic Coast is home to some of the country’s most photographed landmarks, including Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove and Old Harry’s Rocks. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is 95 miles long, revealing 185 million years of the Earth’s past.
Chesil Beach, known for its starring role in the 2017 film based on Ian McEwan’s novel, is a remarkable stretch of shingle beach, stretching from West Bay to Portland. The 18-mile-long coastline sits out from the mainland, creating a large saline lake known as the Fleet Lagoon.
At the heart of the Jurassic Coast sits one of the nation’s most popular beaches. A gently curving arch of sand overlooked by a striking Georgian seafront, Weymouth Beach is ideal for walking, paddling and sunbathing, with all the amenities you might need just a short distance from the shore.
Sit at one of the many bars and restaurants offering al fresco seating at Weymouth Harbour, and you could while away an afternoon watching the world go buy. The busy quay harbour, surrounded by colourful houses, is also a great place for shopping, with plenty of gift stores and the antiques emporium that is Brewers Quay.
Explore seven acres of indoor and outdoor zones at SEA LIFE Weymouth, home to over 1,000 creatures, including a colony of the smallest species of penguin. Meet sharks, turtles, seals, rays, otters and more. There’s also an excellent pirate-themed adventure playground where the kids can let off some steam. Tickets start at £21.55 per adult and £19.95 for children (3–14 years), when you book online.
At the entrance of Weymouth Harbour sits this Victorian fortification, built to protect the town and its neighbouring Portland, an important naval base at the time. Now one of Weymouth’s most popular destinations, it’s a fun place to visit for a family day out, with an impressive maze and spooky underground passages. Adults: £9.50; Children aged five to 16: £4.00; Family (two adults and two children): £20.00. Under-fives go free.
Portland, a four-mile-long island near Weymouth, might be small, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in attractions, with plenty to offer visitors on a daytrip, including museums, castles, lighthouses, and the famous Chesil Beach.
Portland Bill Lighthouse, with its distinctive red and white stripes, has been guiding ships through dangerous waters for the past 140 years. Head to the visitor centre and discover the history of the iconic beacon, before climbing the tower’s 153 stairs to the lantern room, where you can admire exceptional views of the Dorset coast.
Visit Dorset Museum in Dorchester and uncover the county’s captivating past, including 250 million years of natural history. You’ll discover ancient artefacts from Dorset’s Roman era, the remains of a pre-historic crocodile from Swanage, and plenty about local boy and author Thomas Hardy, who trained as an architect in Dorchester before moving to London.
Discover how the Roman’s lived at this free attraction in north Dorchester, just a five-minute walk from the town centre. This partially reconstructed house, built from ruins dating back to the 4th century AD, is the most complete exhibit of its kind in the country, and includes an excellent mosaic.
A big hit among locals, this Japanese restaurant in the centre of Dorchester, not far from Dorset Museum, offers a tasting menu with a variety of seafood and meat dishes. With great service and a welcoming atmosphere, it’s the perfect spot for a Mother’s Day treat, and perhaps better suited to those with grown up kids, rather than picky eaters.
Looking for some hearty cuisine that would make the perfect Mother’s Day feast, then check out the Dorchester eatery The Georgie Porgie Pie & Burger Co, serving up epic feasts. Tuck into the finest handmade pies and burgers in town – including a children’s menu – being sure to finish off with a tasty dessert.
This Sicilian restaurant in Weymouth serves the kind of family-friendly grub that’s sure to keep everyone happy. There’s a good range of traditional pizza and pasta dishes, including lasagne and spaghetti ragù, as well as a selection of cheesecakes and gelato for dessert.
A trip to the seaside wouldn’t be complete without a sample of the local seafood cuisine. Seabeats in Weymouth is run by local chef Adam Foster who draws on years of experience to bring you top dishes ideal for family meal, including pan-fried bass fillet, panko crumbed haddock and lobster thermidor.