That was my plan for my husband and my 14 & 16 year old. We decided after months of cabin fever at home, we would escape for a short break in Dorset.  

We based ourselves in Bournemouth at the beautiful Hermitage Hotel, in an enviable town centre location. You can also get straight onto the stunning sandy beach in minutes, where there are also some fantastic things to do for kids right on the seafront including the Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf and Pier Amusments a fab arcade perfect for teenagers. The hotel is a contemporary 76 roomed hotel with fantastic sea views.  

Our rooms were furnished beautifully with modern fresh colours and furniture and our view was fabulous, all rooms have Wifi and TV’s.  

Once we’d settled ourselves in we decided to go out for our lunch in the town and found a restaurant just round the corner called Urban Garden.  It’s a fantastic find with very friendly and efficient staff and the food was excellent. You eat in the tree tops which is a welcome haven away from the hustle and bustle of the town.  I had a delicious smashed avocado sourdough.  Sam and Matilda (the kids) had burgers and my husband had a huge portion of fish and chips, all washed down with a beer and wine, what a wonderful treat and relaxing start to our mini break.

Next day we had a fab breakfast and decided to set off on a bit of an adventure and explore the Purbecks.  We decided to hire bikes for the day through Cyclexperience, who have a base in both the Purbeck’s and the New Forest National Park.  They have a great mix of mountain bikes and E-Bikes.  We cycled over to Corfe Castle and marvelled at its beauty and history, stopping off for refreshments in a small village called Kingston with a good pub called the Scotts Arms, the views over to Corfe were breath-taking.  

Full and ready to go again we finished our bike ride back at the hire place and returned to Bournemouth to a meal at NEO, the restaurant attached to our hotel. The views again were truly spectacular through the stunning glass front and the food was exceptional. We had cocktails downstairs and then went upstairs to eat delicious sea bass and roasted monkfish.  

On our final day we decided to go for a walk in the New Forest and visit the New Forest Wildlife Park.  We saw a wonderful variety of animals everything from hedgehogs and otters  to the beautiful Fallow and Sika deer.  As we wandered round the enclosures through the beautiful leafy woods, in the distance we saw wild bison, it was quite a surreal site, they looked majestic in the mist and it felt as though we had been transported to another country.  The wolves were also wonderful and were a particular favourite of my sons. Did you know a wolf’s sense of smell is 100 times better than a human’s and can smell other animals up to 1 mile away!  

Another fantastic day out in the fresh air making brilliant memories with my family we really enjoyed spending time together doing activities that we all enjoy. 

Unfortunately we ran out of time in our short weekend but a fantastic place on our list to visit in the New Forest is Beaulieu the world famous car museum with over 280 vehicles to see and the beautiful Palace House, it’s definitely on our bucket list. Dorset really has so much on its doorstep for older families. We were thoroughly spoilt for choice and will hopefully return for more adventures soon. For more information and other places to visit take a look at the Visit Dorset or Coast with the Most website.  Happy discovering!

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