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  1. The Castleman Trailway is a wonderful 16.5 mile route which follows much of the old Southampton to Dorchester railway line.  The route is marked with the green and yellow Castleman Trailway logo and this can be found at main entrances, on way marker posts and on street lampposts.

    We recently discovered a woodland section of the Trailway which is located near Uddens Trading Estate in Wimborne.  There’s roadside parking on Uddens Drive and from here we walked just a couple of minutes down the lane going past Chestnut Grove on the left and the trading estate on the right.  We then saw a sign for Canon Hill Plantation and a small car park.  From here you can enter the woodland and you’ll see a large information board and map.


    There’s lots of pathways to take but we spotted a big table and thought this would be a good spot for a picnic with our friends before venturing on into the forest.

    We decided to take the wider path and stuck to the Trailway post makers which took us through the woods where the children had great fun climbing trees and discovering ready made dens to play in. 

    From here we walked further on the woodland path, over a bridge and onto another wider path which we would have carried on if the kids hadn’t begged us to go back into the woods.


    We found another huge den and a table close by so we could stop for a break and listen to all the birds singing in the trees.  My husband’s eagle eyes spotted a bat box high up in a tree and I’m sure there’s lots of wildlife to be seen once night falls.


    We were walking for almost 2 hours on our loop and our weak bladders and slightly weary legs were ready for the pub so we went in The Old Thatch which is on a couple of minutes away on the same road that we parked on.  They have a fantastic woodland play area called ‘Bear Island’ and once we all got drinks we sat down to enjoy the sun while the kids explored the large play frame and swings.  If you’re looking to stay longer then the restaurant offers a varied menu with main meals and children’s meals.  In the summer time you can order pizzas in Bear Island and having eaten in the restaurant and garden before, I can thoroughly recommend both.

    The Old Thatch Apr 2024 3

    Dorset is such a diverse County with so many places to visit, where shall we go on a woodland walk next?

    If you would like to read more about the Castleman Trailway Route then please visit the Dorset Council website.

    For more information on the pub we visited including upcoming family friendly events, please visit The Old Thatch.


    Need more ideas on places to visit in Dorset?  If so, please check out some of our other Blog posts below.

    Where to see Planes, Trains and Automobiles

    Free or low cost things to do in Dorset with kids

    Crazy golf courses in Dorset

    Tout Quarry Sculpture Park in Portland

    Longham Lakes Circular Walk

    Castleman Trailway Apr 2024 2

  2. There's lots of FREE Fireworks Displays exploding across Dorset this summer!  For more information on locations, dates and times, please see below.



    The popular carnival week starts on Saturday 27th July 2024 and in addition to 70+ events there will be live music and firework displays at 9.45pm on Saturday 27th July, Wednesday 31st July and Saturday 3rd August 2024.

    Website: Swanage Carnival



    Spend the evening on Weymouth Esplanade enjoying the seafront attractions and then stand back to watch the grand fireworks display which is on every Monday at 9.30pm from 29th July – 26th August 2024.

    Website: Weymouth Town Council



    As part of Lyme Regis carnival week, there will be a spectacular fireworks display from The Cobb at 9.30pm on Friday 2nd August 2024.

    Website: Lyme Regis Carnival



    The summer firework displays can be seen over the water near Bournemouth Pier at 10pm every Friday from 2nd – 23rd August 2024 plus there’s more as part of the Bournemouth Air Festival on Friday 30th and Saturday 31st August at 10pm.

    Website: Bournemouth Tourism



    Fireworks nights will be held every Thursday from 8th – 29th August 2024.  Evening entertainment on Poole Quay includes live music, small children’s rides and family fun with a dazzling firework display over the harbour at 10pm.

    Website: Poole Tourism



    Wareham Wednesdays events are held on each Wednesday through August and there’s going to be events including a pirate invasion, live music, performances, wheelbarrow race and fireworks displays at 10pm each night.

    Facebook: Wareham Wednesdays



    There’s so much going on in Christchurch over carnival weekend with fun for all the family and a fireworks display at 9.30pm on Saturday 10th August 2024.

    Website: Christchurch Carnival


    Please note that unexpected circumstances can occur including bad weather conditions and therefore displays may be cancelled at short notice.  Please always check before travelling.

    For more upcoming events in Dorset, why not join the Dorsetmums Family Friendly Events Facebook group.

    More summer listings:

    What's on at the weekend in Dorset

    Food, music & family fun festivals in Dorset


    Unsplash Fireworks arthur chauvineau