What To Do in Dorset This September When It is Almost Autumn But Still Sunny and Summery

What To Do in Dorset This September 2023
Read our guide on what to do in Dorset this September. The school holidays may be over but there are still lots of great events happening across Dorset. Discover how to make the most of the last drops of summer sweetness - especially now that it is finally warm and sunny.

After a July and August that mostly alternated between pouring rain and grey-skied humidity, it was only natural that we decided to cut our vitamin-D losses and start getting excited for the cosiness of Autumn. Whilst Europe struggled through record breaking heat waves, unending sunshine and hot summer nights, The UK was basically one big, damp puddle.  Of course, at Dorset Adventure Park, it didn’t really matter which way the wind blew. Come rain or shine, there was plenty of fun to be had all summer long. Torrential rain and dank mizzle aren’t exactly an activity blocker when the activity is leaping across wet inflatables, in a wetsuit, across two lakes of water. Bad weather may not be great for days sunbathing on the beach but it is pretty perfect for days spent covered in mud as you try to conquer the epic dorset mud trail, climb the wall and complete the obstacle course. Equally, on those fleeting days when the sun shone and it suddenly felt a bit too hot, the aqua park was the perfect place to cool off and one spot that never dried up was the mud trail. Infact, one visitor wrote in a recent tripadvisor review from August that, “I took my 12 year old and his best friend to the water course. They loved it so much they begged to come back the very next day!”

All in all, at least at Dorset Adventure Park, it has been a pretty great summer. So, as the youth of the nation began to swap sunscreen for school uniforms, we all thought it was time to call it a day and say goodbye to the summer that never quite was. Cafes started advertising pumpkin spice lattes, shops started hanging up chunky knits, plaid shirts and swapping soft cotton for thick wool. It seemed that we were working up to the colours, tastes, textures, sounds and songs of Autumn. Despite it all, this September is not awash with the turn of golden leaves but instead with the gorgeous rays of sunshine. After the disappointment of a season that didn’t live up to its expectations, it is so tempting to long for and rush into the next glorious one. 

But, the sun has not quite set on the warm glow of summer just yet. It may be later than expected but the weather is warm and golden; with the majority of the month forecast to be dry. There are still plenty of activities and adventures to enjoy in Dorset this September. So, follow our guide and get out there to make the most of this unexpected late summer sun, after all with Winter is just around the corner,  it makes these last, lingering, honey days taste all the sweeter.

Family Fun:

There is still plenty of fun to be had for families in Dorset this September. If you are looking for family outings at weekends I recommend seeking out Hidden History family quest at Corfe Castle. Running from the 8th- 22nd of September, this free event doesn’t require booking. This is a great way to explore the castle as you, “hunt around the ruins to discover the hidden history within the walls, find the secret locations and learn about Corfe Castle’s hidden past.” Even better, you get a prize at the end! You can also look out from the castle and wave regally at Dorset Adventure Park that sits at the castle’s feet. 

Another great National Trust location to visit as a family is Brownsea Island. This September, they may not have specific family activities set but there is the opportunity for a great, fun, educational and absolutely adorable sounding family day out. No booking is needed to join one of the Daily Guided Red Squirrel Walks running from the 16th of September through to the 20th of October. 

Another family day out date for the diary, is the Poole Summer Festival Weekend on the 16th-17th of September. This event promises that, “there will be family fun and entertainment for the whole family in Poole this September. Enjoy acrobats, music, entertainment and food and drink.”

Great Grown-up Dorset Days

The other benefit of a summer that lingers into September, are the plenty of activities to enjoy for those who want to experience the beauty of Dorset once most of the crowd have returned home and the children are back in school. You can experience the dedicated Quiet Hour at Corfe Castle from the 9th to the 30th of September. This allotted hour is advertised specifically for those with additional sensory needs and it is also a great opportunity for others who want to peacefully take in the wonder of the castle and the stunning views of the Purbeck countryside. Make a free booking for this tranquil taste of the castle. 

Another peaceful option available for adults, are the early morning yoga and breakfast experiences on Brownsea Island, running on the 13th, 20th and 27th of September. Booking is essential for these events where you will: “enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this beautiful location whilst local yoga teacher, Sonja Lockyer, guides you through a one-hour yoga session followed by a delicious picnic breakfast prepared by local plant-based chef Wylde Green Kitchen.”

Not to be missed are the Heritage Open Days running from the 8th to the 17th of September. This is a special event that allows you to explore cultural and heritage sites for free across the country and with many sites for you to visit and explore across Dorset. Heritage Open Days are England’s largest festival of history and culture and provide an ideal time and opportunity to explore Dorset more. 

Get out there for some more adventure days out this September and hold onto the summer for a little bit longer. 

Words by Olivia Lowry.

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