For many of us holidays aren’t just an opportunity to relax and explore with the people (and dogs!) we love – they’re a chance for us to stretch our legs, push ourselves and discover the amazing sights and sounds of nature for ourselves.

Active holidays have only grown in popularity over recent years as more and more families and individuals have rediscovered the joys that exercise can bring.

It’s a movement which has coincided with the uptick in people choosing to holiday within the UK, rather than abroad – up 10% last year! – and, in particular, more and more people choosing to holiday within Dorset.

But what is it about Dorset that’s attracting so many people to our holiday cottages? Why, it’s the landscape, of course! The rich and varied terrain and coastline of Dorset plays host to countless outdoor and indoor activities, from football, squad and rugby to sailing, diving, surfing and even Quidditch!

Quite simply, Dorset is the place to visit for an action-packed, active holiday. Here are some of our top tips for an amazing active holiday in Dorset:

Go Surfing in Lyme Regis

Although you won’t catch Lyme Regis listed in many touristy surfer guides, for those in the know the beautiful towns waters make for superb surfing. The famous Lyme Regis harbour wall is a relatively exposed break point with unreliable waves that are brilliant during the winter months.

For less confident surfers there are plenty of safe sand bottomed smaller waves close to the harbour in the bay, all the way to the reef wedge, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Trek Along the Jurassic Coast

If terra firma is more to your taste, the Jurassic Coast plays host to one of the toughest, most rewarding walking challenges in the country. The Jurassic Coast Challenge is a firm favourite amongst locals who often walk, run or jog it for charity.

Taking in 100km of astonishing, historic coastline, it’s a beautiful way to spend a couple of days, but even if you’re short on time a short walk along its route can reveal some astonishing sights. Take a look at the route here and decide for yourself!

Tackle Obstacles in the Trees at Vivary Adventure Centre

Located inland in Taunton, Vivary Adventure Centre offers you and the kids the opportunity to live out your George of the Jungle fantasies and tackle obstacle courses located high up in the trees.

100% safe and with courses for every skill level, it’s an unforgettable day out that’s unlike anything else you’ve tried before. Also on site is an 18 hole mini golf course and café, so you can keep everyone entertained, even if the courses get a little too scary!

Gain a Lifetime Passion at East Devon Riding Academy

Learning to ride a horse is an exhilarating experience, but it doesn’t have to be a daunting one.

The East Devon Riding Academy specialises in providing safe and enjoyable lessons on horse riding with an emphasis on building the kind of harmonious relationships with horses and ponies one needs to truly experience the joy of riding.

Best of all? They specialise in family group lessons, so you can all learn together!