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Why we love glamping in Dorset

Whether you’re getting the gang together to toast marshmallows around the campfire, or looking for a romantic spot for two, you’re spoilt for places to stay in Dorset. From a converted train carriage in a cottage garden to a Scandi-style hut surrounded by wildlife, all Canopy & Stars spaces give you a genuine connection to nature. Spend your time lazing on the best beaches in Dorset, hunting the Jurassic Coast for fossils and exploring Dorset’s wealth of beautiful towns and villages.

Beaches

Dorset beaches are some of the best in the country. If you want a (relative) but of peace when you’re glamping in Dorset, head to Shell Bay on the Studland Peninsula and grab a spot in the extensive dunes. To reach it take the ferry from Sandbanks or drive along the coast from Swanage. If you’re looking for the standout best beach in Dorset, Lulworth Cove is a spectacular contestant. A rugged headland shelters the cove, making this a lovely spot for bathing that’s also easily accessible by car and foot. Neverending golden sands and plentiful amenities make Sandbanks Beach one of the top places to visit in Dorset for families. There’s crazy golf, slacklining and volleyball nets to supplement your beach games.

If you are glamping in Dorset and fancy a day snorkelling, head to Kimmeridge Bay for the best and safest in the area. Shallow, calm waters and a distinct lack of sand mean visibility is excellent. Follow the Kimmeridge Bay snorkel trail and spot Snakelocks anemones, Shore Crabs and Corkwing Wrasse. If you’ve forgotten your snorkels, the rock pools are fantastic and full of beasties to discover.

Coastal Walks

Taking a coastal walk when glamping in Dorset is one of the best ways to spend a day. See two of the greats of the Jurassic Coast by taking the trail from Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door. Pretty countryside and awe-inspiring sea views are a consistent companion as you walk the South West Coast Path. Take the direct one-mile route or explore one of many possible circulars. History lovers will adore a walk through the abandoned village of Tyneham. Used as a training ground for the D-Day landings in 1943, the residents never returned after the war and much of the village is as it was.

If you’re after a slightly more challenging stomp, the route from Chideock to Charmouth is a hilly six miles. Start in Chideock and make your way through green fields and along cliff edges; epic views are a given. If you’ve still got energy, take the detour to the Golden Cap. A similar length, but with less ascents, if you’re that way inclined, the trail from West Bay to Burton Bradstock is another glorious walk to do when glamping in Dorset. Start through the golf course and make your way along the tops of golden cliffs of sandstone and limestone before heading back on the beautiful Chesil Beach, one of the best beaches in Dorset.

Wild swimming

Nothing beats a spot of wild swimming if the weather plays ball when you're glamping in Dorset and luckily, the county has plenty of fantastic spots to paddle, jump and dive. A lovely spot, close to Stoborough and Worgret, is Wareham Bridge over the River Frome. It’s popular thanks to wide banks perfect for picnics and drinks, although you’re kindly asked not to jump off the bridge and you should also be wary of passing canoes and boats.

Beautiful views make Lake Pier at Poole Harbour the place to end a great day out in Dorset. Head there late afternoon for a dip before watching the sunset with a beer. There’s a number of entry points and a large car park. If you want to escape the crowds while you’re glamping in Dorset, Colber Bridge near Sturminster Newton is all kinds of tranquil. Surrounded by meadow and grassland, it’s a haven for wildlife with kingfisher and heron living in the area. For experienced swimmers looking for adventure, a wild swim at Stair Hole near the infamous Durdle Door is on the bucket list. From the car park, take a right by the coastguard hut and follow the loose path down.

Food and drink

The legend of Square & Compass rightly travels far. A sprawling beer garden, live music and homemade cider make this a lush spot. While away the hours with a hot pasty and a beer as you people watch. The team here host regular festivals, parties and markets so it is worth checking what’s on before you visit. For award-winning ice cream, Bridport’s Baboo Gelato is the only destination when you’re glamping in Dorset. Owner Annie was trained at Bologna’s Gelato University before setting up shop here. Using locally grown ingredients and a passion for real ice cream, her and the family produce mouth-watering flavours such as Maple & Walnut and Crystalised Ginger.

If you’re searching for a tipple whilst glamping in Dorset, or indeed an educational day out, the crew at Conkers Distillery offer something special. Visit to sample their small batch gin and coffee liqueurs and tour their distillery. You’ll learn the story and process of gin production from founder Rupert. Looking for the best restaurant in Dorset? Forgo the Michelin stars and head to the seaside to feast on the best fish and chips in town. Chesil Chippie on Portland serves crisp, fresh fish with proper chips and there’s a full vegan menu to boot.

Glamping in Dorset with Canopy & Stars

Glamping in Dorset

Can’t choose between coast and countryside? Live the best of both worlds when you’re glamping in Dorset. Undulating hills rush straight to the Jurassic Coast making this a perfect spot for a break in nature. Glamping is camping without the faff, so more time to concentrate on exploring.

What glamping means to us

Live a life more wild and you’ll reap the benefits. Glamping in Dorset gives you a break from the everyday, a chance to reconnect with yourself and loved ones. Stay in a lakeside cabin, retired tour bus or shepherd huts; all unique with one thing in common - they’re truly a special place to stay in Dorset.

How we choose our places

We meet every owner and inspect every space before adding it to our collection. We’re looking for something different and special – a connection to nature, a sense of locality and the individual character of a place made with passion. We launched with only seven spaces in 2010 and it has taken us more than a decade of careful, thoughtful additions to reach almost 900. We still see them all and we still only accept the ones we really love.

About Canopy & Stars

Canopy & Stars supports independents, puts the environment first and has sustainability at its heart thanks to part ownership by a Charitable trust we established. Through it, we donate a share of our profits to organisations that are taking action to combat climate catastrophe.

This is how we do business