Back at the start of the summer we spent a week in Dorset on our first staycation as a family of four. I was blown away by how beautiful Dorset is. Why had nobody told me of its loveliness?
When we arrived we headed straight to the nearest beach, Weymouth, even though it was anything but beach weather.
After I got my beach fix we headed to our hotel. We stayed at Moonfleet Manor. I should point out this isn’t a sponsored review, we paid our way. I just thought some other families might want to know how we found it as I’m always curious to read about family-friendly holidays. We loved it. It’s part of the Luxury Family Hotels group and you can tell it’s aimed at families. I’m not sure you’d want to go to their spa or have a romantic weekend away if you want to avoid families, but there are other places for that!
The hotel had fantastic facilities for the kids, like a huge indoor play area, an indoor tennis court, several trampolines and a creche. Most exciting. All the staff were really friendly and helpful and didn’t bat an eyelid when Sun tore through the old manor house chasing after the hotel dog, Snoopy. There were plenty of meal options for the kids too. It’s the little touches that make a difference and things like bringing out a plate of hummus and carrot sticks as we sat down to a meal with ravenous children was genius. They munched away giving us time to look at the wine list. Yesssss!
We stayed in a family suite and it was great. Massive rooms, a beautiful view, a swivel chair that entertained the kids and big, thick robes. Lovely. The only thing missing from the suite was a bit of high shelf space to place things out of reach of the children. I wasn’t keen on leaving a just-boiled kettle on a low table and would have liked somewhere to stash our biscuit supply out of sight of greedy littlies. A small thing really that most certainly wouldn’t prevent us staying again in the future. We had a great time and it was as stress-free as travelling with young children could be thanks to the lovely staff and general relaxed vibe of the hotel.
The children loved the time they spent in the creche which is a credit to how great the staff were at creating a welcoming and fun atmosphere. While they were in the creche we had a chance to wander about the hotel grounds and walk some of the coastal path that runs literally alongside the hotel.
We were lucky that the weather picked up after the first grey day and we got some glorious sunshine mixed in with periods of rolling fog that just made the area all the more enchanting. We took in the charm of Weymouth, explored the foggy hills around Abbotsbury and then hit Chesil Beach for pebbly adventures. We also had an amazing lunch overlooking the water at Hive Beach Cafe, a little cafe/restaurant that reminded me a lot of the beach cafes you get along the NSW coast in Australia. Fresh food, no pretences in a sublime location.
We had the most amazing time and I feel like we only saw the tip of the iceberg of what Dorset has to offer. Just putting this post together has me dreaming of Dorset and I can’t wait to go back and explore again.