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The Best of Dorset's Wildlife

Tour Code: GBR45

A 4-day appreciation of one of Britain's most scenic and interesting widlife counties.

4 days from £595(flights not included) Land Only Price: £595 SRS: £125


On this short break we will explore some of Dorset’s nest nature reserves from a delightful, award-winning Elizabethan manor hotel adjacent to Corfe Castle. Early summer is an ideal time to enjoy the wildlife of the ‘Jurassic Coast’ and its hinterland and on our first afternoon we will look for breeding seabirds, raptors and Ravens before heading to a purpose-built hide for some Badger-watching. We will visit RSPB’s Arne Reserve to look for Sand Lizard and the very rare Smooth Snake, as well as birds such as Dartford warbler and Hobby. At Radipole Lake Marsh Harriers, and numerous breeding warblers including Cetti’s Warbler will be among the species we will hope to find before heading to Lodmoor and Portland Bill. Finally, we will comb selected beaches along the Jurassic Coast for fossils which bear witness to the area’s special 185 million-year-old natural history.

  • Stay in an award-winning Elizabethan manor hotel adjacent to Corfe Castle
  • View nesting seabird colonies at Durlston Cliffs
  • Watch breeding Peregrines & Ravens
  • Badger-watching from a purpose-built hide
  • Look for all 6 of Britain’s reptile species at RSPB’s Arne Reserve
  • Listen for Nightjars & Noctule Bats at dusk
  • See the south-west’s largest breeding colony of Common Terns at Lodmoor
  • Look for Manx & Balearic Shearwaters at Portland Bill, plus skuas & auks
  • Fossil-hunting along the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site
  • Led by an expert naturalist

Food

Accommodation

A delightful 16th century hotel in Corfe Castle.

Smooth Snake

Smooth Snake

Outline Itinerary Download

On this short wildlife break we will explore some of Dorset’s best nature reserves and enjoy its beautiful rolling countryside from the perfect, centrally positioned base, a delightful award-winning 16th century Elizabethan manor hotel adjacent to Corfe Castle. Dorset’s enviable variety of special habitats offers a wealth of natural history, and there’s no better time to enjoy this than in early summer. On our first afternoon we will visit Durlston Cliffs to view one of England’s most southerly seabird colonies, and look for breeding Peregrines and Ravens, before heading to a purpose-built hide to enjoy some Badger-watching. At the RSPB’s Arne reserve, we’ll search for all six of Britain’s reptile species with a licensed expert, amongst our targets the stunning, jewelgreen Sand Lizard and the very rare Smooth Snake. We’ll also look for Dartford Warblers amongst the gorse and Hobbies as they hawk for dragonflies overhead; then, as dusk approaches, the sound of ‘churring’ Nightjars will permeate the evening air as Noctule Bats take to the wing. At Radipole Lake we’ll look for the Marsh Harriers and numerous warblers that breed in its reedbeds, including Cetti’s Warbler with its loud, explosive song.  Around the corner at Lodmoor we’ll find the south-west’s largest breeding colony of Common Terns and from Portland Bill we will scan for such seabirds as Manx and Balearic Shearwaters, skuas and auks, and look for late spring migrants on the headland.

Finally, we will visit the the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site that stretches from Orcombe Point in Devon to Old Harry Rocks in Dorset and tells the story of the region’s past 185 million years. Here, beneath our feet, lie the clues to a natural history of a past world, from ammonites to belemnites, sea dragons to dinosaurs, and we will take great delight in combing the beach for these wonders of the past.

Three Badgers (Ed Drewitt)Scarlet Tiger Moth (Ed Drewitt)Smooth Snake (Ed Drewitt)Slow Worm (Ed Drewitt)Burrowing Sand Lizard (Ed Drewitt)Field Full of Spotted Orchids (Ed Drewitt)
E.S.
Edinburgh
Leader very good, also rangers who took us out (Al at Durlston and Luke at Arne). Good variety. Most enjoyable few days break.
J.B.
Suffolk
Nice variety - flowers, birds and badgers. Charlie was very nice and very knowledgeable.
H.P.
Hampshire
It was in a beautiful part of Dorset with wonderful plants and birds. Going out to listen to the Nightjars at Arne one evening was particularly good.
C.B.
Devon
An excellent mix of plants, birds and butterflies. There was an interesting range of habitats that we visited.
G.M.
Kent
Ed recommended this holiday to me and I wasn't disappointed. Wonderful!
A.P.
Somerset
The leaders were excellent and complemented each other well with expert knowledge. The itinerary had an excellent mix of venues to see range of what Dorset offers. Lovely holiday and fab weather!
R.P.
Hampshire
Ed and Charlie were brilliant, we couldn't have had better leaders. I learnt a lot and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
J.N.
Kent
The opportunity to observe British reptiles in the wild was an important reason to take the tour.
C.S.
Surrey
Charlie was an absolute star, his knowledge of flowers, butterflies and his driving were all second to none. The Glow Worms were amazing!
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DeparturesAvailableCost

Tue 26th June 2018 - Fri 29th June 2018

7

£595

more details

Flights: Flights are not included with this tourMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are limited. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £595 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Visiting: United Kingdom

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Alison Steel
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01962 733051

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BirdsMammalsShortbreakReptiles

Tour Leaders

Tour Reviews

Leader very good, also rangers who took us out (Al at Durlston and Luke at Arne). Good variety. Most enjoyable few days break.
E.S., Edinburgh