Top ten family days out in the south west

Kathryn Liston
Durdle Door
Durdle Door



See the Jurassic Coast, Dorset
Follow in the footsteps of dinosaurs on the beautiful Jurassic coast, where these pre-historic creatures roamed 190 million years ago. Go fossil hunting at beautiful Lulworth Cove with its amazing rock formations or take the kids to Abbotsbury Children's Farm, near Weymouth, where they can feed, walk and race goats. There are camp sites and b&bs everywhere. www.jurassiccoast.com
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Sandworld is a blast, Weymouth
Steal a march on the Olympic competitors and stay in the seaside resort of Weymouth as it gears up to host the sailing competition in 2012. Visit Sandworld, Britain's first competitive sand sculpture park, which opens at LodmoorCountry Parkthis summer. Plus with the Sealife Centre, Nothe Fort and Timewalk journey at Brewers Quay there's plenty to keep the family amused. www.sandworld.com
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Brains are buzzing in Bristol
There's even more reason to take a break in this buzzing city following the opening of the new All-About Us exhibition at the hands-on At-Bristol science centre. Children can watch their own blood vessels on the vein ray and feed a skeleton. A new history museum, M Shed, which tells the story of the city's trading past, will open in the Harbourside in early summer. www.at-bristol.org.uk
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Catch mackerel in Mevagissy
Mevagissey, once the fishing heart of the south Cornish coast, is the place to hire a boat and try your luck at catching mackerel. Take an hour's mackerel trip or go for the day on a charter boat from the harbourside – if you are lucky, you may see dolphins, basking sharks and seals. Afterwards explore the town's narrow alleyways, browse gift shops and art galleries and try the local ale in a pub.www.mevagissey.net
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Surf's up in Newquay
Newquay is not just the place to learn to surf - its rip curls are great for those who want to ride the waves as well. Voted "one of the nation's favourite seaside towns" in a Which Travel survey and "Best Family Holiday Destination" by readers of COAST magazine, Cornwall's Atlantic coast is definitely the most fashionable place to be. www.visitnewquay.org
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See Garden of Eden, St Austell
The Eden Project, alone, is reason enough to visit Cornwall. A variety of micro-climatic greenhouses, the world's largest rainforest in captivity, cutting-edge architecture, stunning garden displays and evening gigs and concerts will ensure that everyone is entertained, whatever their age. www.edenproject.com

ANIMALS Rabbit
ANIMALS Rabbit




Run Wild at Wookey Hole, Somerset
Listen to Christian and pagan legends during a tour of the Witch's Kitchen and Witch's Parlour, two spectacular limestone caves. Wander through the prehistoric Valley of Dinosaurs with its life-size Tyrannosaurus Rex or join fairies, dragons and elves in the Enchanted Fairy Garden. Over at Cheddar Gorge, enjoy an open-top bus ride before spending the night in the medieval city of Wells, England's smallest. www.wookey.co.uk Go ape in Devon Take to the trees like Tarzan and Jane on an exhilarating Go Ape tree-top adventure in Haldon Forest, Exeter, and admire the views across the beautiful Dartmoor National Park. Whizz around on two 235 metre zip wires, while secured into a harness, and cross the wobbly log bridge some 40 feet above the forest floor. Back on land, visit Dartmoor's cute ponies and Exeter Cathedral. www.heartofdevon.com
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Spot Red Squirrels in Poole Harbour
Enjoy a boat ride around Poole harbour, stopping off at Brownsea Island to spot red squirrels – it's one of the few remaining areas in Britain where they still roam. Brownsea is where the Boy Scout movement started also. Younger ones may prefer the tractor rides, pig racing and milking demonstrations at Farmer Palmer's Farm Park. www.pooletourism.com
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