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Image credit: Let's Go Out Bournemouth and Poole

For some, the seaside and the beach offer the promise of sun tans, comfy chairs and pure relaxation. For others, the beach provides some of the best ways to be physically active. In Dorset especially there are plenty of ways to get the most out of the beach and its opportunities for sport and fitness.

When enjoying a cottage holiday in Dorset, you can step from your home away from home and dive into a number of great local fitness activities. And after a long day enjoying the coast, your beautiful cottage will be waiting for you.

Here are some ideas for enjoying an active holiday by the coast in Dorset:

Enjoying the beach

With miles of sand and sea, there are a number of beach fitness activities in Dorset to try. There is running, beach volleyball, paddleball and more. There are a number of unique retail outlets that can help you get all the necessary equipment for the entire family to enjoy the beach.

The Coastal Activity Park in Boscombe gives visitors the chance to enjoy dozens of different activities. Rock climbing, beach yoga and the fitness trail all give visitors the chance to enjoy the beach and stay fit as well.

Sorted Surf Shop is one of the south coast’s largest retailers of much-needed beach gear. They have wetsuits, surfboards and other accessories available. If looking for great beach fashion, they have everything you need as well. For sporting equipment, The Outdoor Store in Weymouth can also provide all the supplies you need for a great day at the beach.

In Poole, there is a great local retailer that provides an eclectic beach experience and some great eats as well. At the We Are Coast surf and coffee shop you can get an amazing cup of coffee and browse their collection of surf, skate and motorcycle gear. After getting your fill from their locally sourced menu, you are ready to get kitted out and hit the beaches.

If you want to get all the beach towels, chairs, windbreaks and other necessities before travelling to your cottage, you can visit a great online shopping source at The Seaside Company. They offer a wide range of products for kids and adults. This Dorset-based company has grown to supply the entire nation with the finest beach necessities.

Image credit: Alistair Young

Cycle to and from the beach

With many trails bringing you right to the beach and the sea, hiring a bike is the perfect way to enjoy Dorset. It will let you enjoy the amazing sights of the coast and get the blood pumping as well. And – when the ride is complete – cool off with a dip in the sea.

Jurassic Trails Cycle Hire will help you enjoy some exciting Dorset sights. They rent out bikes focused on comfort and have plenty of equipment to help keep the kids involved in the day’s bike ride. In exploring the area, the Lodmoor Trail is perfect for family rides. Its short distance is ideal for younger kids. The Weymouth Trail is an 8.5-mile loop that brings a mixture of streets, trails and cycle paths. It lets riders enjoy the great sights of Weymouth and its picturesque harbour. Finally, riders can take the Portland Trail to experience the full history of the Jurassic region. A stout challenge at 17 miles, much of the route is on a safe, friendly cycle path and gives riders a great taste of the scenery. To make an enjoyable day out, there are also a number of picnic locations along the way.

Cycling on the Isle of Purbeck is a great fitness experience too. The site is perfect to enjoy the Rempstone Estate, take in Corfe Castle and get some amazing views of Poole harbour. With help from the knowledgeable folks at Purbeck Cycle Hire, you can explore the island from the Norden and Wareham train stations. Trails will take you through Arne Nature Reserve and Wareham Forest. The local cycle experts offer mechanical back-up, guided tours and a trail centre at Purbeck Station.

Another great way to be active is hiring a bike from Portland Bike. They focus on giving families a great Dorset experience. Riding nearby trails, visitors can enjoy great sea views, gaze upon the southern tip of Pulpit Rock and peer through the Olympic Rings that stand over the village. Portland Bike offers mountain bikes and hybrid bikes as well. They will even deliver the bikes directly to your cottage door.

Image credit: Andym5855

Sport and the beach

Obviously, when looking for fitness options whilst at the beach, there is no better place to look than the sea itself. With the rocky shoreline as a great point of exploration, sea kayaking in and around Dorset’s major bays and coves is a fantastic activity. Leisurely or intense workouts, sea kayaking is the ideal way to enjoy the sea. If you don’t have your own equipment or experience, the Studland Sea School offers lessons, tours and kayak hire.

There are plenty of other activities to enjoy as well. There is swimming, surfing, windsurfing, or maybe even kite sailing for you to take part in whilst at the beach. Visitors can also enjoy wakeboarding and water skiing. With so many water sport choices in Dorset, there is a world of aquatic adventure waiting for you. The Watersports Academy in Poole can help you get involved in these activities and more.

In July, the entire Dorset region is gathering to celebrate being healthy. The Sport and Wellbeing Festival will be held in Weymouth. From July 14th through to the end of the month, a number of beach-based sports will be celebrated in the town. There will be different activities including volleyball, rounders, table tennis, Boccia and even some circus skills as well. All the activities are free to take part in and are part of the local councils’ commitment to inspiring a healthy lifestyle.

Image credit: Josh Dobson