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Things to do inWareham

Visitor information for Wareham in Dorset

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It is hard to imagine that the pretty quay on the edge of the small town of Wareham was, during Saxon times, a very busy port. The growth of Poole reduced Wareham’s international trade and by the latter part of the 13th century the town was handling just local trade until the arrival of the railway in the mid-19th century, which then saw goods being sent by rail or road.   

But every cloud has a silver lining, and today the quay is a lovely spot for just lazing about on the banks of the river or perhaps for hiring a rowing boat. There’s also a small paddle steamer here which, on selected days during summer, takes passengers on a delightful cruise along the River Frome. A footpath alongside the river leads to Ridge then on to the Arne Nature Reserve, an expanse of heathland that spreads out to the waters of Poole Harbour. 

The town centre has mainly independent small shops that offer a refreshing alternative to the usual high street names. These are complemented by general and farmers’ markets which are held on Thursdays and Saturdays. The beautiful floral displays in hanging baskets and overflowing tubs are the result of much work from the Wareham in Bloom committee members and they regularly achieve awards in the Britain in Bloom competition.

On three sides of the town Saxon walls were built to repel Viking raids. Today, the walls remain as raised, grassy earth mounds with paths that offer views over the surrounding area.  

There’s fitness for all the family at the Purbeck Sports Centre, which also has a soft playzone for babies and toddlers; a town museum which gives an insight into Wareham’s past; and a charming cinema with a licensed bar from where you can purchase drinks to be enjoyed during your film. 

The Blue Pool, at nearby Furzebrook, sits in a tranquil surroundings and offers lovely walks around the water. Children will love searching for the magic fairy doors and seeing the Wareham Bears in their detailed miniature homes. 

Head out to Wareham Forest where you may spot the elusive Sika deer. The Sika cycle trail is a 7-mile track running through the forest which is ideal for cyclists of all abilities. 

For more information about Wareham and for leaflets on the local walks, call into the award-winning ‘Discover Purbeck’ information Centre, which is situated in Wareham Library, South Street or visit the website here.

Things to do in Wareham

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