Friday, 27 April 2012 8:26 AM
Choosing where to take your children on holiday in the UK can be tricky, but Dorset's Jurassic Coast could be the answer. The area offers youngsters sun, sea and sand, while they'll also be able to have an educational holiday, without them even realising!
The coastline, which stretches for 95 miles along the southern coast between Dorset and Devon, has rocks that have remained in the area for more than 185 million years. As a result, it is one of the richest locations in the world for Jurassic fossils - and you can find lots of your own when you go.
Plenty of remnants can be found along this stretch of coast, including ones from the Triassic and Cretaceous periods, as well as the Jurassic era. While it is not recommended you remove a lot of these prehistoric fossils from the shoreline, you are allowed to take some souvenirs back to your holiday home so your kids can be reminded of their special trip.
Indeed, this is a great getaway if your little ones are interested in dinosaurs or you want to add an educational element to your break, as they will become fascinated with what they discover about life in this area of Dorset millions of years ago.
To learn more about the region's geology and palaeontology, join a guided fossil hunting walk with your youngsters. Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre and the Lyme Regis Museum offer these trips, enabling you to listen to experts talking about dinosaurs and sealife that used to live in this area. These guides will also be able to lead you to particularly fossil-rich spots, where you can take a look at these ancient remnants up close.
However, you don't need to join a tour to locate these strange sightings, as Charmouth and Lyme Regis's cliffs are covered in prehistoric fossils for you to see. If your children are likely to want to spend all day searching for extracts on the beach or taking a splash in the sea, it is worth looking for holiday cottages by the Jurassic Coast, so you can reach the shoreline in next to no time.
As well as these two spots, head to Lulworth Cove. Near this picturesque bay, you may come across dinosaur footprints in the ground, which is likely to appeal to children with vivid imaginations.
Parents will also appreciate the amenities that can be found at Lulworth Cove, including a car park, toilets and baby-changing facilities. This is a good destination to head to in the middle of the day, as there are a number of places where you can grab some food. Tuck into tasty fish and chips to replenish your kids' energy for lunch, or treat them to a cool cone of ice cream on a warm summer's day.
This trip is bound to be so popular with your young ones that you could find some of their friends want to come along too. If this is the case, look for large holiday homes in Dorset that are within close proximity to the Jurassic Coast, so you can fit all the children in one cottage and all the youngsters can learn about the earth's intriguing history and its ancient creatures on one break away.