A brief History
Dolphins River Park is one of
Charmouth's oldest caravan parks having had caravans on its site for over 40
years. It nestles peacefully on the banks of the River Char in the unspoilt
Dorset countryside. Rich with wildlife including Kingfishers, Deer and
Only one mile inland from the famous "fossil" beach of Charmouth and just
three miles from Lyme Regis - the "pearl" of Dorset. The coastline having
been awarded World Heritage Status. This area makes an excellent base from
which to discover the many obvious and hidden delights of West Dorset and
East Devon. Also very close to the ITV's fictional Broadchurch town at West
It had always been privately and family owned
up to 2019 when it was sold to Country Wide Park Homes at the beginning of
July that year and then sold on to the current owners of The Royale Group at
the end of the same month. The park then changed its name from Dolphins
River Park to Dolphins River.
The park has 36 pitches made up with 34 static caravans, one lodge and one
park home. The park has a licence to open all year and for holiday use only.
It sadly appears that the current owners are possibly planning on replacing the
static caravans with lodges on the park at some point, which is rather
surprising given the small overall size and flood risk. The park having a 12
month licence to remain open means that the lodges could be used all year
round. The local residents won't be happy with that with increased traffic
up and down a narrow lane and the Council would no doubt get involved again.
Obviously the Council Planning Dept would have to approve things.
that 'Wood Farm' caravan park, just up the road from
Dolphins, has this year been taken-over/purchased by the holiday
giant "Park Holidays" already having 42 holiday parks in
England sees the significant potential of increased static
caravan sales. And to this end are seeking the approval of
Dorset Council to change the current area for 53 touring
caravans to an area for 44 static caravans....
Being adjacent to the River Char, Dolphins
River Park is
prone to flooding. There has been three major floods with the loss of several
caravans in two of the incidents. One very significant flood was on May 30th 1979 and the other on
July 7th 2012.
Another more recent significant flooding was in the early hours of October
Here can be seen the
rapid rise and fall of the River Char's flooding at Charmouth on Oct 21st.
This was after several hours of heavy rain which was a frightening
experience with flood water roaring through the caravan park.
Damage was far less than in July 2012 but still not insignificant. However,
another hour of rain and things would have been much worse!
brigade's wading team were on scene at one point in the early hours.
Fire Brigade Wading Team along Berne Lane! Oct
Dolphins River entrance in flood - unable to get in or out for a few hours!
The park will obviously flood again at some point - so important for all
properties to be fully insured and particularly for floods. Unfortunately
not all insurers will insure units at Dolphins because of the flood risk.
For more information on the 1979 flooding
For more information on the 2012 flooding
Major flooding in 1979 - most caravans were
The Char Valley in-flood in May 1979