Dolphins River
Dolphins River caravan park - Charmouth Dorset
on the Jurassic Coast

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 Otters.
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 Bay.

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.

Being adjacent to the River Char the 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 21st 2021

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!
The fire brigade's wading team were on scene at one point in the early hours.


Fire Brigade Wading Team along Berne Lane!  Oct 2021


Dolphins River entrance in flood - unable to get in or out for a few hours!  Oct 2021

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 click here
For more information on the 2012 flooding click here


Major flooding in 1979 - most caravans were washed away


The Char Valley in-flood in May 1979

Major flooding again in July 2012 (caravans were anchored-down then, but many still ruined)
At some point the park will probably flood again, but anyone's guess when??

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Covid Update 2021 - Dorset County
(i.e. not including Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch)

Cases per 100,000
 people
cases in
 latest week
compared to
previous week
Total cases
591 2,244 +222 33,634 to 28th Oct
549 2,084 -213 34,584 to 1st Nov
571 2,168 -130 35,096 to 2nd Nov
574 2,180 -121 35,388 to 3rd Nov
563 2,137 -108 35,670 to 4th Nov
557 2,114 -34 35,905 to 5th Nov
482 1,830 -309 36,530 to 8th Nov
460 1,748 -426 36,754 to 9th Nov
437 1,660 -521 37,074 to 10th Nov
437 1,658 -480 37,411 to 11th Nov
434 1,648 -472 37,712 to 12th Nov
490 1,861 +21 38,547 to 15th Nov
504 1,913 +159 38,790 to 16th Nov
522 1,983 +324 39,064 to 17th Nov
544 2,066 +418 39,419 to 18th Nov
561 2,132 +486 39,678 to 19th Nov
577 2,193 +326 40,761 to 22nd Nov
577 2,191 +267 41,032 to 23rd Nov
583 2,214 +213 41,319 to 24th Nov
580 2,201 +124 41,687 to 25th Nov
590 2,241 +92 42,012 to 26th Nov
581 2,208 +5 42,951 to 29th Nov
586 2,225 +28 43,212 to 30th Nov
571 2,168 -69 43,566 to 1st Dec
579 2,199 -13 43,899 to 2nd Dec
569 2,161 -83 44,242 to 3rd Dec
       
       
       
Covid Update 2021 - East Devon
.
552 817 +24 13,570 to 28th Oct
511 757 -83 13,885 to 1st Nov
509 754 -107 14,058 to 2nd Nov
502 744 -100 14,180 to 3rd Nov
496 735 -85 14,264 to 4th Nov
498 737 -35 14,369 to 5th Nov
440 651 -117 14,588 to 8th Nov
423 627 -131 14,701 to 9th Nov
417 617 -131 14,827 to 10th Nov
420 622 -115 14,933 to 11th Nov
427 633 -106 15,055 to 12th Nov
474 702 +50 15,335 to 15th Nov
491 727 +99 15,422 to 16th Nov
504 747 +129 15,521 to 17th Nov
494 731 +110 15,639 to 18th Nov
477 706 +73 15,744 to 19th Nov
488 722 +15 16,053 to 22nd Nov
490 726 -5 16,171 to 23rd Nov
498 737 -13 16,285 to 24th Nov
504 746 +14 16,399 to 25th Nov
521 771 +62 16,544 to 26th Nov
509 753 +25 16,829 to 29th Nov
503 745 +15 16,923 to 30th Nov
493 730 -14 17,057 to 1st Dec
490 726 -27 17,183 to 2nd Dec
494 732 -43 17,318 to 3rd Dec
       
       
       

info@dolphinsriverpark.co.uk