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.

It's interesting 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 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
748 2,839 +665 52,517 to 27th Dec
788 2,991 +769 52,877 to 28th Dec
782 2,971 +708 53,658 to 29th Dec
820 3,113 +775 54,327 to 30th Dec
855 3,247 +848 55,136 to 31st Dec
1,100 4,176 +1,321 57,172 to 3rd Jan
1,149 4,365 +1,360 57,861 to 4th Jan
1,186 4,506 +1,520 58,554 to 5th Jan
1,237 4,698 +1,559 59,211 to 6th Jan
1,283 4,872 +1,589 60,054 to 7th Jan
1,258 4,777 +565 61,633 to 10th Jan
1,182 4,490 +69 61,976 to 11th Jan
1,159 4,403 -156 62,532 to 12th Jan
1,076 4,086 -664 62,896 to 13th Jan
1,016 3,858 -1,049 63,285 to 14th Jan
691 2,625 -2,170 64,260 to 17th Jan
667 2,534 -1,979 64,645 to 18th Jan
664 2,521 -1,898 65,160 to 19th Jan
666 2,529 -1,574 65,679 to 20th Jan
668 2,536 -1,332 66,129 to 21st Jan
745 2,828 +185 67,418 to 24th Jan
769 2,922 +379 67,915 to 25th Jan
       
       
Covid Update 2021 - East Devon
.
625 925 +191 20,101 to 27th Dec
684 1,013 +283 20,344 to 28th Dec
678 1,004 +264 20,582 to 29th Dec
724 1,072 +339 20,758 to 30th Dec
769 1,138 +373 21,055 to 31st Dec
912 1,350 +413 21,684 to 3rd Jan
952 1,410 +387 21,953 to 4th Jan
1,001 1,483 +466 22,174 to 5th Jan
1,074 1,591 +505 22,457 to 6th Jan
1,103 1,633 +494 22,616 to 7th Jan
1,094 1,620 +258 23,133 to 10th Jan
1,018 1,507 +80 23,279 to 11th Jan
983 1,455 -44 23,475 to 12th Jan
897 1,329 -276 23,607 to 13th Jan
846 1,253 -391 23,747 to 14th Jan
646 957 -664 24,205 to 17th Jan
654 968 -546 24,425 to 18th Jan
670 992 -472 24,618 to 19th Jan
706 1,045 -293 24,811 to 20th Jan
757 1,121 -134 25,047 to 21st Jan
868 1,286 +326 25,629 to 24th Jan
885 1,310 +342 25,873 to 25th Jan
       
       
for more information on Charmouth itself scan QR Code or click here

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info@dolphinsriverpark.co.uk

 

 

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