Dorchester & Weymouth Area
Athlehampton House & Gardens
A Quintessential manor house with a labyrinth of gardens each with their own theme. Water forms the recurring feature with fountains, pools and the River Piddle. In the area you will also find Minterne Gardens, Maiden Castle Earthworks, Kingston Maurward Gardens, Abbotsbury and the Jurassic Coastline. The area is also famous for inspiring the works of Thomas Hardy and you can visit his cottage nearby in the village of Bockhampton.
Kingston Lacy House & Gardens
Owned by the National Trust, this 17th Century mansion contains an outstanding collection of paintings and other works of art, the house and gardens are set in a wooded park with attractive walks. The gardens are over 43 acres and feature restored Japanese Gardens, Victorian Fernery and Formal Gardens. The Wimborne area has many attractions, why not combine with a trip to Badbury Rings which is an Iron Age Hill fort, The Priest’s House Museum & Garden or Knoll Gardens which are Nationally Acclaimed Gardens with a Specialist Nursery.
Compton Acres and Brownsea Island
Compton Acres is one of the finest privately owned gardens in the South. It has a series of unique stunning gardens and a spectacular view of Poole Harbour. Poole Quay is nearby and steeped with history, from here you can get a boat to Brownsea Island, owned by the National Trust and the birthplace of Scouting & Guiding. The Island is 500 acres of tranquillity and freedom from traffic.
New Forest Area
Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway
Located in the New Forest, the gardens offer over 200 acres of natural beauty. Here you will see the world famous Rothschild collection of azaleas, camellias & rhododendrons.
To make the most of the day why not visit Bucklers Hard, a picturesque 18th century village on the banks of the Beaulieu River in the heart of the New Forest. Buckler’s Hard is a little over two miles from its sister attraction of Beaulieu, where visitors can tour the National Motor Museum as well as Palace House and Beaulieu Abbey.