You don’t have to be in a fantasy novel to spend a day in magnificent castles and charming gardens. The stately homes and gardens in Dorset are the perfect destination for history enthusiasts. Have a closer look at the lives lived by long-dead princes, ladies and servants.
Dating back to the late 1400s, Athelhampton House and Gardens holds an inspiring collection of English furniture and its Great Hall is a true representation of Tudor architecture. The gardens hold the Octagonal pond, the Private Garden, pyramid yew trees as tall as 9 metres, and the Great Court. You can have a picnic or eat at the onsite restaurant. On-site and nearby parking are available as are disabled toilets. The grounds are wheelchair friendly.
Phone: 01305 848363
Address: Athelhampton, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 7LG, England
Animal lovers would be glad to find loads of different animals at Kingston Maurward Gardens and Animal Park.The 35-acre area features stunning gardens and lakes from different cultures, designs, and eras. Be sure to check out the Elizabethan Walled Garden and the Japanese Garden. The area is wheelchair accessible and there are disabled toilets, as well as on-site parking, a baby changing area, and a restaurant. You can have a picnic too.
Phone: 01305 215000
Address: Kingston Maurward, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 8PY, England
This stately home features a charming blend of Georgian and Tudor architecture with the most interesting features to see. Be sure to check out the 12th century church nearby and the organic walled garden. Find the unusual spring bulbs and trees in the gorgeous garden spanning 6 acres. There are light refreshments available on the property.
Phone: 01725 517207
Address: Edmondsham, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 5RE
Enjoy magnificent views of the Dorset hills and woodlands when you visit Mapperton House & Gardens. It was the location of ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’, a 2015 film, and according Country Life, the glorious Jacobean manor is ‘Voted the Nation’s Finest Manor House’. You can’t miss the lovely ponds and arboretum as you explore the 15-acre garden with borders, topiary, and orangery. There is a gift shop available, you can buy plants, and park on-site. Ramp access is available, guide dogs are allowed, and there are disabled toilets.
Phone: +44 01308 862645
Address: Mapperton, Beaminster, Dorset, DT8 3NR
This Georgian house overlooks an old deer park with the lovely garden holding St Barnabas parish church. The principle rooms of the house and the grounds are open to visitors only 28 days annually. There is free on-site parking available and guide dogs are allowed.
Phone: +44 01963 23511
Address: Stock Gaylard, Sturminster Newton, Dorset, DT10 2BG
3 SSW top tips for stately homes and gardens in Dorset
Hearty curators will be present to help you have a fuller experience. Don’t leave the little ones at home, they’ll love the experience.