Forde Abbey & Gardens – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Whilst researching gardens in Dorset, we came across Forde Abbey and Gardens, cant quite believe we havnt visited this Dorset gem. Its really breathtaking! The Abbey is well worth a visit too! The gardens include arboretum, kitchen garden, rock garden, ponds.
The garden is Open All Year.
Adults are £10 but under 15s go free
Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens
Voted HHA Garden of the Year 2012. Established in 1765 by the first Countess of Ilchester as a kitchen garden for her nearby castle. Developed since then into a magnificent 30 acre garden filled with rare and exotic plants from all over the world.
Open all year except the last two weeks of December.
£11.50 per adult £8.50 per child.
Bennets Water Garden
Home to the National collection of water lillies. Beautiful ponds with quaint Monet style bridges. Over 8 acres of gardens with lilles that flower from Spring to late Autumn.
Open beginning April – end September.
£8.50 per adult and £4.25 per child.
Mapperton House & Gardens
Mapperton Gardens is a romantic valley garden deep into a lost Dorset combe among tumbling hills and unspoiled countryside. The gardens descend from the croquet lawn, through the formal topiary down to the wild garden. The manor house with its church, stable block, coach house, dovecote and courtyard is a glorious harmony of golden sandstone and stands on level ground looking across terraced gardens, grass banks and wooded hill which descend steeply to the south. Pevsner’s Dorset guide says “there can hardly be a more enchanting manorial group than Mapperton
Open beginning of March – end October.
£6 adults, £3 under 18’s, under 5’s free
Athelhampton House & Gardens
Another HHA Garden of the year winner back in 1997. Over 20 acres of Italianate gardens with lovely sculpted yew trees. Beautifully maintained with a courtyard garden, which leads to other ‘secret’ gardens.
Open March – Oct.
The Minterne Valley was landscaped in the manner of Capability Brown in the 18th Century. The gardens are laid out in a horseshoe below Minterne House, with a chain of small lakes, waterfalls and streams. They contain an unique collection of Himalayan Rhododendrons and Azaleas, with Spring bulbs, Cherries, Maples and many fine and rare trees; the garden is noted for its Autumn colouring.
Open Feb – Nov.
Adults are £5 and under 12’s are free
The Gardens are grade II listed and whether you are a serious gardener or just someone who is looking for a beautiful place to visit they will not disappoint you.
There is a huge variety of plants and trees to see and don’t miss the walled garden which is a really peaceful spot. The gardens are tended by just 5 full time gardeners with help from students on various types of Horticulture courses.
Open all year except Christmas.
Adults £6, children £4.50.
Knoll Gardens & Nursery
Our sales nursery sits alongside our renowned naturalistic garden. Planted with thousands of our own grasses and flowering perennials, the garden is home to one of the country’s most extensive collections of grasses and provides the perfect opportunity to see how they can work in a real garden environment.
Alongside the grasses you’ll also find a wonderful collection of rare and unusual trees and shrubs. Many date back to the garden’s inception in the 1970s, including some stunning Eucalyptus. They form a powerful backdrop for our grasses, and help to create a wonderful sense of seclusion as you stroll around what is now a nationally recognised 4-acre garden.
FREE TO THE PUBLIC these lovely public gardens boast a tennis court, lovely childrens play park with fountains and gym area.