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Forde Abbey House & Gardens

Medieval monastery and gardens with beautiful planting.

  • 4.7

  • from 995 Google reviews

Forde Abbey and Gardens
Forde Abbey and Gardens

1 of 4

About the garden

Forde Abbey was originally farmed by monks in the 12th century, but these days the gardens are open to the public and the spectacular sight of this ancient building, set in magnificent grounds is well worth a visit. The gardens are an incredible example of how history can be preserved and restored while also evolving to suit modern sensibilities and a changing climate. From the cleverly executed wildflower spiral and established Woodland Garden to new additions, which include an Asian-inspired woodland and prairie garden.

While the Abbey itself is notable for being included as one of the ‘Hundred Best Buildings’ in England by Pevsner, the garden also has its own claim to fame, with the country’s highest powered fountain. While you’re mulling over the mechanics behind the water feature, seek out the arboretum, bog garden and the Victorian kitchen garden, where the fragrant cut flowers are grown that adorn the house and tearoom. With so many stunning focal points (and well placed benches), and a colour palette that shifts and evolves tastefully throughout the seasons, it’s easy to see why monks were drawn to these 30 acres of Somerset.

Opening times

The gardens will be open for snowdrop weekends in February Open daily from 1st Mar - 31st Oct, 2022 10.30am - 5.00pm

Useful details

Garden area

30 Acres

Dog walking

Yes - Dogs on leads.

Cafe or restaurant

Food and drink facilities include a cafe/restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating.

Family

Yes - Children of all ages.

Bicycle storage

Yes - Yes - You can lock up your bike.

Wheelchair access

Very accessible (all paths flat and paved).

Shops

Yes - There is a gift shop and plant shop.

Somerset, TA20 4LU

Check local coronavirus guidance before you visit

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Find the garden

Forde Abbey House & Gardens
Somerset
TA20 4LU
Sat Nav Postcode
TA20 4LU
Public Transport
The nearest train station is Crewkerne.
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Things to see

No features yet for this season

Google reviews

  • 4.7

  • from 995 Google reviews

Alan Keevil

3 months ago

5

REVIEW GARDEN ONLY: For many years I treated my parents to weekends at the Warner Hotels and have had many great breaks at Warner Cricket St Thomas, where at every stay we would visit Forde Abbey. (Although not the subject of this review I can also give a top recommendation to the Cricket St Thomas Hotel, it's just a lovely place to stay).This means I know the Forde Abbey gardens very well, they have never disappointed over the years. This year my visit was different, I have taken up photography after a long gap (50 years) so have made several visits with my camera gear. As far as photography goes these gardens are fantastic. The abbey from the rear is beautiful, and has the bonus of being set in well-proportioned grounds, with 3 lakes and a fantastic fountain. I am not a plant expert but I have noted all the gardeners spending time with visitors giving them tips, all the staff are brilliant (they even let me put my tripod on the boarders as I am careful). The coffee shop is good and light lunches are very well priced. The gift shop is very good, you will not have any problems buying any gifts for friends. Whether for a day out with friends or family or photography these garden are very highly recommended. Again all the staff are great please pass the comments on.

Jane Hiscock

5 months ago

5

We visited on an extremely hot but breezy day. Very few people. The gardens were well kept as always. Beautiful borders. The kitchen garden packed with growth. Always exciting when the Fountain explodes into the sky. Perfect blue backdrop. Friendly staff. I thoroughly recommend visiting.

Paula Colbourne

6 months ago

5

Nice visit here with my friend, lots of space to wander around, some stunning gardens and very well set out, fascinating building as well, lovely to step back in time. The food was really lovely in the coffee shop, I had the leek and potato soup which tasted homemade (but wasn’t advertised as such)

David White

6 months ago

5

We only visited the gardens. Very peaceful midweek. Dog friendly everywhere, except the house itself, which doesn't allow pushchairs either. I presume wheelchairs and walkers are OK. One of our party got around the garden as far as the big pond (and back) with a 4-wheeled walking aid. The gardens are colourful and very well kept, although there were some very noisy chainsaws at lunchtime. There are extensive lawns but also very well planted gardens and borders. Several scenic lakes, each with their own character. The tearoom is good, limited choice of tasty paninis and sandwiches. Dogs allowed indoors, which is spacious. The Eele pottery, and gift shop, are well stocked, the plant centre is bigger than some garden centres, moderately priced with a wide variety variety of healthy plants. Parking is free and there's plenty of space.

siobain duckworth

8 months ago

4

The gardens are magnificent and a pleasure to spend time in, so I don't mind paying £12.50 towards their upkeep. Make that £15 if you visit the house, which I found a bit gloomy and the information sheets few and far between. There was also an exhibition of wedding dresses which I found detracted from the overall pleasure, they were everywhere and would I feel have been better relegated to one large room. Finally to the cafe. We all know the cost of living has rocketed but £7.50 for a sandwich with some lettuce and tomato garnish! and finally, not to use real butter, spoiled the pleasure of otherwise good ingredients. It was pretty gloomy there as well, a few well placed lights would have made the whole experience much pleasanter, and with a garden overflowing with flowers, some on the tables would have made all the difference.

Contact the garden

01460 221290

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