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Sherborne Castle & Gardens

Sherborne

Beautiful landscaped parkland and two castles to explore.

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Compton Acres

Poole

Lavish themed gardens near Bournemouth beach.

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Sculpture by the Lakes

Dorchester

Large and tranquil sculpture park in a lakeside setting.

Norwood House

Dorchester

Set within a small family estate, the garden offers scenic pink, purple and white borders and a variety of geraniums and perennials, with a lake walk weather permitting.

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National Trust's Max Gate

Dorchester

Atmospheric Victorian home designed by Thomas Hardy, including a garden with high walls and large trees encircling the property to preserve Hardy's privacy. The sundial, designed by Hardy, was erected in his memory.

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National Trust's Kingston Lacy

Dorset

Beautiful country estate set in over 8,500 acres of Dorset and bequeathed to the National Trust in 1981.

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Bennetts Water Gardens

Weymouth

Water lily ponds and a Tropical House near Chesil Beach.

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Larmer Tree

Wiltshire

Opulent Victorian gardens with free-flying parrots.

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Minterne Gardens

Dorset

A stunning collection of Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Magnolias and rare trees. A real explore into the Himalayas. All set in the most beautiful Dorset countryside.

Slape Manor

Bridport

River valley garden with spacious lawns and primula-fringed streams leading to a lake, surrounded by a huge variety of plants and fauna.

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Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens

Dorset

Those seeking warmer climes need go no further than Dorset, or the Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens to be exact. Surrounded by 20 acres of woodland valley, the balmy micro-climate ensures a burst of colourful blooms to brighten the dullest of overcast days. Ruby red bridges carry visitors into sunken gardens home to golden pheasants, woodland bejewelled with rhododendrons and hydrangeas, past Camellia groves and palm tree-fringed pathways. This botanical treasure-trove is down to the 4th Earl of Ilchester, an amateur botanist who brought back a range of exotic and rare plants from his many travels. But a visit here wouldn’t be complete without seeing the sweeping vistas of Dorset Jurassic Coast, (a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site no less) from the top of Magnolia Walk. Family-friendly activities range from willow weaving and open-air theatre to the on-site swannery and children’s farm. Head here in October, when the Autumn foliage is accentuated by theatrical lighting as part of the Enchanted Floodlit Gardens event.

The Old Rectory, Manston

Sturminster Newton

Restored five acre garden with herbaceous border edged by an old brick path, also featuring a flower garden, wildflower meadow and a well-maintained Victorian kitchen garden, amongst other exciting features!

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Mapperton House and Gardens

Beaminster

Historic manor house and romantic gardens with outstanding countryside views.

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Shaftesbury Abbey Museum & Gardens

Shaftesbury

A peaceful garden with medieval herbs.

Smedmore House

Wareham

A walled garden with sculpture walk down to the sea.

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Upton Country Park

Upton

Family-friendly estate with gardens and woodland trails.

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Keyneston Mill

Blandford Forum

Most public gardens have scented flowers dotted about, but at Keyneston Mill there’s an entire garden dedicated to fragrant florals. That’s because this 50-acre estate doubles up as the growing and distillation site for luxury perfumer Parterre Fragrances. To see where the magic happens just follow your nose through the grassy hills of Tarrant Valley until you reach the colourful fields of Keyneston Mill Botanic Gardens. As you sniff your way around these formal gardens, you’ll float through a range of intoxicating fragrance families from subtle florals and classic scents such as lavender and rosemary, to zesty citrus notes and more unusual spices such as Vietnamese Coriander. Make a note of your favourite aromas as you wander so you can make a beeline for them in the perfume shop later. And once you’ve savoured and spritzed the flora on display, pop into The Scented Botanist Bistro-Café to savour the locally grown menu.

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Athelhampton

Dorset

Welcome to Athelhampton House and Gardens, a spectacular 15th century manor house and grounds 5 miles east of the Dorset town of Dorchester.

Well Cottage

Bridport

One acre garden restored over the past five years, with natural planting and superb views over Marshwood Vale.

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Lulworth Castle

Wareham

Lulworth Castle is surrounded by extensive parkland, woodland walks, a children’s playground, and spacious grounds for you to enjoy. The recently opened Castle Tearoom also offers homemade cakes and cream teas.

The Old Rectory, Pulham

Dorchester

Four acres of formal and informal gardens with splendid views, yew hedges, circular herbaceous borders and a flourishing bog garden.

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Cranborne Manor & Gardens

Wimborne

Cranborne Manor Garden surrounds the ancient Manor House. The garden has evolved over the years, each generation making their contribution.

The Mill House

Bridport

Extensive garden featuring a mill stream and pond, along with formal walled terraced and vegetable gardens.

Staddlestones

Wimborne

Cottage garden with colour-themed borders, limes and a selection of unusual plants and wildlife.

Dog-friendly gardens

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Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens

Dorset

Those seeking warmer climes need go no further than Dorset, or the Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens to be exact. Surrounded by 20 acres of woodland valley, the balmy micro-climate ensures a burst of colourful blooms to brighten the dullest of overcast days. Ruby red bridges carry visitors into sunken gardens home to golden pheasants, woodland bejewelled with rhododendrons and hydrangeas, past Camellia groves and palm tree-fringed pathways. This botanical treasure-trove is down to the 4th Earl of Ilchester, an amateur botanist who brought back a range of exotic and rare plants from his many travels. But a visit here wouldn’t be complete without seeing the sweeping vistas of Dorset Jurassic Coast, (a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site no less) from the top of Magnolia Walk. Family-friendly activities range from willow weaving and open-air theatre to the on-site swannery and children’s farm. Head here in October, when the Autumn foliage is accentuated by theatrical lighting as part of the Enchanted Floodlit Gardens event.

Smedmore House

Wareham

A walled garden with sculpture walk down to the sea.

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Compton Acres

Poole

Lavish themed gardens near Bournemouth beach.

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Shaftesbury Abbey Museum & Gardens

Shaftesbury

A peaceful garden with medieval herbs.

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Sherborne Castle & Gardens

Sherborne

Beautiful landscaped parkland and two castles to explore.

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Keyneston Mill

Blandford Forum

Most public gardens have scented flowers dotted about, but at Keyneston Mill there’s an entire garden dedicated to fragrant florals. That’s because this 50-acre estate doubles up as the growing and distillation site for luxury perfumer Parterre Fragrances. To see where the magic happens just follow your nose through the grassy hills of Tarrant Valley until you reach the colourful fields of Keyneston Mill Botanic Gardens. As you sniff your way around these formal gardens, you’ll float through a range of intoxicating fragrance families from subtle florals and classic scents such as lavender and rosemary, to zesty citrus notes and more unusual spices such as Vietnamese Coriander. Make a note of your favourite aromas as you wander so you can make a beeline for them in the perfume shop later. And once you’ve savoured and spritzed the flora on display, pop into The Scented Botanist Bistro-Café to savour the locally grown menu.

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National Trust's Kingston Lacy

Dorset

Beautiful country estate set in over 8,500 acres of Dorset and bequeathed to the National Trust in 1981.

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Upton Country Park

Upton

Family-friendly estate with gardens and woodland trails.

The Blue Pool

Dorset

The Blue Pool at Furzebrook constantly varies in colour. Very fine clay in suspension in the water diffracts light in different ways, producing a spectrum of colour sometimes green sometimes turquoise.

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Athelhampton

Dorset

Welcome to Athelhampton House and Gardens, a spectacular 15th century manor house and grounds 5 miles east of the Dorset town of Dorchester.

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Cranborne Manor & Gardens

Wimborne

Cranborne Manor Garden surrounds the ancient Manor House. The garden has evolved over the years, each generation making their contribution.

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Minterne Gardens

Dorset

A stunning collection of Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Magnolias and rare trees. A real explore into the Himalayas. All set in the most beautiful Dorset countryside.

Deans Court

Wimborne

The garden of 13-acres, set within the estate in the Stour valley, features some unusual mature specimen trees and a Saxon fishpond which fed the inhabitants of Wimborne’s monastery between 8th and 11th centuries.

Kingston Maurward Gardens

Dorset

When it comes to the UK’s great gardens, choosing one that pleases the whole family is no easy task but Kingston Maurward Animal Park and Gardens does just that. Bring your brood to the heart of the Dorset countryside and let them loose among the deep green hedges, luscious borders and sweeping lawns of Kingston Maurward Gardens. Pretend you're royalty in the Crown Garden, race to the top of the Temple Mound and breathe in the panoramic views before a game of hide and seek among the bamboo of the Japanese Garden. After exhausting the 35 acre stretch of formal gardens, reward little ones with a trip to the animal park. At the play barn, kids can meet and greet rabbits, guinea pigs, sheep, alpacas, Shetland ponies and many of the park’s furry residents. The indoor play area and café are welcome pit stops, particularly if the weather isn’t playing ball.

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Lulworth Castle

Wareham

Lulworth Castle is surrounded by extensive parkland, woodland walks, a children’s playground, and spacious grounds for you to enjoy. The recently opened Castle Tearoom also offers homemade cakes and cream teas.

Holworth Farmhouse

Dorchester

Unusual hidden garden providing a tranquil space to enjoy the vegetable garden, unusual plants, ponds and water features.

Slape Manor

Bridport

River valley garden with spacious lawns and primula-fringed streams leading to a lake, surrounded by a huge variety of plants and fauna.

Langebride House

Dorchester

Old rectory garden with carpets of spring bulbs under a huge copper beech tree, also with a variety of daffodils and herbaceous borders with kitchen garden.

The Mill House

Bridport

Extensive garden featuring a mill stream and pond, along with formal walled terraced and vegetable gardens.

Horn Park Gardens

Dorset

Large, plantsman’s garden with magnificent view to sea. Many rare and mature plants and shrubs in terraced, herbaceous, rock and water gardens. Woodland garden and walks in bluebell woods. Good autumn colouring. Wild flower meadow with 164 varieties incl orchids.

Hilltop Garden

Gillingham

Old thatched cottage swarmed with colours and scents from a huge range of flowers, alongside unusual perennials and annuals plus some more traditional varieties - attracting an abundance of wildlife.

Highlights this month

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Compton Acres

Poole

Lavish themed gardens near Bournemouth beach.

Braddocks

Bridport

Three acres of sloping gardens, full of herbaceous plants, wildflowers, roses and specimen trees, amongst many others.

Greenhouses

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Bennetts Water Gardens

Weymouth

Water lily ponds and a Tropical House near Chesil Beach.

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Mapperton House and Gardens

Beaminster

Historic manor house and romantic gardens with outstanding countryside views.

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National Trust's Kingston Lacy

Dorset

Beautiful country estate set in over 8,500 acres of Dorset and bequeathed to the National Trust in 1981.

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