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Sculpture by the Lakes

Large and tranquil sculpture park in a lakeside setting.

  • 4.7

  • from 609 Google reviews

Sculpture by the Lakes
Sculpture by the Lakes

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About the garden

A place to reflect. Hidden away in countryside close to Dorchester lies the peace and serenity of Sculpture by the Lakes, 26 acres of botanical gardens dotted with inspiring contemporary sculptures.

Wander the grounds and discover more than 30 permanent pieces by acclaimed sculptor Simon Gudgeon, designed to be viewed outside in the changing light. Follow trails that lead through woodland and among formal borders, then visit Gallery by the Lakes to view ever-changing displays by international and local artists.

Created to instil a sense of wellbeing, these are gardens designed to be savoured. Bring a picnic and find your favourite spot by the water, or enjoy the ‘field to plate’ ethos of the Café by the Lakes, where the seasonal menu is created from produce grown just a few feet away in the kitchen garden.

There is also the Artisan’s Bazaar, an Aladdin’s cave of unique art, crafts and handmade products, and the Artisan’s Pantry, where you can discover a wealth of artisan and small batch food and drink created by passionate producers from across the county and beyond.


Look out for workshops and events throughout the year including the FORM sculpture exhibition in April and May, which brings together more than 200 sculptures from leading contemporary artists, the Dorset Arts Festival in July, celebrating artists and crafters of the area, a series of Live music events during the summer, and September’s Wellbeing by the Lakes Festival, where you can immerse yourself in wellness practices and hear from expert speakers about the art and science of living well.

U14s and Babies Policy

Unfortunately, Sculpture by the Lakes is not permitted to allow access for children under 14, including babies. There is a lot of deep water and a fast flowing river, so the danger of accidents is too great a risk. We regret the inconvenience and hope that parents will understand that this mandatory restriction is in place to protect their children.

Seasonal Opening Hours:

1st Apr - 30th Sept Wed - Sun 10:00 am - 5:00 pm 1st Oct - 31st Mar Tue - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Opening times

1 April - 30 September Wednesday - Sunday 10AM - 5PM 1 Oct - 23 Dec & 1 Feb - 31 Mar Tuesday - Saturday 10AM - 5PM

Useful details

Garden area

26 Acres

Dog walking

No - Guide dogs only. (Due to the presence of rescue animals on site and fast-flowing river).

Cafe or restaurant

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


No - Children are not allowed. (See U14s policy above).

Bicycle storage

Yes - You can lock up your bike at Sculpture by the Lakes.

Wheelchair access

Mostly accessible (many paths flat and paved).


Yes - There is a gift shop and plant shop.

Dorset, DT2 8QU

Tickets available

Events available

Check local coronavirus guidance before you visit

Weather forecast


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Sculpture by the Lakes
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Things to see

No features yet for this season

Upcoming events

Dorset Arts Festival 2022

Jun 29 - Jul 03 We-Su 10:00-17:00

An amazing award winning five day festival showcasing the best artists and makers in Dorset. We will have over 60 artists, crafters and makers gathered together at Sculpture by the Lakes to demonstrate their skills. You will be able to watch paintings being created, pots being thrown, jewellery being made and a whole range of other arts and crafts disciplines being demonstrated. Our aim is to make the whole festival about seeing artists and crafters demonstrate their skills and exhibit their work so you can see and understand the process.

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Still Moving DJ's Jumpin’ Jurassica - Music Event, July 9th

Jul 09

For the third evening in our Summer Series the sculpture park becomes the classiest of festivals. Grab a cocktail from the bar and dance or chill out to the Still Moving DJs on our new stage. The Still-Moving DJs are a lively, unique and alternative DJ duo with a well-stocked but carefully chosen selection of music by great musicians, with live percussion, ship lanterns,

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Doel Brothers Hillbillies Hootenanny - Music Event, July 23th

jul 23

We all love the 1950s, and so our fourth evening in The Summer Series will be devoted to exactly that. Vintage cars around the site and our wood fired dining will bring out the

Look out for our wandering minstrel tonight. Harry Skinner is a much loved Blues musician and tonight he will be performing solo- who knows where you will find him? After a stroll amongst the sculpture and our visiting collection of vintage cars, join us at our new stage for a date with The Doel Brothers.

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The FB Pocket Orchestra Around the World in 80 Staves - Music Event, August 6th

aug 06

The FB Pocket Orchestra join us for the fifth evening in our Summer Series. They bring with them a new departure- a musical journey around the world. In a world where being green means less travel, let the Pocket Orchestra bear the brunt of your carbon footprint as we travel from London to Lisbon, from Paris to Peking and from Ulster to Ulaanbaattar.

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Nova Foresta The Mystery of the Murdered Swan - Music Event, August 20th

aug 20

Join us for a Murder Mystery finale to our Summer Season. We are catapulted back to the 1920s as we work together to solve the mystery of the murdered ballerina. Who killed her? How can we catch them? And how will the mystery be solved? Join the hunt, search for clues and watch out for a cameo from the great Simon Gudgeon himself! Sculpture by the Lakes has commissioned this special murder mystery from Russell Biles and the Strictly Murder team.

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Wellbeing by the Lakes 2022 Entry Ticket

08 Sep 22- 11 Sep 22

Set in the picturesque Sculpture by the Lakes park, Wellbeing by the Lakes is a 4-day festival exploring what it means to be mindful and live well in this fast-paced modern world. A curated blend of free expert talks, guided meditations, art and shopping marketplace, as well as bookable movement sessions, sound baths and healing therapies all designed to open your eyes to fresh experiences for health & wellbeing.

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Day Ticket

Single-Day Ticket - valid for entry only on the date selected below.

Important information: Please note, no children under 14 (including babies), no dogs (except assistance dogs) and no campervans are permitted on site.

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Friends of Sculpture by the Lakes

Access the garden for a year.

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Want to gift a Friends of Sculpture by the Lakes to someone? See how this works.

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The Pavilion

Situated on the edge of the Artist’s Pool it accommodates up to eight people and is in a privately fenced off area. It has a dining table and chairs inside and sliding glass doors leading out onto a deck; then a jetty leads you to a floating platform with luxurious sofas - the perfect spot for group celebrations with family and friends.

Admission must be purchased separately.

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The Island

This secluded island is situated on Rainbow Lake and houses a privately enclosed pavilion with soft seating, a picnic table, and wood burning stove. It accommodates six people and is accessible across a small bridge. A perfect hideaway retreat.

Admission must be purchased separately.

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The River Keeper’s Hut

On the river’s edge, this wonderful space accommodates four. A cosy indoor space with table, chairs and a wood-burning stove. Lovely outdoor picnic area.

Admission must be purchased separately.

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Google reviews

  • 4.7

  • from 609 Google reviews


a week ago


Bit of a hidden gem ... Peaceful tranquility.. leisurely stroll around a nice lake admiring the scenic qualities of the sculptures dotted around. Large car park. cafe. Opportunity to buy your own sculpture,art pieces, in the well presented gallery,.. admission fee,age restrictions,no dogs. Check beforehand for details. Hire a cabin for the day and just chill . Event and wedding hire possible. It really is a nice place.

Ross Penman

2 months ago


Beautiful setting - very peaceful. Adults only (no children or dogs allowed). The site is more extensive than we expected. You can easily spend 2-3 hours here. They welcome visitors to bring a picnic and enjoy by the lakeside.

Mark Locke

a month ago


Very relaxing and enjoyable day. Beautiful place to visit and the sculptures, along with the setting is wonderful. However, I personally feel that the items for sale in their shop and from the cafe are extremely overpriced. Otherwise, I truly recommend it for a picnic and romantic walk around.

Brian Bailey

2 months ago


Impressive quiet place to relax and enjoy the gardens and sculptures. Just visited again after their winter closure. Significant work on gardens and paths improved the landscaping. Sculptures updated and other facilities. The wildlife also appear to enjoy this area as well. Friendly helpful staff.

Alison Fenwick

a month ago


Our first visit. Beautifully warm, sunny day. Easy parking. Gentle strolls round tranquil lakes. Very interesting selection of sculptures and stalls. Good eateries. Definitely recommend 👍

Contact the garden

07720 637808

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