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Sculpture by the Lakes

Large and tranquil sculpture park in a lakeside setting.

  • 4.7

  • from 692 Google reviews

Sculpture by the Lakes
Sculpture by the Lakes

1 of 8

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

Check local coronavirus guidance before you visit

Weather forecast


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Sculpture by the Lakes
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No features yet for this season

Google reviews

  • 4.7

  • from 692 Google reviews


2 months ago


A lovely walk made interesting by a variety of sculptures along the way; there are picnic places along the route set in pretty locations.The site is well maintained. There is wheelchair access to some of the lakeside walk, it is challenging for those with reduced mobility. Smaller copies of the sculptures can be found in an on site gallery. There are also a nice cafe and shop on the site and good essential services such as parking and toilets.

Ed Young

4 months ago


We had a lovely time at Sculpture by the Lakes. The lake walks are flat and easy to follow with surprises around every corner. There are some beautiful places to sit and eat or just relax. The shop had a good selection of locally made products which is always great to see.

Ryan Alexander

4 months ago


Lovely, quiet place that's perfect for a sunny day and a picnic. No dogs and no children (under 14). Also have a lovely farm shop and restaurant - didn't buy anything as we brought lunch but was nice to have a browse. If you like sculptures and a peaceful walk around gardens and lakes this is for you. Can also buy fresh veg and plants and all veg grown is used in there restaurant and cafe.

Gavin Jones

4 months ago


Being a bit cynical of pretentious art installations, I was really surprised by how much I loved this place. So much thought has gone into the placement of the sculptures around the lakes and the design of the gardens, it's an amazing realisation of someone's vision. You've got to sit on every bench or seating area to soak up the view, so much so that the 3 hours we spent there went way too fast. I feel constantly stressed with the pressures of family and work, but for that short time, I was relaxed and could just simply enjoy being somewhere utterly serene. Well worth a visit!

kevin adams

3 months ago


Lovely place for a slow walk. Fantastic sculptures well placed. Mix of new and old landscape. Gallery Good facilities, shop, café, toilets Must pre book tickets Spent 3hrs here on a rainy day still enjoyable. No dogs, over 14 only.

Contact the garden

07720 637808

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