stately homes gardens etc in Dorset
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Stately Homes & Gardens in Dorset

Heritage sites also including country houses in Dorset...

Dorset Stately Homes, Country Houses & Gardens

blank tabRED HOUSE MUSEUM & GARDENSStately Homes & Gardens
Quay Road, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 1BU
Establishment Photo
A charming Georgian building filled with a rich variety of displays and objects, all with a local theme.

• Local History • Archaeology • Special Displays • Regular workshops and family activities • Temporary Exhibitions • Costume Gallery • Local Resource Room.

Relax in the aromatic walled Herb Garden featuring herbs and old-fashioned roses, and stroll through the woodland walk in the tranquil South Garden.

Gift shop. Coffee shop. Admission Free.
Tel: 01202 482860See our

blank tabMINTERNE GARDENSStately Homes & Gardens
Minterne Magna, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 7AU
Wander through 20 acres of wild woodland gardens with many fine and rare trees.

Landscaped in the 18th century with lakes, cascades and streams.

Minterne Gardens formed the setting of Great Hintock House in Thomas Hardy's 'The Woodlanders'.

Dogs welcome on leads only.

Unsuitable for wheelchair users.
Tel: 01300 341370
See our

Max Gate

Alington Avenue, Dorchester, DT1 2AA
Tel: 01305 262538     E-mail:

Max Gate Photo © John Lamper
Max Gate -
Photo: John Lamper CCL


Home of novelist and poet Thomas Hardy. Thomas Hardy designed and lived in this house from 1885 till his death in 1928.

Here he wrote Tess of the Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure and The Mayor of Casterbridge, as well as much of his poetry.


Discount National Trust Membership

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Hardy's Cottage

Higher Bockhampton, Near Dorchester, DT2 8QJ
Tel: 01305 262366     E-mail:

Hardy's Cottage Photo  Chris Shaw
Hardy's Cottage -
Photo: Chris Shaw CCL


Birthplace of novelist and poet Thomas Hardy. Thomas Hardy was born in 1840 in this small cob and thatch cottage and from here he would walk to school every day in Dorchester, three miles away.

It was built by his great-grandfather and is little altered since. The interior has been furnished by the NT (see also Max Gate). His early novels Under the Greenwood Tree and Far from the Madding Crowd were written here.

It has a charming cottage garden.

Discount National Trust Membership

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Kingston Lacy

Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 4EA
Tel: 01202 883402    Fax: 01202 882402

Kingston Lacy Photo © Richard Slessor
Kingston Lacy -
Photo: Richard Slessor CCL


This National Trust owned mansion houses many important collections and is set in attractive formal gardens and parkland. It is famous for its dramatic Spanish Room, with walls hung in magnificent gilded leather, and collection of Egyptian artefacts. The house and garden are set in a wooded park with waymarked walks and a fine herd of North Devon cattle.

The surrounding working estate, with its rich diversity of flora and fauna, is crossed by many paths (leaflet available from reception) and dominated by the Iron Age hill-fort of Badbury Rings. The botanically rich Rings are managed by grazing cattle and sheep and dogs are permitted on a lead.

Discount National Trust Membership

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Clouds Hill

Wareham, BH20 7NQ
Tel: 01929 405616     E-mail:

Clouds Hill Photo © John Nicholson
Clouds Hill -
Photo: John Nicholson CCL


The rural retreat of T. E. Lawrence. T. E. Lawrence ('Lawrence of Arabia') bought this tiny isolated brick and tile cottage in 1925.

The austere rooms are much as he left them and reflect his complex personality and close links with the Middle East. An exhibition details Lawrence's extraordinary life.

Discount National Trust Membership

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Mapperton Gardens

Mapperton, Beaminster, Dorset, DT8 3NR
Tel: 01308 862645    Fax: 01308 861082

Mapperton Gardens is a quixotic valley garden, surrounded by rolling hills and untouched countryside. The gardens descend from the magnificent lawn, through the formal topiary down to the valley garden. The manor house with its church, stable block, coach house, dovecote and courtyard is in essence a part of its countryside, a glorious harmony of golden sandstone.

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Athelhampton House

Athelhampton, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 7LG
Tel: 01305 848363    E-mail:

Aside from the tours of the house and gardens, Athelhampton offers a range of facilities, including; a gift shop, informal lunches in the Topiary Restaurant, Sunday Carvery. Athelhampton is also available to hire for wedding ceremonies, receptions, formal private dining and conferences.

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Kingston Maurward Gardens and Animal Park

Kingston Maurward College, Kingston Maurward, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 8PY
Tel: 01305 215003    Fax: 01305 215001

Kingston Maurward House was originally built around 1720 for George Pitt, a cousin of Prime Minister Pitt and now forms the grounds of Kingston Maurward College.  The campus attractions include; a commercial farm, animal care unit, parkland, with formal gardens and the Equestrian Centre.

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Wolfeton House

Charminster, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 9PN
Tel: 01305 263500    Fax: 01305 265090

Wolfeton House is a Grade 1 listed early Tudor and Elizabethan manor house, built by Sir Thomas Trenchard around 1500, at Charminster on the River Cerne. Groups by appointment throughout the year.

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Knoll Gardens and Nursery

Hampreston, Wimborne, BH21 7ND
Tel: 01202 873931    Fax: 01202 870842

'Specialist growers of Ornamental Grasses and Perennials and the U.K. home of Ulmus Princeton the disease tolerant elm.'

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Abbotsbury Sub-tropical Gardens

Bullers Way, Abbotsbury, Weymouth, Dorset, DT3 4LA
Tel: 01305 871387 or 871153    Fax: 01305 871092

The origin of Abbotsbury Sub-tropical Gardens can be traced back to 1765 when the first Countess of Ilchester established a kitchen garden to her nearby castle. Developed since then by the plant hunting descendants of the Countess, into a outstanding 20 acre garden filled with rare and exotic plants from all over the world.

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Cranborne Manor Gardens

Cranborne, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 5PP
Tel: 01725 517248    Fax: 01725 517862

The Manor Garden is open every Wednesday from March to October. however the garden centre is open seven days a week all year around.

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