Summer is a great time to be outdoors, and if youre looking to enjoy some beautiful scenery and landscapes Dorset gardens make for great days out. How many kinds of sweet flowers grow in an English country garden? Explore our best picks of Dorset gardens to visit this summer and find out!
7 Dorset gardens to visit this summer
Bournemouth Gardens Bournemouth Gardens consist of the Lower, Central and Upper Gardens that stretch over 3 kilometres from the pier to the edge of Poole. Beautifully landscaped, they are not only Green Flag holders, but the gardens are also Grade II listed and a must-see during your Dorset visit. The Lower Gardens are full of activities, including mini golf, art exhibits, street food vendors and an aviary. During the summer months there are free kids activities that will keep them entertained for hours. Meanwhile, the Central and Upper Gardens are much quieter on the attractions front, although there is a playground for children with swings and zip wires. During your visit, take some time to observe the War Memorial and stop in the nearby caf for a spot of people watching. Sculpture by the Lakes Sculpture by the Lakes offers something for everyone, and both fans of art and nature will fall in love with the gorgeous views offered by this unique spot. Essentially an outdoor gallery you can walk around, sculptor Simon Gudgeon has created a beautiful site spanning 26 acres within the stunning Dorset countryside. Visiting the sculpture park is a wonderful experience that you can spend a morning, afternoon or the whole day taking some time to reflect and appreciate the magnificent sculptures that have been created. They are also all available for sale if you decide that you like one so much you want to take it home! Theres also the Gallery Caf to enjoy which features further sculptures and artwork to admire. Its worth noting that children under 14s and dogs wont be permitted entry to the park. Capability Brown - Milton Abbey Church and Landscape Milton Abbey welcomes visitors, and both the Abbey and the grounds are really a sight to see. There are various events taking place over the summer months that make it a great place to visit. The Abbey dates back over 1,000 years, while the 500-acre landscape that sits there today was designed by Capability Brown back in 1763. Its a truly magnificent place to explore which offers spaces to walk and relax, with some amazing photo opportunities too. Athelhampton House and Gardens Located in Dorchester, Athelhampton House is a striking Tudor manor dating back to the 15th century, while the striking landscape gardens were created in 1891. Its a mesmerising property with a lot of history. The first elements of the house were built by Sir William Martyn. The house has had a number of owners since, who have continued to build and restore the home. The gardens offer many interesting features, with many examples of landscape architecture as well as woodland settings. In the Great Court youll find the pyramid-shaped trees which are a striking feature of the garden, while walks across the gardens will take you along the River Piddle to the stunning Octagon Pond. Theres a caf located within the ground and a gift shop selling different souvenirs. A fascinating garden to explore - make sure you add this one to your list. Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens Want to feel like youre abroad, if only for the afternoon? Head to Abbotsbury and enjoy the amazing subtropical gardens. The grounds date back to 1541, and theres a long and fascinating history to explore, with the grounds changing hands several times over the years and new parts being created. In 1990, Abbotsbury underwent a major restoration project, which saw a lot of exotic and unique plants being introduced setting the gardens apart from many of the other Dorset gardens. As well as the glorious grounds theres the Colonial Restaurant, and the grounds play host to a number of events throughout the year. Over the August bank holiday you can see the Merry Wives of Windsor and bring your own picnic to enjoy on the lawn. Bennetts Water Garden Enjoy Bennetts Water Garden and see the home of the National Plant Collection of Water Lilies a fabulous sight to see that offers romance and inspiration, as well as some wonderful photo opportunities. Like something out of a painting with the Monet Bridge at its heart, there are 8 acres of grounds to explore with various paths to enjoy a relaxing afternoon. Younger visitors will love the Family Nature Trail that will lead you to all sorts of interesting places. After youve finished exploring, you can grab a bite to eat in Caf Monet which offers a range of tasty dishes prepared using local ingredients. The garden often plays host to weddings, so please note that the park is closed on Saturdays. Cranborne Manor Gardens Cranborne Manor Gardens have the benefit of both country gardens and a garden centre to explore for a true taste of Dorset living. It's a horticulturist's haven with a wonderful tree-lined avenue which leads up to the main Manor House. There are sculptures and a walled garden to explore, with an orchard and plenty of colour too. The White Garden has been a part of the grounds since the 19th century and remains much the same today a great place to explore. Dont forget to keep an eye out for the Giant Chair too! In the garden centre you can enjoy browsing plants and garden dcor, while also getting the chance to purchase some local foods in the Vintage Barn. The caf is also highly recommended with many foods made using local produce. Keep an eye out for special events taking place in the grounds too. Dorset gardens offer some great experiences to make your holiday special. Whether youve come for a romantic break for two, a family escape or a group visit, youll find gardens to suit your interests and have fun exploring the diverse and wonderful grounds. To book a stay at any of our Dorset properties, take a look at whats available onour website.