Dorset Gardens Tour

Description of Dorset Gardens Trail

This is a 2-4 night accompanied tour of four or more beautiful stately homes and gardens in and around Dorset, England, including visits to some places of interest en route. It can be combined with our Thomas Hardy tour to make a memorable 5-7 night holiday. The combined tour is only available between 6th April and the end of October to coincide with National Trust opening times for Hardy’s Cottage, Max Gate and Clouds Hill.

On this tour, we will usually visit at least 4 gardens. The specific gardens will vary according to which is at its best each season.  An example of some of these gardens is Mapperton,Minterne and Kingston Lacy. Please note that where a garden visit has an associated historic house with a separate entrance fee this is not included in the price of the holiday. This is also the case on the Thomas Hardy section of the combined tour.

This is because many people are already members of the National Trust or similar organisation, and therefore have free admission. Entrance fee concessions for senior citizens may also apply.

Because it is necessary to hire a car to travel between gardens it is only viable to book this holiday if the booking is for more than two people.

About the Walks

Our Dorset Gardens tour is the complete opposite of a mass tourist coach trip. It is a much more flexible, personalised itinerary for small groups, who want not only to visit a number of stunning gardens but also to discover a particularly scenic, unspoilt and little known part of rural England, accompanied by a local person who is not a horticulturalist but who is passionate about the area. It could equally well be described as an English countryside tour that includes several exceptional gardens. In addition to visiting the gardens, there is the option for the following:

  • three quite easy optional walks, each of around 2 miles, in beautiful Dorset countryside to or from some of the gardens.
  • visits some of the most beautiful villages in the area.

An attraction of our Garden tour is the drive each day along small lanes through gorgeous landscapes and picturesque villages, including a stop at an attractive pub in the middle of the day. There should also be enough time for a Dorset “cream tea” or just a cuppa in the late afternoon. To allow us to put together the best tailored tour for you, please detail your preferences on the enquiry form.

Accommodation & Services

Depending on the accommodation option that you choose, you will stay in a B&B, inn or hotel that is situated in an attractive village or small town in the area. You will be driven to a selection of the gardens and other sites of interest during the two days, returning in the late afternoon. Entrance fees for the gardens are included in the tour cost.


  Double / Twin Single
7+ nights.. from £85 from £120
4 to 6 nights from £90 from £125
2 to 3 nights from £95 from £130
Prices are per person per night and in £ Sterling

A2 – A comfortable B&B or simple village inn

A1 – A good hotel, inn or equivalent

A+ – A luxury hotel

Occasionally we may propose accommodation with a standard and price between A1 & A2.

10% discount for groups of 3 or more. For very large groups (10+), please contact us.

We can sometimes offer family rooms with special prices for children.

Please give us details on the enquiry form

Trail Highlights

  • Athelhampton House and Gardens
  • Mapperton Gardens
  • Abbotsbury Sub-Tropical Gardens
  • Minterne Gardens
  • Bennetts Water Gardens
  • Kingston Lacy Gardens (House optional)
  • Knoll Gardens
  • Stourhead (on Dorset borders)
  • The iron age hill fort of Eggardon
  • The beautiful village of Cerne Abbas, with its chalk giant
  • The historic market town of Wimborne Minster.

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