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Fursdon House

Fursdon House

The Fursdons have lived here for more than 750 years and the house, greatly modified in the 18th Century, is at the heart of a small estate within a wooded and hilly landscape. Family memorabilia is displayed including a letter to Grace Fursdon from King Charles during the Civil War as well as exceptional examples of costume and textiles. An almost secret terraced and walled garden with shrubs, roses and herbs has extensive views to Dartmoor. Woodland and Meadow Garden now included. Two private wings offer quality self catering accommodation …

Hartland Abbey

Hartland Abbey

Hartland Abbey is a fascinating house. Built across a narrow, wooded valley leading to an Atlantic cove a mile away, Henry VIII gifted the Abbey to The Keeper of his Wine Cellar, whose descendants live here today. Not only can visitors experience the stunning interiors, collections, beautiful gardens and walks but the Abbey exudes the warmth and friendliness only found in a family home cherished for generations. Close family connections to Poltimore House and Clovelly Court nearby are evident. Amongst the impressive interiors spanning Mediaeval, Queen Anne, Georgian, Regency and Victorian periods you can see the three main Reception Rooms, the fabulous Alhambra Corridor by Sir George Gilbert Scott and the Gothic Library by Meadows with its fireplace by Batty Langley. Important paintings by artists including Reynolds and Gainsborough, furniture, porcelain, early photographs, a museum of documents from 1160 and changing displays of family memorabilia fascinate visitors. Much of the 50 acres of gardens and woodland walks had been lost since the First World War but since restoration began in 1996 once again there are beautiful paths through bulbs, rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and hydrangeas; the Bog Garden and Fernery, by Gertrude Jekyll, thrive again. In the three 18thC Walled Gardens climbers, herbaceous, tender perennials and vegetables delight and glasshouses protect stunning plants for display in the house. Walk through carpets of primroses, historic daffodils, bluebells and wildflowers to the newly restored (2011) Summerhouse in the woods, the Gazebo and Blackpool Mill with its beautiful beach and cottage, home to the Dashwood family in Jane Austen’s ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and the location for Rosamunde Pilcher’s ‘The Shell Seekers’. Donkeys, black sheep and peacocks roam. Children’s Quiz. Five stunning wedding venues available. Holiday cottages to rent. Hartland Abbey adjoins the SW Coastal Footpath in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Free parking. Gift Shop. 1 mile from Hartland Quay and St. Nectan’s Church, the ‘Cathedral of North Devon’ …

Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens

Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens

Established in 1765 by the first Countess of Ilchester. Developed since then into a 20-acre Grade I listed, magnificent woodland valley garden. World famous for its camellia groves, magnolias, rhododendron and hydrangea collections. In summer it is awash with colour. Since the restoration after the great storm of 1990 many new and exotic plants have been introduced. The garden is now a mixture of formal and informal, with charming walled garden and spectacular woodland valley views. Facilities include a Colonial Restaurant for lunches, snacks and drinks, a plant centre and quality gift shop. Events such as Shakespeare and concerts are presented during the year. The floodlighting of the garden at the end of October should not be missed. Voted "Our Favourite Garden" by readers of The Daily Telegraph. "One of the finest gardens I have ever visited" Alan Titchmarsh BBC Gardeners World magazine Sept 2008 …

Athelhampton House & Gardens

Athelhampton House & Gardens

Topiary restaurant open as House & Gardens. Bookings taken for Sunday Carvery. Athelhampton’s facilities are available for private visits & entertaining outside our opening hours throughout the year. We hold wedding Ceremonies & Receptions on Fridays and Saturdays. Please contact Owen Davies, Catering Manager …

Chettle House

Chettle House

Set in 5 acres of lovely gardens, this charming Queen Anne manor house is a nationally outstanding example of English Baroque. One of the highlights of the interior is the elegant Oak Entrance Hall, with its two flights of sweeping oak stairs, linked by fine family portraits, rising separately to meet at the balcony above. The beautiful Chettle Church, whose West Tower dates back to the early sixteenth century, offers a stunning backdrop to the gardens. Chettle House is a popular venue for weddings, civil ceremonies, photo shoots and filming …

Deans Court

Deans Court

This fine Georgian house and beautiful garden offers an oasis of tranquility just a few minutes walk from Wimborne Minster. The historic house, previously the Deanery to the Minster, is rich in family history and is surrounded by stunning gardens, which extend over 13 acres, include an 18th century organic kitchen garden bordered by a serpentine wall built by prisoners from the Napoleonic Wars, large monastic fishpond, a manicured herb garden, an apiary, a series of lawns giving way to semi-wild areas, mature specimen trees, a rose garden and Georgian stable block. The Gardens also include a delightful stretch of River Allen, well-known for its trout. Dean’s Court is a popular venue for weddings, civil ceremonies, photo shoots and filming …

Edmondsham House & Gardens

Edmondsham House & Gardens

Charming blend of Tudor and Georgian architecture with interesting contents. Organic walled garden, 6 acre garden with unusual trees and spring bulbs. 12th century church nearby …

Forde Abbey & Gardens

Forde Abbey & Gardens

Forde Abbey is a treasure in an area already known for its outstanding beauty. More than 900 years of history are encapsulated in this elegant former Cistercian monastery and its 30 acres of award-winning gardens. In the peaceful solitude of its secluded position it is possible to imagine just how it looked to its previous owners: monks going about their daily round of work and prayer, prosperous parliamentary gentlemen discussing the Cavalier threat, gifted philosophers debating the imponderable, elegant Victorian ladies fanning themselves by the fireside and country gentlemen going about their work on the estate. Set on the banks of the River Axe, this beautiful home contains many treasures including the Mortlake Tapestries, woven from cartoons painted for the Sistine Chapel by Raphael. The intricacy of their original design is matched by the story behind these particular tapestries involving Civil war, rebellion and loyalty rewarded. The garden has been described by Alan Titchmarsh as "one of the greatest gardens of the West Country" and includes a mature arboretum, rockery, bog garden, working kitchen garden, sloping lawns and a cascade of lakes surrounding the Centenary Fountain, the highest powered fountain in England. The fruits of the garden and estate can be sampled in the Undercroft Tearoom with a wide selection of homemade lunches and cakes. A gift shop, plant centre, forge and pottery exhibition add to the day. Enjoy England Awards for Excellence Silver Winner 2008 South West Tourism’s Small Visitor Attraction of the Year 2006 & 2007…

Highcliffe Castle

Highcliffe Castle

Built in the 1830s for Lord Stuart de Rothesay in the Romantic/Picturesque style and incorporating French medieval stonework and stained glass. The rooms in this Grade I listed building remain mostly unrepaired and now house a Heritage Centre and Gift Shop. They also provide a unique setting for changing exhibitions, featuring local and national artists. Programme of concerts and outdoor events. The refurbished Dining Room is available for wedding receptions, banquets and corporate use. Internal Guided Tours incorporating the upper floors. Cliff-top grounds. Access to Christchurch Coastal Path and beach …

Lulworth Castle & Park

Lulworth Castle & Park

Surrounded by beautiful parkland with views of the Jurassic Coast this 17th century hunting lodge was destroyed by fire in 1929 and has been externally restored and internally consolidated by English Heritage. Steeped in history the Castle has remained in the same family since 1641. Features include a gallery on the Weld family, reconstructed kitchen, dairy and laundry rooms and a wine cellar. The Chapel is reputed to be one of the finest pieces of architecture in Dorset and houses an exhibition on vestments and recusant silver …