Enchanting temples, monuments and rare planting around a tranquil lake, Stourhead is a Palladian mansion filled with Georgian treasures, Chippendale furniture and fine paintings. Enjoy the woodland and chalk downland walks with spectacular views from the top of King Alfred's Tower, one of the finest follies in Britain. All that and two Iron Age hill forts to explore too.
Encased in stone by Charles Barry - architect of the Houses of Parliament,
Kingston Lacey houses an outstanding collection of Old Master paintings, with works by Van Dyck, Titian and Brueghel. Spanish Room, with walls hung in magnificent gilded leather. It also offers wooded parkland with magnificent snowdrop displays in early spring, a children's adventure playground, Iron Age hill fort and Badbury Rings.
Peaceful island of woodland and wetland and rich diversity of wildlife
Brownsea offers fine walks and spectacular views of Poole Harbour, home to the endangered red squirrel. Famous for being the birthplace for Scouting and Guiding, it is a haven for wildlife, including Sika deer and wading birds.
It also has trails and Tracker Packs for young smugglers and explorers. Escape the noise and stress of modern life and discover nature in this unspoilt setting.
The home of novelist and poet Thomas Hardy, Max Gate was designed and lived in by Thomas Hardy who is famous for writting such classics as Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure and the Mayor of Casterbridge, all of which were written in this house. There is also several pieces of Hardy's furniture on display.
Our local small market town just a mile down the road, known as Stourcastle in the novels of Thomas Hardy. The town has some interesting little shops, as well its own museum and a working mill, which is open from Easter to September.
Built by Sir Walter Raleigh and the home of the Digby family since 1617 the Castle is set in 40 acres of grounds and contains collections of art, furniture and porcelain. More...
Our local brewery has an excellent visitor centre at Blandford St Mary where you can you also take a tour of the brewery and buy the local ale. Contact the centre for bookings. More...