The Best Gardens Open To The Public In Dorset

If you, like me are a big fan of gardens around the country, then what better place than the lovely county of Dorset are you going to find such wonderous areas of greenery? Dorset has many great gardens open to the public.

Kingston Maurward

Kingston Maurward estate is a beautiful landscape which features lakes, trees and very well placed flowers. The estate was inheirted in 1787 by William Moreton Pit and at the time King George was said to have visited the house on a frequent basis.  With 35 acres of formal gardens with a Grade 2 listing, Kingston Maurward is a sight to behold. The gardens were created between 1915 and 1922 and are in the style of an 18th century Victorian garden. The gardens are also home to two national flower collections, the Salvia and Penstemon.

The park has a cafe is a lovely place to have food or drink and is open Monday to Friday during term-time, you also have the House Cafe which is open to both KMC students and visitors.



Minterne house in Dorchester is a great place to visit, vouched for by the Times and the Independent who say it is one of the top gardens to go to and even described as a corner of paradise in Simon Jenkin’s book Englands 1000 best houses.

One great thing about Minterne gardens is that the parking is free and dogs are welcome as long as they are on leads! They also offer a selection of cream teas if you are interested, I personally love cream teas on a nice summers day outside. But Minterne House is actually a private residence and not really open to the public without prior warning.

If you do want to visit the gardens and see some of the beautiful garden planters UK, then they are open daily at 10am – 6pm, from Feb to Nov and admission is £5 but kids under 12 go in for free.

Sherborne Castle



Sherborne Castle is a grade 1 listed garden, this was one of Capability Brown’s first commisions and this fantastic garden with its English landscape has survived without many changes at all today. Capability Brown is an interesting character, there is an exhibition all about him inside Sherborne Castle, it takes information from the Castle archives which tells the story of the work completed.

Sherborne Castle has many exciting things to do all year round, Path and trails full of interest and colour lead through the gardens and parkland offering 30 acres of rolling landscapes, sweeping lawns that only a master landscape architect like Capability Brown could create and huge lakes.

So if you want to have a great time out and about in nature, why not have a look at some of these magnificent gardens!


Countryside History

The Magic of Dorchester, Dorset

There’s something about Dorchester, Dorset that causes it to be rather unique. Actually, you can find many reasons for Dorchester’s uniqueness! It is not only the historical background that surrounds and envelops our township with iron age forts, a Neolithic henge (later adapted by the Romans as an amphitheatre) and the recently re-furbished and nicely rendered Roman Townhouse excavated in the Northwest corner of the township.

Dorchester, or Durnovaria as the Romans named it, remains even today a city of great historic significance. Guide books, works and history books of fiction dwell on the virtues of the county town that is wonderful.

Of newer historic significance are the city’s connections with the Monmouth rebellion and the notorious Judge Jeffreys who held his “Bloody Assize” here in 1685 and ordered several of the rebels to be hanged, drawn and quartered. Why not wander in the footsteps of the Tolpuddle Martyrs who face test within 1834 and see the Old Crown Court and Cells?

Maybe it’s the shining literary pedigree? 2 of the cities’ most well-known sons are Thomas Hardy and William Barnes. Really, the writings of Thomas Hardy created Dorchester well-known under the pseudonym of Casterbridge, depicting the township as the center of his Wessex. Several narratives are adapted for film and video, the latest being “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” by the British Broadcasting Corporation.

For people who love architecture, Dorchester provides a rich tapestry of fascinating building designs and styles spanning several generations. The High Street (decorated with beautiful paving and well designed garden planters) is magnificent boasts more than 70 detailed properties – more than any road in United Kingdom. Compare these genuine period designs with the newer structures on Prince Charles’ Poundbury on the outskirts of town. This development was designed with longevity and range in your mind. Pastiche or homage? Visit and determine on your own

Dorchester is a historic market town now there’s still a profitable marketplace every Wednesday along with normal farmers’ markets.

Whether you happen to be seeing Dorset on your own, with buddies or as a household, there aren’t any less than six outstanding museums to see from your County Museum and the Keep Military Museum to the mo Re varied Dinosaur, Terra-Cotta Warriors, Teddy-Bear and highly-acclaimed Tutankhamun Exhibition.

A Dd every one of the preceding to the fantastic collection of independent and occasionally rather far-out specialist shops, recognizable high road names and a mouthwatering variety of areas to consume, drink and be amused and you can begin to recognize what makes Dorchester s O particular and why so lots of people return again and again.

There’s a warmth and friendliness about individuals of Dorchester that will make the customer sense a bit more welcome and at house in town. People only seem to have a little more hours and a larger grin to care. Why maybe not come and investigate one of the concealed jewels of Dorset, drink in the feeling, sense the buzz that is peaceful and love a small bit of our Dorchester; we are going to strive our best to allow you to feel component of our extended-family!

Accommodation Countryside

The Difficulty In Buying A Rural Starter Home In The UK

Couples just starting out might often consider giving up the hopes of any kind of rural life in the UK. Starter homes – the kind with small square footage and low investment needs – are hard to come by. Some families are lucky enough to own some property that they can pass on, but mostly, there is little encouragement to first-time homebuyers to move to the country and build homes.


Quite often, local and countrywide ordinances prohibit the construction of any new homes in rural areas. This can be a real problem for farming and ranching families that want to keep the kids close to the home property.

Not only does construction of new homes need a boost, but infrastructure does, as well. School, transportation, and roads need planning and construction, yet there is no support for this kind of construction.

Some politicians are wanting to change this in the UK. With reformation of planning laws, some villages in England will be allowed to build starters. This will help to bring in young people who are just getting started in their lives and careers. George Osborne, Chancellor, is trying to reform these laws, providing more affordable living for first time home buyers.

Chancellor George Osborne speaks during the Conservative press conference with Theresa May, Home Secretary, William Hague, First Secretary of State and Leader of the House of Commons, Sajid Javid, Culture Secretary and Nicky Morgan, Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities at Altitude 360, London.

Under Osborne’s plan, first time home buyers will receive a 20% discount on properties priced under £250,000 outside of London. Inside London, the discount is applicable up to £450,000.

One of the problems with the current plan is that when the government does approve a starter home in the current plan, it is as a replacement for other affordable housing. Osborne wants the rural homes to be build in addition to the affordable projects.

Osborne says that rural purchases or rentals are cost prohibitive. This drives young people to the cities, creating a burden for the cities and a handicap for smaller villages.

The government is called upon to enforce and strengthen requirements placed on developers, requiring them to build affordable homes.

Environment Secretary Truss also calls for better infrastructure for rural areas, adding internet, mobile phone service and better local government to the suggestions from Osborne. She wants, also, to review current restrictions to barn construction and renovation, which keep family owned businesses from expanding.

Of course, one of the biggest fears with this kind of loosening up of restrictions is that the bucolic English countryside may become over developed. They are afraid, too, that villages will be overrun and their quaintness ruined.

Another drawback is that it is feared that local families would be quickly outbid on such housing. The discounts will go to commuters who are looking for less expensive housing and who will ultimately return to the city. The same discounts will not apply upon resale of the properties.

Finally, the discount of 20% is still not enough for some of the poorer rural areas. This increases the likelihood of abuse of such programs, leaving local young people without the help they were expecting.

Activity Countryside

Losing Weight In Beautiful Dorset

Dorset is a beautiful area, inspiring to the heart and mind. The bracing air, natural wonders, and reat hiking and water sports available make this a great place to recover your health. That is why a weight loss boot camp in Dorset may be just the thing you need to lose weight and get in shape.

Physical Activity

One of the major draws for boot camps in Dorset is the wide variety of outdoor activities in which you can participate. Rocks formed during the Early Jurassic era are just waiting for you to climb them, and sea cliffs make for excellent cliff diving.

There are three main rivers in this area. You can go swimming, canoeing, or kayaking to keep fit. You can also enjoy the beach, with surfing and coasteering available for the more adventurous. Exercising on the beach is a favorite for many who look for variety and invigorating surroundings when they work out.

Over 53% of Dorset is specified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Since this is a rural county, you will find plenty of open spaces.

Boot Camp in Dorset

People who run boot camps in Dorset know how to take advantage of this great area. They will often plan morning yoga and stretching out in the heather, as the sun rises. The great surroundings supply most retreats with fresh, locally grown produce. Fresh fish are in every market and every itchen as are locally grown farm animals.

When you are in Dorset to get in shape, you will find the fresh air and bucolic surroundings inspiring. You won’t even notice how hard you are working, with such beautiful surroundings.

Will Power

It takes a lot of will power to exercise and lose weight. However, if you live in Dorset, you have the whole world available to you. Start with meditation to get accustomed to the beautiful sunrises over the ocean or pastures. Just walking through the heather is invigorating, and can get your heart rate up.



If you are attending a weight loss boot camp, you’ll have meals planned for you, as well as plenty of exercise, yoga, and stretching. The workouts are usually designed to give you the maximum benefit for the tie you are there.


While the boot camp may be necessary to lose the weight in the first place, maintenance is something you can plan for. You’ll be inspired by your surroundings, and an often schedule a weekend holiday to get you back on track. You’ll end up with an improved BMI, and feel better when your blood pressure goes down.

Most of these retreats offer comfortable rooms, often bordering on luxurious. You will have access to massages and spa facilities in many retreats. Your body image will improve, and you’ll find your self confidence boosted. With frequent maintenance holidays, you will maintain the progress you gained during the boot camp. And, with a destination like Dorset for your holiday, you’ll enjoy the journey all the more.

Countryside Decoration

Spice Up Your Rural Garden With Stylized Planters

Garden planters are a fantastic way to spice up your garden. Even a rural garden can benefit from a special “punch” that a well-chosen planter will provide. Gone are the days of having to choose from between plastic and terra cotta pots for your plants. Advances in manufacturing have made it so that all different kinds of materials can be used for making flower pots and planters. Here are some ways that planters can make your garden look even better.


Metal Planters

Metal planters are easier to find than ever before. Whether you are attracted to enameled steel or copper with a beautiful patina, you’ll be sure to find metal that will look just right with your garden. If you have a rustic, rural garden, a wooden planter that is sheathed in corrugated tin can be an eye-catching look for those hollyhocks. Yes, tin degrades over time, which will make it even more rustic looking, adding to the atmosphere of the garden.

Copper is another favourite metal for building planters. A copper pot looks quite natural in a rural setting, and when filled with peonies, can be a great focal point. Let the copper turn green, developing the patina that makes it so special.

Wooden Planters

You can even find wooden planters. Granted, you have to keep in mind that most wood will rot when exposed to water for a long time, but some woods, such as red cedar and teak, are quite durable in wet environments. And, these woods can make beautiful rustic planters in the midst of your rural garden. Rough cut timber, and the natural grains of certain woods, give a lovely texture to the garden, as well as some additional colour.

Why Use Planters?

Using garden planters in your garden gives you more design options. First of all, you can elevate plants, etting them up past shade or other plants. This can create the illusion of terraced plantings, even if you have planted on flat soil.

You can also spotlight a special planting with an attractive planter. A black mimosa tree in a large, stone pot can provide a striking focal point in your garden.


Planters can also control otherwise invasive species. Many people want a bamboo screen in their garden, but bamboo is a terribly prolific invader to the garden. However, if you contain the plants in large, sealed containers, you can enjoy your living bamboo screen without having it take over your garden.

Different sized planters can be placed in your garden to create depth of field Forced perspective can make huge gardens seem more cozy, and small gardens look more spacious. All of this can be accomplished with various sizes of planters and carefully selected plants. For example, shorter planters with fine-leaved greenery, placed at the back of a shallow garden, will make it look deeper.

So take the plunge! Spice up your rural garden with some well chosen planters.



Making Your Garden Fit Historical Dorset

Dorset has some of the most fascinating history in the UK. From Dorset’s first inhabitants – hunters from the Mesolithic age – through the Romans and Normans, through the Saxons, Tudors, Georgians, and onward, Dorset has become richer and richer in history. Plants, animals, and culture from all over the world have found their homes in Dorset. Architecture in ancient buildings reflect the rich histories of each area, with chapels, castles, and monasteries numbering in the structures that can still be explored in the area. Take all of this history, and combine it with the love of nature evidenced by those who call this area home, and you have some of the finest lawns and gardens in the world. With that in mind, here are some tips for making your own garden fit in with historical Dorset.

Formal Gardens


Much of the history of gardening in Dorset as to do with formal gardens. These include huge expanses of lawns, which were symbols of wealth, since they required constant attention from gardeners. Remember, there were no lawnmowers in 1500 years ago In addition to lawns, there were the hedges. They were used to help protect property from marauders and served as fences for livestock and wildlife. Some of the most impressive hedges were used in the formation of mazes, many of which were legendary.
Your own home can demonstrate some of these same characteristics. It is much easier today to maintain a lawn, and the benefits to the planet are bountiful. They create green space that converts more gasses into oxygen, lowers the ambient temperature, and provide micro-habitats for all kinds of creatures.
Hedges are still a popular feature of local gardens. Many times, they will line the foundation of the house or the outer boundaries of the property. They are not as monumental as they were hundreds of years ago, but they keep the spirit alive.


Stone planters are another way to pay homage to the gardening history of Dorset. Stone is notably present in Dorset architecture, serving as the main building material for castles, roads, homes, fences, and bridges. By using stone planters in your garden, you elicit the permanence of this valuable building material. You might not haul wagon loads of stones to your home in order to build a fence at the street, but you can certainly use well-placed stone garden planters to create a sense of boundary. This is not only functional it is beautiful, as well.

Large outdoor plant pots can contain invasive species, such as bamboo and Mimosa. The dramatic impact of such a planter with a towering canopy above can frame your patio or driveway, yet hearken back to ancient times of established gardens.

Small stone planters can border your patio or porch, or line your sidewalk. You can grow multitudes of flowers in these stone planters, without having to till and amend soil.
Making your garden fit in with historical Dorset will make it look more permanent, as well as beautiful.


Dorset: A Beautiful Well Kept County

The UK has one of the greatest assets for attracting people on holiday. That asset is its countryside. Besides national and city parks, there are forests, heritage coasts, lakes, woodlands, waterways, farms, fells, and many other unique and beautiful natural areas. The county of Dorset is leading the way in managing these valuable areas and the wildlife that inhabit them. As a result, Dorset is a beautiful, well kept county.

Maintenance Staff

The County of Dorset has set aside a significant portion of its budget dedicated to the preservation of nature. In fact, residents of the area who like working outdoors can usually find a job with the county maintenance division. Walking, hiking, and biking paths are routinely cleared of brush and debris, and gullies that cross roadways filled.
In addition to maintenance of walkways, the maintenance staff also keeps public facilities in good working condition. This makes the areas you visit more pleasant and sanitary, while protecting the beautiful countryside.

Landscape Maintenance

Damaged trees in forested areas are pruned as needed, and treated to prevent the spread of disease. Public areas are groomed, when required, so that people can enjoy being outside. Landscape specialists study each section of the Dorset countryside to see which native plants will thrive. This enables them to plan a planting strategy that maximizes available planting space in each area. This smart planning increases the survival rate of new plantings, reaching a 98% survival rate in many areas. Native trees, shrubs, and grasses have been reintroduced to abandoned farmland, creating a setting more akin to true English heritage.

Wildlife Management

Wildlife is monitored and maintained to reduce clashes between humans and animals. Proof of the success of this management department can be seen with the increase in the rabbit and fox populations all across Dorset. Other small animals, such as opossum, raccoon, and ferrets have returned to the countryside, as well, providing exciting animal sightings as you travel through the countryside. Deer have even made a comeback, gracing the countryside with their agility and speed.

Lawn Care Specialists

Lawn care specialists and landscapers also play a significant role in the maintenance of the County of Dorset. Anywhere there is a lawn or meadow grasses, the lawn care specialists have done their magic. They constantly test soil quality, amending the soil wherever they can to reduce die-off of lawns and grassland. Turf is crucial for conditioning soil and catching rainwater, and with proper lawn care, the soil will once more become fertile. The roots from lawn and ornamental grasses break up soil so that an entire ecosystem is created. The soil absorbs water more easily, provides a home for small rodents and insects, and eventually feeds water into underground aquifers.
A healthy lawn also keeps soil from eroding. This protects human and animal habitat equally, and keeps runoff from polluting reservoirs. Who would have thought that lawns would be that good for the ecosystem!

Other counties have seen the success of Dorset, and are now striving to successfully reclaim their public and private spaces.


Experiencing A Stay In A Barn Conversion

When I was a kid, I knew a family that lived in a barn conversion. Nearby was their old house, where the farm animals lived. The story was that the farmer, known for his miserly ways, refused to upgrade the family house with climate control and proper plumbing. But, when it came time to build a barn, he spared no expense. His wife saw that the animals were living better than she was, so she moved into the barn, and told her husband he could have the house and the animals.


Today’s barn conversions may not have a funny story behind them, but they often have fascinating stories. The wood, itself, in these old barns often tells of busy farming and ranching chores, with half-moon scrapes on the walls where harness gear has swung, and gouges on the floors from hoofs of cattle, sheep, and horses.

You can almost hear the squeak of pulleys used to hoist bales of hay into the loft. The soft filtered light that once found its way through the siding and roof is now replaced with discreet indirect lighting, but the effect is the same: you feel like you are in a world apart.

The actual scents of hay, feed, molasses, and manure may be long gone, but anyone who has worked in a barn will remember these smells fondly. When you stay in a barn conversion, you may have a rug on the scarred wooden floor, but you are still walking on the same surface trod by many hoofs in years past.


Most barns are tall, providing storage in upper lofts. This makes for a great chance to enjoy high ceilings and skylights in a barn conversion. The battered brick and wood of the building is often cleaned and sealed. This serves a dual purpose: to seal in any odors and to protect the surface from any further wear and tear.

You’ll find different types of barn conversions depending on the part of the country you visit. This is because of the types of farming, crops, and livestock that are important to various locations. The oldest barns used timber framing not Timber cladding. the timber framing has been preserved through the conversion.

Barns listed with English Heritage must be upgraded with only certain changes, with pre-approved materials. When you stay in a barn conversion, the conversion should have been done to preserve as much of the original ambiance of the property as possible. The extent of work done on the place is based on a number of factors outlined by the English Heritage society.

Converting a barn into a living space requires a lot of study and plenty of permits. If you add on to a barn, it has to be done with the same kind of materials, but with modern construction. You also need to make sure that you own or have access to the road leading to your barn.

Whether you are buying a barn for conversion or staying in one for a holiday, you will enjoy the atmosphere and sense of history.


Natural Planters A Hazard?

Beautifying a village with natural planters and other landscaping is normally seen as not only desirable, but eco-friendly as well. At least, that is what the residents of Broadstone thought when they reclaimed a spot taken over by loitering teenagers.

The site in front of an empty haulage depot, once clogged with rubbish, was cleaned up by the Broadstone Community Watch. Once they had the area cleaned up, they placed 4 rubber tyres there, with flowers and greenery, bringing a little color and freshness to the Lilyholt Road location.

In fact, judges for the Anglia In Bloom contest so admired the transformation that they awarded Broadstone with a silver award for their troubles.

However, the teens soon returned, and poured oil over the flowers killing them. The Community Watch had plans to replace the flowers, unwilling to surrender the location. That was, until the Cambridgeshire County Council received complaints about the presence of the 4 tyres. It seems that some people think the tyres present a threat to pedestrians, and others think they impede access to the highway. The County Council has ordered the Community Watch to remove the tyres.

Benwick Community Watch has collected 26 signatures on a petition in support of the natural planters, but it have received no response from the parish council.


Countryside Featured

The Scenic United Kingdom

Although the UK can be looked at as a small place compared to some of those larger places out there, there is still some great scenery and landscapes to be seen. Scenery in the UK can change from beautiful coastlines, to clean countryside to mountains of the lake district to  the banks and braes of Scotland the more Northerly you go. I’ve always enjoyed travelling the UK for this reason alone. Although temperature doesn’t vary more than a degree or two around the most of the UK, there should be enough difference in landscape to keep you entertained.


Whether you are coming from across the globe or even just taking a small trip from the city, there are countless places to visit if you are looking for something a little different. You can take advantage of the magnificent Devon landscapes in many different ways, whether you want to go hiking, do some watersports or even visit some of the well placed weight loss boot camps in the local area, theres nothing like working your way back to fitness in a place with such brilliant scenery.


Devon of course is just one area of outstanding natural beauty, next door to the east is dorset, which features many stunning attractions including stately homes and gardens that will easily make your jaw drop.

Tyneham village is also an area that may take your fancy, it’s like stepping into a time machine. The village was evacuated in 1943 for military training and it has been deserted ever since. You can walk around and see the remains of many buildings and houses and also take a stroll around the chuch (which still has the occasional service on a sunday)

Dorset also has some incredible beaches, Lulworth Cove (as pictured above) is most definitely worth a visit, There aren’t many places like this found in the UK.

The Lake District

If you’re really looking for something spectactular, then look no further than the lake district. If you’re into hiking and climbing, then this is certainly the place you’ll want to go. The surrounding villages are lovely, with their local pubs and eateries aswell as quaint little shops.


The lake district of course offers trips across the lakes on various different boats, depending on how fit you are, you can even row! There are several different lakes to visit, each one different, and totally worth it. getting yourself onto the various trails and other walkways is very much recommended too. So why not have a look?

The Scottish Highlands


The further north you go, the higher the land seems to get, and it certainly does when you visit the Scottish Highlands. This area has profound natural beauty aswell as a very high probability you will see some wildlife. It is not uncommon to see stags and deer and during the season you can actually hunt (if that’s your thing).

Scotland has many different things to see, there are whiskey distilleries scattered all over the highlands, famous brands that you will have heard of for sure. You can actually walk around these distilleries and see how they are made (you might even get yourself a sample!).

Food in Scotland is also rather good, you may have a pre-existing opinion on what food might be like in Scotland, but let me tell you, there are some great places to eat.

So there you are, some lovely areas to visit if you want to take a look around the United Kingdom, Of course I haven’t mentioned Ireland, but i’ll leave that for another post! So whether your holidaying in the UK or coming from abroad, enjoy yourself!