Local Gardens

Natural beauty in Dorset and Somerset

The gardens at Summer Lodge are an attraction in themselves and our Head Gardener, John Eke, is always happy to give you a personal guided tour. He’s also delighted to recommend other gardens in the area that are especially remarkable. You are spoilt for choice because Dorset and Somerset have always been secretive, aristocratic and remote - with gardens to match. Until 1900 this area remained the semi-feudal society that Thomas Hardy described and the local gentry lavished great love and attention on their gardens. See a list of our favourite gardens below, which are all a short drive from Summer Lodge and a perfect place to visit during your stay.

Abbotsbury Gardens

Abbotsbury Gardens

Open all year except over Christmas and New Year
18 miles | 35 minutes from Summer Lodge
Bullers Way, Abbotsbury, Near Weymouth, Dorset DT3 4LA
T: +44 (0) 1305 871387 
W: abbotsbury-tourism.co.uk

Athelhampton House & Gardens

Athelhampton House

See website for details of times and prices
19 miles | 30 minutes from Summer Lodge
Athelhampton, Dorchester, Dorset DT2 7LG
T: +44 (0) 1305 848363
W: athelhampton.co.uk

Barrington Court

Barrington Court

See website for details of times and prices
22 miles | 37 minutes from Summer Lodge
Barrington, near Ilminster, TA19 0NQ
T: +44 (0) 1460 241938
W: nationaltrust.org.uk/barrington-court

Forde Abbey Historic House & Gardens

Forde Abbey

Gardens open daily
16 miles | 35 minutes from Summer Lodge
Chard, Somerset TA20 4LU
T: +44 (0) 1460 220231
W: fordeabbey.co.uk

Kingston Maurward

Kingston Maurward

Garden and Animal Park open daily 10am-5.30pm 5th Jan to 21st Dec
15 miles | 25 minutes from Summer Lodge
Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 8PY
T: +44 (0) 1305 215000
W: kmc.ac.uk/gardens_animal_park

Lulworth Castle

Lulworth Castle

Open most days throughout the year, although closed most Saturdays; see website for details of times and prices.
30 miles | 60 minutes from Summer Lodge
East Lulworth, Dorset BH20 5QS
T: +44 (0) 1929 400352
W: lulworth.com

Lytes Cary Manor

Lytes Cary Manor

See website for details of times and prices
18 miles | 30 minutes from Summer Lodge
near Somerton, Somerset TA11 7HU
T: +44 (0) 1458 224471
W: nationaltrust.org.uk/lytes-cary-manor

Mapperton

Mapperton House (Image: George Wright)

Open daily 1st March to 31st October, 11am - 5pm
6 miles | 23 minutes from Summer Lodge
Beaminster, Dorset DT8 3NR
T: +44 (0) 1308 862645
W: mapperton.com

Minterne

Minterne

Open daily 1st March to 31st October, 10am - 6pm
7 miles | 24 minutes from Summer Lodge
Minterne Magna, Dorchester, Dorset DT2 7AU
T: +44 (0) 1300 341370
W: minterne.co.uk

Montacute House

Montacute House

See website for details of times and prices
14 miles | 26 minutes from Summer Lodge
Montacute, Somerset TA15 6XP
T: +44 (0) 1935 823289
W: nationaltrust.org.uk/montacute-house

Tintinhull Garden

Tintinhull Gardens

See website for details of times and prices
16 miles | 28 minutes from Summer Lodge
Farm Street, Tintinhull, Somerset BA22 8PZ
T: +44 (0) 1935 823289
W: nationaltrust.org.uk/tintinhull-garden