Local Attractions


Montacute House: Elizabethan National Trust house and gardens. Large park for walking, including St. Michael’s Hill, at the top of which is St. Michael’s Tower, built as a folly on the remains of a Norman castle site.

Titinhull Gardens: Near Montacute. National Trust Garden.

Mapperton House: Near Beaminster. 17th Century house and lovely gardens – privately owned.

Forde Abbey House and Gardens: Beautiful historic country house with award winning gardens.

Barrington Court: A Tudor house with gardens and parkland owned by the National Trust.

Treasurer’s House: A 13th century house in Martock, owned by the National Trust; still lived in as a family home.

Stoke-sub-Hamdon Priory: National Trust

The Newt in Somerset: Lovely Gardens and parkland near Bruton. Farm Shop and Garden Café for lunch.

Lytes Cary: Near Somerton. Small National Trust manor house and gardens.

Dunster Castle: National Trust castle.

Tyntesfield: Victorian National Trust housed with extensive grounds, near Wraxall.

Wilton House: Privately owned 16th century house near Salisbury. Often used for filming historic dramas. (Combine with Salisbury Cathedral).

Stourhead House and Gardens: National Trust. Wonderful collection in the house and great walking around the lake, especially in Spring when the rhododendrons bloom and autumn when the trees change colour. Also well worth visiting for Christmas light display in December.

Athelhampton House: Beautiful Tudor house with gardens, near Dorchester.

Kingston Lacey: National Trust house near Wimborne. Very important collection in the house belonging to the Bankes family, who originally lived in Corfe Castle. Great walks through the park as well.

Hardy’s Cottage and Max Gate: Near Dorchester.

Wolfton House: A privately owned Tudor house near Dorchester.

Kingston Maurward Gardens: Near Dorchester

Clouds Hill: T.E.Lawrence’s house owned by the National Trust.

Killerton House: Near Exeter. National Trust 18th century house with parkland.

Tyntesfield: A National Trust owned Victorian Gothic Revival house with gardens and park. Near Bristol.

Subtropical Gardens: Abbotsbury, Dorset. 18th century garden with rare plants and notable magnolia and camilia blooms plus a restaurant.

Forde Abbey
Forde Abbey
Treasurers House
Treasurers House
Kingston Maurward
Kingston Maurward


Bath: About 50 miles away so a day’s outing with lots to see, including the ‘Roman Baths, the Abbey, Royal Crescent, Pulteney Bridge over the River Avon, the Fashion Museum and lots of galleried, restaurants and museums.

Sherbourne: Sites include the Abbey, the 16th century castle and the Old Castle where Sir Walter Raleigh lived. Bijoux shops and cafes on Cheap Street. Check out The Circus, a beautiful lifestyle shop.

Lyme Regis: Interesting shops and stroll along the seafront to the Cobb. Great fish and chips and try the Town Hill Bakery, or Mark Hix Oyster and Fish House for fine dining.

Bridport: A thriving market on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, often with live music.

Seatown: Walk up to Golden Cap, the highest point in Dorset, stroll along the beach, take in the wonderful views and finish with lunch in the Anchor Inn, almost on the beach.

Frome: The original Somerset market town. The Frome Independent takes place throughout the town centre on the first Sunday of each month. Also check out French General Trading. Frome has an established Calendar of Events including the Frome 10 day Festival, The Frome Agricultural and Cheese Show, The Carnival, and the Frome Christmas Extravaganza.

Bruton: A haven for food and culture. Walk in the forest at King Alfred’s Tower. Combine with a visit to Hauser & Wirth gallery (see below). Buy delicious bread from At the Chapel bakery of a hunk of cheese from Westcombe Dairy or Godminster Cheddar. Osip restaurant is the perfect place for a meal. Check out Caro Somerset, a carefully curated lifestyle shop, owned by the award winning photographer and documentary maker, Matilda Temperley (who grew up on her family’s Burrow Hill farm at The Somerset Cider Brandy Company (see below).

Tyneham: A ghost village near Lulworth on the Isle of Purbeck

Salisbury Cathedral: Also visit the 18th century Mompesson House owned by the National Trust, in the Cathedral Close.

Wells Cathedral

Hauser and Wirth: Near Bruton. Modern art exhibitions, Piet Oudolf gardens and restaurant

Sculpture by the Lakes: Pallington Lakes, near Dorchester. Sculpture set around lakes and gardens.


Eggarton Hill:
Iron Age hill fort and downland, with views across the Marshwood Vale to the coast.

Pilsdon Pen: Prominent landmark. Iron Age hill fort near Broadwindsor.

Maiden Castle: Iron Age hill fort near Dorchester.

Mulcheny Abbey: Ruins of an Abbey on the Somerset levels, plus the Priest’s House nearby, owned by the National Trust.

Stonehenge: One of the wonders of the world and the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe

Cerne Abbas: Very pleasant walking around this old village with the remains of the Abbey and the famous giant carved out of the hill above.

Fiddleford Manor: The remains of a 14th century Manor House in Sturminster Newton.

Corfe Castle: Dramatic ruins. Nearby is Corfe Common offering great walking with views of the castle and the Purbeck Hills.

Pilsdon Pen
Pilsdon Pen
Corfe Castle and Village
Corfe Castle and Village

Other places worthy of a visit

Leach Pottery John: Mulcheny, Langort

The Somerset Cider Brandy Company: Pass Vale Farm, Martok

The Giant Shepton Flea Market at The Royal Bath & West Showground: Combine this with a visit to Kliver Court Designer Village Outlets in Shepton Mallet, home too of the Mulberry Factory Shop.

Lulworth Cove: A beautiful cove with the much photographed Durdle Door. From rock-pooling and watersports, to walking, coasteering or just relaxing with an ice cream, this is a must-visit destination on the Dorset Coast.

Cheddar Gorge and Caves: Cheddar is a lovely town to wander around.

Branscombe, South Devon: National Trust land – lovely walk through a valley to the beach.

Brownsea Island: Off Poole, Dorset. National Trust island reached by ferry from Pool Harbour. Great place to walk and spot wildlife. Home to endangered red squirrels.

River Cottage: Check out their cooking courses, and lovely farm grounds.

The Pig at Coombe, and The Pig near Bath: A beautiful day out for lunch or dinner, and walk in the gardens.