There are some things that every Dorset holiday should include as a matter of principle and if one of them is to enjoy a stroll in a stunning garden with a stately home at its centre then the place to do it is at Forde Abbey House and Gardens. Open to the public every day of the year, the gardens include the Kitchen Garden, the Ponds, the Blacksmith’s Hill, the Mount and many more – and the nicest part is that each one has its own character. The gardens cover 30 acres, and as different owners have left their stamp on them they have a sense of an historic project that still continues today.
The Kitchen Garden is especially popular, as it produces all of the fruit, flowers and vegetables that are served up in the tearoom, so you may well taste a little of it during your visit. In the Mermaid Pond you’ll find England’s highest powered Centenary Fountain, which looms above the water at 160feet. You can see the fountain for miles, so it’s easy to find from the main house. As long as the weather’s kind the fountain turns on three times a day, so chances are you’ll see it in all its glory during your visit to the gardens.
There’s an enticing perk to visiting the gardens during the summer, the Fruit Farm welcomes those who want to pick their own fruit. Just make sure you take your own containers with you and you’ll be free to fill your boots with as much as you can carry.