© 2024 Buckland Newton Community Website Committee Last updated 16th June 2024 13:20 Website design and update by Jeremy Collins

Places to go

Dorset and neighbouring south

Somerset have a wealth of tourist

attractions and places to visit. So

whether it’s rain or shine, you will

find plenty to do, undercover or

out in the beautiful countryside...

Places of Interest in the locality (in alphabetical order)

A list of suggested places of interest in Dorset and south Somerset. Please note this is a representative sample only and inclusion in this list does not imply any endorsement, recommendation or warranty by the Buckland Newton Community Website Committee. It is always advisable to check opening times, either by telephone or on the attraction's own website, before making a journey. Admission charges apply to most museums and attractions - again please check with the attraction itself. We have not included restaurants, pubs, hotels, holiday cottages or B&B's in this list - please see local publications for these. For a full listing of local Dorset events taking place soon, please go to http://www.visit-dorset.com/whats- on/searchresults?prodtypes=EVEN&refined=&refine- category=&src_category=&src_anydate=&refine- polygon=&src_polygon=&refine- name=&src_name=&submit.x=65&submit.y=10&submit=Search&p=1&any date=yes&sr=1&cat=-1&poly=-1


Swannery. New Barn Road, Abbotsbury, DT3 4JG, Tel: 01305 871858; off the main A35 on the B3157 between Weymouth and Bridport. A unique habitat for swans. The only colony of nesting mute swans you can visit in the world. Mass feeding 12.00 noon and 4.00 pm daily. Giant swan maze to explore, swinging nests play area, cafe, shop and free parking. Up to 600 free flying swans - baby swans hatch end May to end June - Shire horse and cart service. Open 7 days a week 10.00 am to 5.00/6.00 pm from mid-March to November. Sub Tropical Gardens; Tel: 1305 871387. Grade 1 Listed 18th Century walled garden. Superb colonial style Teahouse. Plants for sale. Gift Shop. Sculpture trail. Open 7 days a week 10.00 am to 5.00 pm (excl Christmas & New Year). Children's Farm and Smuggler's Barn; Tel: 1305 871817. Bottle feed the baby goats; cuddle the rabbits and guinea pigs; race the toy tractors and ride the ponies; play Smugglers on indoor soft play area. Open 7 days a week end of March to end of September 10.00 am - 6.00 pm, last admission 5.00 pm; 29th September to 2nd November closes 5.00 pm, last admission 4.00 pm but please check first.


Barrington Court (National Trust), Somerset, Tel: 01460 241938. A beautiful garden inspired by Gertrude Jekyll. Enchanting formal walled garden laid out in a series of contrasting "rooms" with separate colour themes identifying each. Fragrant rose garden and magnificent walled kitchen garden. Open (but check before travelling): Mar & Oct Thu, Fri, Sat & Sun 1.00 pm - 4.30 pm; Apr-Sep daily excl. Wed 11.00 am - 5.30 pm; last admissions 30 minutes before closing.


UK Llamas. New House Farm, Mosterton, Beaminster, DT8 3HE, Tel: 01308 868674. Discover the Llama Experience & Alpacas too! Introduction to Llamas; Day Treks with picnic lunch; suitable for all ages; pre-booking essential. Open: mornings 10.30 am to 12.30 pm. Beaminster Museum Trust. Tel: 01308 863623 A new museum featuring Beaminster and its people from mediaeval to modern times, also the history of neighbouring villages and local archaeology and agriculture. Open 10.30 am - 12.30 pm, 2.30 pm - 4.30 pm Tues, Thurs, Sat & Bank Holidays. 2.30pm - 4.30 pm Sundays from Easter to end September. Broadwindsor Craft & Design Centre, Broadwindsor, Beaminster. Tel: 01308 868362. Independent craft businesses, gift shop, restaurant serving morning coffee, light lunches, afternoon teas. Open every day 10.00 am - 5.00 pm, closed 25, 26 Dec - 1 Feb. Mapperton Gardens. Nr Beamister, DT8 3NR, Tel: 01308 862645. Spectacular valley gardens surrounded by wooded landscape. Gift shop and plants. Open: Monday to Sunday, excluding Saturday, 1.00 pm to 5.00 pm. Stokewater Meadow Donkey Walks. Tel: 01308 862045. Relax while you wander along the lanes and byways of West Dorset with your own friendly donkey. A truly unforgettable experience! Open every day, telephone bookings only please. Stokewater Meadow is approximately 0.5 miles south west of Beaminster in Dorset on the Stoke Abbott road. The nearest railway station is Crewkerne Station which is approximately 6 miles away and the nearest bus station is Yeovil which is 12 miles away. Transport from either can be arranged. If you are driving there is plenty of free car parking nearby.


Great Dorset Steam Fair. Southdown, Tarrant Hinton (A354 Blandford - Salisbury road). Usually in the last week of August. Hall and Woodhouse Brewery Visitor Centre. The Brewery, Blandford St. Mary, DT11 9LS, Tel: 01258 486004. The story of Hall & Woodhouse and its Badger Ales through the ages. Your visit can include: a Brewery Tour, a browse of our shop, and lunch in our casual dining bar/cafe. Open: brewery tours run daily at 11.00 am Monday to Saturday (excluding Wednesdays). The bar/cafe is open from 10.00 am to 2.30 pm, Monday to Saturday. Tours must be pre- booked; call 01258 486004 or book online. Royal Signals Museum; tel: 01258 482248. Spies, Codes and Secret Agents. Many features especially designed for younger visitors. Interactive Communications, Science & Technology. Special Exhibitions - Elite Special Forces - ENIGMA - Codes & Codebreaking - Special Operations Executive (SOE) - Despatch Riders - Motorcycle collection - Women Soldiers - ATS, FANY, SOE - Animals at War. Opening Times: Mon-Fri (all year) 10.00 am - 5.00 pm; Sat-Sun (Feb - end Oct) 10.00 am - 4.00 pm. Bockhampton (nr Dorchester) Hardy's Birthplace. Higher Bockhampton, DT2 8QJ, Tel: 01305 262366. The thatched cottage where writer Thomas Hardy was born and the surrounding woods and heathland where young Hardy played and explored offer real insight into his life and the inspiration for his books and poems. Open: Wed-Sun, 11.00 am to 5.00 pm (last entry 4.30 pm).


Tourist Information Adventure Wonderland. Opposite Bournemouth Airport. Tel: 01202 483444 Bournemouth Aviation Museum, Hangar 600, Bournemouth International Airport, Christchurch, Dorset, Tel: 01202 580858. Bournemouth Boating Services. Cruise Christchurch Harbour on a vintage ferry leaving from Tuckton Tea Gardens, Wick Ferry, and Christchurch Quay down to Mudeford Sandbank. Self-drive motor and rowing boats available. Tel: 01202 429119 Oceanarium. The Bournemouth Aquarium; next to Bournemouth Pier. Scenic Air Tours. Pleasure flights from Bournemouth Airport. Aviation Park West, Christchurch BH23 6ED. Tel: 01425 654449. Theatre. Bournemouth Pavilion.


Tank Museum, Bovington Camp, near Wool and Wareham, BH20 6JG, Tel: 01929 405096. The biggest day out in history, the Tank Museum brings the history of tanks and tank crews to life, with the world's best collection of fighting armour. Over 200 vehicles in 6 halls. 'The Trench' - a dramatic First World War walkthrough exhibition. Armoured Vehicle rides. Museum open daily 10.00 am - 5.00 pm. Clouds Hill (National Trust). King George V Road, Nr Bovington, Wareham, BH20 7NQ, Tel: 01929 405616. The legendary Lawrence of Arabia made Clouds Hill his home while stationed at Bovington. The unpretentious cottage provided the peace and solitude he craved away from army life. Open Wed-Sun, 11.00 am to 5.00 pm (last entry 4.30 pm).


Bridport Museum, South Street, Bridport, Tel: 01308 458703 / 422116 From Romans to Ropemaking! Come and discover what makes Bridport unique. Open 10.00 am - 5.00 pm, Mon to Sat (April to October). Local history centre open year round. Furleigh Estate. Furleigh Farm, Salwayash, Bridport, DT6 5JF, Tel: 01308 488991. Vineyard and winery, producers of the UK's most outstanding sparkling wine. Come and see how the 2012 winemaker of the year makes our wine. Guided tours and tastings every Friday & Saturday. Mangerton Mill. Mangerton, Bridport, DT6 3SG, Tel: 01308 485224. 17th Century working watermill and museum of bygones. Tea room, crafts and fishing lake. Open: Tuesday to Sunday 11.00 am - 5.30 pm. Palmers Brewery. Palmers Thatched Brewery is one of the few traditional breweries left in Britain. See how traditional ale is brewed. Guided tours: please book at Palmers Wine Store (open 9.00 am - 6.00 pm Monday to Saturday). One tour per weekday in the summer months, commencing at 11.00 am only, lasting approximately 2 hours. Tel: 01308-427500, Fax: 01308 421149.

Burton Bradstock

Jurassic Fun Centre, at Freshwater Beach Holiday Park, Burton Bradstock, Bridport DT6 4PT, Tel: 01308 897317

Cerne Abbas

The Cerne Abbas Giant. A one hundred and eighty foot high outline of a naked man, possibly a representation of Hercules, carved into the chalk hillside above the village of Cerne Abbas. Best viewed from a layby on the A352 Sherborne to Dorchester road. Cerne formerly had an abbey, of which little trace now remains apart from St. Augustine's Well. Cerne Abbas has several pubs and teashops. Treasure Trails Dorset. Giants Head Farmhouse, Old Sherborne Road, Cerne Abbas, DT2 7TR, Tel: 07867 800897. Dorset Trails are full of interesting little snippets of fact as well as some wonderful hidden places you would just never see. Have fun exploring as you solve the clues in one of Dorset's Murder Mystery, Treasure Hunt or Spy Trails. Trails need to be purchased directly from dorset@treasuretrails.co.uk or Caroline on 07867 800897.

Channel Island Ferries

Condor Ferries. Sail on a high speed ferry from Poole to Guernsey and spend a day away in the warmest part of the British Isles.


Forde Abbey and Gardens. Near Chard, Somerset, TA20 4LU, Tel: 01460 221290. Thirty acres of award-winning gardens - including the Centenary Fountain, the highest powered fountain in England - surround the magnificent 12th Century house. Open: Garden: daily 10.00 am - 4.30 pm, House: Tues to Fri and Sun & Bank Holiday Mondays 12.00 noon to 4.00 pm.


Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre. Tel: 01297 560772. On the sea front at Charmouth. Discover fossils and the wonder of the sea. Free admission. Guided walks run regularly throughout the summer. Groups by appointment. Open 10.30 am - 5.00 pm Easter fortnight, Whitsun to Autumn half term.

Chickerell (2 miles west of Weymouth)

Bennetts Water Gardens. Chickerell, Weymouth, DT3 4AF, Tel: 01305 785150. Eight acres of gardens with Monet-style Japanese bridge, Tropical House, Woodland Walks, Chickerell Museum, Plant Nursery, gift shop and Cafe Monet overlooking the lakes. Open 10.00 am - 5.00 pm, closed Saturday.


Tourist Information. Tel: 01202 471780 Adventure Wonderland. Merritown Lane, Hurn, Christchurch BH23 6BA, Tel: 01202 483444. Dorset's award-winning, number one family theme park now with over 30 fantastic rides and attractions. Plus the indoor Aztec adventure centre Wild Thing - guaranteed fun, whatever the weather. Open: 10.00 am to 6.00 pm. Last entry 4.00 pm. Bournemouth Boating Services. Cruise Christchurch Harbour on a vintage ferry leaving from Tuckton Tea Gardens, Wick Ferry, and Christchurch Quay down to Mudeford Sandbank. Self-drive motor and rowing boats available. Tel: 01202 429119

Clouds Hill

Clouds Hill (National Trust). King George V Road, Nr Bovington, Wareham, BH20 7NQ, Tel: 01929 405616. The legendary Lawrence of Arabia made Clouds Hill his home while stationed at Bovington. The unpretentious cottage provided the peace and solitude he craved away from army life. Open Wed-Sun, 11.00 am to 5.00 pm (last entry 4.30 pm).

Compton Abbas Airfield

7 miles north of Blandford on the C13, Ashmore, Dorset SP5 5AP, Tel: 01747 811767. Restaurant and Bar (runway terrace). www.abbasair.com

Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle (National Trust). Captivating, inspiring and educating. Events; 18th Century Tearoom; Gift Shop. Information: Tel: 01929 481294. Corfe Castle Model Village. The Square, Corfe Castle, BH20 5EZ, Tel: 01929 481234. Detailed 1:20 scale model of Corfe Castle and village before its destruction by Cromwell. Stocks and pillories, enchanted fairy woodland walk and giant games. More than just a model village, with a great tea room. Open every day from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm, closed Friday 27th April (2013). Dorset Water Park. Corfe Castle. Tel: 01929 505030.

Cycle Hire. See under Weymouth.


County town, approximately 10 miles south of Buckland Newton. The site of Casterbridge in Thomas Hardy's "The Mayor of Casterbridge". Shopping, hotels, restaurants. Roman remains including amphitheatre (Maumbury Ring), Roman villa (excavated and part restored). Clay Pigeon Raceway (Go Karting). Midway between Yeovil and Dorchester on the A37. Monday to Thursday 10.00 am to 6.00 pm. Tel: 01935 83713. Dorset County Museum, High Street West, Dorchester, DT1 1XA, Tel: 01305 262735. Award-winning museum for the whole family. Victorian Hall with Roman mosaic floors, Thomas Hardy's study, Jurassic Coast Gallery, History and Archaeology of Dorset. kids' activities and trails. Free entry to shop and tea room. Open Mon - Sat 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. Tutankhamun Exhibition, High West Street, Dorchester, DT1 1UW, Tel: 01305 269571. Experience the excitement of the world's greatest discovery of ancient treasure. See Tutankhamun's tomb and treasures spectacularly recreated through sight, sound and smell. Open all year round 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. Dinosaur Museum, Icen Way, Dorchester, DT1 1EW, Tel: 01305 269880. Fossils, skeletons and life-size reconstructions combine with hands-on and multimedia displays to reveal the thrilling world of dinosaurs. Open daily, all year round. Max Gate (National Trust). Alington Avenue, Dorchester, DT1 2AB, Tel: 01305 262538. Max Gate is the house that writer Thomas Hardy designed, built and lived in for over 40 years. See the room where he wrote Tess of the D'Urbervilles and explore the newly-restored kitchen garden. Open: Wed - Sun, 11.00 am to 5.00 pm (last entry 4.30 pm). Teddy Bear Museum. Eastgate, corner of High East St. & Salisbury St, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1JU. 01305 266040. From the earliest teddies to today's TV favourites, they're all waiting to meet you at this unmissable family museum. Open daily, all year round. Terracotta Warriors. Corner of High East Street and Salisbury Street, Dorchester, DT1 1JU, Tel: 01305 266040. The only museum outside China dedicated to the amazing Terracotta Warriors. Unique life-size museum replicas from China, costumes, armour and multimedia displays. Open daily, phone for winter hours. The Old Crown Court and Cells, Dorchester, Tel: 01305 252241. Famous for the trial of the Tolpuddle Martyrs and Judge Jeffreys' Bloody Assize. Phone for opening hours. Private group bookings all year. The Keep Military Museum Dorchester, Bridport Road, Dorchester at 'Top o' the Town', Tel: 01305 264066. The museum tells the remarkable story of those who served in the Regiments of Devon and Dorset for over 300 years. An exciting and colourful exhibition for visitors of all ages. Touch screen computers and creative displays. Open Mon-Sat 10.00 am to 5.00 pm (last admission 4.00 pm). Wolfedale Golf Course. Charminster, Dorchester DT2 7SE. Tel: 01305260186.

Furzebrooke (Wareham)

The Blue Pool. Surrounded by 25 acres of tranquil woods and heathland, criss- crossed by sandy paths which climb to views of the Purbeck Hills or lead down steps to the water's edge. Designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Tea House, Museum, Gift Shop, Plant Centre. Grounds open Mar-Nov; Tea House, Shops, Museum and Plant Centre open Easter to early October. Signposted off the A351 south of Wareham.

Haynes Motor Museum

Haynes Motor Museum, Sparkford, Nr. Yeovil, Somerset, Tel: 01963 440804. See one of the world's most spectacular motoring collections. Awarded Motor Museum of the Year 1999. Over 300 historic cars plus motorcycles, military vehicles, interactive displays, memorabilia and a cinema. Easy parking, restaurant, children's play area. Open: Mar-Oct every day 9.30 am - 5.30 pm (late opening during school summer holidays) Nov-Dec 10.00 am - 4.30 pm.

Hengistbury Head

Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre.

Henley (Buckland Newton)

Henley Hillbillies. Old Henley Farm, Buckland Newton, DT2 7BL, Tel: 01300 345293. Quad biking for adults and juniors (min. 8 years). Hack over our junior course or 1.5 mile track or enjoy badger-watching from our hides. Hovercraft, Clay shooting, Crossbow, Archery. Booking essential. Also Badger Watch.


Highcliffe Castle. Rothesay Drive, Highcliffe, Dorset, BH23 4LE, Tel: 01425 278807. A Grade 1 listed mansion built by Lord Stuart de Rothesay in the early 1830s and set in clifftop grounds with views over Christchurch Bay and the Isle of Wight, with access to the beach and South West Coastal Path. The Heritage Centre features the castle's intriguing history as well as an extensive programme of exhibitions, events and concerts. Open: Sun to Thur 11.00 am to 5.00 pm (last admission 4.30 pm), Fri and Sat 11.00 am to 4.30 pm (last admission 4.00 pm).

Ilminster (Somerset)

Perry's Cider Museum, Dowlish Wake, Ilminster, Somerset; Tel: 01460 52681. Cider mills and museum set in a picturesque Somerset village. The presses and cider making equipment are on view all year round, together with photographic displays and a video of cider making. Available from the farm shop is a wide range of farmhouse ciders which can be sampled, and also apple juice, cider brandy, country wines, jams, chutneys and many interesting gifts. Open: weekdays 9.00 am - 5.30 pm; Sat 9.30 am - 4.30 pm, Sun 10.00 am - 1.00 pm; Bank Holidays 9.30 am - 4.30 pm.

Kingston Lacy

Kingston Lacy House (National Trust). Wimborne Minster BH21 4EA, Tel: 01202 883402. The seat of the Bankes family for over 300 years. House contains an outstanding art collection. Garden of 43 acres, 250-acre landscaped Park. Woodland walks and play areas. Open: House 11.00 am to 5.00 pm (last entry 4.00 pm). Grounds, shop and restaurant 10.30 am - 6.00 pm.

Kingston Maurward (nr Dorchester)

Kingston Maurward Gardens and Animal Park. Dorchester, DT2 8PY, Tel: 01305 215003. Kingston Maurward is signposted from the roundabout at the eastern end of the Dorchester bypass. A classical 18th Century "Capability Brown" parkland setting with majestic lawns sweeping down from the Listed Mansion House to a stunning ornamental lake. Stone terraces and balustrades combine with extensive yew hedging to create a series of "rooms" within the beautiful Edwardian Garden. Home to National Collections of Penstemons and Salvias. The Animal Park has a collection of miniature Shetland ponies, donkeys, rabbits and guinea pigs. Open Monday to Sunday 10.00 am to 5.30 pm. but please check first.

Langton Matravers

Burngate Stone Carving Centre. Kingston Road, Langton Matravers, Nr Swanage, BH19 3BE, Tel: 01929 439405. Traditional stone-carving courses in the Isle of Purbeck, Dorset. Tearoom, local art and craft, exhibition of sculpture and car parking available. Open: please contact the centre directly for opening hours. Putlake Adventure Farm. Langton Matravers, Nr Swanage, BH19 3EU, Tel: 01929 422917


Create at the Cove. Church Road, West Lulworth BH20 5SG. TeL: 01929 400270. Paint your own pottery, Decopatch, Sand Art, Model Making, Fossil Digging, Corporate Groups. Lulworth Castle & Park. East Lulworth, Nr Wareham, BH20 5QS, Tel: 01929 400352. At the heart of the 12,000 acre privately owned Lulworth Estate. 17th Century Castle, Park, Woodland walks and the historically significant 18th Century Roman Catholic Chapel of St Mary. Climb the Castle tower for magnificent views across the Purbeck countryside. Open: 10.30 am to 5.00 pm, last admission one hour before closing.

Lyme Regis

Lyme Regis Museum. Bridge Street, Lyme Regis, DT7 3QA, Tel: 01297 443370. Open: every day, 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. To find out what's on, see our website or telephone.

Lytchett Minster

Courtyard Craft Centre. Set in an idyllic semi rural location with some 17 businesses and a working pottery, traditional country restaurant and a pet and animal shop. Hunticck Road, Lytchett Minster, Poole BH16 6BA. Tel: 07894 555 107.

Lytes Carey

Lytes Carey Manor (National Trust), Nr. Charlton Adam, Somerset, Tel: 01458 224471. Once the home of mediaeval herbalist Henry Lyte, this late mediaeval manor house is surrounded by a garden which is an enchanting mixture of formality and simplicity. Open (but check before travelling): Easter - end October, Mon, Wed Fri & Sun. Manor: 1.00 pm - 5.00 pm (last entry 4.30 pm) Garden: 11.00 am - 5.30 pm.

Milton Abbas

Chocolate-box pretty village with a wide main street and thatched cottages. Pub and teashops.

Minterne Magna

Minterne Gardens. Minterne Magna, Nr Dorchester, DT2 7AU, Tel: 01300 341370. 18th Century Valley Garden where rhododendrons and magnolias tower over small lakes, streams and cascades. Discover the magic of Minterne. Open: Monday to Sunday 10.00 am to 6.00 pm.

Montacute (nr Yeovil)

Montacute House (National Trust), Nr. Yeovil, Somerset, Tel: 01935 823289. Stately, 17th Century country house with formal garden set in a landscaped park. Many Renaissance features, exhibition of samplers and Elizabethan and Jacobean portraits from the National Portrait Gallery. Open (but check before travelling): House, Shop & Restaurant: end March to end October daily, except Tue, 1.00 pm - 5.00 pm; Garden & Park: end March to end October daily, except Tue, 11.00 am - 5.30 pm; November to March daily, except Mon & Tue, 11.30 am - 4.00 pm.

Moors Valley Country Park

Moors Valley Country Park, Horton Road, Ashley Heath, BH24 2ET, Tel: 01425 470721. Country Park with adventure play trail, tree-top walk, narrow-gauge steam railway, high wire adventure course, restaurant and shop. Open daily from 8.00 am to dusk.

Muchelney (Somerset)

Muchelney Pottery - John Leach, Muchelney, TA10 0DW, 2m south of Langport, Tel: 01458 250324. Well known thatched pottery with attractive shop selling Jon Leach and Nick Rees signed pots, also wood-fired kitchenware. Unspoilt rural setting on southern edge of ancient village of Muchelney. Muchelney Abbey (English Heritage). Exquisite Benedictine Abbey, the second largest in Somerset.

Organford, Nr Holton Heath

Farmer Palmers, Wareham Road, BH16 6EU, Tel: 01202 622022. 4 miles from Poole, in Organford near Holton Heath; clearly signposted from the A35 and A351. Supervised hands-on animal events daily, including lambs, goats, ponies, guinea pigs etc. Have fun in the undercover play area with pedal tractors, ball pit and bouncy castle. Relax in the 'Hen House Cafe' with a drink and home home- cooked food. Enjoy a summer stroll on the 'Woodland Walk'. Open daily from 10.00 am -5.30 pm until the end of September and during all School and Bank Holidays. October to end of December open weekends only 10.00 am - 4.00 pm. Closed Christmas and Boxing Day. Wheelchair friendly. Sorry - no dogs in park!

Owermoigne, Nr Dorchester

Mill House Cider Museum / A Dorset Collection of Clocks, Tel: 01305 852220. Open 7 days a week 10.00 am - 5.00 pm (November - March 10.00 am - 4.00 pm). 18th and 19th Century cider making equipment with a video of the antique equipment in use. 50 longcase and turret clocks showing the beauty and craftsmanship of the 18th-19th centuries.


Beach Hut Hire. Sandbanks Beach Office, Banks Road, Poole BH13 7QQ. Tel: 01202 708181. Tourist Office. Tel: 0845 234 5560 Restaurants etc City Cruises Poole. Sailing from Poole Quay. Old Harry cruise, Day trip to Swanage, Sea Train adventure, Jurassic Coast cruise. Tel: 02077 400 400 e- mail: office@bluelinecruises.co.uk Compton Acres. 164 Canford Cliffs Road, Poole BH13 7ES. Tel: 01202 700778. Five classic themed gardens: the Italian Garden, the Wooded Valley, the Rock and Water Garden, the Heather Garden and the Japanese Garden. Open 362 days a year with free access to Cafe, shops and Plant Centre. Family friendly, free parking. e-mail: gardens@comptonacres.co.uk Lemur Landings Play Centre. tel: 01202 740500. Poole Greyhounds. Racing every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday. Bars, snack bar, restaurant, free car parking. Wimborne Road, Poole BH15 2BP. Tel: 01202 677449 Poole Pottery. Live demonstrations, Paint-a-Pot, Poole Pottery Collection, Cafe. The Quay, Poole, BH15 1HJ. Tel: 01202 668681 Poole Speedway. Most Wednesdays, March to October. Poole Stadium. Sea Fishing Poole. Fisherman’s Dock, Poole BH15 1HU. Tel: 07891 669489 / 01202 679666. Splashdown Waterparks. Tower Park Leisure Complex. Yarrow Road, Poole BH12 4NY. Tel: 01202 716000. Tower Park Entertainment Centre. Yarrow Road, Poole BH12 4NY. Tel: 01202 723671.


Castletown D-Day Centre. Admiralty Buildings, Castletown, Portland DT5 1BB. Tel; 07850 243675. Chesil Beach Centre, Portland Beach Road, Portland DT4 9XE, Tel: 01305 206191. Visitor Centre with family-friendly displays, bird-watching and underwater camera. Chesil Equestrian Centre. Watery Lane, Weston, Portland DT5 2JH, Tel: 01305 823719. Portland Bill Lighthouse & Visitor Centre. Tel: 01305 821050. Portland Museum. 217 Wakham, Portland DT5 1HS. Tel: 01305 821804.

Preston (Weymouth)

Hillside Horse Riding, Church Road, Preston, Weymouth DT3 6BU, Tel: 0765 001138


Tourist Information. 8 Bell Street, Shaftesbury SP7 8AE, Tel: 01747 853514 Shaftesbury Abbey Museum & Garden. Park Walk, Shaftesbury, SP7 8JR, Tel: 01747 852910. The excavated remains of the Abbey church of this once wealthy Benedictine community for women lies in a peaceful walled garden. This award winning museum brings to life the story of the Abbey and its inhabitants. Open daily 10.00 am - 5.00 pm.


Pretty town approximately 8 miles north of Buckland Newton. Splendid Abbey with magnificent fan vaulting and the heaviest set of bells in Europe. Good shopping, tea shops, antique shops. Sherborne Castle. New Road, Sherborne, DT9 5NR, Tel: 01935 813182. Built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594, Sherborne Castle has been the home of the Digby family since 1617. Splendid collections of art, furniture and porcelain. "Capability Brown" created the lake in 1753 and gave Sherborne the very latest in landscape gardening. Open 1st April to 31st October. Castle, Gardens, Shop and Tearoom - open every day, except Monday and Friday (but open on Bank Holiday Mondays), from 11.00 am, last admission 4.30 pm. Castle opens on Saturdays from 2.00 pm with last admission 4.30 pm.


Haynes International Motor Museum. Sparkford, Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 7LH, Tel: 01963 440804. Twelve huge exhibition halls, amazing supercars, lots for kids to do, world famous 'Red Room' and more than 400 cars and bikes. Complete your day out in our cafe, serving a variety of hot and cold snacks. Open: Monday to Sunday 9.30 am to 5.30 pm.

Stoke St Gregory, Taunton (Somerset)

Willows and Wetlands Visitor Centre, P H Coate and Son, Stoke St Gregory, Taunton TA3 6HY, Tel: 01823 490249. Visit this family business with over 170 years experience of the Willow industry. Situated in the heart of the beautiful Somerset Levels, our 80 acres of willow provide the natural material for our craftsmen to weave a wide selection of baskets, furniture and garden items. Willow also available. Winners of the NFU Rural Tourist Attraction 2002. Open: all year, Mon-Sat 9.30 am - 5.00 pm. Free exhibition, video, museum, shop, walks, tea rooms. Also guided tours.

Sturminster Newton

Sturminster Newton Watermill. The Bridge, Sturminster Newton, DT10 2HW, Tel: 01747 854355. A 450-year-old water-powered grain mill on an ancient site and maintained in full working order. Informal tours with a supervisor at no extra cost. Souvenir shop, riverside walks and free parking. Open Mon, Thur, Sat & Sun 11.00 am - 5.00 pm.


Durlston Country Park. Lighthouse Road, Swanage, BH19 2JL, Tel: 01929 424443. Situated on the cliffs, with fabulous views is Durlston castle. The all- weather facility includes seventh wave cafe, visitor centre, roof-top belvedere, exhibition and gallery (art, science, performance, weddings and more). Enjoy the fantastic walking and wildlife. Open: Castle, Visitor Centre every day 10.00 am to 5.00 pm; cafe open 9.30 am to 4.30 pm; park open dawn to dusk. Swanage Railway. Station House, Station Approach, Swanage, BH19 1HB, Tel: 01929 425800.Travel on Dorset's award-winning steam railway and enjoy unique views of historic Corfe Castle. Park-and-ride open all year round at Norden, just north of Corfe Castle. Additional parking at Harman's Cross from July to October. For more details and timetables, see website. Putlake Adventure Farm. Langton Matravers, Nr Swanage BH19 3EU, Tel: 01929 422917


Vurlands Animal Farm & Eggcup Tearooms. Coast Road, Swyre DT2 9DB (between Abbotsbury and Bridport). Tel: 01308 897160.


Tintinhull House Garden (National Trust). Nr. Yeovil, Somerset, Tel: 01935 822545. A formal garden informally planted. Tintinhull is a good example of the careful integration of house and garden. Each of the seven gardens is quite different in character and treatment, yet there is a unity of design. Refreshments available. Open (but check before travelling): end march to end September, Wed-Sun 12.00 noon-6.00 pm.


Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum. TUC Memorial Cottages, Tolpuddle, Nr Dorchester, Tel: 01305 848237. The museum tells the story of the six agricultural workers transported to Australia in 1834 after forming a Trade Union. Follow the fate of the Martyrs by taking an exciting voyage of discovery via the interactive multimedia screens. Open Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holidays (except Christmas & New Year)


Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park. Edmondsham Road, Near Verwood BH21 5RJ. Tel: 01202 824040


The Blue Pool and Wareham Bears. Furzebrook, Wareham, BH20 5AR, Tel: 01929 551408. Pure escapism for all the family. Take a relaxing stroll through the woods and heathland and let the children's imagination take them to many mysterious places. Open: grounds daily from 9.30 am. Teahouse, Shops and Bears daily from 10.00 am. Closing times vary. Purbeck Sports Centre. Worgret Road, Wareham BH20 4PH, Tel: 01929 500000. 25 metre indoor swimming pool, floodlit tennis courts, gym and exercise classes, indoor and outdoor activities, free parking.


Knoll Gardens. Hampreston, nr Wimborne, BH21 7ND, Tel: 01202 873931. Visit the UK's leading ornamental grass specialist. Stroll in our mini-arboretum and relax in our naturalistic gardens. Discover our wildlife-friendly techniques, be inspired by our year-round appeal and take home our plants, our expertise and some great ideas to use in your own garden. Open Tuesday to Saturday 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. Kingston Lacy House (National Trust). Wimborne Minster BH21 4EA, Tel: 01202 883402. The seat of the Bankes family for over 300 years. House contains an outstanding art collection. Garden of 43 acres, 250-acre landscaped Park. Woodland walks and play areas. Open: House 11.00 am to 5.00 pm (last entry 4.00 pm). Grounds, shop and restaurant 10.30 am - 6.00 pm. Priest's House Museum & Garden - The Museum of East Dorset. 23-27 High Street, Wimborne Minster, BH21 1HR, Tel: 01202 882533. Discover our stunning Roman wall paintings and a fascinating childhood gallery. Explore period rooms from the 17th Century hall to the Victorian kitchen. Our gift shop completes your visit. Open: 10.00 am to 4.30 pm. Closed Sunday. Wimborne Minster. Tel: 01202 884753. Wimborne Model Town. 16 King Street, Wimborne Minster, BH21 1DY, Tel: 01202 881924. Set within beautiful prize winning gardens, the hundreds of superbly-detailed model buildings recreate the historic market town of Wimborne Minster as it was in the 1950's. A magical reminder of life in rural England over 60 years ago. Open daily 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Wool (nr Wareham)

Monkey World. Ape rescue centre, Longthorns, Wareham, Dorset (one mile from Wool on the Bere Regis road); Tel: 01929 462537. Come and see the stars of "Monkey Business". Voted Dorset' Best Day Out. Open every day (except Christmas) from 10.00 am.


Bella Ceramics. Pottery Painting Studio. 49a St. Mary Street, Weymouth DT4 8PU. Tel: 01305 780343. Bennetts Water Gardens, Putton Lane, Chickerell - 2 miles east of Weymouth on the B3157 to Abbotsbury and Bridport - follow brown signs. World famous National Collection of Water Lilies set within 6 acres of gardens. Tea Room, Gift Shop, Tropical House, Family Nature Trail. Open 10.00 am - 5.00 pm April to August Tuesday to Sunday; September Tuesday to Saturday; Open Bank Holidays. Coastline Cruises. Cruise the Jurassic Coast, land at Redcliffe Bay, ride to Portland Castle. Cruise the coast on a vintage WW2 naval boat. Cyclexperience Ltd. Wareham Station, Northport, Wareham, BH20 4AS (7 days); Norden Park & Ride, Nr Corfe Castle, BH20 5DS (seasonal), Tel: 01929 556601. Days out by bike. Rent a bike and choose a trail through the beautiful Purbeck countryside. Bikes for all ages. Family rides in Wareham Forest or trips to the coast for the more adventurous. Open: Wareham Hire open 7 days per week; Norden Hire - check by telephone or see our website Deep Sea Adventure, 9 Custom House Quay, Old Harbour, Weymouth, Tel: 0871 222 5760. Experience the exciting world of underwater exploration. Open every day 9.30 - 19.00, last admission 17.30. Open later in the summer. Fantasy Island Fun Park, Bowleaze Cove, Weymouth DT3 6PW, Tel: 01305 834474. Gala Bingo. Weymouth Club, 18 Crescent St., Weymouth DT4 7BX. Tel: 01305 785180. Gypsy II Half-Day Boat Fishing Trips. Tel: 07799 775612. Jurassic Kayak Tours and Coasteering. Tel: 01305 834951 Jurassic Skyline. Enjoy amazing 360 degree panoramic views of Weymouth Bay, Portland and the Jurassic Coast from 53m above the resort. Leisure Ranch. Formula K Go-Karts, Giant Slide, Kids' Mini Cars, Hurricane Bumper 'Bots'. Next to Sealife Centre at Lodmoor Country Park, Weymouth DT4 7SX, Tel: 01305 761420. Nothe Fort, Barrack Road, Weymouth; tel: 01305 766626. On the Dorset Heritage Coast, with glorious views over Weymouth and Portland Harbour. 70 rooms and passages to explore. Guns, models, tableaux, tea room, gift shop and picnic area. Open daily May 1 to Sept 30, 10.30 am - 5.30 pm, last admission 4.30 pm. Pirate Adventure Mini Golf. (Next to Sealife) Weymouth DT4 7SX. Tel: 01305 761070 Sandworld. Marvel at amazing giant sand sculptures. Check website for details and opening times. Sharkys Indoor Playzone. Weymouth's premier and only licensed Quasar Elite laser gaming facility. 7 Albany Road, Granby Industrial Estate, Weymouth DT4 9TH, Tel: 01305 777334. The Timewalk, Brewer's Quay, Hope Square, Weymouth, Tel: 01305 777622. Located in a redeveloped Victorian Brewery now housing a Speciality, Victorian Style Shopping Village. Weymouth Sea Life Park and Marine Sanctuary, Lodmore Country Park, Weymouth, Tel: 1305 788255. Weymouth Whitewater. Exhilirating Jet Boat rides along Dorset's Jurassic Coast. Trinity Road, Weymouth Harbour, close to the Town Bridge DT4 8TG, Tel: 07899 892317.


Fleet Air Arm Museum, RNAS Yeovilton, Ilchester, Somerset, BA22 8HT, Tel: 01935 840565. Situated on the B3151, just off A303 and A37. One of the world's leading aviation museums with 45 historic aircraft on display. Experience the exciting development of Britain's Flying Navy, in a succession of superb exhibits. New 'Leading Edge Exhibition', plus 'Carrier' - a recreation of life on board an aircraft carrier. Concorde 002 is also on display. Facilities include free car & coach park, disabled facilities, children's adventure playground, large gift, model and book shop, restaurant. Open: all year except 24th, 25th & 26th December; Apr-Oct 10.00 am - 5.30 pm; Nov-Mar (some days only - check before travelling) 10.00 am - 4.30 pm. Last admission 90 minutes before closing.
Buckland Newton Community Website
in the heart of rural Dorset