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Dorset; Hidden Country Houses and Gardens

9 May 2021

4 days from £1,680pp

This Art Pursuits tour will focus on houses still in private hands which illustrate the development of the country house from early Tudor times to the 20th century.
  • Sandford Orcas- one of the most perfect small Tudor manor houses
  • The richly decorated interiors of Forde Abbey, amongst the finest of the Commonwealth period
  • A private visit to Wimborne St Giles, the ancestral home of the Earls of Shaftesbury, and recently splendidly restored
  • A private lunch in the enchanting Rococo rooms of Georgian Came House, filled with important 18th-century furniture by leading cabinet-makers
Dorset is one of the most unspoilt and most rural of England’s counties, a land of downs, and moor, secluded valleys, woodlands and beech groves. It is not a county of grand mansions, but possesses a remarkable concentration of lesser-known gentry manor houses, often little changed over the centuries, and sometimes still in possession of the families which originally built them. This Art Pursuits tour will focus on houses still in private hands which illustrate the development of the country house from early Tudor times to the 20th century, and almost every house on our itinerary has an important historic garden or designed landscape park. The tour is based in Hardy’s enchanting village of Evershot, surrounded by rolling hills and situated mid-way between Beaminster and Cerne Abba.  It is the second highest settlement in Dorset and the source of the River Frome, which rises from a spring at St John’s Well near the church and meanders for 35 miles across Dorset to the sea at Poole. 

Your Accommodation

Summer Lodge Country House Hotel

★★★★
Overview
In 4 acres of beautiful gardens, Summer Lodge features luxurious rooms, a leisure centre and an award-winning restaurant. With free parking and free Wi-Fi, the hotel is 15 minutes from Yeovil.