Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm
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Dorset's Hidden Country Houses and Gardens

8 May 2022

This tour is currently sold out, but if you'd like to register your interest we can put you on a wait list in case we have any cancellations. Just fill in your details below and we will contact you if a place becomes available.
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.
  • Private guided tour of Mapperton House 
  • 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
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
Intimate and special, and surrounded by beautiful countryside, our country-house hotel offers a cosseting experience in the heart of Dorset. With genuine warm service, innovative and delicious menus, a relaxing spa, a stunning indoor pool and fragrant landscaped gardens. The Summer Lodge offers a world-renowned restaurant and bar, a heated indoor pool, spa and beauty treatments, bicycles, a croquet lawn and an all-weather tennis court. We are also a 25 minutes’ drive from the Jurassic coast, providing guests with ample opportunity for outdoor pursuits. this is the quintessential luxurious escape.
Room Facilities & Amenities
  • Fresh flowers and fruit in room
  • Coffee and tea making facilities
  • Summer Lodge shortbread biscuits
  • Luxury toiletries
  • Plush bathrobes with ladies and gents slippers
  • Highest quality 200 thread count Belgian linens
  • High-speed wireless internet access
  • Flat screen satellite television
  • Air-conditioning & heating
  • Electronic safe
  • 24-hour room service
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