The award winning Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens that sit in a stunning location just off Chesil beach in Dorset were first established in 1765 as a kitchen garden by the first Countess of Ilchester.
Over the years it has become an amazing and beautiful woodland garden that has its own microclimate full of rare and exotic plants brought from all over the world by the earliest plant hunters. It is particularly famous for its displays of magnolias, camelias, rhododendrons, magnolias and hydrangeas. There are also stunning views of the Jurrasic Coast from top of the Magnolia Avenue.
In 2012 it was named the Historic Houses Association (HHA) Garden of the Year in an award sponsored by Christie’s. This prestigious annual award is made to the garden voted as a favourite by the Friends of the HHA.
According to Alan Titchmarsh it is “one of the finest gardens I have ever visited“.
As well as the many paths that are suitable for those with restricted mobility, facilities include a colonial style restaurant with wide veranda’s to sit and enjoy tea or coffee outside, a gift shop and plant centre.
The garden hosts many events during the year including theatre productions, music recitals and the annual floodlit gardens in October.
Members of the armed services, their partner and up to three children can now enjoy free entry Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens on production of a warrant ID card.
Useful information about Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens
- Visit Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens website
- Open 21st December to 1st January inclusive, 10am to 5/6pm or 4pm in winter. Please ring to confirm closing time (01305 871387)
- About 50% of the garden is accessible to wheelchair users and there is ramp access to the colonial restaurant.
- It is a dog friendly garden provided they are kept on leads.
- There is lots of free parking for cars and coaches.
- Group rates are available for parties of 10 or more.
- The colonial restaurant serves snacks, lunches, afternoon tea and morning coffee during opening hours.