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“Dorset Food Fair” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Athelhampton House and Gardens

Athelhampton House and Gardens
Athelhampton, Dorchester DT2 7LG, England
+44 1305 848363
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Ranked #2 of 21 Attractions in Dorchester
Type: Historic Sites, Gardens, Cultural
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Attraction details
Owner description: This 15th-century house has a peaceful garden dating from 1891.
Bournemouth, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
“Dorset Food Fair”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2014

A beautiful venue for the best of Dorset food and wine! It is an annual event but easy parking and free entrance! We chose Dorset biscuits, cheese, bread, wine , beer, cider, and Guatamalan coffee roasted in Dorset!

Visited November 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Owen D, Director of Sales at Athelhampton House and Gardens, responded to this review, 2 weeks ago
Thanks Littlejohn61 for the great review, pleased to hear you enjoyed finding all the best food and drink from Dorset

Hope to see you again next year.
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213 reviews from our community

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English first
Monmouth, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Beautiful house, attractive gardens”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2014

Visited 29th November 2014. We went to visit the Dorset Food & Drink Christmas Fair 2014, which was worthwhile, but the highlight of the visit was the gardens - small, ornate, some large topiary and attractive water features although the boardwalk was closed (too wet, so perhaps visit on a dry day if this is important for you). The house is magnificent. Not too big, beautifully and fully furnished (unlike those echoing French chateaux then!). 4 adults and 2 young boys, and all enjoyed it.

Visited November 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Owen D, Director of Sales at Athelhampton House and Gardens, responded to this review, 2 weeks ago
Dear John M

Thanks for visiting with the family, very pleased to hear that you enjoyed the house and gardens, a shame the boardwalk was closed, it can get a little slippery. Hope you get the opportunity to visit and enjoy on a summer day.

Best wishes

Owen
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Barton Mills, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Lovely House, Beautiful Gardens”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2014

We spent a long time wandering around the lovely gardens here. They are well laid out and beautifully maintained. The house was very interesting too, with the Marevna Gallary adding a different view to the history of the building. We took lunch in the restaurant. Our food was served reasonably quickly and was good. No complaints here.

Visited October 2014
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Owen D, Director of Sales at Athelhampton House and Gardens, responded to this review, 2 weeks ago
Hello Alan

Thanks for the good review, pleased you enjoyed the gardens and found your way upto the Marevna gallery. Hope you come back again, you should try our lovely Sunday carvery!

Best wishes

Owen
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Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Great place but sad that conservation not a priority”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2014

It is a nice house and great restaurant/bar but what is really sad is that there seems to be no consideration to protecting the house for future.

As we walked in we were told we could sit anywhere really?. Not a single sign saying 'Do not touch' which meant I saw several people picking up a statues/busts one replying 'Oh this is heavier than I expected, but its ok I'm sure it's insured'. Also I saw people picking up books. Ok maybe they are worthless, maybe the whole point is to allow the public to pick up and handle objects as they wouldn't be allowed in other places. Another part of the house are narrow stairs heading downwards, but due to the amount of people the wallpaper had been ripped and worn away. Just putting a sheet of plexiglass behind to protect the wall paper would have protected it. The great hall with its fire with a dodgy flu resulting in smoke pumping out and around the house, the lighting such that bright sunlight was shining on some amazing paintings. Allowing people up into the gallery to play the 18th century (??) organ just didn't feel right.

Overall I would say if it is important to you to protect this nation's houses for future generations then it will probably make you more sad than glad you went. For the owners a couple of do not touch signs and tweaks to the rooms etc isn't much expense to protect the house. I was so close to giving this review a 2 or a 1 but really shows how good the national trust etc is at protecting our great houses.

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Owen D, Director of Sales at Athelhampton House and Gardens, responded to this review, 2 weeks ago
Dear gabbs1

Many thanks for the review, an interesting view point, but not one that we agree with. Conservation is our priority, but Athelhampton is a home, not a museum. We work very hard to ensure that Athelhampton House and its Gardens are maintained, improved, restored and preserved for the future.

You fail to mention that most of the rooms do have protection, there are barriers and ropes in place that protect sensitive areas and their furnishings, however we do feel that is important for many areas in the house to be open, seats can be sat in, rugs can be walked upon, fine carved furniture can be touched. Some of the Great Hall seating has been used since the late 16th century, We are sure a few more years won't hurt.

The Tudor fireplace pre-dates modern flu technology, and does smoke a little, but thats part of the atmosphere.

Do not touch signs everywhere and plexiglass? I think that you may find that you are in a minority wanting such things. We want Athelhampton to be open and welcoming, and thats why many people write 5* reviews on trip advisor.
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Guernsey, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Very welcoming”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2014

Great staff, lovely grounds. I've been more than once and in the summer months it is glorious to wonder into the different 'rooms' of the garden and along the river walk. It also manages to be absolutely charming in the rain! The Athelhampton cream tea is delicious!! Worth getting a season membership even if you only pop in once a season.

Visited October 2014
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Owen D, Director of Sales at Athelhampton House and Gardens, responded to this review, 2 weeks ago
Thanks Nikki, really pleased that you had such a good time, I shall tell all the team that you commented on how great they are - thanks.

Its been a busy year for cream teas, our chef's home-made scones and the very locally made clotted cream make it so good...!

Thanks
Owen
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