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“Amazing History”

Athelhampton House and Gardens
Ranked #2 of 45 things to do in Dorchester
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This 15th-century house has a peaceful garden dating from 1891.
Reviewed August 16, 2013

Loved the house because of its long history and manicured gardens. Of particular note is the relaxed approach, few keep of the grass or don't touch signs and real genuine sense of welcome and attention to detail. Loan of guide book is a great idea. Restaurant food good, licensed bar, home baked cakes. Parking free. Do take the walks, and visit the grounds including the dovehouse.

Thank travell_a_lot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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473 - 477 of 574 reviews

Reviewed August 13, 2013

I spent a couple of hours here this afternoon. I thought it was fairly pricey at £12.50 but nevertheless, found it a fascinating place. The garden is full of interesting nooks and crannies - we were lucky enough to find the Toll House open - which was a first for my companion who has been a regular visitor for 30 or so years. It adds another dimension to the usual historic homes visit, and Thomas hardy fans will be pleased to find another Hardy connection there.

The wildlife reserve in the garden is fantastic and from chatting with the Head Gardener we discovered that the family in residence are really hands on with design and maintenance of the grounds. The dovecote is lovely, it's very peaceful (as you'd hope!) so do go in - although the entrance is very low so watch your back.

The house itself is utterly charming, I loved that we were encouraged to sit in the chairs and get a real feel for the rooms. That it's still used as a family home is very much in evidence - the library with it's billiard table, gramophone and dusty tomes also has a Mac in it!

I wholeheartedly recommend paying a visit to Athelhampton, it was the highlight of my trip to dorset.

Thank TaraleeP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2013

We went with our 2 children age 7 and 4. We were lucky in that it was a glorious sunny day so we could enjoy the gardens. The kids loved it - lots of running around. The house was fab and very interesting. The lady as you went in was very kind and lovely to our children. Well worth the money and not so busy that it felt crowded. The walk along the river is stunning.

Oh, and the ice cream is divine!

Thank Epsom1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2013

The house is very interesting and there is a good shop and restaurant. It is probably a good idea to visit this before you visit the cider museum, which is close by, and not the other way round like I did.

Thank SouthgateLad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2013

We were married here a year ago in a civil ceremony & visited again for our 1st anniversary only yesterday. The Great Room in the house is the perfect snippet of history and is even lovelier that a family still live there and it hasn't been given over to the National Trust yet. We were married in the Great Room, in the house on a Saturday and it just sent every one of our guests into a mesmerised state of awe. We had 52 day guests, and i think this was a perfect number for this room, any bigger and it would've been a squeeze. another great thing was that the walk down the aisle was not long, (i was dreading the all-eyes-on-me walk). Guests were also welcome to explore the house. Coming out to the grounds as a married couple with all of our guests was just perfect and the staff were so attentive with our drinks. We didn't want for anything and our guests were commenting how attentive they were. Laura, who managed and orchestrated our whole day is the most professional, yet friendly, organised, proficient person, and she made our day go by without a single hitch. Our guests absolutely loved walking around the gardens whilst we had photos, which gave our wedding photographer so many brilliant picture opportunities. We also had a videographer and the place just shines when we look back at our wedding video. The Long Hall where we ate was perfect for our guest number and then we had the evening reception in the final room at the end, the Coach House. It was just so lovely that each room was already set up for the next chapter of the day and we never had toe ushered out of a room so they could set it up and then return to it. The evening reception was held in the Coach House because it is airy and light, with perfect access to e outside for smokers. Guests could also go back into the Long Hall where we ate to take photos and help themselves to the sweetie table. W had a roulette table in the Coach House, so plenty of room and the dance floor was the perfect size. So many of our guests had been to amazing, lavish weddings before, but after ours, everyone could not have better things to say about Athelhampton and the staff. The food-well.......it was 5* and more! So many people were commenting on how good the food was. A day I'll never forget and it was a great deal down to the whole experience of choosing Athelhampton House for our wedding. Right from the beginning, the food tasting, the wine choosing, the plan of the day, the setting up of everything-it was completely handled by Laura and her staff and I cannot say enough excellent things about them all.

Thank Winston10251
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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