Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens is one of those places one has to visit on a lovely day. Somehow seeing slightly tender plants on a grey day doesn’t quite hit the mark. Thankfully this idyllic corner of coastal Dorset has its fair share of balmy days. Originating right back to 1765, the situation in a sheltered valley allows for some surprising results complemented by the high quality of the gardening force. As with all good visits I shall start with the tea rooms and progress onwards. There was a nice colonial feel here.

The position of Abbotsbury is beyond compare with splendid views down the East coast to the nearby Chesil Beach, the Fleet and Portland, and toward Hive Beach in the West. Follow the path called “Magnolia Walk” for very good reason.


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