Recently used as a location in the 2015 movie version of Far From the Madding Crowd, and previously in the 1996 version of Emma, Mapperton is one of England’s finest manor houses. Several acres of terraced valley gardens with specimen trees and shrubs and formal borders surround the house that dates back to the 16th century. There are also fountains, grottoes, stone sculpture, fishponds, an arboretum and an orangery. The garden offers excellent walks and outstanding views of the Dorset hills and woodlands. The house has been home to the Earls of Sandwich since the 1950s, and is also home to their collection of paintings, which are mostly from the 17th century.
Facilities – at a glance
Assist dogs allowed
- Parking onsite
- Parking nearby
- Ramp from parking area to garden, cafe accessible
- Accessible toilets
- Opening Times: Garden Mar-Oct 11-5 Sun-Thu. House Apr-Oct 12-4 guided tours on the hour at 12,1,2 and 3, Sun-Thu. Cafe Apr-Oct 11-5 Sun-Thu
Also in the Area
About The area
Dorset means rugged varied coastlines and high chalk downlands. Squeezed in among the cliffs and set amid some of Britain’s most beautiful scenery is a chain of picturesque villages and seaside towns. Along the coast you’ll find the Lulworth Ranges, which run from Kimmeridge Bay in the east to Lulworth Cove in the west. Together with a stretch of East Devon, this is Britain’s Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, noted for its layers of shale and numerous fossils embedded in the rock. Among the best-known natural landmarks on this stretch of the Dorset coast is Durdle Door, a rocky arch that has been shaped and sculpted to perfection by the elements. The whole area has the unmistakable stamp of prehistory.
Away from Dorset’s magical coastline lies a landscape with a very different character and atmosphere, but one that is no less appealing. Here, winding, hedge-lined country lanes lead beneath lush, green hilltops to snug, sleepy villages hidden from view and the wider world. The people of Dorset are justifiably proud of the achievements of Thomas Hardy, its most famous son, and much of the county is immortalised in his writing.
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