5 National Trust locations to visit in Dorset
27th January 2022
Dorset is a county of outstanding beauty and thousands of years of magical and mysterious history, not to mention a plethora of stunning National Trust locations just waiting to be explored. Located on the south coast of England and home to the magnificent Jurassic Coast, there is no wonder that thousands of tourists flock to its lands every year.
Many of these locations offer accessibility features for those who would otherwise use aids like a stairlift, if you are unsure, contact the site beforehand for more information. This guide explores 5 of the very best National Trust locations you have to visit when in the area, with comments and recommendations from Dorset locals and family bloggers.
5 National Trust locations to visit in Dorset:
- Hambledon Hill
- Brownsea Island
- Kingston Lacey
- Corfe Castle
- White Mill
Hambledon Hill is said to be over 2,000 years old and its prehistoric history is something that has to be marvelled in person. Situated in Blackmore Vale, the site was previously home to a Neolithic village and is now a prime example of an Iron Age hill fort.
Visit Dorset explains the site a little more on their website: “Hambledon Hill is a National Nature Reserve and one of Dorset's most impressive Iron Age hillforts with multiple ramparts. The hilltop is encircled by an Iron Age earthwork and there are extensive Neolithic features, making it a major archaeological site.”
Do you love wildlife? Then Brownsea Island is for you as one of the best National Trust locations to catch a glimpse of the infamous red squirrels, as well as the wonderful architecture and woodlands.
Dorset Wildlife Trust goes into a little more detail about the importance of wildlife preservation on the island: “Brownsea Island is an internationally important nature reserve featuring rare wildlife, including red squirrels, and wading birds. Located at the heart of Poole Harbour, it is managed by Dorset Wildlife Trust, in partnership with the National Trust and part of the Purbeck Heaths National Nature Reserve and a legacy of the Great Heath Living Landscape.”
Whether you’re just looking to enjoy a scenic walk, are planning to stay in one of the holiday cottages or want to try and see some wildlife, the island has it all to offer.
Kingston Lacy is a lavish family home set on acres of picturesque Dorset countryside. Originally the home of the Banks family who also lived at nearby Corfe Castle until its demolition in the English Civil War.
The blog Love Travelling Blog visited Kingston Lacy and commented on the experience on their website: “Kingston Lacy is an elegant country mansion set in attractive formal gardens and extensive parkland. The former home of the Bankes family, Sir John bought the estate in the 1630s, Sir Ralph then built the house in the 1660s and it was then updated and transformed by William in the 1830s until 1981 when Ralph Bankes bequeathed the house and estate to the National Trust.”
Visitors can explore the stunning and elegant formal rooms including the dining hall, the tent room and the servant’s hall as well as exploring the manicured gardens and surrounding acres of wildlife and walks.
Corfe Castle is a 1000-year-old royal castle known for its bloody history and triumphant connections. Built originally in the 12th century for King Henry I, William the Conqueror’s son, and was designed to be imposing with a height of 21 meters. Standing tall and firm through the Civil War, it was finally besieged in 1645 but was one of the last remaining royalist strongholds of its type.
The team at Visit Dorset have an extensive guide on the location and explain a little more about the location: “Corfe Castle ruins are one of Britain's most iconic and evocative survivors of the English Civil War, partially demolished in 1646 by the Parliamentarians, they sit proudly upon a hill of this beautiful historical village with the same name. Discover 1,000 years of its history as a royal palace and fortress. This special place is a favourite haunt for adults and children alike where people are captivated by these romantic ruins that offer breathtaking views across the Purbecks. With fallen walls and secret places, there are tales of treachery and treason around every corner.”
A former corn mill in the Dorset countryside, White Mill is situated alongside the River Stour and is part of the Kingston Lacy estate and is run by the National Trust.
Historic England discusses the history of White Mill: “White Mill is mentioned in records dating from the 12th century. The present buildings date from the 18th century. It was a water mill grinding grain (grist) for both flour and animal feed. The mill is a part of the Kingston Lacy estate and stands by the River Stour. The mill is now in the care of the National Trust.”
If you’re planning to visit the county of Dorset anytime soon and want to enjoy the very best historic locations, then hopefully this article has given you a little more information on some of the popular sites and what to expect when you are there. For more tips and blogs like these then head to our news section.
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