Explore one of England’s finest Tudor Manor Houses & Gardens, travel through tranquil countryside and discover the historic county town of Dorchester.
An ideal introduction to the beautiful county of Dorset steeped in ancient history. Travel through the idyllic countryside, rolling chalk hills to visit the stunning 15th century Tudor manor house where you’ll see the Great Hall and it’s richly appointed rooms and stroll the manicured gardens and the unique ‘Great Court’ famous for its striking pyramid shaped yew trees. In 1998 Athelhampton was names Christie’s ‘Garden of the Year’
On our return journey you’ll pass many picture perfect typical thatched-roofed Dorset villages and a landscape immortalised by the local writer and poet Thomas Hardy as well as some magnificent views of the UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coast
Dorchester is a historic market town with its roots in Roman times; however it is most famously associated with the great writer Thomas Hardy who was born in nearby Bockhampton who set his novel ‘The Mayor of Casterbridge here, where “every street, alley and precinct announces old Rome”.
With its elegant 18th century houses, broad walks and bustling shopping streets, Dorchester has much to offer and it’s history can be traced back to the Iron Age. The Romans built a town here (Durnovaria) and you can see reminders of Dorchester’s Roman past in the County Museum and the Roman Town House. However Dorchester is perhaps better known for its part in the following two events in history.
In 1685 Judge Jeffries (the ‘Hanging Judge’) presided here over the ‘Bloody Assizes’ following Monmouth’s rebellion and defeat at the Battle of Sedgemoor. He ordered the hanging of 74 men. The Tolpuddle Martyrs were deported from Dorchester to Australia in 1834 following their attempts to form a trade union.