Day 1

The picturesque market town of Wimborne is set in the lush water meadows of the rivers Stour and Allen and is most famous for Wimborne Minster which houses the fascinating Chained Library.

Wimborne Minster Church credit Samantha Cook

During your day here, make sure to visit The Treasures of Wimborne, which are unique attractions offering indoor and outdoor activities that all the generations can enjoy. Learn more of the quirky artefacts inside the gracious Minster Church, browse the shop and exhibitions at Walford Mill Crafts or be a giant in your own kingdom at the wonderful Wimborne Model Town.

Day 2

Spend some time meandering around Kingston Lacy which is just a short drive away from bustling Wimborne town centre. The National Trust's elegant 17th century Italian inspired country mansion is set in attractive formal gardens with extensive parkland and makes for a pleasant morning of discovery.

Wander around the house and enjoy the Spanish Room with its gilded ceiling brought from the Contarini Palace in Venice. Witness paintings by Rubens, Van Dyck, Titian and Brueghel and explore the largest private collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts in the UK.

National Trust Kingston Lacy

Take in the sights and sounds of the Japanese Garden, complete with authentic tea house or take a sheltered walk through the breathtaking woodland.

In the afternoon, visit the Royal Signals Museum and learn more of signalling through history from semaphore to high tech cyber space. Discover how to break codes, guide laser beams and set up a satellite network while tracing the history of the British Army’s battlefield communications experts.

Day 3

Today, explore the archaeological honeypot of Cranborne Chase which inspired the father of modern archaeology, William Fox Pitt.

The stunning landscape of the Chase is scattered with barrows, hillforts and ancient roads. As you walk parts of Ackling Dyke you can easily imagine the sound of a Roman legions marching towards Old Sarum. Then you can investigate Knowlton Church and Rings, an atmospheric English Heritage site with Bronze Age rings and ruined church. Dig out your walking boots and discover the greatest views over rural Dorset at the Iron Age Fort at Hod Hill.

Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park and Rescue Centre

Animal lovers should certainly consider a visit to the Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park and Rescue Centre. Set in the stunning rural Dorset landscape between Wimborne and Verwood you can learn more of the history and heritage of heavy horse breeds and their close working relationship with man throughout the ages. 

For the afternoon’s itinerary, learn more about the rich traditions of the Blackmore Vale and explore the pretty market town of Sturminster Newton with its picturesque water mill. Or, take a trip to Shaftesbury to ramble along the famous Gold Hill and visit the Shaftesbury Abbey Museum.

Optional Extras

Visit ‘the largest undercover market in the south of England’ where you can find farmers market, flea market and car boot. Wimborne Market is well-known for its great market which is held on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

While you're there visit the Wimborne Tourist Information Centre for more information and suggestions of how to make the most of your exploration.

Why not extend your visit and find great value places to stay with our accommodation search.

Dont forget to tag us on Social Media when posting about this itinerary with the hashtag #visitdorset

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Wimborne Model Town and Gardens
Model/Miniature Village
Enjoy Wimborne Model Town & Village

Open daily 10am – 5pm, no booking required. Welcome to Wimborne’s vintage charity attraction.  We’re a magnet for visitors of all ages to step back in time and enjoy the 1/10th scale preserved world of Wimborne town centre in the 1950s.   Follow our new Socially Distanced route complete with quiz trail to explore the site and discover the details in hundreds of buildings and over 100 shop fronts of yesteryear.  Find the miniature Quarter Jack chiming the Minster bells and look at the wedding. Listen out for the ringing phone box and the flushing public toilets!

Kingston Lacy
Historic House/Palace
Kingston Lacy House and Gardens

Kingston Lacy parkland, garden, takeaway cafe, shop and toilets are now open. The ground and state floors in the house are open but with limited availability. Pre-purchased tickets are required. Please check the National Trust website before visiting. Kingston Lacy is an elegant 17th century Italian inspired country mansion set in attractive formal gardens and extensive parkland. Wander around Kingston Lacy house and discover the Spanish Room with its gilded leather and gilded ceiling brought from the Contarini Palace in Venice. Witness paintings by Rubens, Van Dyck, Titian and Brueghel and explore the largest private collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts in the UK. Stroll around the Japanese Garden, complete with authentic tea house or

Royal Signals Museum
Museum
Royal Signals Museum

*Temporarily closed*. Interactive History, Science and Technology of army communication from Crimean War to Afghanistan . Codes and Code Breaking, Cyberwarfare, Special Forces, Vehicles, Equipment, uniforms, medals and badges on display.

Hambledon & Hod Hills
National Trust Property
Hambledon Hill

Hambledon Hill is a National Nature Reserve and one of Dorset's most impressive Iron Age hillfort with multiple ramparts. The hilltop is encircled by an Iron Age earthwork and there are extensive Neolithic features, making it a major archaeological site.

Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park and Rescue Centre
Animal Collection
Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park and Rescue Centre

COVID-19 VISITENGLAND WE’RE GOOD TO GO ACCREDITED BUSINESS. Come along and enjoy a unique experience visiting one of the very last Heavy Horse Centres left in Britain. The Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park is a multi-award-winning attraction located in the heart of Dorset and is recognised as both a family attraction and conservation centre for the rare breed Heavy Horses. Whether you are a family group, grandparent, or young couple an entertaining day out awaits! See the full daily schedules which run for both Adults and Children offering a hands on countryside experience! Visit our website for full details: www.dorset-heavy-horse-centre.co.uk

Gold Hill
Historic Site
Gold Hill, Shaftesbury. Photo credit Rachel Baker

Come and stand on the ancient cobbles of Gold Hill, Shaftesbury a glorious setting made famous in the much loved "Hovis" advert. Take in the stunning vista down the hill and across the surrounding Dorset countryside.

Shaftesbury Abbey Museum & Gardens
Abbey/Priory
Shaftesbury Abbey Museum and Gardens, Dorset

Under the current government guidelines, the museum gardens is now open at the weekends ONLY. 10am-4pm. Social distancing applies. Donations gratefully received. Shaftesbury Abbey Museum tells the story of the Abbey founded by King Alfred the Great in AD888. The foundations of the Abbey lie in a peaceful walled garden with traditional roses and extensive herb garden. The museum brings to life the extraordinary history of the Abbey and its people through the ages.

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