Be enchanted by Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens » Dream cottages

Be enchanted by Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens



Looking for things to do in Dorset this October half term?

Why not take in the wonder and delight of Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens enchanted illuminations.


A little history of Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens.

The subtropical gardens site dates to 1765, and are now over 20 acres filled with beautiful Magnolias, bamboo, rare trees and a whole host of exotic plants from all over the world.

It has survived and thrived after overcoming many challenges, including parts being used by the Dorset light infantry regiment during World War II and extensive devastation during the great storm of 1987. It has been replanted and remodelled and is now one of Dorset’s more unique days out.

The Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens enjoy their own micro climate and it is often dry and warm even in Autumn, which is how such delicate and tropical loving plants  such as palms, lilies and banana trees can thrive.

The Subtropical gardens are a year round attraction due its ever changing landscape. Boasting a garden centre where you can treat yourself to something special, a gift shop for treats and a restaurant for a cream tea or a slice of Dorset apple cake, you can while away the hours in this most peaceful of settings.

If you decide to go before the evening illuminations, why not make a trip to the viewing point where you can see St Catherine’s chapel, built by the monks of Abbotsbury Abbey, it dates to the 14th century. There is also a walk up to the chapel from the Subtropical gardens where you will be greeted by spectacular views of Chesil beach and Portland.

St Catherine's Chapel Abbotsbury
St Catherine’s Chapel from the subtropical gardens


From 12th – 25th October and Sunday 29th October the subtropical gardens will be lit up to create a magical experience for young and old alike.

On 26th – 28th October the gardens take a turn for the spooky, with ghost stories, face painting and even a tunnel of terror!

You can book tickets here:

The walk through the illuminations takes approximately 45 minutes, and you will need a torch and sensible shoes, during fright nights you will be greeted by a whole host of spooky characters.

There is a shorter walk which is suitable for wheelchairs and younger visitors who may get tired and is just as spooky.


Why not make a day of it and buy a passport or fright night ticket which include entrance to the world famous Swannary where you can walk amongst over 300 nesting mute swans, and the children’s farm, which is a firm favourite for budding little farmers and an opportunity to sit back and relax whilst they run off some energy in the soft play area.



Abbotsbury is one of the most visually stunning and unspoilt places to visit in Dorset.

We have a lovely selection of properties in and around Abbotsbury, including West Bexington, Langton Herring, Pucknowle and Burton Bradstock, all of which are near The Subtropical Gardens,  Abbotsbury village and the Jurassic coast.


There is still time to book  your own Dream Cottage for this years Enchanted Illuminations here:

To find out more about things to do in Abbotsbury you can read our guide here: