Minterne Gardens


Partner Garden
Free access for RHS members at selected times

Minterne Magna

On A352 Dorchester/Sherborne road, 2 miles north of Cerne Abbas.

27 acres

01300 341370

Visit website

Opening Hours

10am–5.30pm, daily, 3 Feb–2 Nov.


Please see website for admission prices.

RHS members

Free access (member 1 only for joint memberships) applies when open.


  • Children's activities
  • Dogs welcome
  • Free carer entry
  • Parking
  • Picnic area
  • Plant sales
  • Refreshments
  • Toilets


  • Arboretum
  • Autumn colour
  • Pond or lake
  • Water garden
  • Woodland

About the garden

Owned by
Henry Digby

A hidden gem, Minterne Gardens is in the village of Minterne Magna in the Cerne Valley. A 'Capability' Brown-inspired landscape within the grounds of Minterne House and the great historic woodland garden holds a wonderful collection of the rhododendrons and numerous mature specimen trees such as Davidia, Acer, Magnolia and a whole host of conifers, underplanted with shrubs, perennials and inspiring groundcover. 

The 27-acre garden benefits from a valley topography and this gives a true feel of the Himalaya with giant rhododendrons, streams and cascades appear at every turn around the horseshoe-shaped wild woodland garden. Historic planting that dates back to the early 1800s from ground-breaking plant hunting expeditions by J D Hooker, Reginald Farrer and Joseph Rock among others, along with newly introduced planting to upkeep the heritage and home rare and unique plants.

Minterne Gardens provides a peaceful oasis to watch the world go by, surrounded by vistas stretching into the Dorset landscape. The authentic Himalayan Hut provides a restful place for explorers with views over the Dorset landscape and the newly constructed 'Pagolion' – surrounded with unique plants, this unique hybrid structure, a cross between a pagoda and a pavilion, is a sight to behold.

Finish your visit at the new Himalayan café serving delicious light lunches, teas, Purbeck ice cream and cake on the terrace overlooking the majestic lake.

Please note: this garden is partially accessible.

Plants of special interest

  • Agapanthus
  • Alliums
  • Bluebells
  • Camellias
  • Clematis
  • Conifers
  • Cornus (for winter stems or spring bracts)
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodils
  • Ferns
  • Grasses
  • Hemerocallis
  • Herbs
  • Hostas
  • Irises
  • Laburnum
  • Lilies
  • Magnolias
  • Maple
  • Orchids
  • Primulas
  • Rhododendrons/azaleas
  • Shade-loving plants
  • Snowdrops
  • Spring bulbs
  • Waterlilies
  • Wildflowers

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.