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Forde Abbey and Gardens, Chard

#1 of 6 in Things to do in Chard
Once described as "...the most perfect monastery in England", Forde Abbey is a beacon of elegant antiquity, set within the exquisite countryside of Dorset. Built almost 900 years ago by Cistercian monks, the Abbey still embodies the serenity and philosophy of the order who lived, prayed and farmed here.

Walk in the actual footsteps of the monks as they carried out their daily duties in these medieval surroundings. Experience the wonderful English Gothic setting created by the Prideaux family when they transformed the austere Abbey into a post-Renaissance palace.

From 1141 to the present day, Forde Abbey is a stunning example of history preserved but not petrified, where the Kennard family continues to live and work in an informal style and where visitors will always receive a warm welcome.
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Forde Abbey and Gardens Reviews
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458 reviews
  • Had an enjoyable day here. The whole places is beautiful and the gardens are most spectacular. The Abbey itself was most interesting but the gardens are really the star of the show.  more »
  • We visited Forde Abbey today and had a really enjoyable time at a leisurely pace. Arrived in time for coffee in the spacious restaurant, by which time the house was open. An hour spent wandering aroun...  more »
  • Visited Forde Abbey lovely place with great gardens but far too expensive £13.for an adult not value for money shame.  more »
  • This is a wonderful house and gardens to visit. Even better if you become a member, by the third visit, you're up on the deal! There is the biggest powered water fountain in the country, beautiful lakes, it's dog-friendly, a lovely café (good cake and the Teas nice) Lots of different areas/types of plantings. Plenty of spots for a sit down. They also have special events; we saw an​open air production of Shakespeare's, Much ado about nothing. A smashing evening, with our own picnic and chairs. Highly recommended.
  • Beautiful :) visited with my husband and 4 month old daughter. Lots of pram friendly paths to allow us to walk through the grounds, a wide open cafe for easy access and perfectly good baby changing facilities. We bought a year's membership on the way out because we will definitely be going again!
  • Variety of floral display during year.licely well tended gardens and beautiful house, much of which is open to visitors. Worth return visits throughout the year. Good cafe and lovely food.
  • Excellent day out for adults who like gardening. Good facilities including the cafe which is reasonably priced. The plant centre has some extremely rare specimens at very good prices cheaper than garden centres.
  • Great for families to visit, many plants and trees around, ideal for picnic, large place.

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