Summer can be a great time to get out and about, but sometimes, as a carer this might be a daunting thought if you’re worried about accessibility or affordability. In this blog, we explore 10 outdoors places to visit across Dorset. From gardens, to miniature villages and nature reserves all places mentioned offer discounts for you as a carer.
You can read all about their accessibility too, so you can take the stress out of going travelling with the person you care for by knowing what to expect.
To get these great discounts across Dorset, simply sign up with us as a carer and we can send you a free Dorset Carers Card which gives amazing value at these great attractions.
Athlehampton House & Gardens, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 7LG
One of England’s finest, Tudor manor houses, set in exquisite Elizabethan-style gardens with new garden seating area.
The gardens welcome all people with disabilities and all disabled visitors are entitled to a matched price carers ticket to support their visit. To find out more about accessibility read their access statement.
Open Sundays to Fridays 10 am to 4pm. Offer 50% with a Carers Card.
Minterne Gardens, Minterne Magna, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 7AU
Tranquil garden, landscaped in the manner of Capability Brown. Minterne boasts a world-renowned and completely unique collection of fine and rare trees. Wander the trail and enjoy a chain of small lakes, waterfalls and streams.
Unfortunately, Minterne Gardens feature many uneven surfaces and are therefore not suitable for wheelchairs. Free for carers with a Carers Card.
Bennetts Water Gardens, Chickerell, Weymouth, Dorset, DT3 4AF
Set over 8 acres the gardens hold the National Plant Collection of water lilies with a Claude Monet-style Japanese Bridge, Tropical House, Woodland Walks and Museum.
Open every day except Saturdays, from 10am to 4pm.
Partial wheelchair access is available around the gardens, however during periods of sustained wet weather the gardens are closed to wheelchair users. For further information on accessibility please read their Access Statement.
Wimborne Model Town, King Street, Wimborne Minster, Dorset BH21 1DY
The vintage miniature world of Wimborne Model Town offer the visitor the opportunity to walk around the Wimborne Town Centre of more than 65 years ago with over 100 shops, banks, cafes, a river system, two sets of public toilets and a ringing phone box.
Avon Heath Country Park, Brocks Pine, St. Leonards, Ringwood, BH24 2DH
Explore acres of unspoilt heathland and wooded areas, while experiencing some of the unique and rare wildlife. Surrounded by established woodland and possessing a large pond, bird and bat boxes. Next to the wildlife area is the sand lizard enclosure (vivarium), which houses sand lizards and is part of an important breeding programme.
The park gates open 8am to 6.30pm or dusk, whichever is sooner.
Durlston Country Park, Lighthouse Road, Swanage, BH19 2JL
Durlston Country Park is a 320 acre country park and nature reserve. The park is part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. At this National Nature Reserve, you’ll find dramatic sea-cliffs, coastal limestone downland, hay meadows, hedgerows and woodland. With stunning views, walking trails, the historic Great Globe, superb geology, fascinating wildlife and Durlston Castle, there is always something different to see and do.
Less mobile visitors are welcome to hire out one of the two battery operated Trampers. These specially designed offroad mobility buggies are easy to drive and allow you access to much of the park along several agreed routes. Read more about Durlston Country Park’s accessibility.
Dorset Falconry Park, Lewell Mill Lane, Lewell, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 8AN
See a wide range of birds, with daily shows at 11am and 3.30pm. In between these times, birds will be exercised, flown and trained in the meadow. You are welcome to sit back, relax and watch this taking place.
Wheelchair friendly but for the welfare of the birds there are no dogs allowed.
Corfe Castle Model Village – Corfe Castle Model Village, The Square, Corfe Castle, Dorset BH20 5EZ
Opened to the public in 1966, Corfe Castle Model Village depicts the castle and village as it was in 1646. Set in an acre, the first two lawns have been tended for many generations as traditional English gardens. Outstanding views of the Purbeck Hills can be enjoyed, reaching to the Rings in the distance.
Some of the Model Village is accessible, other parts not, but the main part can be seen.
In the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council area there is:
Compton Acres – 164 Canford Cliffs Rd, Poole BH13 7ES
The gardens of Compton Acres are laid out on a circular route, including The Heather Gardens, The Japanese Gardens, The Wooded Gardens, The Rock & Water Garden and The Italian Gardens.
Open all year round, 12 months of the year 7 days a week.
The gardens are wheelchair accessible, though paths in some areas are steep and require a person of sufficient strength to push and control the wheelchair. A gardener can be called upon if assistance is required.
Did you know you can also get free entry at National Trust sites too?
The Essential Companion card makes it simple to bring one or two carers or companions with a cared for, free of charge. Just show the card when you arrive, and your carer(s) or companion(s) won’t need to pay an entry fee.
See the full list of places of National Trust sites in Dorset on the Visit Dorset page.