Visiting Kingston Lacy and Badbury Rings

12 October 2018

Dorset has an incredible richness of history, natural beauty and stunning places to visit, and a day at Kingston Lacy means you can experience all three. Only half an hour away from Shamba, this elegant family home was built to look like an Italian palace set in 8,500 acres of estate. Along with the Japanese Garden, tea house and the largest private collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts in the UK, you’ll also find Badbury Rings, an Iron Age hillfort with breath-taking views.



A family home, filled with grandeur.

With your first step into the National Trust property of Kingston Lacy you’ll be transported back over 400 years to when the house was the Bankes' family home. The eccentric family made the most of their wealth and filled the main house with art, antiques and plenty of personality. A trip upstairs and you’ll be able to see one of the last surviving ‘tent rooms’ in Europe – where the room is painted to look like the military campaign tents that Napoleon lived in as he fought the war across Europe. The house itself also exudes luxury from the marble floors and vaulted ceiling, to the cedar avenue and stone statues, no expense was spared and it’s all been kept in top condition through conservation efforts.

Take a step outside

Whether it’s the height of summer or a crisp autumnal day, a stroll through the gardens and grounds of Kingston Lacy does not disappoint. Perfectly-kept flower beds, a thriving vinery and the flame-coloured Japanese maples are a real jewel in the crown. A visit in the spring means that you’ll be able to experience the delicate cherry tree blossom as the weather starts to get warmer, not to mention the bluebells that carpet the woodland floor and release a sweet fragrance into the air.



The historic sights aren’t just within the house, but they’re outside too. The 6.5m-high obelisk took 9 years to reach its home in England all the way from Egypt, and it sits only a few minutes away from the tranquillity of the shaded fernery which is home to 40 different types of fern.

Exploring Badbury rings

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Once you’ve explored the gardens it’s time to breathe in the fresh air and explore the area with one of the 12 walking routes that between them cover 72 miles. These dog friendly routes will take you past Badbury Rings, a historic site that dates back to an incredible 800BC. Now used as light grazing land and home to wild herbs and flowers, the site is also home to a Romano-Celtic temple and when excavated it provided coins, jewellery and pottery too.



#Repost @uk.shots with @get_repost ・・・ πŸ“Έ are proud to present our UK πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ loves of the day! ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• πŸ…ARTIST @davidrabram 🌍LOCATION The Badbury Iron Age hill fort, Dorset, England ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• We need you and your pics to show the beauty of the United Kingdom πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ to the world! Join us and be part of it! Tag us #ukshots or #uk_shots ☝🏻 No stolen or web pics! Please visit the artist's gallery and show them some love πŸ’™ Photo selected by @nichbrand If you like our gallery, you may also like our sister hub @scotland.shots . #badburyrings #kingstonlacy #dorset #visitdorset #dorsetlove #dorsetlive #ironage #ironagehillfort #nationaltrust #ukshts_davidrabram

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One of the most popular walking routes through Kingston Lacy to Badbury Rings is moderate in difficulty and takes just under two hours to complete.

Things to do

Of course, it’s not only the many acres of unspoilt landscape around Kingston Lacy that you’ll want to explore – it’s the shops and team room too. At The Potting Shed bookshop you’ll find wonderful second hand booked for all ages. Nestled behind the fernery it’s a great place to browse and proceeds go towards helping restoration and conservation efforts for the estate. Before taking a trip to the gift shop to pick up a souvenir or two, be sure to pop into the Stables Café. From hot food, drinks and cakes to the classic Dorset cream tea – it's all made with fresh, local produce and the many changes seasonally.

Planning your visit

House opening times: 11am – 5pm

Garden opening times: 10am – 6pm

Admission prices to the house: adults £13.60, children £6.80, family ticket £34

Admission to Badbury Rings: FREE