Abbotsbury Swannery & Sub Tropical Gardens
Available all year
Depart Portland this morning to visit the beautiful Abbotsbury Sub-tropical Gardens where you will have time to wander at your leisure.
Established in 1765 by the first Countess of Ilchester as a kitchen garden for her nearby castle, the gardens have been developed since then into a magnificent 20 acres filled with rare & exotic plants from all over the world. Many of these plants were first introductions to this country discovered by the plant-hunting descendants of the Countess.
Since the restoration after the great storm of 1990, many new exotic & unusual plants have been introduced. The Garden is now a mixture of formal & informal, with charming walled garden walks & spectacular woodland valley views; newly designed this year is also a view point over the Jurassic coastline. Today the Gardens are world famous for its Camellia Groves & Magnolias, & noted for its Rhododendron & Hydrangea collections.
Then continue to the Abbotsbury Swannery, a unique centre & the only place in the world where you are able to walk through the heart of a colony of nesting Mute Swans; from mid-May to late June, hundreds of fluffy cygnets hatch from eggs in nests on or near the pathways.
The Swannery was established by Benedictine Monks who built a monastery at Abbotsbury during the 1040's. The monks farmed the swans to produce food for their lavish banquets & although St Peter's monastery was destroyed in 1539 during the dissolution, some of the ruins are still visible around St Nicholas' Church in the village.
Following your visit to the Swannery rejoin your coach & return to Portland.
Remarks/requirements: Appropriate clothing and comfortable walking shoes.
Walking information: Approximately 1 mile walk.
Wheelchair accessible: No.
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