Cormorant in the area around Portland.

Abbotsbury Swannery & Sub Tropical Gardens

Depart Portland in the morning for a visit to the Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, where you will have time to wander at your leisure.

  • Swannery
  • Subtropical gardens
  • Exotic plants
  • Difficulty level

    Level 2: Easy

  • Duration

    4h

  • Max. passengers

    70

  • Booking Code

    E-PTL2

  • From

    $ 172

  • Notices

    Appropriate clothing and comfortable walking shoes.

Depart Portland in the morning for a visit to the Abbotsbury Subtropical 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 since developed into a magnificent 20 acres plot filled with rare and exotic plants from around the world. Many of these plants were the first of their kind in country, as brought by the Countess’s plant-hunting descendants.

Since the restoration after the great storm of 1990, many new exotic and unusual plants have been introduced. The Garden is now a mixture of formal and informal, with charming walled garden walks and spectacular woodland valley views. There is also a viewpoint over the Jurassic coastline, which was newly designed this year. The Gardens are world famous for its camellia groves and magnolias, with noteworthy rhododendron and hydrangea collections.

Then we continue to the Abbotsbury Swannery, a unique center and the only place in the world where you can 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 their 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. Even though 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, you will rejoin your bus and return to Portland.

Practical information:

  • Remarks/requirements: Appropriate clothing and comfortable walking shoes.

  • Walking information: Approximately 1 mile walk

  • Wheelchair accessible: No.
  • Language: English.