compton acres italian garden

Compton Acres

AttractionsFood & DrinkGardens

Compton Acres is a must visit for keen gardeners holidaying at South Lytchett Manor. This ornamental garden is considered one of the most important in England, boasting more than 10 acres of stunning grounds and plant and flower species from around the world.

The site was first created in 1920 and has bought pleasure to visitors and local families in the years since. There is much to see and do here, making it an ideal choice for a day out in Dorset.

5 gardens to explore

Compton Acres is split into 5 distinct areas, each with its own look and feel. The Italian Garden draws inspiration from the Mediterranean and features clipped yew trees, palms, colourful bedding plants and stone pillars and sculptures. One of the most striking features of this garden is the Italian Villa, which is used for prestigious events.

The Wooded Valley has a more natural look with a more relaxed approach to landscaping. The paths take you through beautiful scenery including mature trees, shrubs and waterfalls. There is a small children’s play park here that has been designed to complement the environment.

Further into the grounds you will find The Rock & Water Garden, The Heather Garden and our personal favourite, the Japanese Garden. You will feel like you’ve been transported to another world with stunning azaleas, cherry blossom and maples dotted along the route. There is also a traditional tea house and pond filled with Koi carp.


If you feel inspired to give your own garden a bit of TLC after exploring the grounds, there is a wide selection of plants, pots, sculptures and gardening tools to purchase at the onsite Plant Centre. Alternatively, there’s a fantastic gift shop with an extensive selection of homeware, toys, confectionary, jewellery and much more, should you wish to treat yourself to something special during your visit.

Eat and drink

If you’re feeling peckish there are plenty of food and drink options to sample at Compton Acres. The café serves a delicious selection of home baked cakes, and traditional meals – we recommend the Sunday lunch! Amongst the grounds you’ll find the Harbour View Café, which serves light lunches with a picturesque view over Poole Harbour.


Photo credit: Paul Lancaster, Flickr


Follow signs to Poole and on to Canford Cliffs

Attraction information

phone icon01202 700778

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Opening Times
Gardens10am - 4pmLast entry 3pm
Shops10am - 3:30pm
Main Cafe9am - 3:30pm All facilities open 7 days a week excluding Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day

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