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Marvellous Garden Walks – Dorset & Hampshire

As the first of the summer rays fall over our beloved British landscape and the colour begins to explode from the hedgerows and trees. What better time to venture outdoors to walk and admire the natural beauty that’s on our doorstep. Retiring in Dorset gives great access to a variety of stunning walks and scenery.

There is no such thing as inclement weather, just improper clothing

-Alfred Wainwright, A Coast to Coast Walk

If you are in command of a good walking wardrobe then this can actually be the perfect time to take advantage of the moderate weather and the countryside at it’s most colourful. Thankfully, you don’t have to travel far to reach these beautiful sites and there are many wonderful places to visit only a short journey from our Platinum Skies retirement living sites in Poole (Esprit and Vista) and Christchurch (Monterey) in Dorset; and Chapters in Salisbury, Wiltshire. 

We’ve popped a few of them in this blog for you so you can perhaps take a walk in meditation on your own, go out with a friend and catch up in beautiful surroundings, or go out searching for flowers and wildlife with your grandchildren.

Hinton Admiral Gardens

‘Mature plantings of deciduous azaleas and rhododendrons amidst a sea of bluebells.’

These grounds encircle a beautiful eighteenth-century house and include a terrace, rock garden, kitchen garden and woodland walk. Trees, shrubs, lawns and ponds abound in these gardens where you can enjoy both wide open spaces of green and a pretty walled garden with herbs and the like. The terrace and rock garden were designed by Harold Peto and the latter has beautiful riots of bluebells, wild daffodils and other seasonal flowers.


Lyndhurst Road, Hinton, Christchurch, Dorset, England, BH23 7DY


£7 – As of 2019

Opening times:

Private group visits to the garden may be arranged by emailing

Otherwise Hinton Admiral participates in the National Open Garden Scheme and you can find open garden day dates on their website.

Compton Acres

Originating in 1920 by My Thomas Simpson, Compton Acres is over 10 acres of beautiful gardens complete with cafe and tea rooms and of course a Plant Centre! Compton Acres regularly run events and offers which you can view on their website perfect for enjoying a solo day out or one with the grandchildren.

Take the circular route and allow the gardens to unfold before you from the Italian garden, to the Rock & Water garden, to the Japanese garden and many more.


164 Canford Cliffs Road, Poole Dorset, BH13 7ES


Concession – £7.45

Children: £4.25

Under 4s – Free

Opening times:

Compton Acres is open all year round, 12 months of the year 7 days a week except:

1st November  – Good Friday 10am – 4pm (last entry 3pm)

Good Friday – 31st October – 10am – 6pm (last entry 5pm)

View most up-to-date opening times here.

Priory Gardens

Gardens and a wooded walk united to create a beautiful garden getaway surrounding Christchurch Priory. There is a stream winding through the grounds with a lovely musical background to your visit along with the fish pond at the Quay end. The Priory 900 Committee organised a sculpture competition on the 900th anniversary of the Priory with a winning design by Jonathon Sells you can admire on your visit.


Quay Road, Christchurch, BH23 1BU



Opening times:

All times.

Exbury Gardens

World famous displays of rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias await you in Exbury Gardens. The charitable organisation partakes in ongoing propagation, plant hunting, the development of horticultural knowledge and science and the opening of the gardens to the public! It’s often the home of sculpture exhibitions and can be enjoyed year-round.

The best thing here is the miniature railway which has opened up previously unavailable areas to the public and for those who might find walking all day a challenge. If you fancy a day out with the grandchildren then you can make the most of the picnic areas and railway and tearooms.


Exbury Gardens, The Estate Office, Exbury, Southampton, Hampshire, SO45 1AZ


Adult: £17.50 (with railway)

Children: £9.00 (with railway)

Opening times:

Gardens: 10am – 5.30pm (last entry 4.30pm)

                                       Railway: 12pm – 3.30pm (last train 3pm)

Platinum Skies Gardens

We know the importance of beautiful outside spaces here at Platinum Skies and we believe they don’t need to be something you give up when moving to a retirement property. That’s why we’ve specifically designed beautiful gardens surrounding our Vista, Monterey and Chapters properties. For example, you can find out more about the launch of Monterey where we even planted a new majestic Monterey pine, in keeping with the namesake of the property.

To find out more about all our incredible sites and why it might be the best choice you make for your retirement why not give us a call on: 01202 471461 and arrange a viewing at our properties or email us on

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01202 012573