Photo: Marilyn Peddle

Kingston Lacy is a house built on history. This 17th century house was built as a replacement for Corfe Castle after it was devastated during the Civil War. As you approach the house take a moment to admire the tree-lined avenue. There are 365 trees, one for every day of the year, planted by the owner of the Bankes estate as a gift for his wife.

Admire the outstanding architecture as you come up to the house, but head inside to experience the real pleasures of the house. Created to impress and inspire, Kingston Lacy was designed to the epitome of grandeur in every room. A must-see is the Spanish room, whose walls are hung with gilded leather. You can see the state bedroom, which once housed Kaiser Wilhelm II. A highlight is the main staircase, an ornately carved masterpiece which features depictions of Sir and Lady Bankes watching over the gardens. The house’s quarters are without equal, as is the celebrated Bankes collection of art and antiques. Not only does it house works by Van Dyck, Titan, and Brueghel; Kingston Lacy has the largest private collection of Egyptian artefacts in the UK Рincluding a sarcophagus!

Head out to the garden to see plants and styles from all over the world. Unwind in the Japanese tea garden or see if you can find all 14 varieties of orchid that the estate houses. As you wander through the thousands of acres the estate holds, explore the rolling hills filled with ancient trees, wildlife, and even an obelisk! The estate is crisscrossed with walking paths and cycling trails for you to enjoy nature. The huge grounds are perfect for children to investigate, and there is a play area as well.

Wimborne Minster, BH21 4EA
Tel: 01202 883402
Times: See attraction for specific details.