From 1141 to the present day, Forde Abbey is a stunning example of history preserved but not petrified, where the Kennard family continues to live and work in an informal style and where visitors will always receive a warm welcome.
Home to the highest powered fountain in the country, the award-winning gardens include topiary lined vistas, colourful herbaceous borders, an arboretum, a bog garden, which together with swathes of early Spring bulbs and camellias provide all year round interest. Designed to incorporate both the formal and informal aspects of garden design, the straight lines give way to meandering pathways the further you head away from the house, with plenty of benches and seating to admire the views along the way.
Also home to the stunning Mortlake tapestries, woven from the the internationally famous Raphael cartoons, now housed in the V&A, the Abbey has a rich and varied history spanning 900 years. Walk in the actual footsteps of the monks (with habits to try on for size for all the family), and explore the exquisite interior featured in the latest Hollywood adaptation of ‘Far From the Madding Crowd.’
Wide open lawns and the space and freedom to explore makes Forde Abbey a great day out for the family. Adventurers will love our willow labyrinth in the arboretum, watching wildlife on the lake and don’t forget to pick up a children’s pack for activities to do around the house and gardens. Enjoy lunch and home-baked treats in the tearoom and visitors rarely leave our plant nursery empty-handed.