Things to See and Do


Things to See and Do

Stourhead House & Gardens

Things to See and Do

Countryside Walks

Interesting things to see in the area

Stourhead House & Gardens

Palladian house and world-famous landscape garden.
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Fleet Air Arm Museum

Europe’s largest Naval Aviation Collection
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Enter a land of adventure. Where lions roam. Tigers stalk. And monkeys swing. Travel through time in a grand stately home. Lose yourself in one of our magical mazes. Hold exotic creatures from the ends of the Earth. This is Longleat. Jump in.
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Beaches nearby (1hr 15 mins) – Chesil Beach Burton on Bradstock Abbotsbury Swannery

Sacred Sites, Historic Houses and Gardens, Crop Circles

All within easy reach of Vale Centre (under 1hrs drive)


Stonehenge (45min drive)

Summer Solstice Monday 21st June 11.58am
(individuals to organize their own travel arrangements)

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Stone Circle at Avebrury

World-famous stone circle and on-site museum at the heart of a prehistoric landscape (1hour)
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Glastonbury Abbey

Glastonbury Abbey – discover the history, legends and spirit. (45mins)
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Chalice Well

The Chalice Well at Glastonbury is one of Britain’s most ancient wells (45mins)
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Glastonbury Tor

Prominent hill overlooking the Isle of Avalon, Glastonbury and Somerset (45mins)

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Steeped in history and tradition, Shaftesbury offers visitors breathtaking views and the warmest of welcomes.
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Ancient Iron Age Forts

Ham Hill

Ham Hill is a 164 hectare (390 acre) country park centred on an Iron Age hill fort/ There is extensive free car parking on site and plenty of open hilly landscape to explore, as well as shady woodlands and interesting old quarry areas (20mins)
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Maiden Castle

Maiden Castle in Dorset is one of the largest and most complex Iron Age hillforts in Europe.
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Arthurian Myths

Cadbury Castle

Cadbury Castle, said to be the legendary Camelot, stronghold of Kind Arthur.

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Crop Circles


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Historic Houses & Gardens

Stourhead House & Gardens

Palladian house and world-famous landscape garden.
Visit their website

Wilton House

Wilton House, home to the 18th Earl of Pembroke

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Roman Baths

The Roman Bath house is a well-preserved Roman site for public bathing.  Well worth a visit. (1hr 10 mins)

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Organic Gardening

Charles Dowding Organic Gardening, the ‘Natural No Dig Way’ (10 min)

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The Coastline


Durdle Door

The magificant Durdle Door arch and beach is part of the Lulworth Estate and the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

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For specialized tours of the South West To un-earth some of the South West’s hidden treasures book with Peter Kight Author of ‘The Wessex Astrum – Sacred Geometry in a Mystical Landscape’. Details on his website and with ‘Discover Dorset Tours’ to get some fabulous days out with guides (small numbers)

We can help with taxi services or groups can get together to hire a car. The local buses are not that efficient.


Download our guide here

There are a numbber of village pubs, supermarkets and farm shops within a 10 min drive.  See our guide for more information


Gillingham: Waitrose, Chantry Fields, Gillingham SP8 4UA

(delivery to Vale Centre cottages BA9 9PH)

Wincanton: Morrisons:Southgate Rd, Wincanton BA9 9EB

Lidl: Southgate Rd, Wincanton BA9 9EB

Specialist shops

High Street Organics Community Co-Op Bruton run by locals stocks only organic foods and deliveries of fresh fruit and vegetables from Devon (Riverford) on Tuesdays and Fridays. 57a High Street BRUTON BA10 0AW

Farm Shops local

Stourhead Farm Shop: High Street Stourton Wiltshire BA12 6QF 01747 841164 (great for cheese and organic beef)

Udder Farm shop and restaurant: Manor Farm, Front St, East Stour, Gillingham SP8 5LQ


Frome Farmer’s Market the second Saturday of each month

Fresh/freezer food, cakes and scone teas can also be ordered in advance from Cats Whiskers Company based in our courtyard (Tel: 07748 643783)


Our Favourite is At The Chapel at Bruton, patisserie (delicious croissants), breakfast and newspapers. They also have a proper bread oven and pizzas to take away. Lunch and Evening meals best to book. Good for families.

The Old Bake House, Castle Cary.

A big selection of pubs: The Stapleton Arms at Buckhorn Weston, Queen’s Arms at Cadbury, White Lion in Bourton, Bell and Crown at Zeals, Stag Head’s Inn at Yarlington, Kings Arms in Charlton Hawthorne, Spread Eagle at Stourhead. National Trust houses have their tea-rooms and restaurants. The Beckford Arms in Tisbury, The Manor House Inn at Ditcheat.  Messums at Tisbury art gallery and coffee shop in tithe barn.


Ross Bar and Grill (in the Hauser & Wirth Modern Art Gallery) at Durslade Farm , Dropping Lane, Bruton BA10 ONL  Tel 01749 814060

Howard House Hotel Restaurant:

The Foresters at Donhead St Andrew has a good restaurant:

Rose and Crown Restaurant in Trent:

Little Barwick House has a very good reputation:

The Green in Sherborne is good too: