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Ruins of Corfe Castle, National Trust site near Lyme Regis

Discover the captivating charm of these seven  National Trust properties near Lyme Regis. From historical manors to picturesque gardens, you can embark on a journey through time in this coastal region. 

Embark on a remarkable journey as you unveil seven hidden gems near Lyme Regis. These impressive National Trust places exude magic and captivate the senses. Prepare to be awe-inspired by their beauty, rich history and splendid scenery.

Whether you’re seeking ancient ruins, thatched cottages, or grand manor houses, this stretch of the country is full of unique National Trust sites. Imagine strolling around landscaped gardens for a winters walk or roaming the coast on a summer’s day.

Read on to discover seven of the most incredible National Trust Lyme Regis locations to visit on your Jurassic Coast break…

Golden Cap, Bridport

Golden Cap, National Trust near Lyme Regis

Golden Cap is a large, rocky outcrop which forms the highest point on the southwest coast. If you make it to the top, you’ll be rewarded with magnificent 360° views out towards the cliffs of the Jurassic Coast.

And inwards, you will see the rolling hills and woodland of the Golden Cap estate. It truly is one of the top Dorset destinations to visit whilst you’re on your holidays. There are 25 miles of footpaths on the estate so that you can roam till your heart’s content through the glorious countryside.

As well as the National Trust Visitor Centre at Stonebarrow, there is a barista coffee trailer and toilets at the Old Radar Station. Whilst you’re there, make sure to take in the incredible wildlife that lives on the estate, from buzzards and peregrine falcons to emperor butterflies.

If history is your thing, check out the ruined medieval chapel at St Gabriel’s, and Golden Cap’s smaller sibling, the hill of Thorncombe Beacon, which has been the site of a signal station since the 16th century.

For more inspiration on your trip, read our blog: Everything You Need to Know About the Jurassic Coast. And for more activities for the whole family, checkout: 23 Fun Things to do in Bridport.

Branscombe, Seaton

Two boys playing on a beach

Yes- the shingle beach at Branscombe is tranquil and magical, with fascinating rockpools, and water perfect for swimming. But Branscombe is so much more than just a beach.

The charming village and valley beyond are steeped in history, making it one of the most interesting National Trust places near Lyme Regis.

Step into the oldest, thatched, working forge in the country, home to the latest in a long line of blacksmiths that have been working metal in Branscombe Forge for over 400 years.

Explore the Manor Mill, which drew water from nearby leat (a body of water channelling water to a mill) to make the village flour.

Lastly, stop by the Old Bakery for a traditional cream tea, and to admire the collections of old bakery items that bring the past to life. For more delicious places to eat, check-out our blog: 17 Must-Try Restaurants in Seaton.

Montacute House, Yeovil


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Just over the border into Somerset, lies one of the most magnificent National Trust properties near Lyme Regis- Montacute House. Completed in 1601, this masterpiece of Elizabethan Renaissance architecture was curated by Sir Edward Phelips.

Explore the longest surviving Elizabethan gallery in the country, and marvel at the grand furnishings, extensive art collections, and cosy living spaces.

When you fancy some fresh air, roam the extensive parkland, which is home to several different kinds of wood and grazing areas, a stately avenue of lime trees, and tranquil ponds where dragonflies flit in the summer.

If you’re up for a longer walk, trek up to the impressive monument at the top of Saint Michael’s Hill, once home to a Norman motte-and-bailey castle.

Corfe Castle, Corfe

Corfe Castle in Autumn, National Trust site near Lyme Regis

Visitors to the sublime Corfe Castle will feel like they have stepped into a different world or a different century. Perched on the edge of a valley in the Purbeck Hills, the thousand-year-old castle was established by William the Conqueror and destroyed by Parliamentarians during the English Civil War.

Now a romantic ruin, kids and adults alike will have a fantastic day out exploring one of the most historical spots in Dorset and discovering the extraordinary people who used to call it home.

Pop down into the village to browse the gift shop, sample a delicious Dorset cream tea, and marvel at the fortress and village on a smaller scale at Corfe Castle Model Village.

Kingston Lacy, Winbourne Minster

Senior couple with dog on countryside walk

It’s a story from around the world at Kingston Lacy, one of the most unique properties owned by the National Trust near Lyme Regis. You’ll be awed by the palatial Venetian exterior, inspired by the Japanese style planting, and charmed by the quintessential English kitchen garden.

Wonder at the world-renowned collection of masterpieces, from paintings by Titian and Rubens, to ancient Egyptian artefacts collected by the explorer Willian John Bankes.

In the gardens, stroll down Cedar Avenue and admire the majestic colours of the trees, admire the Hyde collection of rhododendrons, and finally, follow Lady Walk to the Garden of the Rising sun where you will find an authentic Japanese tea house.

If you’re feeling peckish, stop by the Stables Café for some coffee and cake before you leave.

Hardy’s Cottage, Dorchester

Literature lover? Don’t miss a visit to the picturesque cob and thatch cottage where Thomas Hardy was born. It was the home where he wrote many of his early works including ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’, and ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’.

Open every weekend, the landmark offers informative guided tours from the parlour where the family would prepare their food and the bedroom where Hardy wrote his works.

Wandering outside, you can take in the sights and sounds of the idyllic garden, including the many traditional varieties of apple trees growing in the orchard.

You can also walk in the woodland surrounding the house, which is great if you’re planning to visit with dogs or children. Stop for a bite at the dog-friendly visitor centre on your way home to enjoy the very best of fresh local produce.

Max Gate, Dorchester

Does an atmospheric Victorian home designed by Thomas Hardy sound worth a visit? Welcome to Max Gate, in Dorchester, one of the most famous locations managed by the National Trust near Lyme Regis.

It was the later-life home of Dorset’s most famous author and poet, Thomas Hardy. The house has been tastefully furnished to reflect how it would’ve looked when the author lived here in the late 19th century.

Wander through the dining room where Hardy had distinguished visitors by the likes of W.B Yeats and Rudyard Kipling to dinner, and explore the study where Hardy wrote some of his famous works.

When you’ve finished exploring the house, make your way into the garden, which is pretty much as Hardy himself would’ve kept it, with its towering trees and tall hedges. Explore the routes he walked every day and visit the Pet Cemetery where the family’s beloved companions are buried.

Wanted to experience these historical wonders up close? Book a stay in one of our charming Lyme Regis Holiday cottages today.