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Compton Acres

Poole, Dorset

Quick Guide
See below grid for details

Compton Acres is 10 acres of landscaped gardens with the addition of shopping, craft centre, restaurant, tea rooms and Harbourview cafe. It has a spectacular view of Poole Harbour, Brownsea Island and the Purbeck Hills.


Compton Acres was created by Mr Simpson, a margarine entrepreneur who purchased the property as a seaside residence in 1920 and achieved his dream of building a garden with a difference. His concept was to create a series of gardens to embody the vision of his worldwide travels and interest in horticulture. He appointed Mr. Middleton as the head gardener and the construction and maintenance began, and by the time it was built, in 1929, it had cost in the region of 220,000. Of course in these early days it was not open to the public.

The Gardens

It is a late Victorian mixed style design with 7 distinct gardens to wander around and enjoy, which are the

  • Italianate Gardens including the Roman Courtyard garden

  • The Grand Italian Garden with water, fountains, statutory and topiary

  • The Wooded Valley - A Pine wood woodland garden with foxgloves, bluebells, rhododendrons and camellias giving off vast amounts of colour throughout the year. Within this area there is also a waterfall and a ribbon of pools.

  • the Rock and water garden with over 300 different plants

  • the Winter Garden and the Harbourview Cafe with various viewpoints out across Poole Harbour

  • the Heather Garden with native plants and giving all year round colour

  • the Japanese Garden.

Each garden contains a large number of plants chosen to represent the garden it is within. The various gardens also have buildings and structures to admire including the Italian Villa used for weddings, a grotto, a thatched summer house and in the Japanese garden a Tea house. As well as these are are various viewpoints around the gardens.

From the car park you enter the shopping area of the complex with it's delicatessen, plant sales and gift shop, and the model railway exhibition and shop. The visitor centre and craft centre with handmade gifts and pottery are in the same building and where access to the gardens is from.

Location: Compton Acres Gardens, Poole, Dorset

Grid Reference: SZ053894 Ceremonial County: Dorset

Map Link: StreetMap 

Aerial photo: Google Aerial

Getting there: Follow the brown tourist signs from the A338 and A35, between Bournemouth and Poole close to Sandbanks.

Access: Gardens are wheelchair accessible, there is a special wheelchair map available from the ticket office.
Website: www.comptonacres.co.uk
Other Useful Websites:
Email: gardens@comptonacres.co.uk
Address: 164 Cranford Cliffs Road, Poole, Dorset
Postcode: BH13 7ES Telephone: 01202 700778

Opening Times: Daily all year. 2nd Apr-31st Oct 10am-6pm. 1st Nov-1st Apr 10am-4pm.

Closed Xmas Day and Boxing Day.

Charges: Adult 6.95; Seniors/Students/Disabled 6.45; Carers 3.50; Child (5-15) 3.95; Family (2+3) 17; 4 and under FREE;  RHS Members: FREE;  

Model Railway Adults 1.50; Child 1. Annual Pass Single 30; Family 80.

Tesco Clubcard Deals Vouchers Accepted but not in conjunction with any other offer, see website link for details.

Nearby Locations:
Other Location Pages: Brownsea Island, Poole Harbour, Dorset   
Other Relevant Pages:

Notes: An electric scooter available for hire at 4.95, pre-booking is required.

Free parking. No Dogs allowed in Gardens except guide dogs.

Gardens are wheelchair accessible, there is a special wheelchair map available from the ticket office. Disabled toilets at the ticket office and the Harbourview Cafe.

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By: Tracey Park Section: Gardens Section Key:
Page Ref: compton_acres Topic: Gardens Last Updated: 03/2011


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