Abbotsbury Swannery and Sub Tropical Gardens
Duration: 4 hours
Tour Code: ptl-003
Abbotsbury Swannery is unique. This is the only place in the world where you are able to walk through the heart of a colony of nesting Mute Swans.
The Swannery was established by Benedictine Monks who built a monastery at Abbotsbury during the 1040's. The monks farmed the swans to produce food for their lavish banquets. St Peter's monastery was destroyed in 1539 during the dissolution. Some of the ruins are still visible around St Nicholas' Church in the village. From mid-May to late June, hundreds of fluffy cygnets hatch from eggs in nests on or near the pathways.
Following your visit to the Swannery continue to nearby Abbotsbury Sub tropical gardens. Established in 1765 by the first Countess of Ilchester as a kitchen garden for her nearby castle. The gardens have been developed since then into a magnificent 20 acres filled with rare and exotic plants from all over the world. Many of these plants were first introductions to this country, discovered by the plant hunting descendants of the Countess.
Since the restoration after the great storm of 1990 many new exotic and unusual plants have been introduced. The Garden is now a mixture of formal and informal, with charming walled garden walks and spectacular woodland valley views. World famous for its Camellia Groves and Magnolias, noted for its Rhododendron and Hydrangea collections where you can tour at your leisure.
Afterwards,, you will reboard your coach for the return to Portland and your awaiting ship.