Lulworth-Castle-credit-Rose Marie Booker

Historic parks and gardens are examples of a tradition of 'designed landscapes' that has been popular for many centuries ... and still are today.

The range of designed landscapes throughout the AONB is very wide, from medieval deer parks to 20th century gardens, Victorian cemeteries to public parks.

Fashions in garden design are constantly changing and some broad trends help date a park or garden. For example in the 16th and 17th centuries came formal garden style, while landscape style gardens were popular in the 18th and 19th century.

Often what we can see today is the fusion of styles and periods, layers of fashion and design. Some survive with many features intact and you can get a real sense of how they were originally set out. For others, an outline of a wall or uncharacteristic tree give us only a hint of what was once there.

But designed landscapes shouldn't just been seen as a thing of the past - parks and gardens are important to us today. They offer a 'green lung' to people living in polluted towns and cities. They bring us peace and calm to our leisure time, an antidote to stressful lives.

And of course, they bring jobs and income to the local economy - your visit will help the tradition of designed landscape flourish into the future!

Historic Parks and Gardens to visit:

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