Out and About

Restoring Bankes’ Venetian confection

CONSERVATORS have been working on an important ceiling at the National Trust’s Kingston Lacy, and research for the project has revealed more about the complex story of perhaps William John Bankes’ proudest achievement. In the two to three years before quitting England for exile on the Continent in 1841, Bankes saw his Golden Room (later…

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Festive carols at Fyne Court

THERE’s a new date in the Christmas calendar at the National Trust’s Fyne Court, on the Quantock Hills near Taunton, with Carols Under the Stars and festive cheer on Saturday 9th December at 7pm. Join the Taunton community choir, Company of Voices, in the courtyard under the light of the grand sparkling Christmas tree, for…

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A 17th-century Christmas at Dyrham Park

DYRHAM Park celebrates its rich 300 year history this year, giving visitors a flavour of Christmas past as it embraces its 17th-century roots. From 1st December, festive greenery prepared by volunteers from leaves and berries gathered from the garden will adorn the house, church and courtyard – taking the place of a Christmas tree. There…

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A Christmas cornucopia at Moors Valley

FROM Santa Specials to storytelling and stable animals, there’s a complete cornucopia of Christmas events and activities at Moors Valley Country Park and Forest near Ringwood. Alongside traditional favourites like Christmas crafts, carol singing and a pantomime, new attractions include Longdown Dairy Farm bringing some stable animals on Sundays 10th and 17th December, and the…

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Understanding the Ridgeway

THE third and final Understanding the Ridgeway course starts at Kingston Maurward College near Dorchester in January, running every Monday to June. This will be the last chance to delve in depth into the landscape stories of the Land of Bone and Stone, the name given to the South Dorset Ridgeway Partnership’s exploration of the…

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Restoring the parterre at Kingston Lacy

THROUGHOUT the autumn, National Trust gardeners are restoring the parterre, a significant and integral part of the formal garden at Kingston Lacy near Wimborne. Kingston Lacy was home to the Bankes family for more than 300 years. The parterre sits to the east of the property and was first laid out by Walter Ralph Bankes…

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Fairy tales at Longleat

VISIT Longleat at dusk over Christmas and the New Year and you enter a magical wonderland of fairy tale characters, frog princes, fabulous castles and palaces, fire-breathing dragons and an avenue of elegant statues of mythical and real animal figures. The set-pieces, lanterns made by Chinese craftsmen with thousands of metres of silk using techniques…

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November wildlife events in Dorset

FROM hedgehogs to whales, weaving with willow to understanding the impact of El Nino, Dorset Wildlife Trust has a host of exciting events, talks and workshops during November. Friday 3rd – Rediscovering God’s Acre, The Wildlife of Churchyards, illustrated talk by DWT Trustee Barry Welch, 7.30pm, Bridport United Church Hall. Health and Wellbeing Walk, 2pm,…

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Bonfire night on Ham Hill

HAM Hill is the site of ancient bonfires, lit to send messages across the country, long before the days of the telephone or today’s instant digital media. The Iron age fort is the spectacular setting for the annual Bonfire Night celebrations this year, on Friday 3rd November. Meet the rangers at the Rangers Office (TA14 6RW)…

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