Compton Acres // Poole

Compton Acres - Poole, Dorset
Photo: © Paul Hermans / CC BY-SA 3.0
Compton Acres - Italian Garden
Photo: © Compton Acres
Compton Acres gardens
Photo: © Paul Hermans / CC BY-SA 3.0

Ten acres of beautiful gardens, shops, restaurants, a delicatessen and regular events. Open 7 days a week.

Compton Acres is a privately-owned ten-acre garden in Poole. Thomas William Simpson, an entrepeneur who made his money selling margarine, bought the property in 1920 as a second home. Simpson, a keen horticulturalist, dreamed of creating a garden that would tell the story of his travels around the world.

To this end he appointed a Mr Middleton as head gardener and spent the equivalent of ten million pounds establishing seven distinct gardens and numerous herbaceous borders. Simpson constructed a palm court, a wooded valley, rock and water gardens, a heather garden, a garden of memory, an Italian garden and a Japanese garden, reputed to be the only completely authentic Japanese garden in the whole of Europe. An audio tour giving more details of the history of Compton Acres since 1921 is available.

The Italian villa, in the grounds of the Italian garden, is a popular wedding venue and can also be hired out for conferences.

Compton Acres offers stunning views of Poole harbour, Brownsea island and the Purbeck hills. The gardens are open every single day of the year apart from Christmas and welcome both children and wheelchairs. There are tea rooms, a plant centre, a delicatessen and a terrace brasserie.