Corfe Castle from the South seen through dawn mist. This is one of Britain's most magnificent ruins and can be seen here with a graveyard in the foreground.

Corfe Castle from the South seen through dawn mist. This is one of Britain’s most magnificent ruins and can be seen here with a graveyard in the foreground. ©National Trust Images/Matthew Antrobus

For further information on any of the items below, please email:

New announcement

Holiday in the Warwickshire area with visits to five National Trust properties

5 days – June 14th to June 18th 2018
See events page for details

Summer Programme 2018:  Chairman’s Introduction

As those who attended the AGM in November will know, Elizabeth and I will be stepping down as Chairman and Secretary at the next AGM. Therefore, everyone needs to give consideration as to how they could play their part in ensuring that the Association continues to thrive.

Attendances at events during the 2017 winter programme have been increasing steadily and recent talk numbers have been close to 100. Your Committee tries to offer opportunities to hear speakers who are new to our area, and visit places and attend events which would not be available to individuals. At the same time, our growing attendances mean that we are able to invite top-quality speakers who command higher fees.

I believe that the summer programme continues along these lines and hope you will find many events attractive. Our programme of day trips begins with a visit to Clandon Park, following our donation at the last AGM towards the restoration; we have been invited for a “VIP Visit” to see the restoration work. We then have a trip to Romsey and Broadlands, and finally a trip to the Willow & Wetlands Centre and Cothelstone Manor.

As Max Gate is now open to the public daily throughout the summer, we are unable to hold an afternoon Garden Party there. However, we have arranged a visit to Minterne House and Gardens with a cream tea.

Our talk programme continues with a mix of speakers on subjects of local interest, together with a number of speakers you will not have heard locally, such as “one of the boys of the old brigade” and an expert on Beatrix Potter.

I would finally like to draw your attention to the message from our President on the following page and I echo her comments. I am sure you would wish the Association to continue to thrive – more volunteers are urgently needed to share the work. Obviously the more people who volunteer, the less each person will need to do. If you feel you can help in any way, do please let me know.

Message from our President

Next year, 2019, we shall be celebrating 25 years since our Association was set up. Members have enjoyed many interesting talks, outings, socials and holidays. However, we desperately need more volunteers otherwise we shall close.

Please think hard about what you could do – perhaps join a sub-committee to arrange talks or plan outings. Above all we need a Chairman and Secretary. If you cannot help, please contact your friends and do everything you can to find suitable volunteers. It will be sad if, instead of celebrating, we will be mourning our demise.

Changes to Car Parking at National Trust Sites

For more information on car parking, the National Trust provide a useful summary of FAQs here

Portland House Open Days – 2015

Autumn Opening
(Note: There is no spring opening this year)

Portland House, Belle Vue Road, Weymouth DT4 8RZ

Perching on the hillside overlooking Portland Harbour, Portland House is a stunning reminder of a glamorous bygone age. For three days only this Autumn, visitors are invited to walk up the palm-lined path and explore the house with its original Art Deco features. Booking is not required and entrance is free to NT members – remember to take your NT membership card. Please note there are steps both inside and outside the House and some uneven paths within the garden.

View from Portland House

View from Portland House – Photo by Brian Tait

Portland House - The Terace

Portland House – The Terace. Photo by Brian Tait








In Autumn 2018 this beautiful Art Deco villa will be open to the public on the afternoon of Friday 5th October (2 pm – 5 pm), Saturday 6th October (from 11 am – 5 pm) and Sunday 7th October (from 11 am – 4 pm).

Events at Hardy’s Cottage

Nature’s Remedies at Hardy’s Cottage

Explore the Hardy family home with a new trail to learn how his family used herbs growing in their garden to make medicines to cure their illnesses. Free event – daily from 3rd April.

Events at Max Gate

Tea with Mr Hardy and Marie Stopes
17th & 18th May (4 pm–5 pm). Mr Hardy invites you to take tea with him in his garden with special guest Marie Stopes. Suggested donation to the New Hardy Players for the tea. £3.00 adults / £2.00 children.

Poetry at Max Gate
7th June & 4th July (3 pm – 4 pm): Members of the New Hardy Players read inspiring seasonal poetry by Thomas Hardy and other associated writers. Suggested donation to New Hardy Players £3.00

Open Air Theatre
“The Trumpet Major”: 29th June The New Hardy Players present a colourful and musical interpretation of Hardy’s novel.
Booking through Dorchester Tourist Office

Clouds Hill

1918 – The Road to Damascus
The travels and exploits of T E Lawrence in Arabia during 1918, month-by-month, are explored in a series of leaflets – each month a new one will be given to visitors.

Letter Writing
Visitors can write their own letter using special paper and envelopes which recreate the letterhead used by T E Lawrence. The envelope has a facsimile of one of the postage stamps he designed during WW1, when he was helping with the Arab revolt against Turkish rule.

Please note:

National Trust South Dorset Association has withdrawn its requirement that applicants for membership be National Trust members or volunteers.  

Anyone who supports the aims of the National Trust may now apply for association membership.

Membership News:

Please remNT Logoember that subscriptions fall due on 1st September.

Please send your cheques payable to NT South Dorset Association (£4.00 single/£7.00 family membership) to the Membership Secretary

Please email:  for contact details

Why not make a saving by paying by Standing Order — £3.00 and £5.00          respectively

We need your help!

We urgently need volunteers to join the Committee, both to act as Membership Secretary and to book halls for talks. Without new volunteers we will not have enough people to continue running the Association! Plenty of assistance will be available.

If you are willing to help, please  email:


Thank you

Can we have your e-mail address, please?

From time to time the committee obtains details of Trust events which will be of interest to all members. We can only pass on this information to you quickly by email.

If you are willing for us to contact you in this way please send your e-mail address to

We will not pass on your address to any other organisation.

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