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Compton Acres
Ranked #7 of 67 things to do in Poole
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 16 August 2014

My Wife and I visited as part of a coach trip.We were a little disappointed with our visit because: the car park is tiny and soon fills up, the gardens are quite pleasant,especially the Italian,but there's not actually much there and the whole thing can be covered in half an hour. The view from the cafe of Poole harbour only just exists because of overgrowth. Having said that,the restaurant food is very nice although the queues to be served were awful(even on a Wednesday).We probably wouldn't return although we're glad we went.

2  Thank Ian P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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490 - 494 of 730 reviews

Reviewed 14 August 2014

My wife and I visited Compton Acres when we had a free afternoon during a break in Bournemouth. I hadn’t been to Compton Acres since the early 1970s. I didn’t remember much about it other than it being full of colour and including what I remembered as a rock garden. On arrival this time, the first impression was not good – the car park is small, with what appears to be development of housing encroaching onto it. The entrance to the gardens is through what appear to be new (or newly renovated?) buildings, containing tea rooms, shops etc. The lady who sold us our admission tickets chased through the door after a visitor who she thought (incorrectly) was trying to get in without paying (the visitor was actually re-entering after popping out to get something). I’m sorry to say that none of this gave a positive initial feeling, not helped by a £7.95 admission charge per adult. It all felt a bit too commercial. This commercialism was then exacerbated by the large number of “artworks” around the gardens, most with a prominent sale price in front of them. If I (we) have paid for entrance to look at gardens, I do not expect a constant barrage of selling all the way around. If selling these things generates some revenue, then put them in a gallery near the exit, rather than disturb visitors’ enjoyment of the gardens.

As we wandered around the gardens, we encountered two members of ground staff. One was swearing and cursing as he was trying to do something with a hosepipe in the Italian Garden. By contrast, the second was working up to his waste in water, attempting to trim back bushes but trying not to make them look too manicured. As he was finishing up what he was working on, we had a pleasant and informative chat with him. Really, talking with him about the planting, the invasive species that he has to deal with, and the practicalities of his work, was the high point of the visit. He certainly knew his subject. Whilst our overall experience during our visit was not positive, our experience of this one chap was very positive.

As for the gardens themselves, we found them pleasant, but really not to our taste. For me, parts of them are (despite the efforts of the aforementioned staff member) far too manicured. Different people have different tastes, and from the other reviews it is clear that many people do like them. We also, as mentioned before, found that our enjoyment of the gardens was impacted by the commercialism. Parts of the gardens are also overlooked by flats, which when you are looking at some views fill the background. Any chance of a nice photograph are ruined.

So, my feedback (had I been asked) would have been: (a) move the “for sale” artwork to a gallery, and (b) employ friendly and knowledgeable staff like the chap in the water, rather than people who curse and swear loudly as paying visitors are walking by.

1  Thank TimberJohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2014

Brilliant, went to my nieces wedding and what can I say amazing, Food fantastic, service fabulous. Surroundings just like it says Italian. The little café the next day not 100% on coping with a large table but still on high from previous day.

1  Thank Joanne S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2014 via mobile

We stopped in here for a quick lunch and what a stunning place! The Italian villas were gorgeous and flowers like I have never seen. Impeccably kept and you can tell love and devotion given to it! Children sandwiches and bags consisting of crisps, fruit and drink available which was great! Atmosphere was so peaceful and tranquil could have stayed all day! Loved the shops too and amazing prices!

Thank Tatty321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2014

We visited on a very hot day in the area so it was lovely to walk around the beautiful gardens whcih are mostly in the shade although there are sunny parts.

Thank katy c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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