Larmer Tree peacock

By Emma Kirkup

A popular wedding venue, and famous for the Larmer Tree Festival, the venue for our second instameet of the year was the Larmer Tree Gardens.

One thing people perhaps don’t realise about the Larmer Tree is that the gardens actually border three counties; Wiltshire, Dorset and Hampshire! So, given that we decided to hold a joint meet with not only our friends from Igerswiltshire but with Igersdorset too.

We were very lucky to be granted early access to the gardens allowing us time to photograph the gardens before the general public were allowed in. A lot of the group had never been to the gardens before so were keen to explore the nooks and crannies and capture the quirky buildings and temples dotted around the grounds.

As we met, we were greeted by one of the gardens’ resident peacocks, proudly displaying almost like he loved the attention of all the photographers! In fact, there was obviously something about them on this particular day as they were showing off left, right and centre around the gardens! They are such beautiful birds though with their bright colours, there weren’t many photographers missing that opportunity for a shot!

Larmer Tree Gardens

After a brief intro and hello to everyone (and the inevitable group shot!) we each began to break off and explore the gardens on our own. I made sure that Phoebe, the youngest of us instagrammers at just 2 and a half had a copy of the Fairy Door Trail that she could do with her parents. She was very excited about looking for the hidden doors around the grounds! 

The Singing Theatre

Although I have visited the gardens countless times I enjoyed strolling around, trying new shots and taking in the peace and quiet of the landscape. 

I love some of the buildings here and it’s easy to see why lots of couples choose it as a wedding venue. The Lower Indian Room is a particular favourite of mine with the wooden features and gorgeous views across the lawn. 

The Lower Indian Room

Another thing that was lovely to see was two of the peahens strolling about with their peachicks! They were so sweet to watch running around after their mums. 


As is a usual feature with an instameet, there was a coffee stop and a chance to catch up, share tips and scroll through images that had been taken. Even sat outside at the café the male peacocks continued to display to us!

Ferns, Larmer Tree

A few of us then decided to continue our explore of the area by a trip to the nearby village of Tisbury. Driving through luscious countryside, I was in awe of the views across the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs as we made the journey towards the village. 
Here, we stopped by at the Messums Gallery, which is held within the old Tithe Barn and then popped into Beatons Tea Room for a spot of cake (it has to be done when in the area!).

Messums, Tisbury

Beatons, Tisbury

After taking some more pictures in Tisbury and walking to see the ancient yew tree in the churchyard I decided to end my trip with another visit to Fonthill Lake.

Fonthill Estate

The last time I visited Tisbury and Fonthill Lake it was incredibly foggy and cold with icicles forming on the leaves. This time, there was blue sky, bird song and lots of people enjoying the area whether fishing, walking or cycling. Making the most of the good weather, I walked towards the weir after a tip from a friendly local. It’s a pleasant walk with some great views across some of the Fonthill Estate and to be honest I didn’t realise there was even a weir there! 

Fonthill Lake

All in all a great day exploring some of what the south of Wiltshire has to offer! If you are interested in seeing other photos generated from the instameet then check out #dorsetmeetswiltshire on Instagram.

Keep your eyes peeled for future meets as well, we’d love to see you join us there!

Finally, a big thank you to the Larmer Tree for hosting us and to Igerswiltshire and Igersdorset for running the event with us.

Instameet (C) Waddell Digital

Group shot (C) Waddell Digital


The Larmer Tree Gardens
Larmer Tree Gardens, Salisbury

These beautifully laid out gardens were created by General Pitt Rivers in 1880. Originally designed as pleasure grounds for 'public enlightment and entertainment', The Larmer Tree is an extraordinary example of Victorian extravagance.



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