20-28 MAY
The Hall & Gardens will be closed for a private event 20-28 May • Our shops, cafés & estate walks will remain open

Summer of Imagination



We are sure you remember that last summer a huge willow dragon greeted visitors to our biennial sculpture exhibition? This summer, a herd of galloping unicorns will be greeting you when you attend our ‘Summer of Imagination’ and you’ll be invited to read wishes from local school children on small white flags around the herd. What would you wish for?  Situated on the Gatehouse lawn, where the dragon was, the herd will make a striking impact and put you in the mood to let your imagination run wild in our beautiful Gardens, and far-reaching parkland beyond…


The herd of unicorns, created by Lincolnshire-based international Theatre Designers Giuseppe and Emma Belli (Belli and Belli), signals the beginning of our new six-week event which is open daily (excluding Saturdays) from Sunday 23 July to Sunday 3 September. The unicorns have been made possible with generous support from the University of Lincoln and MKM Building Supplies. We have been very, very busy creating an inspiring programme of residencies by land artists, theatre groups, aerial dance groups, poets and photographers as well as workshops, creative activities and events for all ages!  We are so excited about this event, and can’t wait for it to start so we can share it with you.


Some of our beautiful trees will even be speaking for themselves this summer thanks to the skills of fifteen aspiring designers, script writers, technicians and performers from Lincoln College. This initiative,  funded by the Woodland Trust,  will be led by Lincoln College’s production and lighting designer Howell Thomas, who was responsible for our Snow Queen display in the Long Gallery last Christmas plus spectacular Hallowe’en events. We can’t wait to hear what they have to say!


But what about our younger visitors? Of course, we have created interest just for them. A dragon’s lair is waiting to be discovered as well as a fairy village created by the Groovy Garden Company plus they can hunt for more unicorns throughout our Gardens. Storytelling, drama poetry and creative workshops will delight our younger visitors and their families.


Expect not only the joyful, the beautiful, the imaginative and the thought-provoking but also something for everyone; explore new ideas and creativity you may not have known you had.


When you visit, be sure to share your experience on social media using the hashtag #DoddingtonSOI


Open daily from Sunday 23 July to Sunday 3 September (excludes Saturdays), 11am to 4.30pm. Garden admission applies.


Click here for a list of activities / workshops

Click here for the full programme and map


Our ‘Summer of Imagination’ is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Talking Trees is supported by the Woodland Trust for the Tree Charter Campaign. You can sign the charter here.


Charter logo  lottery_Logo_Black RGB


Photos: Instinctive Photography

Book exclusive garden photoshoot experiences here.

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