Press Release: Harbour View Studio

Compton Acres opens the doors to Harbour View Studio, an exclusive workshop/meeting space for hire located amidst 10 acres of stunning gardens.

Canford Cliffs, Poole, February 2023. Compton Acres is delighted to announce the availability of this unique and recently converted business space and thought suitable for workshops, tutorials, talks and group gatherings.

Nestled on the side of the hill in the exclusive Canford Cliffs, with wide stretching views over Brownsea Island, Poole Harbour and the Purbecks, Compton Acres boasts 10 acres of grade 2 listed gardens which offer the perfect setting for creativity, group activities and learning.

Owner Bernard Merna quotes “After the pandemic, it felt sad to see such a fantastic building sitting empty and unused. Now we are able to offer it for hire as a multi-purpose space. We ran some workshops and art classes with our Artist in Residence here before Christmas, and the studio proved extremely popular. The location is special and there really isn’t anything like it nearby. We look forward to seeing how it develops going forwards and welcoming new people with fresh ideas into the space.”

Harbour View Studio has a rustic charm with views through the pine trees over Poole Harbour towards Brownsea Island and the Purbecks. Its South facing and situated between the Sculpture walk and Heather Garden. With seasonal planting framing the patio area, the Studio possesses a timeless style. The internal brick arches and greenhouse style glass forming the facade create a feeling of being outdoors in synergy with nature and the beautiful surroundings. Facilities include tables and chairs suitable for 10 – 20 people depending on the workshop space required, a kitchen with a fridge, 2 sinks, tea and coffee, lighting, heating and a larger table for the facilitator. For talks, tutorials and meetings, capacity could increase to 30 people comfortably.

Access to Harbour View Studio is, as is the expectation with Compton Acres, via winding and sloping paths, through the Japanese Gardens, past
two magnificent sculptures, and on through the Heather Garden. Guests to the Studio can enjoy access to all the gardens all day as part of the
experience and of course there is the cafe for refreshments throughout the day. Special bookings for tables and catering can be made with prior
agreement and booking.

Photos available on request

Editors Notes
Constructed in 1920, today Compton Acres is recognised as one of the most important ornamental gardens in England. The 10 acre grade 11 listed garden was created on an area of Dorset heathland. The garden was started in 1920 when Thomas Simpson purchased the site including the mansion and set about creating a series of themed gardens to reflect his overseas travels, with the help of Mr Middleton, the Head Gardener.

The garden was opened to the public just prior to World War II and again after the war. Mr Simpson sold the site to a London architect, J. Stanley Beard in 1950, who restored the garden after the war and re-opened them to the public in 1953. Several owners followed until Mr & Mrs Merna purchased the site in 2003.

Compton Acres Today – Horticulture, Conservation and Restoration.
Since 2003 the gardens have undergone a huge £5 million investment for development; including the construction of the Compton Acres Gift Shop, Cafe and Tearooms, Plant Centre, The Ark Gift Shop, The Italian Pantry, Mare Luna Pizzeria and the award-winning Italian Villa.

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