Abbotsbury Swannery in Dorset is the only managed colony of swans in the world where you can enjoy walking through hundreds of nesting and free-flying Mute Swans.
The 600-year-old swannery was established by Benedictine Monks who built a monastery at Abbotsbury in the 11th century. The monks farmed the swans to produce food for their lavish Dorset banquets. St Peter’s monastery was destroyed in 1539, during the dissolution, though some of the ruins are still visible. Since that time, the Swannery has been under the stewardship of the Ilchester Estates. The unique natural wildlife habitat extends over a site of some 25 acres
During the nesting and hatching period (end May-end June), it is possible to stand next to hatching eggs and, if you’re very lucky, you may even witness a cygnet being born.
Visitors to the Swannery can help hand feed over 600 swans at 12pm and 4pm daily, with an accompanying talk from the swanherd.