Celebrities with picture perfect hideaways within 30 minutes of Dorset

Dorset is a lovely place to live, but let’s face it – there are some lovely places just outside its borders too. These celebrities certainly think so as they have their homes no more than 30 minutes from the outskirts of the county.

Some are the family homes they grew up in. Others are secluded second homes bought with the proceeds of their success, where they can escape the lights and cameras for a break near Dorset.

Scroll down to find out which six celebs have made this part of the world their own private paradise. These include TV presenters, Hollywood actors and world-famous musicians.

Read more: Poundbury: The 400 acres of farmland that Prince Charles transformed into his ideal city

Lady Esther Ranzen

The TV journalist and founder of ChildLine has had a tucked away cottage in the New Forest for years, but has spent most of her work in London. She continued to be busy starting another charity, SilverLine, which provided advice and support for the elderly – and featured Hearts of Gold, Watchdog, Esther and more.

But during the pandemic, she retreated to the six-bedroom hideaway full-time, selling her London home and turning her back on the capital for good.

Chris Packham

The animal-loving TV presenter was born in Southampton but grew up in the New Forest, which is still her home today. His cottage is tucked away somewhere in this ancient landscape, a stone’s throw from Dorset, although its exact location is a closely guarded secret.

He lives with his partner Charlotte Corney who owns the Isle of Wight Zoo. They have two poodles, Sid and Nancy (named after the Sex Pistols bassist and his girlfriend).

Deborah Meaden

Born in Somerset, the Dragon’s Den star worked as a model before moving to Italy and starting a glassware export business. When that failed Deb returned to the UK to set up several successful businesses, one of which she resold for £19million.

She now has a home on the Somerset Levels, not far from where she grew up. And it’s not very far from Dorset’s north-west border.

Kevin McCloud

The Grand Designs presenter owns a beautiful estate just outside of Dorset. The house is close to the Somerset town of Frome.

The property is a converted 15th-century farmhouse, but no one knows what it looks like – the TV presenter has been careful not to let his home become public property. “The more of your private life you make public, the smaller your private life becomes,” he told the Daily Mail in 2010.

Johnny Depp…?

This one needs the question mark, because rumors that the Hollywood A-lister has multiple homes in nearby Somerset are just that — rumours. But it’s not hard to imagine the Pirates of the Caribbean star having homes around here, as everyone knows all the daredevils had a West Country accent…


In 1990 this singer, musician and actor settled on a Grade II listed estate in Lake House, Wilsford cum Lake with his wife Trudie Styler and started an organic farm. Unlike Kevin McCloud, they welcomed inquisitive Caucasians into their home via the The Lakehouse Cookbookwhich contains photos of the Elizabethan mansion.

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