10 of the UK’s most beautiful gardens to visit

Looking for a glorious garden to explore on a day out or staycation? Check out a few of our favourites

 

 

Britain is home to countless gardens that are open to visitors to enjoy and we’ve rounded up 10 of of our favourites for you to explore on your next day trip or staycation.

Inviting you to witness their vibrant flower and plant displays and get inspiration for your own outdoor space or simply soak up the ambience for pleasure, these UK gardens are just some of the ones worth seeing.

With plenty of charm and character, you’ll find impressive ‘outdoor rooms,’ walled gardens, herbaceous borders and more at these stunning gardens around the country.

Now, more than ever, we’re looking for outdoor attractions to visit as we practice social distancing and make the most of being outside – and the UK’s gardens offer the perfect retreat during the pandemic.

While tickets to National Trust properties are like gold dust at the moment, with a little planning and thinking ahead, you can access some of the loveliest gardens around Britain, whether they’re owned by the Trust or privately.

Here are 10 of our favourite UK gardens worth visiting during a day out or staycation.

 

1. Sissinghurst Castle, Kent

 

 

One of the most celebrated English gardens, Sissinghurst Castle Garden is a joy to explore. Designed by poet Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson who moved here in 1930, the gardens were completely transformed from a space to grow vegetables for farm workers to the series of ‘rooms’ filled with various planting schemes.

The bold and bright Cottage Garden with its hot colours and the White Garden, which has inspired countless imitations, are just two of the garden’s highlights. You’ll also want to check out the fiery reds and yellows of the South Cottage garden.

How to visit

Experience an exclusive after-hours dinner and drinks at Sissinghurst in June 2021, when you’ll be joined by garden designer Sarah Raven during Country Living’s short break in Kent and Sussex.

2 Mottisfont, Hampshire

 

 

The gardens of this romantic 18th-century house boast carpets of spring bulbs, a beautiful walled rose garden, rich autumn leaves and a bright winter garden. Mottisfont is a feast for the senses all year round and the world-famous collection of old-fashioned roses flowers once a year in June, making this a great time to visit.

A fantastic place for families, you’ll find plenty of space to run and jump around. The herbaceous borders in the walled garden showcase a huge variety of flowering plants, while the wide, grassy lawns, and the tree-lined river walk provide plenty of shade on sunny days.

How to visit

Stay at a cosy home around a 10-minute drive away in a peacefully rural location, like this homely barn for four people near the town of Stockbridge. It’s light, spacious and you can make use of the wood burner during the colder months.

 

3 Mount Stewart, County Down

 

 

This neo-classical is considered one of the most outstanding gardens in the world and is unique and of rare quality, being one of the few late compartmentalised Arts and Crafts-like gardens.

The creation of Edith, Lady Londonderry in the early 20th century, Mount Stewart is a deeply personal garden and the strong, artistic theme combined with an unrivalled plant collection forms one of the most spectacular places to visit in Northern Ireland.

How to visit

Explore Mount Stewart during a stay at the Culloden Estate & Spa, overlooking Belfast Lough, just a 25-minute drive from Mount Stewart. The hotel boasts period features, including antique furniture, paintings and chandeliers for stay that’s both luxurious, homely and rural.

 

4 Hidcote, Gloucestershire

 

 

This Arts and Crafts-inspired garden has intricately designed outdoor spaces you can explore in the Cotswold hills. Hidcote’s fabulous garden was created by talented American horticulturist Major Lawrence Johnston and is characterised by its colourful outdoor ‘rooms’ that are full of surprises.

A must-see if you’re on holiday in the Cotswolds, you’ll adore the maze of narrow paved pathways and secret gardens with plants bursting with colour. Many of the plants that grow here were collected from Johnston’s plant hunting trips in faraway places. It’s the perfect place to visit if you’re after gardening inspiration. Look out for green woodpeckers and the elusive hummingbird moth.

How to visit

Join Country Living and The One Show gardener Christine Walkden on a special visit to Hidcote in June 2021, when you can pick up gardening tips and learn all about the plants that grow here from the TV gardening expert.

5 Wentworth Castle Gardens, South Yorkshire

 

Once known as ‘the finest garden in England,’ today Wentworth Castle Gardens is South Yorkshire’s only Grade I registered landscape. The original gardens, designed by Thomas Wentworth in the early 18th Century, used geometric patterns.

One remaining example is the unusual Union Jack Gardens, which is laid out so that, viewed from above, it combines the crosses of St George and St Andrew to celebrate the Union of Scotland and England. During a visit, you’ll want to check out the Victorian Flower Garden and look out for unusual and exotic plants housed in the conservatory.

How to visit

Check into a traditional stone cottage around 10 minutes away near the village of Wortley. This romantic holiday rental for two people is in a secluded and peaceful location, where you have just sheep and cows as your neighbours.

 

6 Tresco Abbey Gardens, Isle of Scilly

 

 

If ever you needed an excuse to visit the heavenly Isles of Scilly, Tresco Abbey Gardens is it. A botanical paradise that you’re guaranteed to fall in love with, the garden was planted among the ruins of a Benedictine priory.

You’ll find 20,000 plant species, which have been collected as far as New Zealand, South Africa and South America. It’s also home to the Valhalla Museum, a collection of figureheads gathered from shipwrecks around the islands. Tresco Abbey Gardens is a great place to spot rare red squirrels, too.

How to visit

Join Country Living on a tour of the Isles of Scilly with top guide Will Wagstaff, who knows the islands inside and out. You’ll visit Tresco Abbey Gardens during the five-day break in May 2021.

 

7 Powis Castle, Powys

 

 

8 Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire

 

When Lord Fairhaven designed his garden at Anglesey Abbey, he wanted to create something that would inspire and surprise his guests. around personal taste and his regular routine of entertaining guests, with something to show them each and every season.

Today, the gardens still follow the same seasonal pattern, with different areas within the 114 acres coming into the spotlight for their time to shine, before making way for the next. The dazzling Dahlia Garden, striking Formal Garden and the pretty Wildflower Meadow are highlights of the stunning garden in Cambridgeshire.

How to visit

Check into cosy and stylish holiday home Wheelwrights in the picturesque village of Lode, which is within walking distance of Anglesey Abbey. The two-bedroom house has a vaulted ceiling, stone flooring and little details like movement sensing lighting.

 

9 Arundel Castle, West Sussex

 

If you’re looking for a garden to truly surprise you, Arundel Castle is the place to visit. It’s home to a variety of landscapes and environments, from the quirky Stumpery to the formal Collector Earl’s garden to the warmth of the Glasshouses.

Here, you’ll be wowed by the explosions of colour, delicate scents and structural designs. Immerse yourself in the fragrance of the Rose Garden and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the Fitzalan Chapel’s White Garden.

How to visit

Discover Arundel Castle’s epic garden during a four-day tour of Sussex’s stately homes, railways and wildlife with Country Living in June or September 2021.

 

10 The Royal Gardens at Highgrove, Gloucestershire

 

 

Since buying the property in 1980, Prince Charles has redeveloped the garden at Highgrove, taking on a new project every year. With the help of his friend Lady Salisbury, he surrounded the house with scented wisteria, honeysuckle, jasmine and thyme.

The royal also created an experimental wildflower meadow of around 32 different varieties of endangered native plants, such as yellow rattle and common spotted orchid.

How to visit

Explore Highgrove’s superb gardens during a visit to Prince Charles’ private home on Country Living’s exclusive tour of the Cotswolds with TV’s Christine Walkden in June 2021.

 

One thought on “10 of the UK’s most beautiful gardens to visit

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: