17 secret English country gardens to visit

1

Laskett Garden

Herefordshire

Discover a hidden oasis designed by Sir Roy Strong, former director of the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum, and his late wife Julia Trevelyan Oman. As you wander through glades decorated with bear statues, dazzling displays of tulips and towering hedgerows, you see that the couple have left their creative mark on every inch of this place.

Find out more
2

Brodsworth Hall & Gardens

Yorkshire

Stroll through gardens restored to their Victorian beauty with romantic statue walks and wild rose dell. Hide away from the world in the summerhouse, with views of the formal gardens, alternatively you can find a spot in the fern dell grotto to relax in a gorgeous green space. The Brodsworth Hall gardens have seasonal blooms as well, meaning whatever time of year you visit, there will always be a new sight to drink in.

Find out more
3

Westonbury Mill Water Gardens

Herefordshire

A garden filled with follies and hand-built by its loving curator, the Westonbury Mill Water Gardens are a Herefordshire haven. From the mill powering water through the mouth of a grumpy gargoyle, to a sparkling dome made from glass bottles, there’s a variety of things to explore.

Find out more
4

Adlington Hall & Gardens

Cheshire

Alongside a house dating back to 1581, you can explore a garden from the 18th century, thought to have been designed by Charles Legh in the style of Capability Brown. Float through the rose garden with its beautiful scents, and roses climbing pillars and rope swags, or enter a world of dancing water in the formal Flower Parterre.

Find out more
5

The Garden House

Devon

If you’re looking for an archetypical English country garden then this is the place. Located close to Dartmoor National Park, while away the hours in the Cottage Garden where views stretch across the surrounding countryside and soak up the heady scents of magnolias and rhododendrons in the Bulb Meadow. Don’t leave without seeing the Jubilee Arboretum with its glistening lake, cascading waters and bridges.

Find out more
6

The Beth Chatto Gardens

Essex

Beth Chatto took a boggy, overgrown scrap of land, and transformed it into an inspirational informal garden in 1960. Now open to the public, it’s a delight of different garden styles. Relax in the woodland garden with its ferns and daffodils, or explore the lake of the water garden, containing lily pads and various reeds. There’s even a shop with comprehensive collections for you to take home and plant yourself.

Find out more
7

Mottisfont

Hampshire

With Mottisfont’s walled rose garden collection of old-fashioned roses blooming just once a year, you might feel like June is the only time to go, but beyond the fantastically fragrant roses, there’s so much more to discover. The spring that encouraged settlement at Mottisfont hundreds of years ago is now the heart of a fresh green walk, and the National Collection of plane trees provide shade on sunny days.

Find out more
8

Pure Land Japanese Garden

Nottinghamshire

Designed to be a retreat for meditation and a clearing of the mind, the Pure Land Gardens are a collection of Japanese-inspired areas set up for relaxation. Cross the bridge over the still waters to spot the carp, and kneel by the pagoda and bamboo. There’s even the world’s first crystal garden to explore too!

Find out more
9

Waterperry Gardens

Oxfordshire

Once the home to the School of Horticulture for Ladies, Waterperry Gardens is now eight acres of landscaped ornamental gardens waiting to be explored. Wander alongside classical borders and the Long Colour Border, then fnd a sculpture of The Tempest’s Miranda at the Waterlily Canal. When you’re done exploring, you can step into the Art in Action gallery to admire locally crafted goods and original works.

Find out more
10

Leighton Hall

Lancashire

Sprawling over 1150 acres, the Leighton Hall Gardens are walled and overflowing with blooms. Designed after a cottage style, but on a much larger scale, the gardens include an herbaceous border, plenty of roses, and 18th century woods. Children can hunt for the hidden tree faces, or take on the caterpillar maze. For adults, there’s the stunning Millennium Angel to admire, and a network of footpaths to stroll.

Find out more
11

Burton Agnes Hall

East Yorkshire

Burton Agnes Hall not only has a beautiful woodland walk, on which you can find giant caterpillars and other creepy crawly sculptures, but also a walled garden containing over 3000 different plants. Based on the original Elizabethan garden that was there so many years before, it combines old and new styles to create a gorgeous place of rest.

Find out more
12

Highgrove House

Gloucestershire

The gardens at Highgrove offer a personalised two hour tour, or you can wander as a group with your guide through Royal Gardens to see the Kitchen Garden, The Sundial Garden, and The Stumpery. At the end of the tour you can retire to the Orchard Restaurant for delicious fine dining. There’s the option to buy a few blooms to take home too!

Find out more
13

Levens Hall

Cumbria

There really are few experiences that can match seeing the world renowned topiary at Levens Hall, home of the oldest topiary in the world. Beyond the intricately carved hedges, you’ll find foxgloves and roses, and a fragrant herb garden where the bed plantings change regularly. There are even double herbaceous borders to enjoy alongside a beautiful lawn.

Find out more
14

Mapperton

Dorset

There is an award winning garden on the estate of a house recently used in the film Far From the Maddening Crowd. Look out across the croquet lawn, groomed to perfection, and see the remains of a 17th century parterre. The Italianate Garden has grottos and fountains, whilst the 1960s orangery beautifully frames a topiary laced lawn and a selection of borders. Mapperton is an oasis of structured calm.

Find out more
15

Belsay Hall

Northumberland

Explore the lovingly crafted gardens of Belsay Hall. The stone for the house was carved from a nearby quarry on the estate, and owner Sir Charles, inspired by the Picturesque movement, was inspired to turn this into a romantic quarry garden. The microclimate at Belsay allows tender plants to grow far beyond their normal northern limit. There’s also a rose garden, Crag Wood Walk, and a winter garden on the 40 acre estate.

Find out more
16

Holker Hall

Cumbria

Holker Hall has 25 acres of immaculate gardens, and 200 acres of ‘natural’ parkland. Make your way through the rhododendrons in the spring, or stand at the base of the Holker Great Lime; one of The Tree Council’s 50 Great British Trees that stands at 72 feet tall. Children will love making their way through the Holker Labyrinth. And for the discerning expert, there are some incredibly rare plants that call Holker home, including a collection of Styracacae.

Find out more
17

Fenton House

London

Tucked away in a quiet section of Hampstead, Fenton House is a true hidden gem. Full of character and life, this 17th century house and walled garden is unlike anything else in London. From the balcony, you can enjoy spectacular views across the city, while the garden is home to statues, a range of flowers, and an apple orchard!

Find out more
05 Mar 2020(last updated)

Don’t miss

Craft beer

8 of the best beers from London and beyond

A row of colourful houses in Norwich, England.

Short breaks: 24 hours in Norwich

Punting on the River Cam in Cambridge.

Short breaks: 24 hours in Cambridge

Things to do in St Ives

UK breaks: 24 hours in St Ives

Manchester

UK breaks: 24 hours in Manchester

The family-friendly Big Feastival in Oxfordshire.

7 family-friendly music festivals in 2020

  • 1

    Herefordshire

  • 2

    Yorkshire

  • 3

    Herefordshire

  • 4

    Cheshire

  • 5

    Devon

  • 6

    Essex

  • 7

    Hampshire

  • 8

    Nottinghamshire

  • 9

    Oxfordshire

  • 10

    Lancashire

  • 11

    East Yorkshire

  • 12

    Gloucestershire

  • 13

    Cumbria

  • 14

    Dorset

  • 15

    Northumberland

  • 16

    Cumbria

  • 17

    London

VisitEngland would like to invite you to take part in a short survey about our website, it should take no more than a couple of minutes.

Go to the survey

To add items to favourites …

… you need to be logged in.

If you already have an account, log in.

Or register a

Access your account

Enter your e-mail address or username.
Enter the password that accompanies your e-mail.
Forgot your password? Recover your account
Don't have an account? Register an account