England has some of the finest gardens in the world, from dramatic historic landscapes designed by ‘Capability’ Brown to fragrant English rose gardens. Have a look through our selection and find the perfect garden for you to explore.
Designed by celebrated international garden designers Wirtz, and described by the Duchess of Northumberland as “an inspiring landscape with beautiful gardens, unique features all brought to life with water”, the Alnwick Garden is a magical playground. The garden brings joy to all who see it, from stunning spring blossoms to fragrant roses, there are striking water features and geometric ornamental gardens, including one of the largest collections of European plants. Visitors will delight in the roots and shoots vegetable garden, and learn all about planting. You can even stop to see the bees making honey. When you're done exploring, stop off for lunch at the tree-top restaurant, located in one of the world’s largest wooden tree houses.
Arley Hall and gardens is one of the finest gardens you will see, noted for its historical interest and the largest double herbaceous border in England. Explore the stunning gardens and take a walk in the informal grove where you’ll see more than 20 sculptures by local artists, including a life-size cow and her calf! Children can enjoy the adventure playground and willow dome den or even build their own with sticks.
Belsay Hall has been in the same family since the 13th century - owned by gardening enthusiast, Sir Charles Monck and his grandson Sir Arthur Middleton. The grade I registered heritage garden in Belsay Hall’s extensive grounds has been restored with a real attention to detail. Seasonal trees, shrubs, and flowers ensure brilliant colour throughout the year. Not to be missed is the dramatic quarry garden with its ravines, pinnacles and exotic plants.
Beth Chatto and her late husband, Andrew, have created a stunning garden from an old car park (it’s just 15 acres), using water-thrifty plants that will amaze and delight all who see it. A real hidden gem, the garden includes a water garden, woodland area, scree beds and gravel garden. The art of planting at its best.
Over 2,000 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped parkland, noted as “the most beautiful view in England”await you at Blenheim Palace. The Palace itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The award-winning formal gardens, commissioned by the 9th Duke of Marlborough, include a secret garden, majestic water terraces, a fragrant rose garden and a grand cascade and lake. Visitors can enjoy the Pleasure Gardens, or take a ride on the miniature train. Get lost in the giant maze, and once you've escaped, visit the tropical butterfly house for a splash of colour.
Set in the grounds of the magnificent Burton Agnes Hall, the award-winning Elizabethan gardens showcase over 4,000 different plants, a national collection of campanulas, and more than 100 yew topiary bushes. There is so much to explore, including a classical pond with a fountain and pebble mosaic garden, herbaceous borders and woodland walk including wildlife sculptures.
Cambridge University Botanic Garden opened in 1846 by John Henslow, mentor to Charles Darwin and houses over 8,000 plants from around the world, including nine national plant collections and an arboretum. The garden has been designed to be visited throughout the year; highlights include the scented garden, buzzing bee borders and winter garden. Step inside the glasshouse to discover huge cacti, exotic plants and a tropical rainforest.
An 18th century ‘Capability’ Brown garden set in the grounds of Chatsworth, home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. The garden is famous for its 200ft (61m) fountain, rock garden and surviving Joseph Paxton glasshouses, and contemporary sculptures. A great family day out, younger visitors can enjoy the maze, adventure playground and farmyard.
Located in a microclimate by the River Thames, the garden was founded in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries to train apprentices in the medicinal qualities of plants. It became one of the most important centres of botany and plant exchange in the world and has a unique collection of over 5,000 edible, useful, medicinal, and historical plants. This garden offers visitors a real sensory experience.
Kew Gardens, probably the world’s most famous garden, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The garden, created in 1759, boasts the earliest and greatest botanic garden, including breathtaking landscapes, historic buildings, along with one of the rarest and most interesting range of plants. Hop aboard the Kew Explorer land train to enjoy the 40-minute tour of the gardens and learn about Kew’s plants, trees and history.
Kenilworth is a faithful recreation of an Elizabethan garden which up until 2009 had been lost to the world, and is now managed by English Heritage. Visitors can follow in the footsteps of Queen Elizabeth I and experience the delights of this authentic Elizabethan garden, including carved arbours, a bejewelled aviary, and a marble fountain.
World famous 17th century topiary gardens, designed by Monsieur Beaumont in 1694 with over 100 individual topiary pieces, some over nine metres high. Many of these towering topiary pieces are geometric shapes but look out for the chess pieces – King and Queen, the Judges Wig, the Howard Lion, the Great Umbrellas, Queen Elizabeth and her Maids of Honour, a Jug of Morocco Ale, and four Peacocks!
The vision of banker Henry Hoare, described as a “living work of art” when it first opened in the 1740s, Stourhead is now looked after by the National Trust. The gardens provide visitors an English 18th century view of a magical watery garden with stunning temples and follies at every turn, enhanced by a superb collection of plants and 19th century conifers.
A picture-perfect English Garden attracting visitors for over 300 years. Stowe has fabulous views, lakes, and temples all joined up with winding paths in a timeless landscape. This garden is a significant example of the English garden style, one not to be missed.
Studley Royal Water Garden is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, looked after by the National Trust. A stunning 18th century water garden with ornamental lakes, mirror-like ponds, statues and follies, built around the romantic ruins of the 12th century Fountains Abbey. This garden has it all; green lawns stretch down to the riverside providing picture-perfect picnic spots, the riverside paths lead to the deer park, home to Red, Fallow and Sika deer, all surrounded by ancient trees.
Sub-tropical gardens are hidden on the Isles of Scilly, built by Lord Proprietor Augustus Smith in 1834. The tropical garden is set in 17 acres and the warm climate and location on a hillside ensure unusual exotic plants from all over the world are in plenty. This garden is unique. Follow the paths which cross the garden and discover towering palm trees, giant red flame trees, blue spires of echium and pink pelargonium. A visual treat for any visitor.
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