Green-fingered goodness: Top 10 UK gardens to take a turn around

Green-fingered Goodness: Top 10 UK Gardens To Take A Turn Around

Just picture the scene: it s a beautiful summer s day, the rose bushes are in full bloom, there s a soft, honeysuckle-scented breeze blowing through the leafy trees and the birds are in full chorus. Sound idyllic? We think so.

That s why we wanted to share with you our top 10 UK gardens to take a turn around this summer. So, pack the picnic hamper and make a beeline for these horticultural havens.

Bodnant Garden, Conwy, Wales1
Covering around 80 acres, this world-famous garden knows its roots. It s been carefully cultivated by the same family for five generations and has stunning views across the valley towards Snowdonia.

The Laburnum Arch in full bloom in May/June is a highlight for many visitors, as are the grand lakes and pretty dells. Bodnant Garden also boasts an extensive collection of plants from all over the world, including China, North America and Japan so you can happily spend the day wandering around this beautiful garden. This pretty stone cottage2 makes a great base from which to explore Conwy and visit Bodnant Garden.

Green-fingered Goodness: Top 10 UK Gardens To Take A Turn Around

Trebah Garden, Falmouth, Cornwall3
No matter what time of the year, a visit to Trebah Garden with its picturesque coastal backdrop and unusual array of sub-tropical plants is a must for all budding botanists.

During the summer, the Water Garden in the centre of the Trebah is full of life; covered in glossy green leaves, Arum Lilies and colourful blooms. From the 100-year-old rhododendrons in spring to the mighty champion trees in winter, it s easy to see why Trebah is open every day of the year when there s so much to explore in this Cornish valley garden. This log cabin4 set in nine acres of lakes and woodland is just a short trip away from Trebah Garden.

Green-fingered Goodness: Top 10 UK Gardens To Take A Turn Around

Arley Hall and Gardens, Cheshire5
You might not have visited Arley Hall and Gardens (yet) but if you like a bit of telly, you might have seen it.

The splendid hall and gardens have appeared in numerous television programmes including the BBC s Our Zoo, The Worst Witch and, most recently, is the location for Stephen Poliakoff s latest work, Close to the Enemy. With eight acres of formal gardens to meander around, the day will fly by as you admire the double herbaceous border, sculpture garden and impressive woodland. The Tudor Barn Restaurant offers some light refreshment at the end of the day.

For ideas on where to stay, this 17th-century listed barn6 is a short drive away and might be just what you re looking for.

Green-fingered Goodness: Top 10 UK Gardens To Take A Turn Around

Hestercombe Gardens, Somerset7
This historically-infused garden will take your breath away. It s a combination of three centuries of garden design: Coplestone Warre Bampfylde s Georgian landscape garden, the Victorian terrace and shrubbery and the Edwardian garden design by Sir Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll. Highlights include the Victorian shrubbery with its 19th-century yew tunnel and Victorian water tower, and the recently restored 18th-century Octagon Summerhouse where you can enjoy views of the gardens both up and down the valley.

Check out the fabulous reviews for this bungalow in Curry Mallet8 if you re looking for somewhere to stay nearby.

Green-fingered Goodness: Top 10 UK Gardens To Take A Turn Around

East Ruston Old Vicarage, Norfolk9
When owners Graham Robeson and Alan Gray first came to the Old Vicarage, they were greeted with a blank canvas. They ve gone from having no garden at all to a garden which is now full of colour and life. From the stunning rose garden with its sculpture and pond centrepiece to the wildflower meadows, brimming with poppies, sunflowers and cornflowers, the garden is a delight.

The East Ruston Old Vicarage hosts many special events throughout the year, such as a summer garden parties and Christmas floristry demonstrations. This elegant apartment10 is definitely worth taking a look at when you re planning your visit.

Green-fingered Goodness: Top 10 UK Gardens To Take A Turn Around

Abbey Garden, Isles of Scilly11
The warm winds of the gulf stream create a unique microclimate on the Isles of Scilly giving rise to all kinds of tropical plants. With species from over 80 different countries such as Brazil and New Zealand, Abbey Garden an ideal place to view this impressive array of plantlife.

Succulents, towering palm trees and giant, lipstick-red flame trees are in abundance here and brightly coloured Echium, Strelitzia and shocking-pink Pelargonium are simply beautiful. And as an extra treat, the garden hosts a fascinating collection of shipwrecked figureheads. This lovely annex with sea views12 is available now.

Green-fingered Goodness: Top 10 UK Gardens To Take A Turn Around

Levens Hall, Cumbria13
Like topiary?

Then look no further than the gardens at Levens Hall in the Lake District. Billed as the finest, oldest and most extensive topiary garden in the world, you ll find over 100 unusually shaped perennials that have been trimmed and clipped to perfection. Follow your nose to the herb and rose gardens for more botanical beauty.

If you ve got children in tow, there s plenty here to keep them entertained including the Living Willow Labyrinth and the intriguing Creepy Crawly Corner. Round off your day with a visit to the pretty Potting Shed shop followed by a homemade cake in the Bellingham Buttery. This converted post office14 in Old Hutton is full of character and is ready to welcome guests.

Green-fingered Goodness: Top 10 UK Gardens To Take A Turn Around

Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire15
The magnificent formal gardens at Blenheim ooze grandeur and the views of the Great Lake add to its feeling of majesty.

The ornate Italian Garden and the Secret Garden are must-sees, as is the Roundel water feature on the south lawn. If you want something a little more relaxed, board the miniature train to the pleasure gardens where you ll find attractions including a butterfly house, lavender garden and an adventure playground. Take a picnic as there s so much to do here you won t want to leave in a hurry!

Try this charming apartment in Woodstock16 which is in a great location for visiting the palace.

Green-fingered Goodness: Top 10 UK Gardens To Take A Turn Around

Cambridge University Botanic Gardens, Cambridge17
If you re a year-round gardener, then you ll love Cambridge University Botanic Gardens. Carefully considered planting to suit the season will inspire green-fingered gardeners to get out and dig whatever the weather. There are over 800 plant species at the garden extending over a 40 acre plot so it s a welcome oasis of calm in the centre of the city.

It s also bustling with wildlife including dragonflies and sparrowhawks. The garden often hosts demos and displays so beginners or the more advanced gardeners can pick up some tips. If you want to leave the car at home, this city centre apartment18 could be the one for you when visiting the gardens.

Green-fingered Goodness: Top 10 UK Gardens To Take A Turn Around

Eden Project, Cornwall19
This list wouldn t be complete without the Eden Project.

It s a garden of epic proportion and diversity. Walk amongst the orange and lemon trees, olive groves and vines in the Mediterranean Biome before heading out to the 30-acre Outdoor Garden. Here you ll see a huge range of flowers and plants from sprawling wildflowers bursting with colour to heady hops and barley.

Eden is also an important resource for learning about mankind s dependence on plant life and understanding our responsibility to create a sustainable future for our planet. The Barrow in St Austell20 is just a short drive from the Eden Project.

Green-fingered Goodness: Top 10 UK Gardens To Take A Turn Around


  1. ^ Bodnant Garden, Conwy, Wales (
  2. ^ pretty stone cottage (
  3. ^ Trebah Garden, Falmouth, Cornwall (
  4. ^ log cabin (
  5. ^ Arley Hall and Gardens, Cheshire (
  6. ^ 17th-century listed barn (
  7. ^ Hestercombe Gardens, Somerset (
  8. ^ bungalow in Curry Mallet (
  9. ^ East Ruston Old Vicarage, Norfolk (
  10. ^ elegant apartment (
  11. ^ Abbey Garden, Isles of Scilly (
  12. ^ annex with sea views (
  13. ^ Levens Hall, Cumbria (
  14. ^ converted post office (
  15. ^ Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire (
  16. ^ apartment in Woodstock (
  17. ^ Cambridge University Botanic Gardens, Cambridge (
  18. ^ city centre apartment (
  19. ^ Eden Project, Cornwall (
  20. ^ The Barrow in St Austell (

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