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Slow Travel Google Map: United Kingdom, Gardens
WendyAsh, DavidX, WestSussexBird
'Lost Gardens' of Heligan
For added interest, read the book 'Lost Gardens of Heligan' first.
Acorn Bank (NT)
Recommended on SlowTalk by Robert D.
Ascott House (NT)
Ascott was one of several houses built by the Rothschild family in the 19th century. The garden represents Victorian gardening at its best - a fine mixture of formal (including stately fountains) and informal (including delightful topiary) with lovely views.
Athelhampton House (HHA)
Athelhampton is a Tudor manor house which provides a picturesque backdrop to this charming garden. Memorable features include stylish architectural topiary (yew trees fashioned into pyramids) and an abundance of water (pools, fountains and a canal, all fed by the delightfully named River Piddle which runs alongside the garden.)
Baddesley Clinton (NT)
Barrington Court (NT)
Jekyll inspired gardens of a glorious Tudor House.
Biddulph Grange Garden (NT)
Blenheim Palace (HHA)
Blenheim Palace is England's greatest stately home (with the possible exception of some of the royal palaces.) It was built for the Duke of Marlborough. Winston Churchill was born there. The magnificent house contains magnificent sculptures, tapestries and paintings (including family group portraits by Reynolds and Sargent.)
Bodnant Garden (NT)
This large garden is one of the best-loved in Britain. It features huge Italianate terraces, formal lawns, herbaceous borders, roses, hydrangeas, water lilies, clematis, a wooded valley, stream and wild garden. In spring the highlights are magnificent collections of rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias then a famous laburnum tunnel. However, there is also plenty of colour throughout the summer and autumn.
Brodsworth Hall (EH)
Brodsworth is not one of the great gardens of England, but both house and garden are interesting because English Heritage has attempted to restore them to their splendid state in the late Victorian period. The main features of the gardens are fountains, formal flower beds and a romantic quarry garden. Well worth a visit if you are travelling past on the M1.
Burton Agnes (HHA)
Burton Agnes is a magnificent Elizabethan house. Amongst its other splendours it features, most unusually for a stately home, a collection of 19th and 20th century French and English paintings.
Caerhays Castle & Gardens (HHA)
Castle Drogo (NT)
Cawdor Castle (HHA)
Believe it or not, there is virtually no reference here to a well known Shakespearean play!
Charlecote Park (NT)
Cottesbrooke Hall (HHA)
A delightful garden (enclosed courtyards, and gardens with superb borders, urns and statues) surrounding a beautiful Queen Anne house set in a large park with lakes, a stream and cascades.
Crathes Castle & Garden (NT)
Recommended on SlowTalk by Robert D.
Culzean Castle (NTS)
East Ruston Old Vicarage
Words like "exuberant", "theatrical" and "astonishing profusion" are used to describe this garden. It was started from scratch in 1973 and has been developed with great enthusiasm by the two owners. It is a fairly large garden (32 acres) divided into an unusually large number of unusually diverse sections divided by ingenious walls and hedges.
Eltham Palace (EH) (SV)
The Great Hall of the medieval palace survives with its fine hammer-beam roof, however the house dates mainly from the 1930s. The interior is a showcase of Art Deco design which was very successfully restored in the 1990s. The beautiful gardens around the palace moat include a wisteria pergola, a rose garden, a rock garden and herbaceous borders planted in the spirit of the 1930s.
Exbury Gardens (HHA)
One of the finest Rhododendron gardens in the country with many specimen trees and views across the Solent.
Fletcher Moss Botanical Garden
Not far from the geographical centre of Manchester!
Forde Abbey (HHA)
A large and very beautiful garden. It contains a formal canal and lakes, herbaceous borders, magnificent trees and shrubs, a bog garden, a rock garden and an extensive kitchen garden.
Fountains Abbey (NT)
Glendurgan Garden (NT)
Early 19th century woodland garden leading down to the hamlet of Durgan on the beach which Alfred Fox found irresistible. He took advantage of this steep and well watered site by clearing it and planting pines as windbreaks in the 1820's. He then planted many fine trees including an orchard but his son George from 1891 started to introduce camellias and rhododendrons and planted the cherry laurel maze. The maze still exists as do many fine shrubs but many trees were lost in the gales of 1990.
Great Dixter (HHA)
Recommended on SlowTalk by Jonathan: "My absolutely favourite British garden: Christopher Lloyd is a marvellous writer and a nicely iconoclastic garden designer."
Gunby Hall (NT)
Gunby (which dates from 1700) is the quintessential small English country house. Although owned by the National Trust, it still retains a family atmosphere.
Haddon Hall (HHA)
Hardwick Hall (NT)
Hestercombe Gardens (HHA)
A gem that everyone can enjoy!
Hever Castle & Gardens (HHA)
Medieval castle (Ann Boleyn's childhood home) surrounded by water-filled moat.
Hidcote Manor Garden (NT)
Harold Nicolson called the 10 acres of Hidcote "the loveliest small garden in England" and I have to agree. Major Lawrence Johnston was born in Paris of American parents. He and his Mother came to Hidcote in 1907 when the plot was virtually empty so Johnston set his architect's training and artistic eye to making Hidcote one of the most influential gardens of the 20th century. Whilst plants were always his first love there is no doubt that his other skills led to to the series of rooms which change not only in design but in atmosphere and perspective too. The views out across the landscape catch you unawares and provide many surprises no matter how many times you visit.
Iford Manor (HHA)
Ightham Mote (NT)
Ightham is one of the most delightful properties owned by the National Trust - a fairytale manor house surrounded by a water-filled moat. The garden features small lakes, woodland and a long flower border.
Inverewe Gardens (NT)
Exotic garden on remote north-west coast of Scotland. The far north-west of Scotland is incomparable for wild beauty, but no tour is complete without a visit to this extraordinarily lush and beautifully situated garden.
Japanese Garden & Bonsai Nursery
Primarily a nursery but the Japanese garden has flourished this last 10 years or so and is worthy of a visit in it's own right. Despite the aeroplanes flying above from RAF St Mawgan this is a peaceful spot to pass an hour or so. Much emphasis here on the art of Zen with skillful plantings of Acers and beautiful bonsai trees. The gardens are a series of rooms with ample seating provided for you to sit and contemplate your surroundings. Water is an important element here and if you can't see it you can often hear it tinkling away somewhere. Perhaps not ideal for boisterous children, make sure they have had plenty of exercise on one of the magnificent nearby beaches before your visit!
Kedleston Hall (NT)
Kiftsgate Court Gardens (HHA)
Small but delightful.
Leith Hill Rhododendron Wood-NT
Leith Hill is famous as the highest in south-east England. A tower was built at the summit the top of which reaches 1000 feet above sea-level! There are extensive woodlands and sandy heaths; on a fine day there are excellent views.
"The first time I went and looked up at the rhododendrons and azaleas I thought I'd arrived in heaven!" said "wendyash" on Slow Talk.
Levens Hall (HHA)
Levens is famous above all for its fantastic topiary garden. This was established in 1694 by a French garden designer. Even older is the ha-ha, reputed to be the oldest in existence. There are also extensive flower gardens. A most enjoyable garden, well worth a visit.
Logan Botanical Garden
Longstock Park Water Gardens
This has been described as the greatest water garden in the world. It features a lake with islands, promontories and bridges all surrounded by a profusion of colourful water-loving plants. Everything is beautifully tended.
Loseley Park (HHA)
Loseley is a privately owned Elizabethan mansion. The house itself is full of interest. The walled garden has been redeveloped, to a Gertrude Jekyll design, since 1993 and is now fully mature. It is divided into several sections: rose garden, herb garden, flower garden, moat walk, etc. The huge wisteria is unforgettable in May, and the White Garden is magnificent in high summer. The whole garden is lovingly cared for. There are nearly always gardeners around, often working in the vegetable and cut-flower garden, and they usually seem happy to chat.
Lytes Cary Manor (NT)
Atmospheric medieval house with charming small gardens and orchard. Once home to medieval herbalist Sir Henry Lyte the gardens still feature some of the plants he grew. The entrance is lined with yew topiary, dumpy in shape with small pyramids to crown them. The hornbeam tunnel leads to an enclosed glade of Weigela giving the area a mysterious atmosphere. More yews guard a circular pond featuring a statue of Triton. This small house and somewhat idiosyncratic garden are richly rewarding but probably best seen on a fine day.
Mottisfont Abbey (NT)
Mottisfont is best known for its rose garden, which is best visited in June; in fact, the garden stays open until dusk throughout June so that the rose scent can be enjoyed at its overpowering best in the evening. The garden also features huge trees and lawns sweeping down from the house to the crystal clear waters of the river.
Muncaster Castle & Gardens (HHA)
Recommended on SlowTalk by beebee: "The rhododendron collection is outstanding if you come at the right time of the year. And there's the castle to explore as well."
Ness Botanical Gardens
Owned by the University of Liverpool.
Newby Hall (HHA)
Newby is a beautiful house with sumptuous plasterwork by Robert Adam and a superb sculpture gallery among its highlights. The extensive and sumptuous gardens follow a design based on Hidcote, with a long double flower border leading to the river and cross-walks which divide the garden into smaller compartments full of interest.
Nymans Garden (NT)
This is one of England's most famous gardens. The National Trust describes it as "an outstanding plant collection in an inspirational garden setting" and "a 'theatrical' garden design full of variety, surprises and delight." It is centered on the picturesque ruins of a country house largely destroyed by fire in 1947.
Oxford University Botanic Garden (SV)
Recommended by Robert D: "The oldest botanical garden in the UK ... a calm contrast to the city."
Packwood House (NT)
Painshill Park (HHA)
This was one of the great eighteenth century landscape gardens. The garden fell into decay but is being restored. It features splendid parkland with huge trees, a serpentine lake fed by a spectacular waterwheel and various architectural features (mausoleum, gothic temple, etc.) An interesting addition is the 'American Roots' exhibition in the old walled garden, which explains the history of plant introductions from the New World.
Parcevall Hall Gardens
Splendid situation in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Parham House & Gardens (HHA)
The Elizabethan Parham House is one of the finest country houses in Britain (rated by Simon Jenkins as one of the top 20 in England.) It is particularly interesting because so little in the house has altered over the centuries.
Pashley Manor (HHA)
Pencarrow House & Gardens (HHA)
Petworth Park (NT)
The garden is not particularly notable, but the deer park (with lake) is a classic example of 18th century landscape gardening by Capability Brown. Take time to walk in it. Unforgettable.
See the house as well! Small but it will call you back.
Powis Castle (NT)
A famous garden set on a series of terraces on the steep slope below the magnificent castle.
RHS Garden, Harlow Carr
RHS Gardens. Fifty-eight acre garden includes several national collections.
RHS Garden, Rosemoor
Recommended by Robert D: This was the Royal Horticultural Society's first regional garden, second in importance only to the RHS headquarters at Wisley in Surrey.
RHS Garden, Wisley (SV)
Recommended by Robert D: The headquarters of the Royal Horticultural Society.
Sheffield Park Garden (NT)
'Capability' Brown landscaped garden with waterfalls, cascades and four large lakes.
Sissinghurst Castle Garden (NT)
Sizergh Castle (NT)
St Cross Hospital, Winchester
This is a charming garden on the outskirts of Winchester. However, the main reason to visit is to see not the garden but the Hospital itself, a 12th century almshouse which looks somewhat like an Oxbridge college, and its magnificent Norman church.
Stowe Landscape Gardens (NT) (SV)
Recommended by Robert D: "One of the great artistic masterpieces of England. It is a very important garden historically. It contains buildings by John Vanbrugh, James Gibbs, and William Kent and is probably the oldest landscape garden in England. Lancelot Brown ("Capability") was appointed head gardener at the age of 24 and landscaped the grounds. What looks today like rolling English countryside is deliberate artifice."
Tatton Park (NT)
Set in a huge park, this is one of the grandest gardens in England. It includes an arboretum, a fernery, an orangery, an Italian garden, a Japanese garden and much more.
The Eden Project
The Valley Gardens
Part of Windsor Great Park, this is one of the best examples of the "natural" gardening style in England. Undulating woodland, lake, fine collection of trees and shrubs, famous display of azaleas, adjacent polo lawn.
Trebah Gardens (HHA)
Trengwainton Gardens (NT)
Upton House & Gardens (NT)
This house has superb terraced gardens. There is a great lawn in front of the house then the ground drops away in a series of long terraces, with flower borders and a huge kitchen garden. At the bottom is a lake and there are lovely views across the surrounding woods.
Wakehurst Place (NT)
Kew's "country garden". Wakehurst serves as an extension to Kew Gardens, featuring plants that do not grow so well in the conditions at Kew. Thus, for example, Wakehurst has extensive collections of heathers and rhododendrons. It also features delightful walled gardens, water gardens and extensive woodlands and meadows.
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