Spring seems to be well on its way! Once those snowdrops start popping up along the hedgerows, it’s always a sign that longer evenings and sunnier days will soon be here. If you’re looking for beautiful gardens to visit in Britain this spring, then here’s our guide to 19 of the best gardens in the UK. From opulent Italianate terraces to delightful water gardens, these are the very best of the best.
1. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Best for: Discovering one of the best-known gardens in the world
Arguably one of the best-known botanic gardens in the UK, the Royal Botanic Gardens in London allow you to discover the science behind the beauty of these vibrant displays. With over 500 acres of gardens and woodland, you’ll be kept busy for the entire day.
2. Sissinghurst Castle Garden
Best for: Gazing in awe at the beautiful rose gardens
Yet another one of England’s most famous gardens, these were once the pride and joy of famed poet, Vita Sackville-West. These vibrant gardens in Kent are beautiful in every season, especially the delightful rose gardens with their stunning hues of pinks and purples.
Best for: Visiting in the autumn and enjoying the vibrant hues
Located in the peaceful surrounding of Warminster, Stourhead first opened almost 300 years ago and has been enchanting visitors ever since. Wander past the magnificent lake or spend the day seeking out all the hidden grottoes – there is so much to discover here!
Telephone: (0)1747 841152
Address: Stourton, Warminster BA12 6QF
Pit-stop nearby: Stop by Visit Hillbrush in Mere for a delicious Sunday lunch or afternoon snack. It’s less than a five-minute drive from Stourhead.
4. Levens Hall
Location: The Lake District
Best for: Seeing the incredible topiary gardens at this Elizabethan mansion
Best known for its fantastic topiary gardens, these beautiful creations at Levens Hall in Kendal are sure to amaze both adults and children alike! The topiary here is the oldest in the world, with some shrubs over 300 years old.
5. Chatsworth House Garden
Best for: Exploring the famous grounds of Chatsworth, a popular film location!
A majestic stately home in Derbyshire, Chatsworth House Garden has been featured in a number of films and television programmes, including Pride and Prejudice. Spanning across 35,000 acres, the estate is home to some of the most beautiful gardens in the UK.
Telephone: (0)1246 565300
Address: Chatsworth, Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1PP
Pit-stop nearby: Make a stop at Charlie’s in Bakewell for a tasty roast dinner made with locally-sourced ingredients. They’re just a 10-minute drive from the gardens.
6. Blickling Estate
Best for: Discovering the secret gardens, tunnels and stunning temple
The Blickling Estate in Norfolk is the perfect place for a family day out or a walk with your four-legged friend. As you make your way around its 4,600 acres, you’ll discover secret tunnels, ancient yew hedges, and of course, the incredible Jacobean mansion.
Telephone: (0)1263 738030
Address: Blickling, Norwich NR11 6NF
Pit-stop nearby: The Buckinghamshire Arms in Blickling is a traditional 17th-century pub serving up tasty home-cooked food, located right outside of the estate.
7. Beth Chatto Gardens
Best for: Being amazed at these-world-renowned gardens from an award-winning garden designer
Once a desolate wasteland, the Beth Chatto Gardens in Colchester were impeccably transformed by the esteemed Beth Chatto in 1960. An inspiration for keen gardeners everywhere, you’ll be amazed at the variety and vibrance of these stunning grounds.
Telephone: (0)1206 822007
Address: Elmstead Market, Clacton Rd, Elmstead, Colchester CO7 7DB
Pit-stop nearby: Tuck into a tasty home-cooked burger at The Flag Burger in Wivenhoe, a five-minute drive from the Beth Chatto Gardens.
8. Wrest Park
Best for: Visiting the ornate Archer Pavilion on the grounds
Wrest Park in Bedfordshire is home to 90 acres of beautiful herbaceous borders, Italian-inspired gardens and classical statues. With inspiring countryside views and enchanting woodlands, there’s something for everyone to enjoy here.
Telephone: (0)370 333 1181
Address: Silsoe, Bedfordshire MK45 4HR
Pit-stop nearby: The Jolly Coopers in Wardhedges has an excellent selection of tasty dishes and award-winning wines. Just a five-minute drive from Wrest Park!
9. Eltham Palace & Gardens
Best for: Having a family picnic on the grounds of this former royal residence
Explore the award-winning gardens of Eltham Palace in Greenwich, with their 19 acres of wide-open spaces and vibrant flower displays. Ideal for family days out, there’s so much space for the kids to run around. Afterwards, tuck into a tasty picnic or pop into the nearby cafe.
10. Biddulph Grange
Best for: Appreciating the elegant Victorian design of the Biddulph Grange Garden
Biddulph Grange in Stoke-on-Trent is a charming Victorian garden, beautifully designed by James Bateman. Throughout its grounds, you’ll discover recreations of the Egyptian pyramids, a Himalayan glen and China.
Telephone: (0)1782 517999
Address: Grange Rd, Biddulph, Stoke-on-Trent ST8 7SD
Pit-stop nearby: Tuck into a traditional pub lunch at The Rose & Crown in Biddulph Moor, less than a five-minute drive from the grange.
11. Croome Court
Best for: Strolling around the formal gardens of Croome Court
Croome Court in Worcestershire was designed by the famed landscape artist Capability Brown during the mid 18th century. Stroll through the enchanting walled gardens of this impressive estate – especially beautiful during the months of spring.
Telephone: (0)1905 371006
Address: Croome Court, Severn Stoke, Worcester WR8 9DW
Pit-stop nearby: Pop into The Royal Oak in Worcester for a tasty pub lunch – just what you need after a day of walking! It’s a five-minute drive from the gardens.
12. Audley End House & Gardens
Best for: Meeting the friendly horses in the stable yard
Discover the award-winning gardens of Audley End House in Essex, set around the magnificent mansion. Some of the most renowned features include the delightful cloud hedge and organic kitchen garden.
Telephone: (0)370 333 1181
Address: Audley End Rd, Audley End, Saffron Walden CB11 4JF
Pit-stop nearby: Treat yourself to freshly made and delicious ice cream at the Saffron Ice Cream Company, it’s just a five-minute walk from the gardens!
Best for: Discovering the beautiful wildlife on the grounds of Cragside
There is so much to discover at Cragside in Morpeth! This Victorian estate is home to acres of beautiful gardens and woodlands, including Nelly’s Labyrinth – a network of tunnels cut through a dense rhododendron forest.
14. Kenilworth Castle & Gardens
Best for: Discovering the rich history of these Elizabethan gardens
With its 900-year history, Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire is an excellent day out for both keen gardeners and historians alike! As you stroll through the immaculate and beautifully maintained gardens on the grounds, you’ll be walking the same paths as many Tudor royalty once did.
15. Hidcote Manor
Best for: Seeing one of the best arts and crafts gardens in Britain
Discover the intricate designs of Hidcote Manor’s gardens. Tucked in the beautiful surroundings of the Cotswolds, you’ll find hidden pathways and secret gardens as you make your way around these delightful grounds.
Telephone: (0)1386 438333
Address: Hidcote Bartrim, Chipping Campden GL55 6LR
Pit-stop nearby: The Ebrington Arms is a historic country pub in Chipping Campden, less than a 10-minute drive from Hidcote.
16. Belsay Hall
Best for: Discovering the magnificent Grecian architecture of the hall
With over 30 acres of beautifully-presented gardens, Belsay Hall in Northumberland is perfect for an afternoon stroll. Take a walk through the Quarry Garden, with its unique microclimate and stunning variety of exotic plants.
Telephone: (0)370 333 1181
Address: B6309, Newcastle upon Tyne NE20 0DX
Pit-stop nearby: Enjoy traditional Italian cuisine at the stylish Fratelli Ristorante, just 10 minutes down the road from Belsay Hall.
17. Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden
Best for: Learning about the life and works of the esteemed Barbara Hepworth
The Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden in Cornwall is a little different from the rest. While you’ll still enjoy lush greenery in the gardens, you’ll also discover the unique bronze sculptures created by the late Barbara Hepworth. A must-see if you’re stopping in St. Ives this spring!
Telephone: (0)1736 796226
Address: Barnoon Hill, Saint Ives TR26 1AD
Pit-stop nearby: Tuck into a tasty breakfast or lunch at the cosy Scoff Troff Cafe, it’s a minute’s walk from the sculpture garden!
18. Kellie Castle & Gardens
Best for: Discovering the fine artworks within the castle
Planning a stay in Scotland? Be sure to visit the Kellie Castle & Gardens in Fife. The delightful arts and crafts garden is brimming with old roses among many other plant species. The floral scent is absolutely mesmerising during the summer months.
Telephone: (0)1333 720271
Address: Kellie Castle, Pittenweem, Anstruther KY10 2RE
Pit-stop nearby: Head down to The Larachmhor Tavern in Pittenweem for authentic Scottish food and ales – it’s just a 10-minute drive from Kellie Castle
19. West Green House Gardens
Best for: Watching an opera after wandering the gardens
Prepare to be enchanted by the vibrant West Green House Gardens in Hampshire. Discover the Nymphaeum fountain, topiary garden and beautiful aviary as you wander these peaceful grounds. At the end of July, a series of operas take place on the grounds – a fantastic way to end the day.
Telephone: (0)1252 848676
Address: West Green House, Thackham’s Ln, Hook RG27 8JB
Pit-stop nearby: Stop by Mama Mia for traditional Italian food in contemporary surroundings – it’s a three-minute drive or 20-minute walk from the gardens.