The best British gardens that you can visit this summer

Britons staying at home this summer are being encouraged to head outdoors and explore the stunning public gardens on their doorstep. 

With lockdown measures easing, but with restriction on travelling abroad still in place, now is the perfect time to explore the best British gardens from across the country.

The team of experts at GardeningExpress.co.uk have put together a list of their favourite UK gardens which are spread across the country.

‘There are hundreds of beautiful public gardens to visit across the UK,’ says a spokesperson. ‘These are just a few of our favourites – there are lots more we visit and look to for inspiration all the time.’

Now is a great time to get out and explore all the beauty these gardens have to offer and get some ideas for giving your own outside space a new look. ‎ “Do remember to check current regulations and opening times for these gardens and if you need to book in advance, make sure you do.’

See: Take a tour around Monty Don’s beautiful Longmeadow garden in Herefordshire

The best British gardens

Photography: Amateur Gardening

THE BEST BRITISH GARDENS

The gardens include the traditional, the contemporary, some world known and respected gardens and even places where visitors can enjoy rare and tropical plants.

1. THE BETH CHATTO GARDENS, ESSEX

This is real hidden gem of a garden. A great place for planting inspiration with a mix of a water garden, woodland area and gravel garden.

2. CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY BOTANIC GARDEN

This garden houses thousands of plants from across the globe. There are lots of highlights including the scented garden and winter garden. Inside the glasshouse you’ll find exotic plants and cacti.

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We are excited to share with you that we will be reopening the Garden again very soon & can’t wait to see you! We will be phasing the reopening – with some changes – to our Friends from Tuesday 9 – Sunday 14 June and then to the wider public from Tuesday 16 June. Please see our website for all the details and FAQs: www.botanic.cam.ac.uk/cubg-reopening-in-june-2020 When we reopen, so that everyone can relax and enjoy their visit, things will look a bit different. Our priority is the health and safety of our visitors and staff, so we have put social distancing and hygiene measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 Pre-booked tickets When we reopen, entry to the Garden will be by pre-booked tickets only so that we can control visitor numbers on site. Tickets will be available online from our website. Only visitors with pre-booked tickets will be given admission to the Garden. This also applies to our Friends, who can still enter for free, but must do so with a pre-booked ticket. And children aged 0-16 will also need (free) pre-booked tickets too. There will be a limited number of tickets available each day to prevent overcrowding. These will be released at 10am each Thursday. We know that these will be popular and many visitors will be disappointed if tickets are unavailable for their preferred day, and we apologise in advance, but we hope you will understand that these measures are necessary. Tickets for Tuesday 9 – Sunday 14 June (Friends only) will go on sale from 10am Thursday 5 June. Tickets for Tuesday 16 – Sunday 21 June (all visitors) will go on sale from 10am Thursday 12 June and so on for the following weeks. We are opening for Friends-only for the first week as a thank you for their continued support during closure, for which we are extremely grateful. For more information about tickets, what we have done to make the site as safe as possible and other changes, please visit our website. Thank you for all your online support and we can’t wait to have you back! Hopefully we’ll be seeing you in the Garden again soon! #reopening #gardens #Cambridge #CambridgeUniversity #CambridgeUniversityBotanicGarden

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See: Garden trends for 2020 – The latest garden design ideas

3. CHATSWORTH, DERBYSHIRE

This huge garden was designed by Capability Brown in the 18 th century. There are fountains, rock gardens, contemporary sculptures and miles of parkland to explore.

4. ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS, KEW

Kew Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are famous across the globe and well worth a visit if you’re in London. It was created in 1759 and includes historic buildings, breath-taking views and some of the rarest plants you’ll find.

5. KENILWORTH CASTLE, WARWICKSHIRE

This is a beautiful recreation of an Elizabethan garden. Highlights include the carved arbours and a marble fountain.

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Beautiful Kenilworth. . . This is one of my favourite walks and the view of the Castle was captured beautifully this week by a local resident. I can’t take credit for this photograph, but the lovely Fraser Pithie has captured the scene so perfectly. . . What is even nicer is that when I got in touch to ask if I could share this image, we exchanged some lovely emails and found a few common interests. Lockdown has had lots of positives and I’ve experienced many. Connecting with people in different ways, building lovely relationships with neighbours and giving and receiving more kindness. . . I hope we we carry these forward into the future. . . Wishing you all a lovely Sunday. . .

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6. BARBARA HEPWORTH SCULPTURE GARDEN, CORNWALL

These gardens in St Ives are at the former home of artist Barbara Hepworth. The gardens show a stunning collection of her works.

See: Small garden ideas – maximise a compact gardening space

7. LEVENS HALL, CUMBRIA 

If you enjoy topiary, this is the garden for you to visit. Levens Hall has one of the most extensive topiary gardens you’ll find with over 100 pieces.

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Now lockdown is easing even further we’re hoping to see more of you in the coming weeks. We’ve got lots to see and plenty of space to keep your distance in. We’ve been awarded Visit Britain's Industry Standard mark so you can feel assured that we are following all the guidelines to keep you and us as safe as possible. The House opens from Monday 6 July (10am – 4pm for guided tours only). The Gardens are open 10am – 5pm (last entry 4pm), Sunday – Thursday. Levens Kitchen is open 10am – 4pm, Sunday – Thursday. #theperfectplacetobe #weregoodtogo #levenshall #cumbria #historichouse #garden #gardening #visitbritain #alantitchmarsh #omgb #heritage #cumbriatourism #lakedistrict #levenslife #tourism #views #blogger #blog #topiary #statelyhomes #england #greatbritain #lovegreatbritain #capturingbritain #englishgarden #wearethelakes #aliceinwonderland

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8. TRESCO ABBEY GARDENS, ISLES OF SCILLY 

This beautiful garden on the Isle of Scilly was started in the 1800’s. The warmer climate means you’ll spot lots of unusual plants. This is a truly unique garden.

9. BELVOIR CASTLE, LEICESTERSHIRE 

There’s something for everyone at Belvoir Castle, home to the Dukes of Rutland. You can enjoy formal gardens, Japanese designs and much more.

See: How to plant a fragrant garden – five plants for year-long aromatic pleasure

10. HIDECOTE MANOR, GLOUCESTERSHIRE

This is one of the best known and influential Arts and Crafts garden created by Lawrence Johnston. It has linked rooms of hedges, rare trees, shrubs and herbaceous borders.

11. SISSINGHURST GARDEN, KENT 

This is one of the most well known gardens in the country with its beautiful roses and English garden feel. There are five acres of garden to explore and around 450 acres of parkland.

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The sky may be a little grey but there’s plenty of colour in our new Delos garden. Vita and Harold visited the Greek island of Delos in 1935 and returned full of ideas for their own Mediterranean garden. However, the Kent climate and north-facing position of the garden, combined with their limited knowledge of Mediterranean planting, meant that the garden never really became all they hoped for and instead resulted in a woodland feel. Over the past few years, working with garden designer Dan Pearson, our gardeners have reimagined the Delos garden guided by Vita and Harold’s original writing and plans, as well as their spirit of experimentation. . . . Image © National Trust / Eleanor Black #Sissinghurst #SissinghurstCastle #SissinghurstCastleGarden #delos #greece #colour #flowers #kent #garden #gardensofinstagram #instagarden #mediterranean #mediterraneangarden #NationalTrust #VitaSackvilleWest #HaroldNicolson #nature

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