Summer is the season when Britain truly blooms. Home to magnificent gardens and historic landscapes, there’s lots to see and do.
With so much choice, where should you start? Why not start with our picks for the top eight gardens in Britain to visit this summer?
1. Kew Gardens, London
Kew Gardens in London is one of the most famous and oldest gardens to visit this summer. A World Heritage Site, these gardens were established as far back as 1759. Spend some time wandering freely amongst flowers, trees and plants from all over the world, and take in the majesty of the Victorian glasshouses, the arboretum or the forty listed buildings.
The Japanese Garden is a real delight.
2. Drummond Castle Gardens, Crieff, Perth and Kinross
Much further north, near Muthill in Scotland, you will find Drummond Castle Gardens. If you love your gardens set amidst glorious historical detail, this is the place for you. Medieval in origin, the castle and its gardens were restored in the nineteenth century.
Set in the shape of St Andrew’s Cross (the Scottish flag), the courtly garden is divided by urns and classical statutes. At its centre you’ll find a seventeenth century obelisk sundial, with topiary and beautiful flowerbeds. This is a wonderful place for strolling, thinking and admiring the elegance and majesty of a bygone era.
3. Highgrove Gardens, Gloucestershire
Set in lovely Gloucestershire, Highgrove is the family home of the Prince of Wales. A celebration of organic gardening and biodiversity, the gardens comprise two miles of interlinked gardens surrounding the house.
On arrival, you can smell the gorgeous scents of plants such as honeysuckle, jasmine and wisteria and you will immediately see the beautiful Sundial Garden and the Arboretum.
Other highlights include the Wildflower Meadow, which was co-designed by one of the country’s leading biodiversity experts and features more than thirty types of British wildflowers. Another must see is the Persian-inspired Carpet Garden – a medal winner at the Chelsea Flower Show.
4. Bodnant Garden, Conwy
From the moment you enter Bodnant Garden, its beauty will literally take your breath away. Sixty acres of rolling countryside and spectacular views of Snowdonia form the spectacular backdrop to this garden.
A feast of colours, the rhododendrons, azaleas and Japanese maples are particularly amazing. You can also stroll along paths, fields, lakes and inspiring woodland. The world famous Victorian botanical collection should not be missed.
5. Studley Royal, Yorkshire, England
Set in Yorkshire, Studley Royal presents the best of Georgian sophistication.
The stunning water gardens are made up of peaceful water features and neo-classical statutes, surrounded by beautiful landscaped lawns. You will find a lovely medieval deer park, as well as the ruins of the 12th century Fountain’s Abbey, which is really special.
6. Dawyck Botanic Garden, Stobo
Dawyck Botanic Garden is one of Scotland’s best-kept secrets. Situated near the Scottish Border lands, here you will find sixty acres of botanic forest that have developed over three centuries.
The arboretum is simply amazing. From the Himalayan Azalea walk, to 300-year-old giant redwoods, to the South American Gunnera plant, the garden is home to species from all over the globe. Adding historic atmosphere to this glorious landscape is the old chapel and Dawyck House itself.
7. RHS Garden, Wisley
Set in Surrey, the Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Wisley was first established in 1878. The garden has grown to cover over 240 acres of countryside and now includes an extensive arboretum, a number of beautiful formal and informal decorative gardens and a world-class plant collection in the glasshouse.
The garden’s springtime daffodil displays are quite something and worth a visit alone!
8. Eden Project, Cornwall, England
Lying beneath huge geodesic domes amidst the Cornish countryside, the Eden Project is an awe-inspiring experience. Experience the Mediterranean by enjoying the olive groves and the lemon trees.
Feel the magic of the tropic jungle, where you can visit stunning waterfalls and even a rainforest. If this isn’t enough, you can also explore beautiful British blooms set in the outdoor gardens of the project. With many music and comedy events also hosted by the project, this is an experience you can’t afford to miss.