Best public gardens to visit in the UK
Summer is finally upon us and what better way to enjoy it than getting outside and exploring the great outdoors?
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Image source: Photo by DAVID ILIFF License: CC-BY-SA 3.0
Kew Gardens is without a doubt one of the most famous gardens in the world, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, first opened in 1759. The grounds are home to the earliest and largest botanic garden, stunning historic architecture, a unique collection of rare plants, herbs, and trees, and a wealth of scientific data.
With entry to the gardens, you can enjoy a free guided walking tour, enlighten your senses in the plant houses, listen to educational talks, enjoy a bite to eat in one of the restaurants, and plenty more.
Beth Chatto Gardens, Essex
Image source: www.bethchatto.co.uk
Beth Chatto and her husband, Andrew, are renowned for transforming an old car park (just 15 acres) into one of the best public gardens in the UK, with more than 2,000 varieties of plant that will amaze and delight the senses of every visitor. Full of hidden gems, the garden is also home to a woodland area, a water garden, and a gravel plot.
Beth Chatto won gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show for 10 consecutive years. Whilst she sadly passed away this month, her passion and determination will forever be encapsulated in the beautiful gardens she leaves behind. So take a guided walk, enjoy a gardening talk, and don’t forget to grab a souvenir at the gift shop on your way home.
Blenheim Park, Oxford
Image source: www.blenheimpalace.com
More than 2,000 acres of extraordinarily landscaped parkland and gardens await your visit at Blenheim Palace Park. The award-winning garden was commissioned by the 9th Duke of Marlborough and is home to thousands of trees, a secret hidden garden, majestic water features, fragrant rose beds, and a grand lake.
Take a wander in the park, indulge in a picnic, and enjoy the colours of the tropical butterfly house, with so much to see and do, you definitely won’t be left disappointed.
Inverewe Garden, Poolewe
Image source: www.nts.org.uk
Beginning as a labour of love between a father and daughter in the 19th century, the Inverewe garden in Poolewe, Scotland, is an oasis for all nature-lovers boasting a collection of plants and wildlife from all over the world.
Home of some of Scotland’s most iconic wildlife including the red deer, golden eagle and pine martens, Inverewe is a hub of inspiration with an interactive museum at the heart of the estate where visitors can learn about the family behind the garden and their journey to making it one of the best public gardens in the UK today.
Trebah Garden, Cornwall
Image source: www.trebahgarden.co.uk
With it’s own private beach facing the Helford River and out onto the sea, the Trebah Garden in Cornwall is the perfect place to spend a day outdoors.
The garden’s award-winning medley of mediterranean plants, Australian palms and stunning Koi pool are simply breathtaking and a treat for all the senses, as many of the plants at Trebah were selected for their fragrance as well as their beautiful appearance.
So bring the family and indulge in a cornish Roskilly ice-cream, get lost in a bamboo maze or take shelter from the summer sun beneath the giant Elephant rhubarb – there’s something around every corner that’s sure to keep everyone entertained!
Bodnant Garden, Conwy
Image source: www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Bodnant Gardens in North Wales is a breath-taking blend of nature’s beauty and man-made art.
The estate really was the original trend-setter of UK public gardens, hosting the first laburnum arch, the earliest magnolias from China and the first rhododendron hybrids, born and bred here in the early 20th century.
Today, visitors can enjoy the ever-evolving collection of exotic flowers and foliage that bring this magical garden to life throughout the year, or take a stroll along the Lost Words Trail and search for hidden riddles and secret spells.