Category: Historic houses & gardens

Historic Houses and English Gardens

More gardens are open to the public in England than anywhere else in the world, according to Visit England. Gardens in England come with lakes and roaming deer, classical-style temples and rope bridges, domes and mazes, adventure playgrounds and idyllic picnic spots. They surround historic houses and castles, can be found on hilltops or in an old quarry. Visiting a garden is often a magnificent experience and great family day out.

Kingston Lacy, Dorset

Kingston Lacy is a gorgeous country manor house built to resemble an Italian palace. We enjoy visiting Kingston Lacy for multiple reasons. The house offers an intimate view into a unique part of history and is home to some incredible paintings. The formal gardens are extensive and beautifully laid out and offers something interesting every season.

The Vyne, Hampshire

The Vyne, near Basingstoke, is one of those peaceful places. As soon as we pulled up in the car park and wandered into the second hand bookstore to pick up a book for the day, we were feeling more relaxed already. The walk up to the house next to the river that has been dammed into a like is serene with ducks, swans and Canada geese swimming and flying overhead.

Barrington Court

Barrington Court, an empty Tudor manor house with farm buildings, gardens and orchards, beautifully restored in the 1920s. It offers a lovely day in the Somerset countryside with food grown in the kitchen gardens served in the cafè, a beautiful lawn often with traditional games available or family centred activities, interesting walks around the estate and the manor house is worth a visit as well.

Overbecks, Devon

Overbecks is a small but spectacular garden with unusual tropical plants clinging to the cliffs above Salcombe in Devon. It’s idyllic and well worth visiting.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall is an extensive estate with 200 acres of land. It’s a mix of woodland, wildlife haven, working farm, formal gardens, play grounds, fields and kitchen garden. It has a saw mill, charcoal kiln, wildlife hide as well as the iconic sculptures of the mud maid, grey lady and its famous Burma Rope Bridge.

Harold Hillier Gardens in Hampshire

Harold Hillier Gardens in Hampshire feels like a mix between a park, community centre and formal garden. The formal gardens are immaculately kept and beautiful during the flowering seasons. The grounds are 180 acres with some lovely woodland paths and meadows as well as extensive lawns with plenty of benches, picnic tables, some play areas and interesting features dotted throughout.

Mottisfont House and Gardens

Mottisfont Abbey in Hampshire is well known for its stunning Rose garden that flowers in June. It’s also an idyllic National Trust House and Garden sculpted for long walks and family days out. The wider estate is extensive and we are frequent visitors.

Stourhead in Wiltshire

Stourhead on the Wiltshire border is a world-famous landscape garden created about 275 years ago. The garden was designed around an artificially created lake and a circular sunken path leads the way around with spectacular views, sculpted to look like paintings, emerging along the route. It’s a magical place to visit and particularly beautiful in spring when all the flowers are in bloom as well as autumn when the leaves change colour.

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