From botanical wonders in Australia to tranquil havens closer to home in Ireland, let this guide help you to discover some of the most glorious gardens around the world
United Kingdom and Ireland
United Kingdom and Ireland
Tresco Abbey Gardens
Tresco's powdery white sands and clear turquoise inlets are what first greets the approaching visitor — and what a greeting it is. This little island is a subtropical paradise just off the coast of Cornwall. A blooming delight all year round, its gardens boast bountiful colour even on the darkest of winter days. Start with a guided tour of the botanic mastery that is the island's Abbey Gardens, then follow it up by exploring the island's beaches and inlets yourself - pure bliss! For 25 years, Brightwater Holidays has provided well-planned and expert-led garden and special interest tours to individuals, private clubs and societies everywhere. If you're looking for a trip that doesn't follow the crowds, then step this way. From exploring the jungles of Costa Rica and the botanical triumphs of Japan, to experiencing the remoteness of the Scottish Highlands and islands, you really can do it all on a Brightwater Holiday. The tours offer the opportunity to explore popular places and private spaces not normally open to the public, all while relaxing in complete comfort and travelling in the company of expert guides and like-minded friends. Simply set the destination, budget, group size and any extras, and Brightwater will sort the rest. It will arrange all transport, accommodation and entry costs, as well as providing Tour Managers to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Consider this your cordial invitation to explore the private garden of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall. Led by the Prince's guides, this exclusive tour provides the perfect royal introduction to the bucolic delights of the Cotswolds. But the tour doesn't begin and end at Highgrove - not when some of the country's finest gardens are found nestled among the rolling hills of Gloucestershire: Abbey House Gardens' spectacular herbs, Hidcote Manor's contrasting 'garden rooms', Kiftsgate's splendid floricultural vistas and, of course, Westonbirt, the National Arboretum. Each plays a key role in this magnificent tour. For 25 years, Brightwater Holidays has provided well-planned and expert-led garden and special interest tours to individuals, private clubs and societies everywhere. If you're looking for a trip that doesn't follow the crowds, then step this way. From exploring the jungles of Costa Rica and the botanical triumphs of Japan, to experiencing the remoteness of the Scottish Highlands and islands, you really can do it all on a Brightwater Holiday. The tours offer the opportunity to explore popular places and private spaces not normally open to the public, all while relaxing in complete comfort and travelling in the company of expert guides and like-minded friends. Simply set the destination, budget, group size and any extras, and Brightwater will sort the rest. It will arrange all transport, accommodation and entry costs, as well as providing Tour Managers to ensure everything runs smoothly.
This is the great garden of County Donegal. At the centre of the vast wilderness that is Glenveagh National Park, and placed for romantic effect by the lake shore, Glenveagh Castle is surrounded by magical woodland gardens. The original Victorian garden for Mrs Adair dates to 1885 and the gardens were further developed in the mid-20th century for Henry McIlhenny, assisted by Jim Russell and Lanning Roper. The Pleasure Grounds are planted with rhododendrons and magnolias, while the Walled Garden is packed with colour and produce from March to October. Managed by National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Mornington is not a huge garden (it's only three-quarters of an acre) but it offers a wonderful atmosphere of peace and beauty. Located near the heritage village of Dalkey, the garden was planted in the mid-1930s and features trees, shrubs, herbaceous borders and water features. It's open to visitors by appointment.
Carlow is a treasure trove of wonderful gardens to visit. Some of the best in Ireland are located here, including the beautiful Altamont Gardens and Arboretum Home & Garden Centre, which is regarded as the best garden centre in the country. What makes the Carlow Garden Trail so special is the unique range of large and small gardens that are lovingly cared for, with amazing plants, shrubs and trees at every turn. The trail includes great old gardens that have been lovingly restored and maintained throughout the years, and smaller gardens that are maturing beautifully with time, so there is something to stimulate both the novice and experienced gardener. Known for its mild and temperate climate, County Carlow in Ireland's sunny south east is the ideal destination for your gardening trip. Located 90km from the ferry and airports of Dublin and Rosslare, Carlow's central location also offers the perfect base to explore the bordering counties of Wexford, Kilkenny, Wicklow, Kildare and Laois. Open all year round, the Carlow Garden Trail currently features 21 different gardening attractions.
RHS Garden Rosemoor is an award-winning hidden gem located in a sheltered valley in Devon. Boasting 65 acres of formal and informal gardens, including the iconic Hot Garden, Cottage Garden and The Fruit and Vegetable Garden, plus woodlands, a lake, stream and waterfall. Rosemoor is also home to the largest rose gardens in the Southwest. Open every day except Christmas Day, it is delightful throughout every season and offers over 100 events, short courses and workshops to help inspire everyone to grow. Complete your visit with great food and drink, and shopping, in the fully-stocked Plant Centre and Gift Shop.
RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey is the flagship garden of the RHS and is one of the UK's best-loved gardens. As a hub of horticultural excellence and a top visitor attraction, the garden provides visitors with 240 acres to explore, and is home to some of the largest plant collections anywhere in the globe. It showcases inspirational gardening planting schemes and a cathedral-like glasshouse, which is home to the RHS's world-class tender plant collection. Each season boasts horticultural highlights, such as spring blossom, summer roses, autumn colour and winter interest, alongside an appealing programme of family-friendly events.
Nestled in the heart of rural Essex, you can enjoy the peace and tranquillity of Hyde Hall, with its eclectic mix of styles from traditional to modern. With lots of space to think and breathe you'll find something to delight and inspire at every turn. Highlights include the Dry Garden with its fantastic range of drought-resistant plants, and the Hilltop Garden with its roses and herbaceous borders. There's also a Global Growth Vegetable Garden showcasing vegetables from around the world. Facilities at the garden include a café, restaurant, gift shop and plant centre.
Open all year, this family-friendly garden will inspire and delight all ages. Enjoy dramatic herbaceous borders, wildflower meadows, a large kitchen garden, an alpine house, woodland and streamside walks, all with dramatic seasonal planting displays. Children will enjoy the natural play features in the garden including the Tree House, bird hide and chicken run, plus holidays packed with family activities. The garden is also an inspirational backdrop for craft exhibitions, seasonal horticultural shows, summer outdoor theatre, music and cinema, and new winter illuminations. With Bettys Café Tea Rooms located in the garden, and a large RHS Plant Centre and shop, there is plenty to keep the family occupied.
Ventnor Botanic Garden boasts an impressive collection of more than 6,000 rare and sub-tropical plants and trees. Spread across 22 acres of gardens, VBG's plantings are based on different geographical regions of the world. The garden is located in the unique microclimate of the Ventnor Undercliff, which is on average five degrees warmer than mainland UK - it really is Britain's hottest garden. In fact, it had a staggering 287 different plants in bloom one wintry New Year's Day!
Discover magnificent award-winning gardens set in 125 acres of glorious grounds at Hever Castle. Dating back to the 13th century, the romantic double-moated Castle was once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. The gardens are home to an ever-changing display of wonderful plants and shrubs throughout the seasons. With 4,000 rose bushes in the Rose Garden, more than 30,000 spring bulbs and 15,000 bedding plants planted in the gardens annually, you're guaranteed a breathtaking display no matter what time of year you visit. The Italian Garden is the setting for William Waldorf Astor's unique collection of statues and sculptures. It was inspired by Italian Renaissance gardens and is filled with fountains, grottoes and other water features.
Hindringham Hall is a small manor house that looks like it's straight out of a story book with its medieval moat and fishponds, working walled vegetable garden, and the formal and informal borders that wrap around the brick and flint Tudor hall. The current owners have developed the gardens over the past 25 years and they are now open to visitors twice a week from April to October. Make time to walk round the medieval fishponds and take tea in the café beside the moat, smell the roses, watch the black swans, listen to the birdsong and enjoy the peace and beauty of this special garden.
The romantic Grade I-listed Peto Garden was created by the Edwardian architect Harold Peto while he lived at Iford Manor from 1899-1933. In the garden, tucked away at the bottom of a tranquil valley near Bath, you'll find paths twisting and turning around ancient statues, columns, terraces and architecture, surrounded by ebullient planting schemes and leading you onto delight after delight. Set in 2.5 acres, this steep, terraced, Italianate garden affords the visitor wonderful views of the valley, which can be especially enjoyed from the casita, loggia and cloisters. Steeped in history, a visit to Peto Garden is often described as stepping into another world.
Hidden in the heart of London, Chelsea Physic Garden is a peaceful oasis and centre for learning.
Founded by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London in 1673 for apprentices to study the medicinal qualities of plants, by the 18th century it was one of the world's most important centres of botany and plant exchange.
Today, its features include Europe's oldest rockery, the Garden of Medicinal Plants, and the World Woodland Garden. Over time the garden has evolved, but it remains a place that cultivates plants and ideas.
The gardens at Gravetye Manor are a very special place and can be considered among the most influential in English gardening history. The house, with its Grade II-listed gardens, was once the home of pioneering Victorian gardener William Robinson, the father of the English flower garden. Robinson's ideas about naturalised planting - allowing nature to flow into the garden - were groundbreaking. Now, head gardener Tom Coward, previously of Great Dixter, focuses on conserving and re-creating Robinson's work, as well as progressing the garden in homage to his experimental style of gardening. Today Gravetye is a mature, charming and very beautiful garden.
Ballymaloe Cookery School is famous worldwide as a centre of culinary excellence, but it also has spectacular gardens. Winner of the EGHN Special Award for Kitchen Gardens in 2016, the collection of separate formal and production gardens provides plenty of interest for even the most seasoned garden traveller. As well as the main gardens, there is the spectacular shell house, a full-grown Celtic maze in Yew and Hornbeam, and a four-acre vegetable production area, which includes one acre of glasshouses, all open to garden visitors - it's well worth a visit. There is a shop and café on site in the summer.
Beautiful Endsleigh, now owned by the hotelier Olga Polizzi, is set in 108 acres of gardens, woodlands, follies and grottos created by Humphry Repton. Designed 200 years ago, this was one of Humphry Repton's last commissions and brings together the multitude of landscaping elements for which Repton was renowned. Immediately surrounding the house are formal gardens running down to the River Tamar. You'll also find a picturesque dell with little bridges crossing streams, huge Gunnera leaves and wonderful picnic spots here. Beyond the formal gardens is the arboretum, which contains unusual trees from around the world, still standing in the spots marked out with bamboo canes by Gerogina, The Duchess of Bedford, over 200 years ago. Some of the trees are national champions.
Hunting Brook Gardens, home to horticulturalist Jimi Blake, is set in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains, Ireland. A modern garden set in an ancient woodland landscape, it's famous for its borders, which are a contemporary fusion of prairie and tropical planting. With his passion for plants, Jimi vets all contenders for the garden and only the very best find a home here. Hunting Brook has one of Ireland's largest private collections of plants, and there are many examples of the fiercely colourful and theatrically beautiful large-scale planting combinations for which Jimi has become so well known.
Perched atop an escarpment, Morton Hall Gardens has breathtaking views over the Worcestershire countryside, with the Welsh mountain ranges on the horizon. Designed for all seasons, the gardens feature one of the UK's largest fritillary meadows, sumptuous herbaceous borders, a striking potager, a majestic woodland rockery and an elegant Japanese Stroll Garden. The eight acres of garden and park combine historic and contemporary features in a highly aesthetic fashion and provide the backdrop for a collection of over a thousand plant varieties.
While there, make sure to take a guided tour with either the owner or the head gardener around the elegant manor house. You'll discover a series of distinctive but linked garden rooms, each of which is uniquely defined by landscape, planting style and colour scheme. Together they offer a sense of harmony and continuity, which turns a stroll into a journey with a defined beginning and end.
From the East Terrace in front of the late 18th-century main elevation, visitors embark on a walk through the individual garden rooms, on a route that is adjusted according to the season. In the spring, magnificent bulb meadows take centre stage, as well as woodland gardens and sumptuous tulip displays in herbaceous borders.
Later in the year, the focus is on the more formal gardens, with their intricate blend of perennial and annual planting in elegant colour schemes. There is a strong emphasis on rose and clematis combinations that seem to intermingle effortlessly, and the careful pruning and training methods developed to create this effect are explained on the walk, along with many other horticultural and design aspects, so a visit to Morton Hall Gardens is both an aesthetic experience and a horticultural masterclass. The journey concludes on the west side of the house with its spectacular views, framed by a bold Mediterranean-style garden.
Discover one of the great gardens of Sussex, the Grade II-listed High Beeches - a hidden gem, it's sensitively planted and maintained to retain the beauty and tranquillity of the natural landscape of the High Weald. Wander through a woodland garden of many glades, carpeted with wildflowers and surrounded by rare, exotic trees and shrubs from around the world. The natural ancient wildflower meadow is at its peak in June and the beautiful blue willow gentians are in flower throughout the garden in late July/August (High Beeches is the only garden in the country where they are naturalised). The autumn, meanwhile, brings a spectacular display of colour.
Grounded in its sense of place between the Preseli Hills and the Irish Sea, Dyffryn Fernant is made from the runt of land left over from a once prosperous, self-contained, productive place. This modern garden, at the end of a rough country lane, has rich and exotic planting in formal areas; journeys through a bog garden, wild marsh, pond and stream; then meanders through large blocks of ornamental grasses. The success of the garden is that, despite having many distinct areas, each with a subtle difference of style, its blurred edges encompass the rich, wild landscape beyond. A garden without boundaries.
Hidden Valleys is an intimate, three-acre cottage style garden and specialist plant nursery nestled in a secluded hidden valley in Cornwall. The award-winning garden is a wonderfully peaceful place to sit and dream amongst the borders and beds set with herbaceous perennials, shrubs and grasses, and collections of crocosmia, agapanthus and dahlias. There is a pond area with wildlife and bog planting, a shady Fernery and Japanese and Mediterranean areas, as well as an Iris Bed. Make your own refreshments in the Tea Hut and sample the delicious homemade cakes, plus buy plants at the nursery. Dogs on leads with are welcome. Parking, toilets and picnic tables are available. Open 20 March - 15 October (except Tues and Weds), 10am - 6pm. Entry is £5.00, which includes tea/coffee. Entry for Children including a prize Garden Quiz is free. In February there are special openings to view the Snowdrop collection.
There are over 100 acres of beutiful gardens at Harewood - and they're full of variety, with plants from all over the world. All this in the setting of a magnificent landscape created by Lancelot ‘Capability' Brown. Head gardener, Trevor Nicholson, oversees the award-winning landscape, aiming "to put Harewood at the top of the list as a place for garden-lovers to visit". He manages projects on Harewood's dazzling range of gardens, including the Terrace, the Lakeside Garden, the Himalayan Garden and the Walled Garden. You can also enjoy the renowned Bird Garden, home to exotic species including penguins, owls, flamingos and parrots.
In 1805, the sixth Duke of Bedford commissioned the famous landscape gardener Humphry Repton to create designs to enhance the gardens and deer park for his family, friends and guests to enjoy. Following many changes over the 200 years since, the gardens team is now working to restore Repton's original plans.
The 28 acres of award-winning gardens are Repton's most realised landscape and, in 2018, they will play a pivotal role in celebrations marking his bicentenary.
Highlights of the Woburn Abbey Gardens include the Chinoiserie-style pavilion and rockery, the Chinese Dairy - the earliest structure of its kind in the UK. The Cone House, Hornbeam Maze and Camellia House are also not to be missed. Plus, explore the woodland glades and wild biodiversity areas, and see what's growing in the Kitchen Garden.
Set in the Pentland Hills, south of Edinburgh, Little Sparta is the artist Ian Hamilton Finlay's (1925-2006) greatest work. The garden, first planted over 50 years ago, is created out of the natural landscape - a beautiful and shaded place with trees, flower beds, running streams, bridges and ponds. Paths lead you past more than 200 artworks, many of them carved with inscriptions that take you into the world of classical Greece and Rome, poetry and philosophy, the French Revolution, and much more.
In a beautiful valley in the north-west corner of the island of Jersey, Judith and Nigel Queree have worked tirelessly for 40 years to create a garden containing over 2,000 plants from all over the world. A large bog garden - fed with natural springs - is bursting with iris, primula and a huge variety of other damp loving plants. The garden, which is set around a 400-year-old granite cottage, is a haven for plants such as salvia and clematis, which prefer drier conditions. Organic principles guide all the work done on the garden, and the surrounding grass meadows are managed for wildlife, with wildflowers and habitats that encourage insects, birds and animals.
The creative and experimental home of Parterre Fragrances, Keyneston Mill is a new private botanic garden dedicated solely to aromatic and scented plants, with over 1000 varieties in a 50-acre estate. Here the key ingredients of Parterre luxury perfumes are grown, harvested and distilled. Enjoy a walk around the gardens and fragrant crop fields. Take a Scented Garden Tour led by one of our gardeners every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Visit the Distillery. Relax in The Scented Botanist Bistro-Cafe.
Protected by the warm water of Strangford Lough, Mount Stewart will amaze you with its wealth of plants from all over the world. The flowering stretches all year round, and whenever your visit, you will find beautiful and surprising plants to admire. There are more than 70 acres of this tranquil, magical garden to explore. The formal gardens are packed with fanciful animal statues and beautiful plants, drawing from Irish and classical mythology. The woodland surrounding the lake is like a painting you can walk around in, stimulating the senses and changing in the course of a day.
Blarney Castle's gardens are one of the most visited in Ireland and the 60 acres are a joy to explore. Visit the prehistoric Fern Garden, the deadly Poison Garden, and the magical Rock Close with its ancient yew trees and druidic stones. Make a wish on the famous wishing steps while the waterfall cascades alongside you. Stroll by the lake, river side and woodlands, or in the dazzlingly beautiful arboretums. The gardens are a constantly changing and evolving environment, and each visit is a new experience - and don't forget to kiss the famous Blarney Stone!
Set in the Otter Valley near Exeter, Bicton Park Botanical Gardens are amongst the most beautiful of Britain's world-renowned historic gardens. Enjoy over 60 acres of soft sweeping lawns, elegant water features, fragrant English borders and formal gardens. Take a tranquil walk and meander through the arboretum among some of the most majestic trees in the country, including 18 designated champions of their kind in the British Isles. Steeped in history, the magnificent Palm House is one of the world's most beautiful garden buildings and has a fantastic collection of palms and tropical plants. You can also discover the temperate and tropical houses, the little house of shells, romantic Hermitage, secret garden, lake, streams and woodlands.
Thirty acres of glorious gardens surround this magnificent 12th-century former monastery which is now a family home, with topiary lined avenues, England's tallest powered fountain and the renowned Mortlake tapestries. Walk in the footsteps of the monks and explore the exquisite interior featured in the latest Hollywood adaptation of ‘Far From the Madding Crowd.' Enjoy lunch or homemade cakes in our vaulted tea rooms and visit the gift shop, plant nursery and pottery exhibition. Events run all year round and include seasonal supper clubs, garden workshops, tours and festivals - see website for more information. Gardens open daily throughout the year from 10.00am - 4.30pm. House open 27 Mar - 31 Oct (except Mon & Sat) & Bank Holiday Mondays 12.00 noon - 4.00pm.
The visionary design influences of Mulberry founder Roger Saul can now be seen coming to fruition at his Kilver Court gardens in Somerset. His unique planting schemes using colour and texture are evident in his newly redesigned 100 metre colourist herbaceous border, formal parterre and subtropical island. This eclectic garden is also home to one of the largest sculptures in the world, a breathtaking 15 metre high Victorian viaduct. Explore the garden nursery too - a treasure trove of garden gifts, plants and tools.
Bellefield House in County Offaly, Ireland, is the home of garden designer and architect Angela Jupe. When she purchased the property in 2004, the Georgian farmhouse and stables were in serious disrepair while the gardens hadn't been tended to for more than 30 years. The house and stable buildings were tackled first, with the latter now serving as accommodation for tourists. The restored two-acre walled garden, meanwhile, is home to a fantastical folly, a large glasshouse and a stone-lined rill, all built from salvaged materials. Gardens and an adjoining woodland house a collection of cyclamen, scilla, hellebores and more than 300 snowdrops in spring, followed by more than 60 varieties of old heritage daffodils and later, tulips. The early summer display includes many tree and herbaceous peonies, iris, old French roses and clematis, while later months bring lilies, dahlia, salvia, helenium, aster and other perennials into bloom. A large collection of old varieties of fruit trees produce cherries, apples, pears, plums, quinces, figs, mulberries and hazelnuts, feeding the birds, red squirrels and house residents.
Airfield Estate is a charitable organisation established by the Overend family in 1974 for educational and recreational purposes. The Overend sisters were passionate gardeners and that passion has been carried on ever since by enthusiastic gardeners and designers such as Jimi Blake and Arabella Lennox Boyd. Airfield Estate is home to six acres of diverse garden spaces, ranging from an ornamental walled garden to an extensive organic certified food garden. The temperate climate of south Dublin accommodates a large variety of plants to be grown on site, which provides year-round interest to visitors.
One of only a handful of ornamental gardens accredited by the Soil Association, the Yeo Valley Organic Garden features 6.5 acres of contemporary planting, quirky sculptures and bulbs in their thousands, as well as a glorious meadow, posh vegetable patch and cafe. Events, workshops and exhibitions are held throughout the year - see the website for further details.
The Whitlenge Gardens surround a 17th-century cottage that was once part of the Bishop of Worcester's estate and are filled with more than 800 varieties of mature trees, shrubs, perennials, alpines, heathers and more. Take in the sounds of the many water features, walk along the twisted brick pergola lined with apple and pear trees, relax in the award-winning hornbeam gazebo and explore the nursery, best known for its superb range of extra large specimen plants.
The glorious gardens at Kelmarsh Hall have been heavily influenced by the work of 20th-century tastemakers Nancy Lancaster, Norah Lindsey and Geoffrey Jellicoe. The historic walled garden peaks throughout summer, with visitors treated to an explosion of colourful flora at every turn, and there's a spectacular Dahlia festival in September. Soak up the stunning views while enjoying delicious treats from the tearoom.
Logie House and Garden sits above the spectacular River Findhorn in the northeast of Scotland. The low rainfall and vestiges of the Gulf Stream create a favourable climate for a wide variety of hardy perennials and interesting shrubs and trees to be grown in the old walled garden. In the Logie Steading Farm & Garden Shop you'll find many plants propagated from the garden for sale.
Take a relaxing stroll around David Austin's world-famous gardens and enjoy the spectacular displays of fragrant roses, which flower in flushes throughout the summer right up until the first frosts. Filled with more than 700 different rose varieties, the gardens are divided into six themed areas, each designed to inspire visiting rose lovers and gardeners.
Known to millions as the home of BBC 2's Gardeners' World, Barnsdale houses Britain's largest collection of individually designed gardens, with something for every kind of gardener. Here you'll find veg plots, cottage gardens, a seaside retreat, woodlands and more. Treat yourself in the tea room, buy beautiful plants in the nursery or sign up for one of a wide range of courses and events.
Propelled to fame as a result of the BBC TV series 'A Garden Lost in Time', which followed its restoration, Aberglasney is one of Wales' finest gardens. A plantsman's paradise with a unique Elizabethan cloister garden at its heart, it boasts more than 10 acres of magnificent gardens to explore, as well as a shop and the picturesque Pool Garden Tearoom. For the ultimate Aberglasney experience, book a stay at one of the historic 5* cottages.
Arts and Crafts-style York Gate is considered to be one of the UK's best small gardens. This miniature masterpiece of just one acre is designed around 14 garden rooms, each with its own unique character, and laid out on a framework of yew and beech hedges. The garden's intimate scale makes it particularly inspirational, providing visitors with practical ideas to take home and try themselves. Created by the Spencer family during the 20th century, York Gate is now owned and managed by Perennial, the charity that supports everyone in the horticulture trade in times of need.
Fullers Mill Garden is an enchanting and tranquil garden situated on the banks of the River Lark in Suffolk. It combines a beautiful site of light-dappled woodland with a fabulous collection of rare and unusual shrubs, perennials, lilies and marginal plants. The garden was the life's work of its creator Bernard Tickner MBE, and in 2013 it was gifted to Perennial, the charity that supports everyone in the horticulture trade when they are in times of need, so that it could continue to be enjoyed by the public.
The Laskett Gardens is the creation of historian Sir Roy Strong and his late wife Julia Trevelyan Oman, and tells the story of their marriage and their creative lives in the arts. Over almost four decades, they transformed a four-acre field into a series of stunning garden rooms, vistas, ascents and descents, including a rose garden, pleached lime avenue, orchard, knot garden, fountains, statues and parterres. In 2015, Sir Roy agreed to bequeath the garden to the charity Perennial, so that it will live on and can continue to be enjoyed by the public.
Georgian villa Burtown House is surrounded by lush flower, vegetable and woodland gardens, as well as beautiful park and farmland walks. The gardens are made up of several different areas, including large herbaceous borders, shrubberies, a rock garden, a yew walk divided by a pergola, a sundial garden, an old orchard, a walled organic vegetable garden and a large woodland garden encircled by water. At Burtown House you'll also find the Green Barn Restaurant, based on old-style Scandinavian barns and serving the freshest seasonal produce, usually picked from the organic kitchen garden that same day.
Step into the historic gardens at Hestercombe, where three centuries of stunning English garden design await you. Eminent Victorian garden designer Gertrude Jekyll collaborated with Sir Edwin Lutyens here to create many groundbreaking garden features. Almost completely lost in the mid-20th century, these have been painstakingly restored over the past 20 years based on drawings, journal entries, archive materials and original Jekyll garden plans which were rediscovered in a potting shed. Enjoy home-made lunches and cakes in the original equestrian fittings of the Stables Cafe (including gluten, soya and dairy-free, and vegan options), or treat yourself to a delicious Traditional or Champagne Afternoon Tea in the grand Column Room Restaurant overlooking the Formal Gardens. Included in the Admission price is entry to the acclaimed Contemporary Art Gallery.
Welcome to the world of the painter and gardener Claude Monet. For more than 40 years, until his death in 1926, Giverny was his home, his site of creation and his masterpiece. A world of senses, colours and memories, the house in which the artist and his family lived notably contains his studio-sitting room, and his exceptional collection of Japanese prints. The gardens are composed of the Clos Normand, with its flowerbeds, and the Water Garden, planted with Oriental vegetation, weeping willows and water lilies, plus its Japanese bridge painted green.
The gardens of the Palace of Versailles are a superb example of French-style formal gardens. Designed in 1661 by André Le Nôtre, the grounds boast 372 statues, 55 water features, 600 fountains, 35km of canals, countless immaculately clipped topiaries and a spectacular orangery. ECT Travel can create bespoke, small group tours to this world-class garden, combining a day at Versailles with guided visits to other gardens such as the extraordinary rose garden, Roseraie de Bagatelle with its 1,200 different species of rose, and Château de Fontainebleau, home to the largest formal garden in Europe.
The annual opening of Belgium's Royal Greenhouses at Laeken is one of Europe's must-see spring events. The elaborate steel and glass complex, designed in 1873 by Alphonse Balat, is home to many rare and valuable plant species, including varieties of azaleas and geraniums, which come into full bloom during the three-week opening. ECT Travel's weekend tour to Laeken also coincides with Floralia Brussels, a colourful and fragrant show of one million bulbs set in the park of the 17th-century Groot-Bijgaarden Castle. The tour ends with visits to the beautiful, historic gardens of Les Jardins d'Annevoie and Chateau Freyr.
Keukenhof's annual spring festival is one of the world's most spectacular floral events. Seven million flowering bulbs turn the garden into a heady celebration of tulips, anemones, daffodils, freesias and hyacinths (themed around the idea of 'Romance in Flowers' for 2018), and there is also a spectacular sculpture area, where visitors will discover extraordinary displays created by the world's leading floriculturists. ECT Travel's weekend flight tour not only takes you to see this internationally-acclaimed garden at its vibrant best, it also includes time to explore the historic cities of Delft, Haarlem and Amsterdam.
On this Roman adventure, ancient botanical romance is part of everyday life. Open by special arrangement, the gardens are fit for a Pope at the traditional papal residence, Castel Gandolfo. And nearby Ninfa will win you over with stunning floral displays that spill generously over poetic ruins of an ancient village. As if that wasn't entrancing enough, you'll also pay visits to the great Renaissance gardens of Villa Lante and Villa d'Este. The latter is a 16th-century spot famed for its use of water features - a spell-binding composition of cascades and fountains.
For 25 years, Brightwater Holidays has provided well-planned and expert-led garden and special interest tours to individuals, private clubs and societies everywhere. If you're looking for a trip that doesn't follow the crowds, then step this way. From exploring the jungles of Costa Rica and the botanical triumphs of Japan, to experiencing the remoteness of the Scottish Highlands and islands, you really can do it all on a Brightwater Holiday.
The tours offer the opportunity to explore popular places and private spaces not normally open to the public, all while relaxing in complete comfort and travelling in the company of expert guides and like-minded friends. Simply set the destination, budget, group size and any extras, and Brightwater will sort the rest. It will arrange all transport, accommodation and entry costs, as well as providing Tour Managers to ensure everything runs smoothly.
The gardens of the Château de Chantilly are the result of trends from different periods: the French-style garden created by André Le Nôtre in the 17th century, the Anglo-Chinese Garden in the 18th century, and the English Garden in the 19th century. These grounds provide a unique testament to the relationship between men and nature in the western world over more than three centuries. It's in this haven of 115 hectares that the Chantilly flower shows are organised twice a year, in May and October.
Located in the Italian province of South Tyrol, The Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle is encircled by Alpine peaks, and offers a unique combination of nature, culture and art from around the globe. Its mix of historical and contemporary architecture, Artist Pavilions, Experience Stations, diverse events and seasonal blooms make Trauttmansdorff an interactive experience for visitors of all ages. Named Italy's Most Beautiful Garden in 2005 and Europe's No. 6 Garden in 2006, Trauttmansdorff was honoured with the International Garden of the Year award in 2013. The botanical garden was created by Laimburg Research Centre for Agriculture, and is now part of the Agentur Landesdomäne.
The kitchen garden at Château de Saint-Jean de Beauregard is completely walled, like most 17th-century castle kitchen gardens, but it's one of the few to have actually survived fully intact. A masterpiece of a flowering kitchen garden, it covers two hectares and houses a whole host of rare and forgotten flowers, fruit and vegetables in a series of beautiful - and often-renewed –compositions. The restoration of the garden in 1984 was made possible by the discovery of its original plans in the chateau's archives. Classified as a historic monument in 1993, and recognised as a Jardin Remarquable in 2005, this outstanding garden is a choice destination for garden lovers from all over the world, as well as a source of constant inspiration for many gardeners.
The gardens of Château du Rivau have been called ‘remarkable' by France's Ministry of Culture and contain a collection of more than 450 different roses, all chosen purely for their fragrance. Combined with the thousands of other plants in the garden, they make a botanical paradise. Created by Patricia Laigneau over more than 20 years, they are contemporary gardens that evolve with the seasons. And botanical excellence isn't the only thing that defines them - they're also exceptionally original, as each one is inspired by a medieval legend and features surprisingly unique plant groupings. The RHS partner gardens are also cultivated without the use of chemicals.
Qian Yuan, the "hidden garden" that sits within the Botanical Garden of Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany, is an authentic southern Chinese scholar's garden. Designed by Professor Zhang Zhenshan of Tongji University in Shanghai, it was created in 1990 as an anniversary gift and a token of friendship between the two twinned universities.
Following oriental tradition, the garden is enclosed by a wall to protect its tranquillity, but it has many openings that enhance the overall atmosphere of the garden. Inside, a meandering path encircles a large pond and hugs the wall, passing through a succession of pavilions and landscapes, offering new views with every step.
Plants, buildings, rocks, water and sky combine to create an enchanting place of repose that's imbued with Taoist symbolism - the whole gives rise to a miniature world as Chinese philosophy sees it. The Chinese landlord would have relaxed here with friends while meditating upon the harmony of man and nature, but even Westerners not versed in the Taoist symbols and metaphors will find a charming and inspiring environment in which to escape the hustle and bustle of the world outside.
In another sense, the Chinese Garden is a theme park based on the famous Legend of the Peach Blossom Spring, in which a fisherman, intrigued by a blossoming peach orchard, accidentally discovers a hidden idyllic land - an outcrop of Paradise - which once he returns home can never be found again. This tale is engraved on a stone tablet in the garden, and many of its elements are represented within it.
Entry is free and the garden is accessible 10am to 6pm in the summer, 4 pm in the winter.
The Brissago Islands are the botanical park of the Swiss canton Ticino. In 1885, the baroness Antoinette Saint Leger transformed the islands into a residence where painters, sculptors, musicians and writers could meet. The big island became an exotic garden. In 1927 the new owner, the businessman Max Emden from Hamburg, had the actual palazzo, dock and Roman bath built and increased the cultivation of exotic plants.
There are few better views in southern Switzerland than from Parco Ciani. While strolling through the park, pause and sit on one of the red benches and admire the scenic view of Monte Bré, Monte San Salvatore and Campione d'Italia. Parco Ciani is a true all-rounder - even at night, you can witness a spectacular view of Lugano as the city lights reflect off the lake.
Discover a landscape of biodiversity and beauty at the Botanical Garden in Gothenburg, one of Europe's largest and most stunning gardens, home to plants from all over the world. With a world-class rock garden just one of the many wonders you'll find at the Gothenburg Botanical Garden, come and explore and take in the sight and smells of plants you've never come across before.
Tjolöholm Castle is Sweden's leading Arts and Crafts property. The castle was built between 1898 and 1904 in Tudor style on the west coast of Sweden, close to Gothenburg. Its gardens are beautifully situated on a peninsula by the sea and blend seamlessly into the adjoining countryside, giving the impression that the castle has grown from its surroundings. The castle's garden is now being restored back to its former Arts and Crafts style under the guidance of head gardener John Taylor.
The Uppsala University Botanical Garden is the oldest botanical garden in Sweden, and attained worldwide fame in the days of Olof Rudbeck and Carl Linnaeus. The old garden is today known as The Linnaeus Garden, while the modern botanical garden is situated by Uppsala Castle and houses more than 7,000 plant species. Linnaeus' Hammarby preserves an authentic 18th century milieu unlike many other Swedish manor houses. The Linnaeus Garden and Linnaeus' Hammarby are open to visitors between May and September, so book your trip to enjoy three gardens that have successfully combined botany and horticulture for more than 350 years.
Sengan-en is a stately home and landscape garden along the coast north of downtown Kagoshima, Japan. Built in 1658 as one of the residences of the powerful Shimadzu clan, the garden's most striking feature is its use of both the active volcano, Sakurajima, and Kagoshima Bay as borrowed scenery. The subtropical gardens cover more than 12 acres and include calming ponds, gently bubbling streams, mysterious shrines, a bamboo grove and a mountain hiking trail. The Shoko Shuseikan Museum and Sengan-en were recognised as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site related to Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution in 2015.
Gardens by the Bay, Singapore's awe-inspiring urban garden, is home to towering super trees, the tallest waterfall on earth and, in July 2018, the seventh edition of the biennial Singapore Garden Festival. This is the world's leading celebration of tropical gardening, and the 2018 programme promises innovative show gardens, extraordinary displays of floral artistry and competitions in which top designers vie to outdo each other with their creative flights of fancy. ECT Travel combines a trip to this inspirational event with a tour of Singapore, Penang and Kuala Lumpur. Stay in luxurious five-star hotels, see landmark sites, discover hidden gems and experience three vibrant cultures.
Le Jardin Secret is opening its doors to the public for the first time in its history. The origins of the complex date back to the Saadian Dynasty, more than 400 years ago, and rebuilt in the mid-19th century, Le Jardin Secret has been the home of some of Morocco and Marrakech's most important political figures.
The exotic garden is part of the great tradition of stately Arab-Andalusian and Moroccan palaces, and as a result, visitors can discover its gardens and buildings, which are outstanding examples of Islamic art and architecture. Le Jardin Secret is also filled with plants from all over the world, recalling the experimental aspect of the great gardens of Marrakech.
The Islamic garden was restored following the likely 18th century layout. Closely linked to riad structures, this type of garden is an oasis of peace, where you can indulge in idleness and contemplation thanks to the shade of the trees and the intimacy of the enclosed space.
The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens are a tranquil oasis in the heart of Israel's ancient city. Just a short hop from Museums Row, the gardens offer a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city with an impressive 30 acres under cultivation.
Wander along meandering paths and enjoy enchanted corners, water pools and shaded seating while admiring over 6,000 species of plants from all over the world - including some 400 of Israel's endangered species. You can even sit by the lake and enjoy a cool drink or fresh local food at the Caffit B'Gan Café.
Denver Botanic Gardens is considered one of the top botanical gardens in the United States and a pioneer in water conservation. The Gardens' living collections encompass specimens from the tropics to the tundra, showcasing a plant palette chosen to thrive in Colorado's semi-arid climate. This dynamic, 24-acre urban oasis in the heart of the city offers unforgettable garden experiences as well as programming for all ages, plant conservation research programmes and world-class art exhibitions. Denver Botanic Gardens strives to entertain and delight, while spreading the collective wisdom of the gardens through outreach, collaboration and education.
Strawbery Banke interprets the history of the waterfront neighborhood of Portsmouth, NH from 1695 to 1955 through restored furnished houses, exhibits, historic landscapes and gardens, traditional crafters and costumed roleplayers. The seasonal gardens include a colonial kitchen garden, Victorian ornamental plantings, a Colonial Revival garden and hemlock grove, a Ukrainian immigrant's vegetable garden, a 1943 Victory Garden and chicken coop, and several heirloom apple orchard as well as a community garden. The museum is recognized as one of just four sites in the world teaching about change over time in the landscape.
Longwood Gardens is one of the great gardens of the world, encompassing 1,083 acres of formal and informal gardens, woodlands, a Meadow Garden, majestic fountains, a 10,010-pipe Aeolian organ, and 4-acre grand Conservatory. Longwood's founder, industrialist Pierre du Pont (1870-1954), purchased a small farm near Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, in 1906 to save a collection of historic trees from being sold for lumber. Throughout his life, Mr. du Pont indulged his passion for gardening, turning Longwood into a magnificent horticultural showplace that today welcomes more than 1.5 million guests each year, making it the most visited public garden in the United States.
Andromeda Botanic Gardens in Barbados was founded in 1954 by Iris Bannochie, winner of numerous accolades including three Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medals. She created Andromeda as a private retreat and bequeathed it to the Barbados National Trust when she died in 1988. Andromeda is the only RHS Partner Garden in the West Indies and is comprised of numerous stunning gardens and an incredible collection of plants.
Ten days with a botanical guide in a small group. Explore nature's garden, rare and spectacular wildflowers and delightful private gardens, plus some of the iconic sights of the southern region of Western Australia. Discover rare orchids in the south of the state, which is home to more than 3,000 different species.
Highlights Admire the spectacular wildflowers of Western Australia Enjoy the Valley of the Giants and the Tree Top Walk Sample wines at Margaret River Marvel at the beauty of the Swan River on a special lunchtime cruise See the Secret Garden designed by Paul Bangay Visit private gardens not normally open to the public Enjoy time to explore historic Fremantle
Visit Victoria on a seven-day tour with a botanical guide in a small group. Explore Victorian homesteads, beautiful private gardens and stately mansions, combined with the spectacular scenery of the Grampians, Coonawarra and the Great Ocean Road. Stay in the famous Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld and enjoy dining at their famous restaurant.
Highlights Learn about the history of the homesteads and regions you visit Tour historic Narrapumelap Homestead Be captivated by the Grampians and visit private gardens Admire the Great Ocean Road scenery Discover the grand Como and Rippon Lea Mansions' gardens Explore historic Werribee Park Mansion and Victorian State Rose Garden Visit Melbourne and Geelong Botanic Gardens
Larnach Castle is a gothic revival colonial home in the South Seas, positioned at 300m (1,000ft) on Otago Peninsular. Its surrounding 10-acre garden has been renewed and replanted on the footprint of the Victorian carriageways and dry stone walls. Themed gardens flow one into another - the inner garden is traditional in spirit, while the other areas reflect the environment. The South Seas Garden features coastal plants from the islands and coasts of the South Pacific. The temperate rain forest garden is planted with native podocarps and massed tree ferns. The strong design has spectacular vistas of the surrounding scenery.
Enjoy traditional British cruising on four beautiful ships
Book your 2019 cruise with Newmarket Holidays today and take advantage of dozens of introductory buy-one-get-one-free offers on a number of new voyages onboard CMV Flagship Columbus, Magellan, Marco Polo or Astoria.
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Newmarket Holidays is offering buy-one-get-one-free discounts on selected 2019 sailings, for bookings made before midnight on 31 May 2018. These great-value prices include full-board accommodation based on two people sharing a twin cabin, fascinating ports of call where a wide range of optional shore excursions are on offer, on-board prices in sterling, first-class entertainment, a wide range of on-board leisure facilities, excellent service from an attentive crew and informative guest speakers.
Established in 1998, this UK-based company offers general interest rail, nature and culture holidays by rail from the UK to more than 30 destinations all over the globe. PTG believes in the utmost comfort, small group size, enjoyment, leisurely days and friendship, and specialises in countries and areas not covered by other operators. The company is one of the only rail holiday companies that are both ATOL and ABTA bonded. A separate programme of "rail enthusiast" holidays using charter trains is also available. The majority of PTG's trips are for people who want to see the culture and scenery of the destination country, travelling by train and staying at great hotels. Destinations include France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, Portmeirion and Snowdonia, Douro Valley, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Baltic States, Scandinavia, Sardinia, Corsica and Bulgaria. Long haul destinations include Sri Lanka, USA, Taiwan and Colombia.