Best UK gardens open for Boxing Day walks
Many UK gardens are open this festive season, so why not work off your Christmas indulgence between Boxing Day and New Year with a winter walk at one of these 13 great open gardens?
A Boxing Day walk is as traditional as a turkey roast for many of us at Christmas, and the thought of getting out in the open air, hopefully with friends and family, feels more necessary than ever this year.
With many gardens open over the festive period, a Boxing Day winter walk around some of the country’s finest gardens is a great chance to blow away the cobwebs of the past year and think of the year to come. Perhaps it could even inspire your garden plans for the next year too. If you're looking for Boxing Day activities or Boxing Day walk ideas, have a read below of our favourites for this year.
And if these tickle your fancy, be sure to check out our list of festive light trails which are going ahead into the New Year as well.
Gardens open on Boxing Day in the UK
RHS Harlow Carr, Yorkshire
The RHS's most northerly garden is open for pre-booked garden visits on Boxing Day this year. Enjoy the Main Borders and the dramatic Sandstone Rock Garden, or take a seasonal stroll through the garden's Woodland where you can walk under majestic oak trees, hunt for toadstools and breath in the crisp winter air.
You no longer have to book tickets in advance to visit RHS Garden Harlow Carr. Pre-booking is still available for members and non-members who wish to book garden tickets in advance.
RHS Garden Harlow Carr, Crag Lane, Beckwithshaw, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG3 1QB, rhs.org.uk
RHS Hyde Hall, Essex
Enjoy some peace and quiet this Boxing Day at RHS Garden Hyde Hall which is nestled in the heart of rural Essex. Known for its refreshing mix of traditional and contemporary garden styles, Hyde Hall is the perfect spot to to get inspired for the year to come. The Dry Garden, with its range of drought-resistant plants, and the Hilltop Garden, full of roses and herbaceous borders are two must-see areas.
You no longer have to book tickets in advance to visit RHS Garden Hyde Hall. Pre-booking is still available for members and non-members who wish to book garden tickets in advance.
RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Creephedge Lane, Rettendon, Chelmsford, Essex CM3 8RA, rhs.org.uk
West Dean Gardens, West Sussex
West Dean Gardens near Chichester will be open this year on Boxing Day. Head gardener Tom Brown oversees the beautiful space, which has featured a garden since 1622. Now there's a chance to enjoy the gardens, parkland and arboretum too. RHS members gain free access to the gardens in January and February.
Open 10.30am - 5pm
West Dean Gardens, Chichester, West Sussex , PO18 0QZ, westdean.org.uk
RHS Rosemoor, Devon
Have a leisurely wander in the fresh country air at RHS Rosemoor, in north Devon. Admire the frosty Foliage Garden and the new Cool Garden which offers interest all year round thanks to its structural plants. Or admire the scenic Woodland which provides wonderful views of the wider garden and surrounding landscape.
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You no longer have to book tickets in advance to visit RHS Rosemoor. Pre-booking is still available for members and non-members who wish to book garden tickets in advance.
RHS Garden Rosemoor, Great Torrington, Devon EX38 8PH, rhs.org.uk
RHS Wisley, Surrey
What better place to take a Boxing Day walk than at one of the world's most inspirational gardens (and also winner of a whopping five Certificates of Excellence from TripAdvisor)? RHS Wisley is packed full of garden ideas, from their Exotic Garden to their Heather Landscape.
You no longer have to book tickets in advance to visit RHS Wisley. Pre-booking is still available for members and non-members who wish to book garden tickets in advance.
RHS Garden Wisley, Woking, Surrey GU23 6QB, rhs.org.uk
Trentham Gardens, Stoke-on-Trent
Entertaining for adults and children alike, Trentham Gardens in Stoke-on-Trent is a spectacular backdrop for a Boxing Day adventure. Marvel at the famous Italian Gardens, revived by Tom Stuart-Smith, and the Rivers of Grass and adjacent Floral Labyrinth, both designed by eminent Dutch plantsman Piet Oudolf.
Open 10am-4pm (last entry 3pm)
Trentham Estate, Stone Road, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 8JG, trentham.co.uk
Chiswick House Gardens, London
Escape the festive hustle and bustle and enjoy a peaceful Boxing Day walk amongst a classical garden landscape at Chiswick House and Garden. It was here that The English Landscape Movement was born with William Kent's designs. In wintertime, you can admire the beauty of the naturalistic landscape, interspersed with impressive art and statues.
Tickets can be pre-booked but walk-ins also welcome.
Find out more at: chiswickhouseandgardens.org.uk
Chiswick House and Gardens, Burlington Lane, Chiswick, London W4 2RP
Castle Howard Gardens, York
Enjoy the sight of the great misty lake this Boxing Day at Castle Howard near York. The 1,000 acre grounds of this majestic palace include woodland walks, temples, fountains and lakes. And little ones can let off steam at the Adventure Playground.
Pre-booking is recommended to avoid disappointment.
Open 10am-5.30pm (last entry to gardens at 4pm)
Castle Howard Estate, York YO60 7DA, castlehoward.co.uk
Kew Gardens, Richmond
Make it a Boxing Day walk to remember this year at one of the world's most famous gardens and a UNESCO World Heritage Site; The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Discover thousands of fascinating plants, have a crisp stroll through the vast arboretum and spot local wildlife at the lake and Sackler Crossing.
Open 10am-3pm (last entry 2pm)
Kew Gardens, Kew, Richmond, London TW9 3AE, kew.org
The Newt, Somerset
Visit the beautifully cultivated gardens of The Newt hotel near Bruton in Somerset. The Walled Garden, Kitchen Garden, Fragrance Garden, as well as woodland and orchards make this a breathtaking environment for a Boxing Day out.
You will need to buy an annual membership to visit the garden. This gives you unlimited access to the gardens, restaurants and attractions for 12 months.
Open 9.30-4.30pm (last entry 4pm)
The Newt in Somerset, Bruton, Somerset BA7 7NG, thenewtinsomerset.com
Many National Trust gardens are open on Boxing Day, including the traditional Victorian Gothic gardens at Tyntesfield near Bristol. Pick from a range of walking routes, including an accessible, steps-free walk and a woodland walk. The garden is full of wildlife, from hares to deers, so can keep an eye out!
Tyntesfield, Wraxall, Bristol BS48 1NX, nationaltrust.org.uk/tyntesfield
Lowther Castle & Gardens, Cumbria
With dramatic ruins, extensive gardens and views out across the Lake District, Lowther Castle is a magical place for a Boxing Day walk. The gardens have been reimagined and restored by Dan Pearson, who has overseen the creation of the Parterre, the naturalistic Garden-in-the-Ruins and The Rose Garden.
The woodland, complete with hidden swings, the child's playground, and a spectacular walk along the western terrace makes Lowther a festive destination for the whole family to enjoy.
Open 10am-4pm (last entry 3pm)
Lowther Castle, Penrith, Cumbria CA10 2HH, lowthercastle.org
Aberglasney Gardens, Carmarthenshire
The fully restored Elizabethan Cloister Garden at Aberglasney in Carmarthenshire is one of the only surviving examples of its kind in the UK. Surrounding the Grade II listed mansion is a wealth of hidden garden gems, from woodland areas to pockets of exotic planting.
The gardens are open from 10.30am to 4pm, with last entry at 3pm. Entry to the garden gives you access all day, allowing plenty of time to explore the gardens in full.
Aberglasney Gardens, Llangathen, Carmarthenshire SA32 8QH, aberglasney.org
For more inspiration for winter walks, read our guide to the best winter gardens to visit.
Katie is a Staff Writer for HomeStyle magazine and YourHomeStyle.uk. She previously worked on Gardens Illustrated magazine and has written for various other lifestyle magazines and brands. She particularly enjoys writing about indie and eco homeware brands, interior styles through the ages, urban gardening, and decor hacks for small spaces. She is also responsible for HomeStyle's buyer's guides, so you'll often find her testing out the latest homeware gadgets and kitchen appliances.
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