Updated 23rd March 2021: If you’re yearning to step outside and explore some beautiful English gardens, then we can help. Not every public and private garden is currently open, but the good news is that some are and even more soon will be as lockdown restrictions begin to lift.
Here’s our selection of 10 gardens to visit. From historic and classic, to vibrant and eclectic; take your pick. We’ve marked the English gardens below that have reopened and flagged when you need to book.
Do always check with each venue before you travel and – during the current restrictions – remember to stay local.
Churchill College Cambridge
A new collection of plants, named after Sir Winston Churchill, is now on display. Book through appointment. After recently being awarded the status of National Plant Collection holder for ‘Plants Named after Sir Winston Churchill’. You can enjoy exploring the celebrated Churchill plant collection upon a backdrop of over 42 acres of grounds and gardens.
Churchill College, Storey’s Way, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS
Tel 01223 746860
Famous for its incredible juxtaposition of historic and modern sculptures and waterworks, and stunning Victorian rock garden, your visit to Chatsworth gardens is sure to be delightful. Some parts including the glasshouses and maze are closed due to social distancing guidelines. However, the main spectacular garden is open! Now open to those locally, places can be booked online in advance.
Chatsworth, Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1PP
Tel 01246 565300
Sculpture by the Lakes
Sculpture by the Lakes offers an inspiring art and stunning countryside to its visitors. Providing peace and quiet from the modern world, this sculpture park is perfectly located next to a lakeside setting. Stroll through the beautiful landscape walks and admire over 30 sculptures by artist Simon Gudgeon. Please note that you must book in advance online, as a limited number of spaces available.
Pallington, Dorchester, Dorset DT2 8QU
The Hepworth Wakefield Gardens
Whilst the main building is currently closed, the eclectic garden is open 24/7, all year-round. Providing a much-needed means of fresh air and space to relax and pause from the modern world. If you’re local to the area, this provides a much welcome change of scenery.
The Hepworth Wakefield, Gallery Walk, Wakefield, West Yorkshire WF1 5AW
Tel 01924 247360
Enjoy a fabulous walk in the fresh air at Kew Gardens. With acres packed full of thousands of plants to admire and enable you to pause and connect with nature. Be sure to visit the Grass Garden and the Rock Garden, with plants from six mountainous regions of the world. The Arboretum is home to over 14,000 trees and showcases the turn of the seasons in a remarkable way.
Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AE
Tel 020 8332 5655
If you live near Sussex, then a trip to Wakehurst is an ideal option for a breath of fresh air. Explore over 500 acres of plants from around the world in Westwood Valley and Coates Wood. Be inspired by the enchanting wild botanic garden and Millennium Seed Bank.
Ardingly, Haywards Heath, Sussex RH17 6TN
Tel 01444 894066
This historic country house and gardens is tucked away in Somerset. Hestercombe showcases over 50 acres of beautiful gardens that have been designed over three centuries, with collaborations from Gertrude Jekyll and Edward Lutyens. Step back in time as you marvel at the majestic magical surroundings. From 17 March, members only are allowed to book a place to visit Hestercombe Gardens.
Hestercombe, Taunton TA2 8LG
Tel 01823 413923
Hever Castle & Gardens
The main Castle may be closed, but the gardens are open to those who live locally. Currently on display until the end of the month, is their colourful daffodil display. Wander through the inspiring display of colour and catch sight of the 50,000 bulbs reaching peak bloom this month. Plus, in April, the annual spectacular display of tulips blossoming into bloom can be enjoyed.
Hever Castle & Gardens, Hever Road, Hever, Edenbridge TN8 7NG
Tel 01732 856224
National Garden Scheme 2021
The new National Garden Scheme book for 2021 is now available to purchase. Flick through the abundance of exciting new gardens to visit this spring and beyond. From summery meadow gardens, to contemporary outdoor spaces, there is something for every avid garden visitor. For gardens open near to you, visit their main website and search through the many gardens open in your local region on the handy online database. If you’re unable to attend in person, they also have an inspiring selection of virtual garden tours online.
Please check all opening times carefully with each individual garden before visiting. Also take note of any special events that might be taking place.