Looking for a place for a holiday in the UK that also has a stunning garden? Here are a selection of the best garden hotels, including self catering apartments, which offer access to gorgeous gardens, often with significant horticultural heritage thrown in. There's a chance to stay on the Chatsworth Estate, stay in a house surrounded by a garden once cultivated by the likes of Penelope Hobhouse and watch over one of Humphrey Repton's lovely landscapes too.
Pick your favourites of these hotels with gardens.
Milton Abbot, Tavistock, Devon PL19 0PQ. Tel 01822 870000, www.hotelendsleigh.com
One of English landscape designer Humphy Repton’s landscapes, this was among his last projects and one that spans a moment in garden history between the Landscape Movement and Picturesque ideals. Now a hotel, the grounds still include Repton’s flower garden and rose walk, which leads guests to explore the landscape beyond. Here you’ll find a ravine plunging down to the River Tamar, extensive tree collection planted by Repton and carefully placed rustic buildings, such as the dairy.
Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons
Church Road, Great Milton, Oxfordshire OX44 7PD. Tel 01844 278881, www.belmond.com
Renowned chef Raymond Blanc has created a destination hotel in the Oxfordshire countryside with food a key feature of any stay. Part of that food experience centres around the impressive vegetable garden. Run on organic principles, the well-tended potager provides a selection of salad crops, herbs and vegetables for the kitchens. Guests are welcome to book a tour of the gardens with head gardener Anne-Marie Owens.
The Spread Eagle
Church Lawn, Stourton, near Warminster, Wiltshire BA12 6QE. Tel 01747 840587, www.spreadeagleinn.com
Traditional yet smart country inn situated on Stourton’s village green and just opposite the entrance to the magnificent landscaped gardens of Stourhead. Guests staying at The Spread Eagle are free to enjoy the gardens at their leisure. The temples, monuments, rare trees and plants at Stourhead are set around a magnificent lake. The gardens offer year-round highlights and Stourhead is among the National Trust’s most popular properties.
Vowels Lane, near West Hoathly, West Sussex RH19 4LJ. Tel 01342 810567 www.gravetyemanor.co.uk
This impressive Elizabethan manor was home to renowned garden writer William Robinson from 1884 until his death in 1935. Robinson’s books The Wild Garden and The English Flower Garden advocated more natural-looking plantings and he put some of his ideas into practice at Gravetye. Guests at what is now a luxury hotel are free to wander the grounds. Don’t miss the oval walled vegetable garden and the meadow that stretches down to the river – a wonderful place to pause on summer evenings.
Llandudno, North Wales LL30 1RS. Tel 01492 584466, www.bodysgallen.com
Extensive restoration over the last 30 years has brought these gardens back from dereliction. Guests at this luxury hotel may wander more than 200 acres of well-tended parkland and gardens. Highlights include a rare 17th-century box parterre, walled Edwardian rose garden and several follies and woodland walks. Themed garden tours are led by the head gardener throughout the year.
Barnsley, Cirencester GL7 5EE. Tel 01285 740000 www.barnsleyhouse.com
An irresistible Cotswold house, once home to gardening icon Rosemary Verey, who created one of the finest private gardens in the country. Now a boutique hotel, the gardens have been maintained in Rosemary’s spirit with formal lawns merging to ancient meadows, a productive and stylish potager and delightful architectural garden buildings.
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Hadspen, Bruton, Castle Cary BA7 7NG, 01963 577777 www.thenewtinsomerset.com
Hadspen House, in Somerset, is an attractive Georgian villa constructed of honeycomb-coloured stone. Built in 1687, it was enlarged and altered substantially a century later by its new owner, Henry Hobhouse. The estate remained in the Hobhouse family for some 230 years, gaining fame latterly as the home
and garden of designer Penelope Hobhouse. Sandra and Nori Pope worked on their colour-themed garden there and now it has been transformed into The Newt, a boutique hotel with stunning gardens and a focus on apples.
Bed & breakfasts with gardens
Cusop Dingle, Hay-on-Wye, Herefordshire HR3 5RQ. Tel 01497 820773 www.lowerhousegardenhay.co.uk
‘Dingle’ perfectly describes the lush, leafy dell in which Lower House is tucked, just a stone’s throw from Offa’s Dyke. The garden to this inviting bed and breakfast is divided into different areas, each based around a strong layout and using plenty of luxuriant planting. There’s quirky topiary, an impressive veg patch and a woodland garden set around a series of pools. As well as the rooms in the house, the owners have added a garden room offering more intimate self-catering accommodation amid the box garden.
Millgate, Richmond, Yorkshire DL10 4JN. Tel 01748 823571 www.millgatehouse.com
The sheltered walled garden to this Georgian house bed and breakfast is a lesson in clever planting. At just 0.3 acres, the garden is small but festooned with old-fashioned roses, ferns, hostas and snowdrops, not to mention a magnificent Magnolia x kewensis, at its best in early spring, and evergreen shrubs for winter interest. The garden overlooks the River Swale and the Cleveland Hills.
Bressingham, Diss, Norfolk IP22 2AA. Tel 01379 687243 www.bressinghamgardens.com
Here’s a bed & breakfast for plant-lovers, open to guests from April to October. The listed Georgian-style house is set at the heart of Bressingham Gardens, and former home of the late Alan Bloom, the founder of Blooms Nurseries. Visitors are welcome to enjoy the 17 acres, including the Dell Garden, planted by Alan, and Foggy Bottom, planted by his son Adrian, who continues to develop the gardens, always with an eye to innovation.
Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1PP. Tel 01246 565379, www.chatsworth.org Accommodation for 2-10 people
Chatworth’s vast gardens cover 105 acres and are an astonishing display of power and wealth. They also chart the changes in garden fashion over 400 years. The estate offers a choice of accommodation from hotels, bed and breakfast and self-catering, including Swiss Cottage, which sleeps six. The house was designed by Joseph Paxton (or his associate) as an ‘eye-catcher’ to be viewed from various vantage points around the estate. Its lakeside setting is significant too, as this is the water source for the magnificent cascade, built in 1690 and a central feature of the garden.
Kings Lynn, Norfolk PE31 6UE. Tel 01485 528569, www.houghtonhall.com Agents www.sowersbyholidaycottages.co.uk Sleeps 5 people
This magnificent Palladian house was home to Sir Robert Walpole, Britain’s first Prime Minister. In more recent times Houghton won the 2007 Historic Houses Association Garden of the Year. The five-acre walled garden was renovated and redesigned in 2003 by Isabel and Julian Bannerman and features 130m of herbaceous borders, yew hedging, rose garden, Italian garden and water features – all designed with the Bannermans’ sense of drama and style. Stay in the Water House, built in the 1720s on the edge of the deer park, and receive complimentary tickets to the Hall and gardens (during garden open season only).
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Abinger Common, Dorking, Surrey RH5 6TH. Tel 01628 825925, www.landmarktrust.org.uk Sleeps up to 12 people
Arts and Crafts masterpiece by that definitive design partnership Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll. Built at the turn of the 20th century, the house includes its original skittle alley. Out in the garden, the west-facing courtyard has recently been restored according to Jekyll’s planting plan. The property is managed by the Landmark Trust and is one of a selection of their properties with interesting gardens.
Audley, Essex CB11 4JF. Tel 01799 522842 www.english-heritage.org.uk Reservations 0333 253 4139 Sleeps 4 people
This grand Jacobean house is surrounded by parkland designed by Lancelot ’Capability’ Brown and dotted with ornamental garden buildings by Robert Adam. As well as this natural-style landscape, there is a formal parterre and extensive kitchen garden. Stay at Cambridge Lodge cottage and you can wander the gardens until dusk, well after other visitors have gone. English Heritage has accommodation at other properties with interesting gardens, such as the Greenhouse Apartment at Walmer Castle in Kent, with its contemporary garden honouring the Queen Mother.
Kingsbarns, St Andrews, Fife KY16 8QD. Tel 01333 450054, www.camboestate.com Accommodation for 2-16 people
This Victorian walled garden with effusive plantings of perennials also includes a fountain and rose-clad wrought iron bridges spanning the Cambo Burn. Beyond the walled garden are an area of prairie planting, a bog garden and woodland extending to the sea. Cambo is renowned for its snowdrops and a visit in early spring is sure to delight. Guests can choose from bed and breakfast or a selection of self-catering options, including apartments in the Gardener’s Wing.
Manor Temple Guiting, Gloucestershire GL54 5RP. Tel 01451 851862, www.templeguitingmanor.co.uk Sleeps up to 10 people
Not only do you get to stay in a quintessential 15th-century manor of creamy Cotswold stone, but house guests can indulge in gardens designed by award-winning designer Jinny Blom. The 14 acres are divided into different areas of planting – all richly romantic, with frothy swathes of flowers .
The 2009 Garden Museum/Gardens Illustrated Garden of the Year, Howick Hall Gardens hug the coast, offering everything from snowdrops at the start of the season to magnificent autumnal colours in the arboretum. Many trees were planted by Lord Howick, using seed collected on his own planthunting travels. Stay in the Bathing House or The Old School and enjoy unlimited access to the gardens.
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Ottery St Mary, Devon EX11 1QT. Tel 01404 813511, www.cadhay.org.uk Sleeps up to 22 people
The Elizabethan house at Cadhay has been described as one of the top manor houses in the country. Up to 22 guest can stay in the big house while the Stables and Coach House overlook the Kitchen Garden. Exclusive access to the gardens is part of your stay. An area of the garden has been converted to allotments for local residents, so the gardens are productive as well as ornamental.
Butterfield House (the Old Rectory)
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Butterfield House, St Mawgan, Watergate Bay, Cornwall, UK, Tel 01637 881183 www.uniquehomestays.com Sleeps up to 12 people.
Conrad Batten design the beautiful garden to this former rectory in Cornwall and it does not disappoint. It is set within 12 acres and in the village of St Mawgan and has space for up to 12 people. The house was designed in 1858 by notable British architect William Butterfield and with the new garden design, Conrad has built up a naturalistic planting scheme that fuses wildflowers with ornamentals and edibles in the borders. Read our piece on the garden here.
Sorrel Everton is deputy editor of Gardens Illustrated.
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