Over thirty million people a year visit the UK as tourists, making the UK one of the most popular global tourist destinations. Every year, more and more tourists holiday in the UK – not surprising, given the abundance of natural destinations, heritage sites and cultural attractions. One of those quintessentially British attractions: our wonderful botanical gardens, dotted across the country. We’ve put together a list of absolute must-sees, including a few hidden gems that you should try and visit in 2016.
Fenton House & Garden
Fenton House & Garden is an Edwardian garden in London’s charming Hampstead area. Expect roses galore, curated hedges, and an apple orchard in a garden that has remained almost unchanged for 300 years.
On the Wirral, just down the road from the old Roman city of Chester, Ness Gardens is a must-see in the North West. The gardens themselves have a focus on preservation, creating a ‘living library’ of conservation in this treasured local feature.
Benmore Botanic Garden
Once part of the estate of a Scottish trade baron, the Benmore Botanic Garden serves to host a rich collection of living plants, focused on conifers and rhododendrons. The Edinburgh Botanic Gardens are also worth a visit, if you’re willing to travel between the Scottish coasts.
Not far from Gloucester, the Snowshill Manor & Garden offers you not only a lovingly cultivated garden, but also the chance to explore the museum/house designed by architect and poet Charles Wade. Wade has assembled a manor full of curiosities, including weaponry and scale models of boats.
Throckmorton Family Gardens
The gardens, south of Birmingham, are a part of the wider Coughton Court. Designed to be experienced as a series of rooms, Throckmorton Family Gardens offer you a walled, labyrinthine garden.
The Isle of Wight is already a beautiful destination for a trip, but the Mottistone Gardens are a distinctly peaceful and gorgeous valley filled with exotic and local plants. With ocean views from much of the garden, part of the garden’s mission is to bring plant life to the UK and see how they fare in our changing climate.
The National Botanic Garden of Wales
Just a short drive north of Swansea, Wales’ national botanical gardens are fantastic. Playing host to the world’s largest single-span glass greenhouse, there’s a huge host of Mediterranean plants under one roof. Outside of the greenhouse is a geological time-walk through Wale’s natural heritage, as well as a series of themed gardens.
Melbourne Hall Gardens
South of Derby, in the village of Melbourne, the Melbourne Hall Gardens is very much a Georgian manor. The house itself is open to the public, and features seven rooms that you can visit in a house that is still occupied by Lord and Lady Ralph Kerr. The gardens themselves are vivid and tranquil, and host some rare shrubs in the planted borders and intersecting paths.
Have we missed one? Let us know in the comments if you just can’t believe we missed your favourite garden. We’d love to hear from you!